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Creature Comforts-style animation is nominated for national film award

Posted: 13/04/23

Four entertaining ‘stop-motion’ animations, produced last year by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and StudioDOK, have been nominated for an award by Learning on Screen, a national body which celebrates and promotes film in education.

The Wild Ideas about Flooding animations have been nominated in the Educational Film category of the Learning on Screen Awards. The winners will be announced and presented with trophies at a glittering ceremony at the British Film Institute, London on Thursday 3 May, when all nominees will be showcased on the big screen.

In the Wild Ideas about Flooding animations, Pete the frog, Russell the dog, Brook the otter and Fin the fish highlight the many benefits of natural flood management (NFM) and how it can help protect Cumbria’s homes, businesses and farms. The films show how natural techniques can decrease flooding downstream, reduce the impact of drought on land, and reduce pollutants in water.

David Harpley, Director of Nature Recovery at Cumbria Wildlife Trust, says: “We’re really delighted that these short films have been nominated for a national award, and deservedly so. They’re fun to watch but really informative as well, showing how working with nature can help us tackle the problem of flooding, obviously a concern in Cumbria. We at Cumbria Wildlife Trust are working hard with landowners and farmers to make our county more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis, including flooding. Many of the natural flood management techniques explained in the animations have been used here in Cumbria. These animations are a helpful and entertaining way of conveying complex issues and possible solutions.”

David Kennedy, Cumbria’s Innovative Flood Resilience Senior Advisor (and the voice of Russell the dog) said: “To have this work acknowledged by being a finalist of the Learning on Screen Awards is fantastic! These brilliant films were created as part of the Environment Agency’s Cumbria Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme with partners Cumbria Wildlife Trust. They explain what NFM is and how it can benefit farming, communities and the environment.

“The videos are currently being used in schools and other public settings, such as local big screens in Cumbria, which is a real testimony to how versatile they are. They are a tribute to the skill of the animators and the director who made them come to life in such an engaging way.

“Whilst the films are set in Cumbria, it is important to remember that NFM interventions can be used in any part of the country across a wide variety of landscapes. We look forward to the awards announcement and wish luck to all other finalists in this category.”

Natural Flood Management is a catch-all term for a variety of landscaping techniques used to hold water back during flood events, which reduce the impact downstream on buildings and infrastructure such as bridges.

The techniques include restoring peatland, so it soaks up water instead of it draining into rivers; re-meandering rivers to slow down the fast flow of water, which is more likely in straightened rivers; and protecting flood plains from development.

To read the full article from Cumbria Wildlife Trust, click here.