Making space for nature
One of the talents involved in filming the world’s biggest nature documentaries has swapped the great oceans and polar expanses for an altogether more humble habitat to film in: a British pub garden.
Doug Allan is an Emmy and BAFTA award-winning British documentary filmmaker and wildlife photographer and has filmed some of the most memorable wildlife scenes ever broadcast. Now, he has teamed up with nature-positive gin brand Warner’s Gin to create the world’s first wildlife documentary filmed entirely in the grounds of a pub.
Warner’s Gin has launched this mini-series to highlight that nature that can thrive amongst us in the most unexpected places. The short documentary brings the same filming techniques from blockbuster nature documentaries, to chart a day in the life of a quintessential pub garden. It captures ‘pubgoers’ of all shapes, sizes and species - from newts and bees to much-loved British birds and butterflies, not to mention the myriad other insects, wildflowers and plant life at the pub garden, all alongside humans. The documentary can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0lhahh97k
The wildlife documentary in a pub garden was commissioned by Warner’s Gin to officially announce its new ‘Nature Marque’ initiative, which kicks off with an accreditation scheme. The hope is that the documentary will highlight to people how important these outdoor spaces are for nature and encourage pubs to get involved with the accreditation.
Created with the support and guidance of The Wildlife Trust BCN, Warner’s Nature Marque is a first-of-its-kind accreditation that will be awarded to pubs that have taken steps to make their outdoor spaces welcoming for nature as well as people - such as planting wildflowers and pollen-rich flowers, installing bird boxes and bug hotels and a hedgehog highway.
To receive Warner’s Nature Marque accreditation, a pub will be guided through a review of the space they have, then will be shown different ways they can help nature have the best chance of thriving in their pub garden.
The straightforward process has been built as a points-based system to enable pubs of all sizes and locations to participate, from those with large outdoor spaces in the countryside, to smaller urban settings. Each pub that gets involved will be guided through the process, with support from Warner’s Gin and The Wildlife Trust BCN.
It is well documented that British nature needs urgent help, with populations of many wildlife species dwindling and reaching record lows. The UK is documented as one of the world’s most nature depleted countries, (1) having lost nearly half its wildlife in the last century. (2) A live example of this is that 30% of UK birds are at risk of extinction. (3)
There are over 100,000 pubs in the UK (4) that could contribute to tackling our nature depletion crisis, through the Warner’s Nature Marque accreditation.
The wildlife documentary was shot at the Castle Hotel and Pub in Bishops Castle, Shropshire, which has become the first of two pubs in the country to be awarded a Warner’s Nature Marque accreditation – owing to the efforts of their publicans to make their gardens nature friendly. The second is Tollemache Arms in Harrington, the home village of Warner’s Gin.
Doug Allan said of the documentary “My career as a nature filmmaker has taken me to the Antarctic and the Pacific Ocean but never a pub garden in England. But a garden like the one we filmed in was just as teeming with nature and wildlife as any habitat I’ve shot in. The whole time we were here at this pub filming we were never short of nature to capture on camera, even when the garden was busy with people. It's brilliant to be part of Warner’s Gin documentary that’s set to transform the way people see pub gardens across the country and hopefully make a difference to nature and in turn, the planet.”
Warner’s Gin has launched Nature Marque as part of its mission to educate and enable people to do their bit for nature, through the transformation of spaces. This is linked to its broader business ambition to become the most nature positive drinks business in the world.
Tom Warner, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warner’s Distillery, said: “We’ve got big ambitions with Warner’s Nature Marque and the accreditation scheme for pubs is the first step on that journey. We want to encourage real, sustained support for nature. Tens of thousands of pub gardens are an untapped resource for biodiversity. What’s more, people today are conscious of the environment and the need to protect it, so we expect pubgoers to respond positively to seeing pubs doing their bit for nature.
“As a truly nature-positive distillery, and member of 1% for the planet, we want to lend some of our expertise to help pubs across the country help their local wildlife. It’s good for pubs, it’s good for people and it’s good for the planet.”
Nathan Long, WTBCN Business Partnerships Manager says: “We welcome Warner's as a new corporate partner - it's wonderful that they are committed to creating new habitats for wildlife on their farm, and we look forward to working closely with them in the future, particularly on their Nature Marque initiative.”
For more information about Warner’s Nature Marque and for pubs that are interested in applying for the accreditation, visit www.warnersdistillery.com/pages/nature-marque.
4. CGA Outlet Index December 2021