When the story opens on the screen, the mist, the mellow light, the soothing narration. It fixes me and I know I’m about to be drawn into something really special and it is, really special. Wild Ireland: The Edge of The World written and presented by Colin Stafford-Johnson is completely spellbinding. Gently and unobtrusively travelling from The Skelligs to Sea of Moyle: Co Kerry to Co Antrim. Along the Wild Atlantic Way, he connects nature, people and place. Exploring the many habitats along the coast and inland and drawing us into a world that we can all see and experience, well, if you are lucky enough (like me) to either live on this astounding island or come to visit.
It’s a world that I can relate to, the way Stafford-Johnson narrates; the beat is similar to my own thoughts and words. I was transfixed. The way he relates to the stories, the way he makes it personal, it just makes it such a kind documentary, compassionate and contemplative.
My favourite scenes – Skellig Michael, pine marten, red squirrel and Whooper swan…I can’t choose. The blue shark accompanied by the mesmerising and haunting piano and voice. The most heart wrenching was the sea eagle footage, fearing a future without these majestic and wild creatures. You could feel his emotion, he connected you to how nature makes you feel. This is something that I am really passionate about.
The cinematography is amazing, suspended gannets and kestrel, playful pine martens, the fake injury dance of the ringed plover, the acorn stealing coal tits and the brilliant long-eared bat among many; all perfectly captured. The landscape wide shots and the lamprey footage was just amazing!
I feel so incredibly proud that a wider UK audience could see and experience my Wild Ireland, an island I’m proud to call home. I loved at the end when Colin talks about the Children of Lir one of my favourite Irish myths (I have written about them in a couple of blogs). The way we are shown Wildlife that most of us can access, makes it a more obtainable experience – the ‘I could see that too’, is really important when drawing people towards nature and wildlife. To inspire and encourage us.
I would like thank the amazing Crossing The Line Films and Colin Stafford-Johnson for such a stunningly beautiful film. To me it felt almost like a naturalist’s pilgrimage and I’ve said many times that nature is like my faith, maybe that’s why I loved it so much. Heartfelt gratitude.
If you haven’t seen it, please, catch up on BBC iPlayer!!
‘Our natural history and our natural world gives us something to cling on to, a link with the past’ – Colin Stafford-Johnson.
Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you thought if you watched Wild Ireland too ☺️