Wild Bedfordshire documentary gives new perspective to the nature on our doorstep

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Unenviable 4am starts and incredible patience have paid off for Bedford filmmaker Don Weerasirie, as he today unveils his beautiful new documentary, shining a spotlight on the wildlife of Bedfordshire.

Wild Bedfordshire was filmed over two years and features an elusive Barn Owl alongside foxes, otters and kingfishers.

Inspired by walks in the countryside during the first lockdown in 2020, Don told the Bedford Independent that, “it seemed the birds were louder and the air was clearer and wildlife was definitely more active.

“It bought a new perspective to what was on our doorstep and really opened my eyes to how biodiverse Bedfordshire is.”

This appreciation of the local countryside, combined with Don’s love of all things Attenborough, made him realise that he needed to make a film about “how beautiful this little corner of the world really is.”

Sharing his love of the Bedfordshire countryside was composer Adi Chase, who Don commissioned to create the atmospheric soundtrack.

“It was a joy to compose music to such wonderful shots of nature in a place where I was born and grew up,” she said.

The music will be available to download for a limited time only here.

To celebrate the launch today of the Limelight TV documentary, the Bedford Independent went behind the scenes with Don to find out more about the making of the film…

What is the hardest part of wildlife filmmaking?

“Setting the alarm for 4:20am doesn’t come naturally to me, but in order to make sure I was ready and set up before the first morning light is the only reason I was able to capture that one in 1,000 minutes of footage. The camera, lens and tripod are all also extremely heavy and can be very hard to carry long distances.”

What was the most satisfying element to capture?

“The barn owl was definitely the most elusive animal I set out to film. You have a small window of opportunity at dusk or dawn to capture any useable footage due to the amount of available light.

“Three months after my initial sighting, and many 4am alarm calls later, I finally managed to capture shots of the owl and it was almost like winning the lottery so definitely the most satisfying.”

Most surprising thing about the Bedfordshire countryside?

“Just the diversity of wildlife we have and how much of it there is.

“I love travelling the world but making this film has made me realise how picturesque the countryside around here is.

“We are very fortunate and I’m incredibly proud of where I come from. Not to detract from the positives but the only other thing that surprised me was how much plastic waste I encountered, even in some of the most remote parts, which deeply saddened me.”

What do you hope people take from it?

“I hope when people watch the film it will make them realise how beautiful the wildlife and countryside is and how it’s down to us to preserve it.

“Even small acts like picking up litter while on walks can make all the difference.”

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