New Cultural Producers of Nature's Value: Exploring the Role of Britain's Wildlife filmmaking Sector in Partnership with the BBC Natural History Unit

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: School of Humanities

Abstract

This project examines the value of nature, particularly its wildlife component, as an object of production and distribution. It focuses on the role of wildlife/nature filmmaking in the cultural production of ecosystem values over the past quarter-century, with special emphasis on the decade since the launch of Springwatch (2005). The history and culture of wildlife filmmaking since 1990 awaits significant scholarly scrutiny. Our aim is to generate new knowledge of how values for nature are created and disseminated by examining actors within this high profile branch of Britain's cultural industry.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Interviews with filmmakers 
Description The database consists of more than 50 recordings and transcriptions of interviews with natural history filmmakers at home and abroad. These interviews include current and former BBC Natural History Unit staff (including heads of unit), independents, post-production and other staff, and a range of nationalities. Interviews focused on the distinctive contribution of the BBC Natural History Unit to filmmaking internationally over the past 25 years. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This set of interviews substantially advances our knowledge of natural history filmmaking at the BBC over the past quarter-century. There is minimal overlap with previous interviews, and many of our interviewees had either not previously been interviewed or not interviewed at such length. This database has already informed various presentations and will also inform the publications that the project team will work on during 2019 and 2020. 
 
Description 'From the Galapagos to Gloucestershire: the mixed ecology of BBC NHU programming', Talk at AHRC/UK Research and Innovation headquarters in Swindon (October 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 'From the Galapagos to Gloucestershire' was a talk in the AHRC staff seminar series.(16 October 2018).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Academic conference presentation: annual conference, European Society for Environmental History (Zagreb): Title: From charismatic megafauna to charismatic minifauna: creating new values for nature through wildlife filmmaking at the BBC Natural History Unit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Over 50 academics from various countries attended a talk that promoted discussion about changes in the content of wildlife filmmaking over the past 25 years.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Blog for AHRC on 'How Springwatch was sprung' (Festival of Nature session) (14 June 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This blog related to a session on the roots of the Springwatch phenomenon at the annual, Bristol-based Festival of Nature (5 June 2018).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://ahrc-blog.com/2018/06/14/how-springwatch-was-sprung/
 
Description How Blue Planet changed TV & the way we look at the oceans 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Interview posted on research council (AHRC) website (Features section) about the original Blue Planet series (2001) at the time of the screening of Blue Planet II, drawing on research materials gathered for the 'New Cultural Producers of Nature's Value' project, including the oral history interview programme integral to the project. This feature has generated inquiries about the project as a whole.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/research/readwatchlisten/features/peter-coates-how-blue-planet-changed-tv-and-...
 
Description How Springwatch was sprung: the history of a national institution, Festival of Nature, Bristol, 5 June 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Based on project research and featuring archival footage, this 2-hour session on the history of Springwatch involved the project leader and researcher as well as two former staff of the BBC Natural History Unit that were involved in the origins and evolution of Springwatch from 2004 to 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/springwatch-sprung-history-national-institution/
 
Description Paper at workshop (Northumbria University, Environmental Humanities group): paper title: From landmark to Springwatch: new trends in natural history filmmaking 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop talk that presented preliminary findings of the research project, promoting discussion regarding the role of filmmakers in the attachment of certain values to different areas of the natural world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Peter Coates interview: how Blue Planet (II) caught the nation's attention 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Interview about project research findings posted on Features area of funding body (AHRC) website during the time that Blue Planet II was being screened (December 2017),
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/research/readwatchlisten/features/peter-coates/
 
Description Talk on Blue Planet I at a conference on Oceans at the University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, Azores 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My invited participation was funded by the Norwegian Research Council through the '3ROceans' project based at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ntnu.edu/3roceans/conference-2018
 
Description Turning the lens on the BBC's Natural History Unit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Feature publicizing project, including quotes from project participants, posted on the 'News' area of the funding body (AHRC) website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/turning-the-lens-of-the-bbc-s-natural-history-unit/