Nature and environment

The East of England region attracts film makers with its varied landscape and wildlife, including the Broads, the Fens, the Thames estuary and the smaller areas of specific natural interest. Documentary films have often been inspired by the risk to this environment, and film has been a powerful medium for campaigning. Local television has captured on film the regional diversity, and the internationally-celebrated ‘Survival’ series from Anglia Television originated in the programme making and campaigning passion of this region’s naturalists and conservationists.

Cat no. 390

An English Fen

Running time17:20 Black & White Sound 1947 The Fens

Living in the reclaimed land of the Fens surrounded by man-made waterways, Alf Wilson and John Waters make a living from the willows and eels.

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Cat no. 9526

Problems On The Norfolk Broads

Running time8:40 Colour Silent c.1948 Norfolk Broads, Norfolk

In 1989 the Broads was given the status of a national park, but the problems arising from holidaymaking, local farming and neglect were recognised far earlier as a risk to this unique man-made and natural environment. This 1948 film was made by a concerned campaigner when the first national parks were being created.

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Cat no. 228

Essex Floods 1953

Running time13:52 Black & White Sound 1953 Essex

This dramatic record of the devastation caused by the sea surge of 1953 includes the area of Canvey Island where 58 people lost their lives. The film was made in the height of the emergency by Richard Pike for Essex County Council, and it shows the measures taken to provide for homeless people, as well as repair to banks and seawalls.

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Cat no. 6343

Wind in the Reeds

Running time41:14 Colour Sound 1959 Norfolk Broads, Norfolk

Close observation of delightful creatures and plants of the Broads area filmed in colour by naturalist and conservation Philip Wayre.

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Cat no. 203779

Wildfowl at Blakeney - Countryman

Running time16:48 Black & White Sound 1961 Blakeney, Norfolk

Aubrey Buxton drives through the villages to meet Billy Bishop, warden of Cley Marshes to discuss the ways of wildfowl. Aubrey Buxton, later Lord Buxton of Alsa, was a founder director of Anglia Television and became Chief Executive. A naturalist from childhood, he was the knowledgeable presenter of the 'Countyman' programmes from which this episode is taken, and went on to establish the internationally celebrated 'Survival' series.

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Cat no. 5596

A Wind On The Heath

Running time49:38 Colour Sound 1969-1970 Norfolk

The animals and plants of Breckland on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, including deer, red squirrels and badgers, recorded in colour by naturalist and television presenter Philip Wayre.

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Cat no. 5381

Ted Ellis Profile - In Camera

Running time6:02 Colour Sound 1976 Surlingham, Norfolk

Naturalist, writer and broadcaster Ted Ellis is seen at his home at Wheatfen near Surlingham in this short film to introduce a television studio interview.

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Cat no. 6342

The Vanishing Otter

Running time24:19 Colour Sound 1978

Philip Wayre founded the Otter Trust and successfully campaigned to restore the small and endangered population of wild otters in the East of England region, with benefit across the country. He was well known to viewers of Anglia Television in the 1960s when he presented his films in the ‘Countryman’ series. He filmed much of this 1978 programme, directed by Colin Willock, for the world-famous 'Survival' series from Anglia Television.

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