Cat no. 949

The Vanishing Hedgerows

Running time~48:00 Colour Sound 1972 Stiffkey, Norfolk

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Narrated by Henry Williamson, author of "Tarka the Otter," the film focuses on the near extinction of the common partridge to trace 50 years of agricultural change and current threats to the countryside.

Genre:

AgricultureAnimalDocumentaryTelevision

The programme is largely filmed on Church Farm, Stiffkey, where Henry Williamson began farming in the mid 1930s. There are numerous short sequences of the whole range of farming activities as they would have been carried out in the 1930s before the tractor was in widespread use. There are views of Stiffkey village, the church and the marshes. Birdlife such as mallards, waders, snipes, plovers, marsh harriers, lapwing bitterns and herons feature. Traditional Norfolk four course rotation farming is explained and illustrated. The film covers the topic of mechanisation. More wildlife is featured: sedge warbler, bearded tit, chaffinch, red poll, blue tit, goldfinch, wren, house martins, blackbird, greenfinch, long tailed tit, a robin with a cuckoo chick and a partridge on a nest.

In the section on water pollution there are otters, kingfisher and a kestrel nest and chicks. Williamson discusses the advantages of traditional methods and laments the dwindling wildlife. There are scenes of men badgering, and shots of a peregrine falcon, herons, a barn owl and a little owl. Williamson reads from his writings and makes a plea for a balanced and viable system of farming.

Featured People:

Henry Williamson, Writer and Farmer; Douglas Jordan, Stockman

David Cobham

David Cobham

John McCallum; John Buxton

Terence Twigg

Paul Lewis

Henry Williamson

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