Film Shows with North Yorkshire Libraries

What do water pollution in Filey, hiking in the Yorkshire Dales, and air quality in Selby have in common? They are all nature-based stories hand-picked by the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives for a series of special screenings at North Yorkshire Libraries across Yorkshire in March and April 2023.

Through the camera lenses of both amateur and professional filmmakers, these historic moving images have recorded changes in our natural landscape and our shifting relationship with the environment over the past 120 years.

It’s all about the places we live in, visit and value.  The programme looks at industrial and urban redevelopment, changing energy sources, and threats to our wildlife, flora and fauna, all of which have been captured on film over the decades.

From the right to access land to harvesting the land and sea, weather, pollution and activism, curators have delved into the vaults to explore and uncover nature-based narratives now carefully shaped into a special film show for audiences of all ages to enjoy… and question.

Martha Cattell, Delivery Manager for Nature Matters, Yorkshire and North East Film Archives said,

"The collections give us a unique opportunity to reflect on our relationship with the environment, how this has evolved over time, and that is still so relevant today. I’m really looking forward to presenting this series of screenings.  By looking back, we can question where we are now and open up conversations about what our future environmental landscapes might look like, and how we can shape them in a positive way."

These film shows are the culmination of a year-long series of ‘Beyond Carbon’ events hosted and organised by North Yorkshire Libraries. The library venues in Filey, Harrogate, Northallerton, Selby and Skipton offer a perfect location for the screenings as they encourage the sharing and reuse of resources.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for libraries and climate change, Cllr Greg White, said, 

"Our libraries are proud to host these remarkable screenings which epitomise the ever-changing landscape of the county’s urban and rural areas. The new North Yorkshire Council will adopt a climate change strategy, placing a renewed emphasis on biodiversity and taking advantage of the natural resources across England’s largest county. These screenings will raise awareness of climate change whilst showcasing the beautiful scenery we have on our doorstep." 

The screenings are supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund project ‘Nature Matters’ which aims to preserve and catalogue nature related films in the vaults, create access to these stories, and continue to grow the collections by collecting digital content from the past 20 years that reflects environmental themes and issues. Like the planet, our moving image heritage needs preserving for future generations, and we need to act soon before they are lost forever.

The 90-minute presenter-led screenings will be packed full of content, including stories of resilience with the incredible journeys of explorer John Hawkridge, an intrepid hiker with cerebral palsy, plus two plucky women who take on a polluting industrial company in Middlesbrough with their own unique approach. From one of the earliest films in the collection at Bempton Cliffs in 1908 to activism throughout the decades right up to climate marches in 2021 and lots in between, there really is something for everyone. 

Dates and Venues:

Thursday 30th March, 7-8.30pm, Filey Library

Tuesday 4th April, 2-3.30pm, Harrogate Library

Thursday 6th April, 2-3.30pm, Northallerton Library

Wednesday 12th April, 7-8.30pm, Selby Library 

Tuesday 18th April, 2-3.30pm, Skipton Library

Tickets start at £2 and places and can be booked on Eventbrite or on the door. 


Any questions, please contact Alexandra Haley