A new series of documentaries examines how climate change will affect Cornwall – with the first film, “Under the Surface”, focusing on how species that depend on the sea for their survival are already being affected.
“Cornwall’s Climate Stories” also explores projects happening around the county to tackle the problem. The 30-minute films, made by charity Cornwall Climate Care, will be available for free online viewing as well as for community and school screenings.
One of the positive stories focuses on ARC Marine, set up by scuba divers James Doddrell and Tom Birbeck to repair damage to marine habitats caused by trawling and underwater construction.
The company makes carbon-neutral reef cubes to help restore reefs – a green alternative to using concrete blocks. The film-makers say that such initiatives could be “hugely important” as the UK aims for massive expansion of its offshore wind-farms, and to better protect coastlines from increasing storm damage. Seagrass restoration projects also feature.
“Under the Surface” is narrated by Claire Wallerstein, who for eight years ran Cornish beach-cleaning group Rame Peninsula Beach Care. She interviews marine experts studying creatures ranging from plankton to grey seals and basking sharks.
“There’s so much awareness nowadays about the need to tackle plastic pollution – and rightly so,” says Wallerstein. “It is a huge problem and causes such obvious harm. But it’s only one part of the bigger and more complex issue of climate change, which doesn’t seem to get so much attention.
“People may not think of climate change being much of a problem in Cornish seas, but what I found while making this film was that dramatic and surprising changes are happening right under our noses here too.”