Bird’s-eye View

Most interested people will have seen the drone film we had made last year. There are a few longer versions on the SWT website but this 2 minute cut had the widest and most effective diffusion through screenings at Rye’s excellent Kino cinema where it was greeted with gaps of admiration and wonder (no, I’m not exaggerating).

We were so pleased with it that we’ve asked the film-maker, Sam Moore to produce a winter version. His idea was to wait for snow, or at least a hard frost thought I felt that, with recent winters having been so mild, we’d probably have to settle instead for low sunlight, winter vegetation etc.

I was proved wrong when  it really did snow, but with such strong winds and unpredictable visibility that it looked as if we’d miss the opportunity after all. In the event, yesterday’s forecast seemed to offer a brief window of relict snow before the thaw set in so we met at 8am.

In fog.

However…there were atmospheric effects to be recorded with distances, structures and the low-tide sand-patterns dissolving into grey. We then headed off to Castle Farm where the shingle ridges would be emphasised by the snow lying still between them.

Luckily our presence coincided with that of the shepherd, who proceeded to check the ewes on the nearby Fairy-Ring Field. As he drove around it, the sheep followed, allowing Sam to get some great vertical shots of the Land Rover in a swirling vortex of woolly backs. I think…because it was hard to see the screen over his shoulder in what was by then nice sunshine.

Next stop was the Reedbed Viewpoint, where fabulous Art Nouveau patterns of blue open water, grey ice, white snow and pale gold reeds could be seen from above.

And finally back to the Beach Reserve where the tide was rushing up the river and through the sluice into the dendritic saltmarsh creeks, visitors strolled down the road and a fishing boat made its way down to the sea.

The day was significant for the reserve in another way, for Warden Chris Bentley was vacating Lime Kiln Cottage to take up residence in Rye.

In case you don’t know – click…

Whereas the first film showed the reserve on a day of astonishing stillness, colour and warmth (30C!), appearing deserted and exotic, this one will show a landscape at once mysterious and accessible, wild yet farmed, fished and much-visited


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