This short film by Doreen Coombes takes us on an early spring visit to the Bentley Wildfowl Collection at Hallam in East Sussex. Here we see a wide variety of waterfowl, both domestic and foreign, including barnacle geese, black-necked swans, black swans, cereopsis and magpie geese as well as paradise shelduck and crowned cranes. We also see a peacock and a gaggle of happy camera-toting human visitors.
Doreen Coombes, who was a member of the Brighton & Hove Cine Club, made this film at Bentley House, while the collection was still being run by Gerald and Mary Askew, who bought the property in 1937. Inspired by a visit to the Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge and by their friend, the Sussex wildlife artist Philip Rickman, the Askews decided to start a wildfowl collection of their own in 1962. Created on poor agricultural land, the Askews dug an extensive pond which allowed them to gradually introduce a great many species of waterfowl to the site. Today, the collection has examples from 130 different bird species with almost all the world's waterfowl represented.
Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.