Capturing the Common

Header photo credit: Kerry Bensley

Over summer 2021, Common Ground invited a group of young people to our filmmaking project at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Roydon Common. This is the brill film they created, which highlights the beauty and importance of this unique place and shows that nature reserves are a place for young people. We love to see it.

Watch the video below, take a look at our project page and keep an eye on our Instagram for more great content.

Video transcript

[Sound of wind blowing through trees, with light keyboard music. Fades into birdsong.]

Sam Child: We’re here at Roydon Common. It is a beautiful nature reserve on the outskirts of King’s Lynn. It is owned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust and is one of the largest heathlands in Norfolk. It has a beautiful array of birds, and also lots of different types of wildlife.

At this time of year, the heather is looking great. As you can see, it is an ocean of purple.

[Light music. This becomes more dramatic as synth sounds and upbeat percussion are added.]

Here at Roydon Common, we have several species of livestock, the first being a White British Cow. It is very similar in size to the Dartmoor Pony, and is very distinctive. It’s completely white with black ears, black eyes, and a black nose.

[Cow mooing]

These are great for the common because the common has very poor nutrient soil, which these cows can survive on.

The ponies here are a very small species, but they’re also very hardy. Coming originally from Dartmoor National Park, they’ve been bred on the moor and kept on the common. They’re very good at keeping vegetation down, such as this large area of grassland. This is especially good in the heathlands where all the heather is.

[Light keyboard music. Birds chirping. Music changes back to synth piece and buzzing insects can be heard.]

Crew member 1: We were just walking through the sandy paths in the common, near the heather, and we’d been looking for hours for a snake and we finally found one in the middle of the path – it was just there! It was really cool because none of us had seen a snake before and it was our first time seeing it.

[Light keyboard music]

Sam Child: As you have seen, Roydon Common is unique. There really isn’t [sic] many other places so full of wildlife and so close to a main town. From ponies to snakes, to seeing cows grazing, we here think Roydon Common is amazing. See you there.

Over credits:

Crew member 2: So it’s really peaceful to take photos of nature sometimes and then you disconnect from the world, because the further you get away, the less you can hear the cars and the noise, which is nice.

Crew member 3: I liked seeing the ponies up close, which was really cool. And I also like how you can just look around and you can’t really see anything except just grass and heather.

Crew member 4: It’s a nice place to go for everyone, so if people was [sic] to go there and ruin it, then it would just ruin it for everyone. So going there just for a nice walk or something will benefit everyone.

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