Independant wildlife and conservation filmmaker, Nina Constable will spend this Earth Day eavesdropping on the birds.
Her recent campaign #plantpotparabolic, aims to inspire young and old to explore their local patch with an upcycled plant pot—transforming the ubiquitous garden ceramic into a parabolic, perfect for amplifying the sounds of nature.
Here’s how Nina keeps connected to her patch…
If the last year has taught us anything it has been how important the natural world is to us and, most significantly, how much we have all discovered is lying right on our very doorsteps that we might normally have overlooked.
As a wildlife and conservation filmmaker there is an irony in how much time I spend indoors and in front of screens but as the last year forced us all to slow down a little, I found time to explore the nature surrounding me and as the world speeds back up I am making it my mission to keep connected to my patch, in whatever way I can.
Over the past month I have been working alongside conservationists Ben Porter, Lucy Hodson, Indy Green and artist Sarah Dowling to launch a #PlantPotParabolic campaign. The aim is to create something that amplifies the sounds of nature using just three things that many of us can find lying around the home and garden and the principal item, a plant pot or mixing bowl. By attaching a handle and a recording device to the pot or bowl, you can record the sounds of nature on your patch and hear it in ways you might never have before. It’s remarkably simple, but SO effective! Seeing people get creative both with their parabolic and the nature they are recording is amazing—many of which have told me how hooked they are!
Artist Sarah Dowling has created an instructional PDF to guide you step-by-step through the process, and there are also some handy tips and tricks for you to try out if you’re feeling adventurous! Fun for children and adults, this is a cheap and inclusive activity that can help you feel close and connected to nature on your patch.
You can use your phone as a simple recording device or you can switch to video and also capture the creatures you are recording. If you’re getting up to record the dawn chorus, this can be the most magical time, especially at this time of year when there is often mist rising off the earth and very few cars to interrupt the sounds of nature.
Having simple projects like this gives you a purpose to get out into nature, into spaces you might not normally and when you would usually be curled up in bed. Even an hour at dawn, for the rest of the day you feel you’ve been out on an adventure.
Creating campaigns, knowing other people might do the same as you somewhere else in the UK or globally, creates a sense of community and togetherness that we have all been lacking over the last year. It has been wonderful to see and hear people coming together simply to celebrate and connect with nature on their doorsteps.
Nina Constable is an award-winning self-shooting director based in Cornwall, UK. From conservation filmmaking to social documentary, her work is both intimate and authentic. Dedicated to capturing and exploring the world, Nina believes in the power of visual storytelling to educate, inspire and ultimately protect. Follow the Filmmaker @ninaconstablemedia.