Film about Cannock Chase recorded with The One Show presenter

A short film about Cannock Chase has been recorded with Mike Dilger from the BBC's The One Show.

The One Show's Mike Dilger on the film
The One Show's Mike Dilger on the film

Environmental group Sustainability Matters - Stafford secured a bid with Cannock Chase AONB Sustainable Development Fund to support making the short film.

In early May a day was spent filming with volunteers from Sustainability Matters, a Cannock Chase Ranger and Paul Hopwood, Secretary for the West Midlands Bird Ringing Group.

The film highlights that the different habitats on the Chase, lowland heath, ancient woodland and some valley mires, all which support rare species for the Midlands.

While conservation is a major priority, land managers and rangers are having to spend more and more time dealing with impacts from the growing number of visitors.

Mike said: “Since the 1800s the UK has lost 80 per cent of it’s lowland heath, with much remaining being degraded or fragmented, so of all the habitats of the Chase, this (the heathland) is perhaps the most precious."

Paul said “The increased use of the Chase impacts on birds such as the locally important Nightjars which are a species of conservation concern. Dogs off leads in the breeding season can have a detrimental impact, increased footfall and people trampling through the heath (off the main paths). At night time too we see increased use of mountain bikes with high powered lights; there is no rest for the birds.”

Mike was keen to find out how visitors can protect the habitat while welcoming the increasing number of people who want to visit and enjoy it, and the message was to plan before you come, and find out which area is best for you to come and undertake the activity you’d like to do.

Mike went on to talk about the problems the Chase is facing such as people straying off official paths, causing erosion and disturbance to wildlife and litter in all its forms remain a problem. The film concludes that with a little thought, people and wildlife can thrive alongside one another.

Tony Pearce from Sustainability Matters Stafford said: “We are in a biodiversity crisis and we need to recognise the impacts we have on nature, and enjoy it responsibly. We need to be prepared to change our habits a little, so nature can thrive. We must think of future generations and leave the natural world in a better way than we found it.”

You can view the film at youtu.be/OE5Fg3t7EPs

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