Flyby Photography on the big screen following JB Gill walk the River Stour from its source in Lenham, and ending in Pegwell Bay.
There was so many beautiful sights to see along the Stour, that there was only so much we could shoot, and of course show on the 30 minute BBC 1 show, so after lengthy discussions with the production company, we decided to get aerial shots of 6 sites:
Godinton House Wye Crown Godmersham House Wye (Footpath in agricultural land) Stodmarsh Nature reserve Pegwell Bay
We began the shoot at sunrise at Godinton House, located just outside of Ashford, Kent. It was a beautifully calm and crisp morning, the fresh winter air created a beautiful mist over the fields and river as the golden sun rose.
The Wye Crown, managed by Natural England is a huge chalk crown that was first cut in 1902 by students from Wye Agricultural College to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII. On the night of the coronation the crown was illuminated with 1500 fairy lamps, a celebration that was repeated in 1930 for the silver jubilee of Edward’s son King George V. We went onto shoot more of the trail, in agricultural land, thanks to a friendly local farmer!
Godmersham House made for a beautiful setting to shoot, the large willow trees on the river banks, and the stunning grounds made for a stunning subject to capture. The house is depicted on the new £10 notes, and was once owned by Jane Austin’s brother, Edward.
Time for lunch! – A first visit for myself, to the George & Dragon in Fordwich, a quick crew lunch, but one to be remembered, and will certainly be returning!
We moved onto the Stodmarsh Nature Reserve, again owned by Natural England who were extremely accommodating with the use of Drones on the shoot. This location was simply stunning, with reed beds, fens, ditches, wet grassland and open water, I wish we could have spent more time here, but we were beginning to loose light with one more location to shoot before we called call it a wrap.
We finished the shoot at Pegwell Bay, managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust, to shoot the end of the stour as it reaches sea. Care had to be taken here, as there was a huge amount of bird activity, and the brief was to land and cancel the use of drones, should any wildlife become disturbed. Thankfully we managed to keep a safe separation from the birds, and encountered no issues during the short flights, we even managed to spot a number of seals on a secluded beach!
BBC River Walks- The Stour is available on the BBC I Player, and you can watch the show here.