The Avon Valley Project works with communities and landowners across the entire catchment of Devon’s River Avon, an area which covers 17,000 hectares of some of the county’s most beautiful countryside. The project, which is led by the charity Devon Wildlife Trust in partnership with South Devon Nature Trust, has now launched its own mini-feature film. The four minute movie showcases the area’s beauty and the people who are working hard to care for it.
Over the summer months of 2017 South Devon film-makers The Really Good Media Company shadowed the Avon Valley Project team, recording their work. The resulting film shows the team explaining about the full breadth of the project. It highlights one of the main elements of their work: the provision of free land management advice to local landowners aimed at helping them to manage the Avon Valley’s patchwork of meadows, woodlands, hedges and riverbanks for the greater benefit of wildlife.
The film also shows the team undertaking the harvesting and sowing of wildflower seeds – work which is aimed at enlarging the numbers of wildflower meadows in the area to come to the aid of struggling pollinating insects. It also features the project’s other work monitoring local populations of dormice, and its surveys of local riverflies - invertebrates whose presence are seen as a good indicator of a river’s health.
Totnes-based Lynne Kenderdine works on Devon Wildlife Trust’s Avon Valley Project. Lynne said:
“It’s the first time we’ve used film to promote the work of the Avon Valley Project. Having to distil our work into just four minutes of documentary film was a challenge but we found The Really Good Media Company excellent to work with. Being local they understood the project and knew the area. The result is, we think, a film which captures the beauty of the Avon Valley and the vital work we’re doing with local people to enhance its value for wildlife.”
Loddiswell-based Craig Dunton, who also works for the Avon Valley Project, said:
“It’s a pleasure to work in the Avon Valley as it’s a real hidden gem in Devon’s landscape. This film highlights the wealth of habitats that the landscape supports and will hopefully raise awareness of the importance and fragility of some of the special species found in the catchment. This important work is only possible with the support of the landowner community who contribute to providing a vibrant, healthy natural ecosystem, which supports some of the rarest habitats and species in the country.”
The Avon Valley Project hopes the film will inspire other local landowners to come forward and work with it to help local wildlife.