This film is part of Free

Bob Boote

If affluence creates its own junkyard, can man also use wealth to restore ecology?

1969 14 mins


The potteries of Stoke persist, but this is a vision of post-industrial Britain. With pits and factories closed, polluted sites spoilt Staffordshire until restorative action was taken. Landscaping forms a new contract between man and nature, railway lines become green corridors, a quarry becomes Brockton nature reserve, closed roads allow Cannock Chase to rewild, and the River Churnet runs clean.

This film was part of the Pacemakers series produced by the Central Office of Information for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to promote progressive Britons to the world. The film was edited for a wider audience and re-released in 1970 as Black Spot to Beauty Spot. Stoke native Bob Boote combined a career as a planner with activism as a pioneer conservationist. In 1967, under the pen name Robert Arvill, he published Man and Environment; Crisis and the Strategy of Choice, a review of how 1960s Britain was failing the environment which proposed a radical strategy for improvement.