What do the UK's National Parks really look like? To get a better sense of proportion, let's go on a 100 second walk. Each second of the walk will reveal 1% of our National Parks and what they look like from above. Are you ready for UK National Parks in 100 Seconds?
Two years ago, Jack Smith and I made a short film called The UK in 100 Seconds. Made in collaboration with Friends of the Earth and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, the purpose of the film was to show how we're using land in the UK.
The idea was simple. To go on a 100 metre walk to make a 100 second film with each second representing 1% of what the UK looks like from above.
The film has been viewed at least 500,000 times online. It has been watched by a much larger number of people and is used by teachers across the UK and beyond.
A year later we collaborated with Brabant Living Landscape and made The Netherlands in 100 Seconds.
With your help we now want to create UK National Parks in 100 Seconds. Conditions allowing, we plan to turn this film around rapidly - filming this autumn while there is colour in the trees.
For that reason this crowdfunding campaign is just two weeks long.
UK National Parks in 100 Seconds
In the UK we have 15 beautiful, distinctive and important National Parks. From the New Forest to the Cairngorms and Pembrokeshire to the Broads, our National Parks include a diverse range of landscapes, habitats and uses. The overall picture is complex, hard to imagine and difficult to get a proper sense of proportion.
When they are all added together... how much of our National Parks are covered in woodlands, crops, pastures, quarries or urban areas?
UK National Parks in 100 Seconds will give us a first look that's not just a sterile data set or graph, but moving images that people can relate to.
The film will be both beautiful and challenging. It will help us to better imagine what our National Parks look like and what they could be like in the future.
This is an important project
According to the United Nations, 1 million of the world's 8 million species are at risk of extinction. Research by the WWF has found that the population sizes of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians have experienced a decline of an average of 68% between 1970 and 2016. Here in the UK, work by the Mammal Society has revealed that 1 in 4 native mammals are now at risk of extinction in Britain.
In addition, The Committee on Climate Change, an independent, statutory body established to advise UK and devolved governments has said that "the UK’s net-zero target will not be met without changes in how we use our land".
I am a geographer and I make these films to challenge myself and others to think differently about how we are using land. I am driven by the knowledge that we can make much more space for nature and I want more of us to see that.
The final film will be released online under a Creative Commons license. Teachers, lecturers, charities and members of the public will all be able to watch, share, download and enjoy the film for free.
You can choose to just support the project. You can also claim some rewards to thank you for your support. These include:
- Your name on the end credits
- Invitations to a pre-launch online talk, screening and Q&A
- Limited edition vertical aerial photograph poster taken from the film
- Knowing that you helped make the film
It is also possible for your organisation or business to support the project. This can include having your logo at the end of the film. It's important that our aims and values are aligned, so please contact us before your organisation makes a pledge.
How the film will be made
This short film produced by Friends of the Earth gives you an insight into how and why we made The UK in 100 Seconds.
My role is developing, directing, producing and sharing the films. I get the pleasure of being the walker in them too.
The project is brought to life by Jack Smith who is our highly talented Director of Photography and drone operator. I write the scripts in collaboration with Rob Bushby and the voice over artist. We then work with a team that includes a geographic information specialist, sound editor, voice over artist, video colourist and video editor. The whole project is managed through Topolocus, my geography innovation business.
We will be making a single film to represent all of the UK's National Parks combined into one. This will mean travelling to a diverse range of National Parks, but we will not visit them all. We will likely keep the National Parks we do visit anonymous.
We will likely use Copernicus CORINE Land Cover Data to inform the kinds of land we film and in what proportions. Copernicus is a European system for monitoring the Earth. Data is collected by different sources, including Earth observation satellites. This is the same dataset that we used for the UK and Netherlands films.
This will mean us working to film:
- Natural grassland
- Peat bogs
- Coniferous forest
- Broadleaf forest
- Mixed forest
- Woodland shrub
- Arable land
- Sparse vegetation
- Water bodies
- Intertidal flats
- And more..
The number of classifications of land we film will depend on how well the project is funded, weather conditions and any travel restrictions.
After filming in all of the locations the footage is edited to accurately reflect the data in its correct proportions.
This is a rapid crowdfunding campaign
This is a rapid crowdfunding campaign that will only be open for two weeks. National conditions allowing, we plan to shoot the film this autumn while there is so much colour on the trees. If the Government introduces restrictions that prevent filming or if the weather is continually bad, we will move the filming to spring 2021.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read about our UK National Parks in 100 Seconds project. Please do support us in delivering it if you can.