Animation created to tell the story of the River Dart

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The Bioregional Learning Centre (BLC), based in south Devon, has released a 3-minute animation funded by the Naturesave Trust. 

The animation, ‘Living Dart’, was created over the winter of 2023 by local artists Emilio Mula and Claudia Schmid in collaboration with BLC. It tells the story of the Dart as a river ecosystem that has been functioning for thousands of years – life support for the entire river valley. But now the Dart and its climate-stressed habitats are in dire need of our skills and know-how. Water isn’t just a resource, it supports the whole cycle of life–water is everything. That’s a detail easily lost in the rhythms of our everyday lives…

BLC Director Jane Brady says, “The animation is a gift from BLC for everyone practising collaborative leadership on behalf of the Dart Valley. There is such amazing work happening here… sometimes we see each other, sometimes we don’t. This little film is simply meant to draw attention to this moment in time, when people who are concerned for the Dart’s future are recognising the true value of the Dart River and the water that sustains life here. More and more people are stepping up to help… 

“What’s really exciting for us at BLC is seeing how frequently meaningful collaborations in the Dart Valley are happening now, and that civil society is having a bigger role to play. As a small Community Interest Company, BLC is currently managing a project in the Dart Estuary funded by the Environment Agency in partnership with South Devon National Landscape, Devon Wildlife Trust, Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority, Devon Biodiversity Records Centre, FiveRivers and UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. In the neighbouring Yealm catchment, the Yealm Estuary to Moor (YEM) Steering Group is working with professional partners too, with the goal of re-creating and restoring lost habitats.”

“We are fortunate that the Naturesave Trust recognises the importance of BLC’s big commitment to whole-region revitalisation. In the face of climate change, biodiversity loss and growing social inequity our work lies in bringing statutory bodies, NGOs, individuals and communities together to find practical ways to work collaboratively towards long-term economic and ecological resilience.”

The Bioregional Learning Centre is a learning centre and action learning lab located on the River Dart. You can learn more about their work here.