Ocean Community News

Cornwall’s Climate Stories – A New Series of Films to Inspire, Motivate and Give Hope

Think climate change is something that’s just a problem for polar bears or people living in low-lying Pacific islands? Think again…

A new series of documentaries being launched on 25 February will look at how climate change is going to affect Cornwall – but also offer inspirational stories about the great projects happening around the county to tackle it.

The films, made by the charity Cornwall Climate Care will tell stories across a range of themes including housing, energy, transport, farming and health, and will be made available online, for community screenings and for schools.

The first film in the series, Under the Surface, focuses on our marine environment and how – without most of us noticing – climate change is already affecting species that depend on the sea for their survival.

Each 30-minute film is presented by a different relevant person, and this one is narrated by Claire Wallerstein, who spent eight years running the Cornish beach cleaning group Rame Peninsula Beach Care (RPBC).

The film follows her as she interviews marine experts studying creatures ranging from tiny plankton up to grey seals and basking sharks – and learns that the successful work of groups such as RPBC in highlighting the issue of marine plastic pollution may have had an unintended consequence.

Claire said: “There’s so much awareness nowadays about the need to tackle plastic pollution, and rightly so. It is a huge problem and causes such obvious harm. But it’s only one part of the bigger and more complex issue of climate change, which doesn’t seem to get so much attention.

“People may not think of climate change being much of a problem in Cornish seas. But what I found while making this film was that dramatic and surprising changes are happening right under our noses here too.”

Film director Bryony Stokes said: “Cornwall will be first in line to experience many of the impacts of climate change – from more severe Atlantic storms to sea level rise and eroding coasts. But the story that hasn’t been told enough is how it is also blazing a trail for the rest of the country in the fight against climate change.

“There’s a huge range of exciting and pioneering work happening here – from the world’s first electric ferry to geothermal energy plants, from a project to turn cattle slurry into green fuel to the replanting of seagrass meadows and reintroduction of beavers to help prevent flooding.

“Businesses, communities and scientists all across Cornwall are doing incredible things to face up to the challenges coming our way. We hope these stories will give people a feeling of pride and hope – and motivate them to help tackle the climate crisis too.”

One key aim of the charity is to make its films available to all local secondary schools, along with teaching materials and resources.

A recent survey by the charity Teach the Future found that just 4% of pupils felt they knew a lot about climate change, while 75% of teachers said they did not have adequate training to teach this subject.

To attend the online premiere on Feb 25, including a question and answer session with the film’s expert participants, sign up here.

See the trailer for the whole series on YouTube.


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