Posted: 02/06/2014 23:15:06 by Nigel Nixon
The glamorous world of cinema got a distinctly Cumbrian twist as the premiere of a new British comedy came to Ambleside.

Cast, crew and audience paired evening gowns and suits with hiking boots and walked down a grassy red carpet as the curtain went up on ‘Downhill’ at Zeffirellis.

Shot entirely on location, the comedy tells the story of four friends who take on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

The event was attended by cast members Jeremy Swift and Richard Lumsden and director James Rouse, who was visibly emotional at seeing his feature debut on the big screen, and the warm audience reaction.
“It’s a story about four guys going on a walk which doesn’t sound very sexy but it’s the characters, hopefully, that make you stay with it.”

The small crew were a ‘tight unit’ and helped each other carry equipment up hills while dealing with the downpours.   “If a film showed a two-week walk in the north of England with wonderful weather no one would have believed it.  The landscapes were extraordinary and I think England looks really good in this film.”
The event was held in aid of the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, with a total of £900 raised.

Tagged with: Downhill, Film, Premiere, Ambleside


Posted: 14/05/2014 19:32:57 by Nigel Nixon

Visitors at Whinlatter watched on television screens as KL, the ringed female, laid her first egg at Bassenthwaite on April 23, followed by another two eggs on April 26 and 29.  It is believed that she has returned from Africa with the same unringed male as last year to the same site.

Meanwhile further south in Cumbria a pair of the Ospreys have settled at a peatbog near Witherslack and it is hoped that the site will get its first chicks later this year.

The male has a white ring on his right leg, indicating he was born at Bassenthwaite in 2008 and the female has a right blue leg ring and was born in Kielder Forest in 2010.

The site is a large expanse of raised bog close to the River Kent and Morecambe Bay – both good sources of fish.



Posted: 20/08/2011 11:29:41 by Nigel Nixon

SPACE pirate and alien life forms could soon be seen zooming around the Lake District – thanks to a new million dollar movie.

Old Hutton writer and director Rick McLeod has teamed up with a group of American producers to make a science fiction film based on cult television series Firefly.

The US consortium, one of whom has done sound-tracks for Mr McLeod in the past, originally began filming experimental sequences in county – but then the idea turned into a feature-length film.

Although $1 million is a relatively small budget for a movie, Mr McLeod said he was ‘shocked’ when the group gave the figure.

“Last year was a good one for us – we’re still reeling from that – so when they approached me my first question was ‘Are you serious?’

“It’s not easy to make films in Cumbria, especially with the UK Film Council gone. When we had Leslie Grantham here, he was unpaid because he loved the script.

“It’s great to know that our hard work is starting to pay off.”

The film, called Lost Transmission, follows the lonely adventure of Blake, captain of a mining ship, with no-one but his computer to talk to after war breaks out on Earth. But he leaves the planet to find life on other worlds.

Filming is expected to start in early 2012, and will be split between Cumbria and America.

CGI effects are already being worked on by the studio, which created a castle in the middle of Windermere in a previous flick.

Before filming begins in earnest, Mr McLeod is shooting a short promotional video with action sequences in Old Hutton.

And he is looking for ‘23rd century pirates’ to star as extras in a fight scene on Sunday, to be led by a trained fight choreographer.

“We’re seeking punks, goths and heavy rockers. Long or short hair, tattoos and piercings are a bonus but not essential. The more outrageous the look the better,” said Mr McLeod.

Filming will last for between two and three hours and anyone interested can email celticstormfilms@live.com.

Participants are requested to send a head shot with their email.

Discussions with actors to play the role of Blake are still going on.

Tagged with: Film, Lake, Move, district


Posted: 15/04/2011 16:22:11 by Anne-Marie O'Neill

THE Bassenthwaite Ospreys have moved home to live in marshes nearer to Bassenthwaite Lake.

After successfully nesting at their treetop summer home at Dodd Wood since 2008, the pair decided it was time for a change and have been gradually building a new nest since returning from their wintering grounds in West Africa.

Fortunately, the new site is visible from the Dodd Wood viewpoint so visitors can still enjoy watching the birds of prey this season.

Ospreys are normally faithful to successful nest sites, so the move was a bit of a shock for staff at the Lake District Osprey Project (LDOP). This is only the second time staff have seen the ospreys change nest in the project’s 11-year history.

Nathan Fox of the RSPB’s Lake District Osprey Project, said: ‘It has been an interesting and exciting start to the season, with the birds deciding to move. We have been working closely with local landowners and farmers to make sure that the birds are fully protected and therefore have a good chance of raising their chicks.”



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