‘The Lady of the Lakes’ – A conservation story to empower women by Olivia Frost

‘The Lady of the Lakes’ – A conservation story to empower women

All my life I’ve loved nature; to me, conservation has always seemed like an obvious and necessary route to pursue. However, when thinking about when this love of the outdoors truly began for me, there is one significant and inspirational woman that influenced me from a very young age. That woman is Beatrix Potter.

My name is Olivia Frost and I am a 23 year old student studying on the MA Wildlife Filmmaking course at UWE in Bristol, with an undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology. For me, Wildlife Filmmaking has always felt like the perfect outlet for sharing stories that matter – so now is my opportunity to share a story that I think needs to be told.

Beatrix Potter is a familiar name; most children grow up hearing her stories and admiring her dainty artwork. However, what most people fail to realise is that Beatrix was so much more than an simply an author and artist – she was a forward-thinking, independent and brave conservationist whose innovative land management strategies enabled the protection of an entire UK landscape.

Beatrix Potter defied the rigid and often misogynistic confines of Victorian Society to dedicate her life to preserving the wildlife, landscapes, communities and traditions of the Lake District, shielding them from greedy Victorian developers so that they could be protected for future generations to enjoy. Because of her work, we still have the pristine Lake District landscapes that we cherish today.

As a result, for completion of my degree I will be making a self-funded short film called ‘The Lady of the Lakes’ which will be pitched and shown to the BBC’s Natural History Unit. My film will represent Beatrix as the woman she truly was; feisty, quirky and an inspiration.

Brought to life through re-enactments, the short documentary-drama will showcase British wildlife and landscapes alongside treasured Lake District traditions, such as the maintenance of Herdwick sheep. As a result, I am really hoping that my film will inspire others to follow in Beatrix’s footsteps and become more involved with conservation. I would like to encourage others to appreciate natural beauty particularly that of the Lake District which only exists in all its wild glory today, because of the invaluable conservation work Beatrix carried out.

I also want to tell people about the real Beatrix Potter- she wasn’t a delicate, twee Victorian lady, but a passionate woman who fought to protect the lands she loved. Therefore, I am hoping to use my film as a tool to really empower and inspire young girls to become involved in science and conservation. Beatrix faced many hurdles as a woman trying to enter a man’s world of Victorian science and conservation, but she persisted and prevailed – similarly, I believe the young woman of today should be inspired to be strong and fight for their passions and beliefs.

As a result, I’m currently trying to raise some support for my film. I am hoping to reach as many people as possible with my project and need to raise the funds to make it. I’d really appreciate any support you could offer me and my film, however big or small!

Beatrix’s life story is a tale worth telling and I hope her actions will continue to inspire others to engage with nature and conservation, for many years to come.

To find out more and to support the project, please click here: https://uwe.hubbub.net/p/theladyofthelakes/pitch/

You can also follow the project on
Twitter: @tladyofthelakes
Facebook: @theladyofthelakes
Instagram: @theladyofthelakes
Wordpress: https://theladyofthelakes.wordpress.com/

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