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In a time where women were often told that they couldn’t, or that they shouldn’t, one woman did.
Beatrix Potter is a world renowned children’s author and illustrator, but often neglected are her remarkable accomplishments in the fields of science and conservation.
‘The Lady of the Lakes’ is a student short film that will introduce Beatrix and her profound relationship with nature, from her meticulous work in mycology, to her accomplishments in conservation, which enabled the protection of some of Britain’s most valuable landscapes which we still treasure to this day.
A strong woman who defied the social pressures of Victorian society, join me in exploring Beatrix’s story and discover how her lifelong passion for nature and The Lake District resulted in establishing her as one of the most forward thinking women and key British conservationists of her time.
Inspired by Beatrix Potter’s incredible accomplishments, I will also be running a social media campaign alongside the film.
In an effort to inspire others to follow their dreams, particularly other women and young girls looking to venture into the world of science, and to spread some online positivity, I will be encouraging people to share ‘a moment or accomplishment they are proud of’ with the hashtag #BEAyourself. However big or small the accomplishment is, if it’s important to you, it’s important to me – and you never know who else you could inspire!
Please help me to raise the money that will help me make my film and social media campaign a reality.
The film will have a strong natural history and conservation focus. During her life, Beatrix helped to protect many valuable natural areas, the livelihoods of local farmers, local traditions and even an entire species of indigenous Lake District sheep. She had a lifelong passion for nature which will be conveyed throughout the film and will aim to encourage others to follow in her footsteps.
The film will also give a nod to the National Trust, who work tirelessly to continue and improve upon Beatrix’s invaluable Lake District conservation work. There will be lots of beautiful landscape shots and shots of local wildlife to demonstrate the beauty of the Lake District and to show why it is worth protecting.
The film will also address the theme of feminism. Beatrix was an advocate for women and was a strong-minded, forward-thinking individual. However, during her lifetime, she really struggled to make her own dreams a reality because of her gender. In the Victorian era, women who wanted to be scientists were often laughed out of the room and were discouraged from having any real opinions or desires – they were instead primed only for a domestic life.
Beatrix was having none of this however – in contrast to the wishes of her middle-class parents, she wrote and published books to earn herself an independent wage, wrote her own scientific paper, married a man who worked in trade simply because she loved him and bought, restored and managed huge portions of the Lake District with her earnings, which protected the land for future generations to enjoy. These are just some of her accomplishments; as a result, she is a great role model for other women, particularly at a time where feminism and supporting women in science are matters that are gaining more attention.
Therefore, ‘The Lady in the Lakes’ will also have a social media campaign running alongside it. This will aim to inspire and encourage other women to be brave enough to follow their own dreams even in the face of adversity, just as Beatrix did.
The campaign will encourage both men and women to share an accomplishment that they are really proud of, where they have achieved something that they may originally not have thought possible – however little or grand that may be. Reflecting the attitude of Beatrix herself, the idea is to begin spreading positivity and to encourage younger generations to also follow their dreams.
Share ‘a moment you’re proud of’ with the hashtag #BEAyourself to join the campaign.
My name is Olivia Frost and I am a 23 year old MA Wildlife Filmmaking student with a passion for wildlife and history. As part of my course I am required to make a short self-funded 10 minute film on a subject of my choice – so I have decided to pick a theme that is very close to my heart.
Like many other children, I grew up reading Beatrix Potter’s beautiful books. The colourful characters and stunning drawings inspired my love of nature and captivated my imagination. However, it wasn’t until I began visiting the Lake District during childhood family holidays that I really began to understand what an inspiration Beatrix really was.
Although Beatrix is famous worldwide for her storytelling, nowhere near as many people are aware of her incredible efforts to support life in the Lake District. She invested all of her earnings into supporting local landscapes, wildlife and communities, preventing the beautiful Lake District from being pillaged and destroyed by wealthy developers. In contrast to the delicate feminine impression many have of Beatrix, I hope that my short film will reflect her as she truly was – a stout, good-humoured farmer and shrewd business women whose unique perspectives and efforts helped to preserve a breathtaking landscape that we still treasure today.
As a female trainee wildlife filmmaker, camerawoman and scientist myself (I have a BSc in Conservation Biology) it is my goal to create a film that really represents the struggles that Beatrix faced as a Victorian woman with an active passion for the natural world and to spread the word about her lesser-known accomplishments which she persevered to achieve on behalf of the lands that she loved.
2. The social media campaign running alongside the film will also seek to raise support for women in science and other academic fields, plus spread a real feeling of positivity and support for others who are trying to achieve their dreams
3. I would like to visually represent the natural beauty of the Lake District on-screen to remind people how important it is to support conservation of the area, even today
4. Last year marked the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birthday – as a contribution towards this milestone and whilst the subject is still gaining attention, I feel it is the perfect time to create a film on the subject
5. I would also like to spread the word about Beatrix’s accomplishments outside of her storytelling and inspire other young girls to follow in the pursuit of their dreams, just as Beatrix Potter inspired me to do when I read about her as a child
Drone Footage - Cost: £100+
As part of my film, I will be working with an excellent local Lake District drone company called Skylark Aerial Photography. Getting drone shots will enable me to share a greater variety of beautiful landscape shots and will help me to better tell the story of Beatrix and the landscapes that she loved.
Accommodation- Cost: £600+
Finding somewhere to stay in the Lake District can be quite pricey, especially in the Spring/Summer – my aim is to try and raise enough so that I can afford to source accommodation for myself and my small student crew. If possible, I would like to raise enough to afford to rent a small property from a local family, so that the money will go straight back into the local community of the Lake District area in which we will be staying.
Transport - Cost: £200+
The Lake District is a very hilly area in the North, several hours from Bristol, meaning I will need to raise enough to be able travel up to and around the area. The more money I am able to raise, the greater variety of Lake District landscapes I will be able to feature in my film.
Costumes and props- Cost: £200+
For my story, I will need to purchase a small variety of authentic costumes and props. The more money I am able to raise, the more accurate and authentic to the time period these will be. Where possible, I would like to buy these from charity shops so that again, the money raised can be put to good use.
If my project takes off and I am able to raise a lot more than my target, I would like to invest any remaining funds into my social media campaign. This will help to spread the message of positivity and will enable me to reach wider audiences with my #BEAyourself campaign.
I am incredibly grateful for anything at all that you might be willing to give towards supporting my project. In addition to my immense gratitude, it is my pleasure to also be able to offer a selection of carefully created rewards for donations of £5 or more, which will be posted to you personally with a little handwritten note to thank you for your contribution!
More information about rewards is listed alongside this page.
Throughout production I will be posting pictures, updates and fun facts about Beatrix on a regular basis. Keep up to date by following my social media channels and by visiting the ‘Lady of the Lakes’ blog, details of which are below.
Follow us for regular updates, pictures and facts, or to take part in my #BEAyourself campaign!
My aim is to get as many people talking about my project as possible so even if you can’t afford to donate anything, please help me by spreading the word!
Please share this project with anyone who you think might be interested in supporting me, whether on social media, via email/phone or even through a chat over the fence.
I’d love to get my project out to as many people as possible as this will give me an increased chance of not only creating a better film and spreading the word about Beatrix’s accomplishments, but also a greater opportunity to encourage others to take part in my #BEAyourself campaign which seeks to promote self-esteem, support for others and appreciation for women in academia, off the back of Beatrix’s incredible conservation work.
Thank you so much and please do sponsor me if you are able to.
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