10:00am Friday 24th February 2012
THREE young Bridport men are about to embark on a film-making adventure looking for some of the most ancient trees on earth in the Chilean rainforest.
The trio consists of film-maker Zak Bentley, 24, tree climbing expert Waldo Etherington, 23, and Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve warden Ian Geddes, 23.
They are going to the Chilean rainforest in April to make a documentary – Ancient Giants – about the alerce tree.
Waldo said: “Exploring the canopy has enchanted me ever since I got my first rope for my fourth birthday.
“Like the unexplored oceans, the canopy is, and feels like, one of the vital organs of life on this planet.
“Without accessing the canopy we cannot fully understand its role, still less conserve the countless functions of our last remaining forests.
“Having witnessed the devastating effects of forest clearance in every rainforest I’ve worked in, I feel it is of paramount importance that people are exposed to the issues surrounding deforestation and that everybody is informed.”
Zak added: “This film presents an opportunity to create something that matters. With increasingly amazing equipment available at such good costs, there has never been a better time to fulfil a project such as this.
“The research into this project alone has changed my life and made me so much more aware. I aim to share that revelation and open some eyes.”
The trees are known as the redwoods of the south and the oldest recorded alerce dates back around 3,500 years.
The feature-length documentary will follow the three explorers as they show the effects of deforestation and the planting of non-native trees.
They want to raise £30,000 to buy the equipment they need and their website ancient-giants.com invites 11 different levels of donation in exchange for anything from a mention on the contributors’ wall, to a copy of the documentary or a day’s climbing with the team.
Ian said: “I have a love of both travel and adventure and I consider myself very fortunate that climbing trees can achieve both of these for me.
“Having studied and been involved in conservation work for my entire career I am looking forward to getting stuck in with this project that is so worthwhile.”
They hope by raising the £30,000 they need they’ll be able to retain the rights to their documentary and get it aired where and when they want.
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