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 in Northamptonshire to create the world’s first wildlife documentary filmed entirely in the grounds of a pub.
Warner’s Gin, based in Harrington, 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 on Youtube.
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.
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.”
Tom Warner, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warner’s Distillery, said: “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.”