One of Dorset’s hidden gems has come under the spotlight of fame at last, thanks to a world-renowned film-maker. Dorset Wildlife Trust has just released a new film by TV’s Hugh Miles about east Dorset’s sparkling chalk stream, the River Allen.
More on Hugh Miles
Hugh, mentor of Simon King and known for a host of award-winning TV films including Life in the Freezer, Tiger and Springwatch, has a fisherman’s deep affection for rivers and an unrivalled knowledge of their wildlife, which he feels has been neglected for too long. He said: “Our rivers are in trouble, threatened by a catalogue of problems, not least the lack of water. So as a passionate conservationist I’m keen to make people aware of how valuable our chalk streams are and raise the profile of their extraordinary wildlife, including the fish that are so often overlooked but vital to wetland ecosystems throughout Britain. Chalk streams are wonderful places and we all need to save water to ensure their future survival.”
The River Allen is one of the least known but best rivers for wildlife in the country. England has the largest chalk river resource in Europe, with Dorset having the most western distribution of these unique rivers. The crystal-clear waters of chalk streams support more wildlife than any other waters in Britain, with a huge range of aquatic insects, spawning sites for trout and salmon and food for predators, including kingfishers, otters and the native white-clawed crayfish. Their valleys contain important wetlands, including wet woodlands, flower-rich fens and wet grasslands, home to wildfowl and wading birds such as lapwing and snipe.
Why is this video so special?
Hugh Miles has given his whole-hearted support to The Dorset Wild Rivers Project, led by Dorset Wildlife Trust to restore important chalk stream habitat across much of the county, including the Frome and Piddle Valleys and the chalk stream tributaries of the Stour, Allen, Tarrant and North Winterborne. The project, funded by Wessex Water, Dorset AONB and the Environment Agency, is working with land owners, fishing groups and The Wild Trout Trust, and already has the backing of Hugh’s friend and colleague, Simon King.
Sarah Williams, Dorset Wild Rivers co-ordinator at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “We are so grateful to Hugh Miles for his strong support for the project and for this wonderful film, which shows the amazing wildlife and beauty of the River Allen. We look forward to working with Hugh in the future to encourage everybody to enjoy and care for our precious rivers.”
The River Allen film can be seen here. For more information, contact Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Nicky Hoar at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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Hugh Miles Awards include:
British Academy Awards (BAFTAs) for best cinematography in Tiger, Life in the Freezer and Survival plus 6 nominations for Kingdom of the Ice Bear
EMMY’s: 1986 Winner for Kingdom of the Ice Bear
1993 Cinematography winner for Young Indiana Jones
1994 Winner for Winter Days
2000 Nomination for Tiger
2006 Nomination for Snow Leopard
Other awards include several at the ‘green Oscars’ Wildscreen Pandas and the Jackson Hole Film Festival.
Dorset Wild Rivers is led by Dorset Wildlife Trust and funded by Wessex Water, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Environment Agency. Partners in the project include Purbeck Heritage Committee, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), Dorset Biodiversity Partnership, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Queen Mary University of London, Environment Agency and Natural England.
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 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.
Read our Blog "Wildlife Matters"
The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) www.wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas
Hugh Miles filming on the River Allen
White Clawed Crayfish