Introducing Nature Matters

Yorkshire and North East Film Archives have been awarded a grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for “Nature Matters”, a new project that uses moving image to explore one of the most important issues of our time: the impact of climate and environmental change on our natural landscapes.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, some two and a half years ago, has meant that we’ve all seen major changes in many aspects of our daily life. Lockdown rules heightened our appreciation for gardens, parks, and green spaces; the ability to go outside and spend time in nature has become more valuable than ever before.

“Nature Matters”, supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and launched during The Great Big Green Week 2022, focuses on our personal relationships with nature and our surroundings. It looks at the places we live in, visit and value, industrial and urban re-development, changing energy sources over the decades, and threats to our wildlife, flora, and fauna, all of which have been captured on film over the decades.

Graham Relton, Archive Manager, said:

“Our vaults in York and Middlesbrough hold a wealth of moving image collections that reveal a fascinating record of the very real environmental issues, causes, and concerns that people and communities have wrestled with, and championed, through the years. However, these film heritage collections were recorded on formats that are now deteriorating – and unless we act quickly, the danger is that these images will be lost forever.

Archive Director, Brent Woods, added:

“We’re thrilled to have received this grant. And we are so grateful to National Lottery players, whose support will ensure that these important environment-related films are preserved, digitised, and screened so they can be seen, shared, debated, celebrated for generations to come.”

The project will also focus on gaps in the collection, with the launch of a campaign to uncover film reflecting the big environmental issues of the first 20 years of the 21st century.

In addition, there will be a wealth of opportunities to connect people to film heritage collections in fresh new ways, across new platforms, in community groups, and at festivals and other events across the Yorkshire and North East regions.