Lady of the Lakes By Olivia Frost, MA Wildlife Filmmaking student, University of the West of England https://theladyofthelakes.wordpress.com/ ‘The Lady of the Lakes’ – A true story of a conservation heroine, which needs to be told Beatrix Potter is a familiar name; it conjures ideas of fluffy bunnies and a twee Victorian woman writing lovely stories and drawing pretty pictures at her desk – but Beatrix was so much more than just a children’s author and artist. A forward-thinking, independent and passionate woman, her innovative conservation strategies enabled the protection of one of the UK’s most treasured landscapes. The real Beatrix Potter was an incredible woman who fought to protect the lands she loved. She defied the rigid and often misogynistic confines of Victorian Society to dedicate her life to shielding Lake District wildlife, landscapes, communities and traditions from greedy Victorian developers that were intending to exploit the land. Her remarkable conservation work enabled the preservation of the beautiful Lake District landscapes that we still treasure today. My name is Olivia and I am an MA Wildlife Filmmaking student. Even as a child I’ve always loved wildlife; but the beginning of my passion for the great outdoors can almost entirely be attributed to one woman- Beatrix Potter. Inspired by her magical stories and encouraged to learn more about her, I have long been aware of her close affinity with the natural world and her incredible work in the Lake District. But sadly, although her stories are widely known, many people are completely unaware of the key role she played in supporting this key UK landscape. As a result, for completion of my MA Wildlife Filmmaking degree I am choosing to make a self-funded short film called ‘The Lady of the Lakes’ which will be all about the real Beatrix Potter. I strongly believe that wildlife filmmaking can offer an opportunity to tell the stories that matter, and this is certainly a conservation story that I think deserves to be told. My film will reflect Beatrix as the feisty and quirky woman she really was, using re-enactment drama to bring her character to life. The drama-documentary film will also seek to showcase British wildlife and landscapes in all their glory, with the aim of inspiring others to also become involved in conservation and to really appreciate the beauty of natural UK landscapes, including the Lake District which only survives today because of Beatrix’s important work. I also hope that my project will really help to empower and inspire young girls to become involved in science and conservation. As a young female scientist, conservationist and camerawoman myself, I know from personal experience that at times it can be very challenging – but despite the many hurdles that she faced, Beatrix persisted and prevailed by fighting for what she loved, so I certainly intend to follow in her footsteps and do the very same. I believe that women of today should be inspired to be strong and should be able to confidently pursue their passions. Beatrix is a great role model in this respect, as she was an inspirational woman who proved that with dedication, it’s certainly possible to make a real difference to the world! As a result, I’m currently trying to raise some support for my student film. I am hoping to reach as many people as possible with my project and need to raise enough 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/ Olivia Frost is a 23 year old student studying for an MA degree in Wildlife Filmmaking at the University of the West of England in Bristol. She also has an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Conservation Biology from the University of Kent and has had a lifelong passion for supporting wildlife and conservation initiatives.