WHO SPEAKS FOR THE BUTTERFLIES? is a short documentary film in which environmental activist, author and parish priest Peter Owen-Jones Rosemary Lane Woods and speaks to individuals involved in the project.
The film was directed by Anny Tubbs, a Brussels-based documentary filmmaker. Anny established First Move Productions in 2020 to make documentary films that highlight the work of individuals whose values and expertise make them a force for good, specifically on environmental and social issues. She also works freelance as a multimedia producer for a European news agency.
“Kathy Smyth first told me about her purchase of a small wood in Surrey. She later mentioned plans to work with the neighbouring estate which provides supported accommodation for retired seafarers, to replace its old oil boilers with locally sourced wood chip biomass. None of this sounded obvious, but Kathy worked with others to make it happen, so Care Ashore now uses a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels for its hot water and heating.
And yet this was not her end goal: the ultimate ambition of clearing out some trees was to bring light and biodiversity back to a previously dormant, unmanaged wood. Being able to film this, and show how success is measured by the return of butterflies (from one to 28 species over seven years… including the rare Wood White) was very moving, particularly given how open everyone was with Pete about what this means to them.”
WHO SPEAKS FOR THE BUTTERFLIES? highlights the benefits of a small scale local initiative that can be shared and replicated to re-create corridors for wildlife to pass through – and ultimately rekindle abundance from patches of dejected darkness. While speaking to participants, Peter Owen-Jones reminds us that there are many facets to taking action for a sustainable future. We can’t oversimplify. Rather we can learn from one another, especially when it comes to taking care of woodlands, making them inhabitable again and rethinking our relationship with nature. This film isn’t about showing majestic woodland or butterfly shots. It celebrates the quiet passion of individuals focused on getting things right for the long term.