New Perspectives – Ruth’s story on sustainable farming in the Yorkshire Dales

  • Contributor information: CNP

We’re pleased to launch the latest film, shot by young film-maker Ruth Garrett. Ruth created it as part of our New Perspectives Bursary scheme, which explores the relationships between carbon capture and livestock farming. 

Featuring Yorkshire Dales farmer Anthony Bradley, Ruth’s film ‘Cultivating carbon and cows’ explores how one farmer based in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is at the forefront of changing how he farms his land to mitigate the climate breakdown. As Ruth says, film-making is a way “to show the diverse range and the nuance of the people in our National Parks.”

Commenting on the project, Chief Executive Rose O’Neill said:

“Farming is at the heart of our National Parks, and farmers are absolutely key to offering solutions in tackling the climate and nature crises in these landscapes. That’s why we are calling for governments in England and Wales to commit to new legislation to prioritise nature recovery across National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We also want to see enhanced, sustained and long term payments for farmers to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, creating ambitious opportunities for climate action and public access.”

More about Ruth’s project

In the third of our New Perspectives Awards projects, bursary winner Ruth, who is 25, and lives in Skipton, hopes her short film will highlight the voice and experience of a farmer who is using the science of farming to protect and preserve the land and environment he farms on in the National Park.

In the film, Anthony tells Ruth:

“Sometimes the science is the most interesting bit of farming. If I measure stuff and that helps me spend less money, that’s a good thing, but that doesn’t mean I’m uninterested in the “bunny hugger” stuff. Even the most soleless amongst farmers still like to see the wildlife.

There are multiple benefits for my livestock as well as for the environment; I get a huge amount of pleasure from being able to do both things at once – to tick boxes for what farmers might call the bunny huggers, but I’m helping myself as well – It’s not pure altruism at all.”

New Perspectives bursary winner Ruth told us:

“I applied for the New Perspectives bursary scheme because I’ve always had a massive love and passion for National Parks – I grew up next to the Yorkshire Dales and the Dales became my safe place.

After I gained my degree in filmmaking and Covid hit, I returned to the Yorkshire Dales and started to build up a way to tell the stories of the Dales, and when I saw the Bursary scheme, I knew it was for me. It’s been a great way for me to improve my filmmaking”.

The New Perspectives bursary scheme works to ensure the voices of a diverse range of people are heard in our National Park and was aimed at 18–35-year-olds with a story about the National Parks in England and Wales.

Commenting on the New Perspectives bursary scheme Ruth said:

“It’s incredibly important for a diverse range of voices to be heard in the National Parks because how else can you enact change for future generations and those who should have the right to access our National Parks, without having a diverse range of voices represented.

I know from experience that the voices of National Parks are mostly over 65. I feel it’s increasingly important for different voices to be heard, for different opinions to be made, and for change to be enacted.

Ruth not only got to create her story but also had fun and gained new skills producing the film: “The best part of the bursary scheme was getting to know the subject of my film – Anthony Bradley, a farmer here in the Yorkshire Dales. Listening to him talk about all these issues and hearing his passion for his way of life and farming was incredibly inspiring.

I also vastly improved my skills as a filmmaker; the support from Ocean City Media was immense, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Find out more about the New Perspectives Bursary scheme, which gives a platform to those voices less heard in our National Parks here and to pledge your support to our work campaigning for these special landscapes like those in Ruth’s story – sign up here.