Sights & Sounds of the Marshes was a project for primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in and around the Avalon Marshes, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Somerset Film delivered the project on behalf of the Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnerships (AMLP), and worked with 10 groups from 8 different schools and colleges between July 2014 and March 2015. Participating pupils and students explored the landscape through various themes – such as wetland wildlife, peatland heritage, ancient history – and produced a series of ‘digital stories’, documentary film, animation, photography, radio, and audio recordings that we can now use to share the landscape with others.
“It would be difficult to choose a best bit as the children enjoyed the whole experience. They loved the filming and animation but also the willow weaving.” Teacher, Meare Village Primary School
‘I loved the film project. I found it interesting.’ Pupil from Churchfield School
Our Visit to the Avalon Marshes by St Joseph’s & St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School
Link to their individual ‘Digital Stories’
Roman-ing in the Marshes by Shapwick Senior School
Sights & Sounds of the Prehistoric Marshes by Westover Green Primary School
When the Vikings came to Glastonbury by Churchfield Primary School
Black Gold –The peat industry by Bridgwater College students
Peatland restoration by Bridgwater College students
Farming in the Avalon Marshes by King Alfred’s School
Year 2 at St Joseph’s and St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School in Wells visited the Avalon Marshes in July 2014 to learn about wetland wildlife. Their stories, about the wildlife discovered, were made into a series of individual ‘digital stories’ by filmmaker Will Bix.
A group of students from Shapwick Senior School made this film about the Romans in and around the Avalon Marshes. With help from experts from the South West Heritage Trust, and the kind input of the Museum of Somerset, they learnt about the Shapwick Hoard, the Roman salt industry, and counterfeit coin-making. James Price taught them about filmmaking and facilitated them in making this film about the local heritage.
Year 5 at Westover Green Primary School visited the Avalon Marshes in December 2014 to make a film with filmmaker James Price. They learnt about the Stone-Age Sweet Track and the Iron-Age Glastonbury Lake Village, with help from the AMLP team and staff and volunteers from the South West Heritage Trust and Natural England, and made this film about what they learnt.
Year 5 of Churchfield Primary School in Highbridge were learning about the Saxons and the Vikings. Filmmaker James Dean and the AMLP teamed up with Glastonbury Abbey to give them a great opportunity to make a film about what they had been learning, and to link it to the local area.
Peter Alexander was a key figure in the local peat industry during its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. Students from Bridgwater College interviewed him about his experiences.
Students from Bridgwater College had a unique opportunity for a guided tour of Godwin’s Peat with director Ben Malin, and also the chance to interview Ray Summers, warden for RSPB Ham Wall. This film is about how the peat industry has shaped the area, and how businesses as well as conservation organisations are working to restore habitat for wildlife.
Students from King Alfred’s School in Highbridge did work experience with Somerset film and came on site to the Avalon Marshes to make this film about farming on the levels. James Price taught them about filmmaking, and local farmers Karl Dyga and Rob Whitcombe spent time with them to help them understand what makes farming in the area unique.