A Suffolk Heath

1950 , Dunwich (Suffolk)

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Dunwich Heath and its birdlife.

The film opens with a map of the surrounding area. Westleton is highlighted, then Orford to the south and Great Yarmouth to the north. The first action shot is of Westleton Mill and of a street scene in Westleton. There follow shots of a disused mill on the side of an old quarry. Sandmartins nest in holes in the quarry face. There is a sequence about the heath, showing gorse bushes, lapwings' nests and eggs which are well camouflaged in the stony ground. A young lapwing out of the nest for the first time and then an adult bird settling on a nest amidst buttercups. A hide on the heath, then shots of a stone curlew settling on her eggs. There are various shots of the birds scurrying about. the eggs hatch after 27 days and we see the young birds. the parent bird pecks away the shall and then settles down on the chicks. The young birds leave the nest for the heather and the parent birds teach the chicks to peck.

Featured Buildings

Westleton Mill

Keywords

Birds; Heathland; Natural history

Intertitles

The village of Westleton lies two miles inland from Dunwich. Between Westleton and Dunwich lies a heathland with sands and gravel well known to geologists.Sandmartins next in the sides of the sand pits.Callina (ling) largely covers the undisturbed surface. Where it has been ploughed and then left, gorse takes over - as far as the rabbits allow.The gorse cushions become cones as the centres get difficult for rabbits to reach. At last the apex is out of reach and a bush rises from it.Lapwings nest in the edges of the heath. The eggs are a match for the soil and broken ground.T he young leave the nest when dry.Sometimes the nest is in brilliant surroundings. On the heath itself the stone curlew is at home.Notice the long legs and the thick joint - the bird is sometimes called the 'thick-knee.' Sharing incubation - the change-over.A nother changeover - the sitting bird goes off and adds a few items to decorate the nest.At last the hatch - after 27 days. At the end of the day of hatch the young go into the heather.The whole family.The young idea - taught to peck. Many of these heaths are being afforested but this one will be left open through the interest of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Whose assistance the producer of this film gratefully acknowledges.

Other Places

Dunwich Heath; Westleton

Manifestations

A Suffolk Heath

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    Sound
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