First shown at The Mowlem in Swanage during the recent Planet Purbeck Festival, three short films featuring among other things, seahorses, cows and beavers, have been released online for everyone to watch.
Two of the original short films celebrating the local coastline and landscape were produced by BBC wildlife filmmaker Sue Western.
Studland’s Ocean Meadows
The first focuses on Studland Bay, in particular the efforts being made to move ahead sustainably whilst meeting the needs of both beachgoers and boating enthusiasts – to “play and protect” at the same time.
It includes superb underwater shots of seahorses, cuttlefish and Studland’s seagrass meadow.
Neil Garrick-Maidment, of the Seahorse Trust, describes the scene as “like swimming through a beautiful forest”.
And Sara Parker, of the Studland Bay Marine Partnership, demonstrates the eco-moorings that will be offered to boaters so their anchors will not tear up seagrass, which is vital for marine life and carbon absorption.
Four Purbeck Farmers
The second film features four Purbeck farmers who are determined to produce beef and milk commercially while using greener ways of raising and nurturing their livestock.
Jake Hancock, who tends cattle grazing on Hartland Moor, says in the film:
“A lot of ideas are going into the mix now including regenerative agriculture, organic farming and rewilding.
“In many ways these are exciting times. It’s important that we join up the dots in terms of producing food and looking after the landscape.”
“Work with nature much more”
Wareham dairy farmer Ian Baggs adds:
“There has been a drive towards becoming more efficient and also more environmentally sensitive, and the two things often combine.
“That’s why it’s important we shift to techniques that are closer to nature such as using green manures, giving grazing a rest and looking after our pastures better.”
The film, which includes stunning shots of Purbeck’s scenery, also features Church Knowle sheep farmer Cath Best and beef farmer Jack Goldsack from Ailwood near Swanage.
Both are experimenting with alternative livestock feed such as clover and chicory to combat threats from global warming and drought. And Cath says:
“We’re going to need to work with nature much more.”
Purbeck Heaths NNR: A Landscape for Wildlife and People
A third film well received at the Planet Purbeck Festival details the ground-breaking creation of the Purbeck Heaths Super National Nature Reserve – the 3,000-hectare home to 5,000 species of wildlife, which may soon include beavers.
It includes drone shots over Purbeck heathland and a wealth of information about the multi-organisation’s rewilding programme.
“How lucky we are to live here”
Planet Purbeck’s Rob Waitt said:
“First and foremost we want people to simply enjoy the films, which we’re very proud of. Just seeing Purbeck on screen and learning about exciting and progressive plans for the future will make us all realise how lucky we are to live here.
“That said, it’s important we protect and enhance what we’ve got.
“There are numerous threats to face, from the new Government’s worrying review of Environmental Land Management Schemes, which have been developed for years to enable farmers to recover nature on their land, to the supertrawlers that plunder huge quantities of fish from our coastline.
“We would urge anyone inspired by our films to take action against these threats by joining local groups and writing to their MP.”
Watch the films
For all those who couldn’t get to The Mowlem to see the films during the Planet Purbeck Festival, this is a chance to catch up and watch Purbeck on the small screen, or for those who have already seen them, to watch them again.