People can get up close to the wildlife of the River Allen without getting a toe wet, with the new Waterside screen in Wimborne. Liquid Gold, a film about the river made by world-renowned film maker Hugh Miles, will be the first to be shown in the town’s Allendale Centre café, as part of the partnership River Allen Project, led by Dorset Wildlife Trust.
The screen, brainchild of Hugh Miles and funded by Carter Conservation Trust, will bring to life the rare and largely unseen wildlife of this important chalk stream and raise awareness of the threats and problems that it faces. Planned further screenings include Otters on our Doorstep, Hugh’s upcoming film about Blandford’s otters, and live footage of the river wildlife via underwater camera, to be installed next year.
Hugh, mentor of Simon King and acclaimed worldwide for a host of award-winning films including Life in the Freezer, Tiger and Springwatch, said:
“’Out of sight, out of mind’ might be a cliché but in the case of our freshwater fish life it is true. We can’t see them, know little about them and as a result, don’t care. However, fish are a vital part of healthy ecosystems and without them, fish eating birds might suffer and even our beloved otters will go hungry. Education is long overdue and showing adults and children is the key.”
Amanda Broom, Conservation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “The River Allen is home to the UK’s fastest declining mammal, the water vole and one of the UK’s most threatened species, the white clawed crayfish. This screen and the wonderful film by Hugh are a great way to show people our precious river wildlife and why we all need to protect it.”
Andy Bryant, Manager of the Allendale Centre, said: "The Allendale has opened its doors to this project to help raise awareness of the fine balance of nature and the biodiversity which the River Allen supports, and hopefully this will ensure that future generations appreciate the fragility of its ecosystem. The long term goal of the Allendale is to tie in with the National Curriculum and host groups of school children so they can have a hands-on learning experience with guest lecturers and talks given by experienced professionals. We feel very lucky that hopefully we will become the platform that helps the next generation of conservationists gain the initial spark of knowledge which turns them on to what happens outside the class room and starts them down the path to helping preserve their environment and not destroying it".
Liquid Gold can be seen from 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday at the Allendale Centre’s Waterside Café. Partners in The River Allen Project include the Environment Agency, Wild Trout Trust, the Salmon and Trout Association and it is part of the Dorset Wild Rivers Project, led by Dorset Wildlife Trust to restore important chalk stream habitat across much of the county.
Click here to watch the Liquid Gold Film
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Amanda Broom at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01202 692033.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature.
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.