LAPWINGS AT CATCOTT
A FILM BY BEVIS BOWDEN
"I could not recommend this lovely film more highly. Take out five minutes from the hurly burly and bring yourself some joy."
Mark Cocker, Author and Naturalist (Birds and People, Crow Country)
O LAPWING! thou fliest around the heath,
Nor seest the net that is spread beneath.
Why dost thou not fly among the corn fields?
They cannot spread nets where a harvest yields.
by William Blake.
The Lapwing Act 1926, preventing the large scale collection of eggs, reversed the Lapwings UK decline. However, more recent large scale changes in farming practice have further pressured numbers. With recent interventions, and the returning of land to a more natural state will the Lapwing recover to the numbers William Blake observed in his poem O LAPWING?
The Catcott Lows on the Somerset Levels is part of the largest wet meadow system in Britain and forms a part of the Avalon marshes. It is a landscape that is resolutely leaking back into its natural state. During the winter this landscape becomes the home to Lapwings and, the focus of my film.
As you stare across the waterlogged landscape and, watch the Lapwings flock, the origin of their name becomes evident - from the Old English hleapewince 'to leap and wink'. There are reverberations of the past here, the Tor at Glastonbury is a constant reminder of this.
Filmed at Catcott Nature Reserve Somerset, February 2017.
Music by Greg Haines.
FILMED AND EDITED BY BEVIS BOWDEN