In the heart of Southern England lies a royal forest; a wild and magical place of ancient beauty that’s hardly changed since King William the Conqueror proclaimed it as his hunting grounds some 900 years ago.
Stretching down from the famous Salisbury Plains to the rocky shores of the English Channel, the New Forest National Park is the largest and richest lowland wilderness in Britain, home to more ancient woods, mossy mires and rich heathlands than any other landscape in Europe.
Shaped by the people and animals that have inhabited it, today the National Park continues to be a vast open forest where herds of deer and ponies roam free. Their presence, a testament to the King’s ancient ‘Forest Laws’ which continue to protect the land and give local people, known as ‘Commoners’, the right to graze their livestock in the forest.
In a stunning one-hour film, we witness a remarkable year in this ancient land, told through the eyes of four of its most iconic animals; a newly born New Forest foal, a pair of goshawks nesting in the ancient woods, a fallow deer and its fawn and a family of foxes. How will they survive the park’s increasingly punishing droughts, devastating wildfires and harsh winter snowfalls? From feast to famine, this is an extraordinary tale of how one the UK’s most spectacular National Parks gives sanctuary to a multitude of rare reptiles and insects, and how its people continue to play a critical role in shaping the Forest’s future.
With high production values and an innovative shooting style, a range of technologies will be used to enter the lives of our animal characters. From sliders, gyro-stabilised camera mounts, advanced cable cams, to spectacular aerials, long lens and macro; ‘New Forest – The Crown’s Hunting Ground’ will be a visual feast. In keeping with this blue chip-style, the Commoners enduring story will be told with a light touch, through the eyes of our character animals as they interact with them over the seasons of a year.
A co-production of Terra Mater Factual Studios, Smithsonian Networks and Big Wave Productions