Our friends at Not1More approached us to help them create a digital event to preview the short film they created with Terrain Films. The film highlights the plight of environmental defenders trying to stop the destruction of 116 hectares of ancient UK woodland to make way for the HS2 train line.
Our aim was to create a digital preview event that would bring media attention to the plight of Jones Hill Wood, an area of ancient woodland famed for being the place that inspired Roald Dahl to write Fantastic Mr Fox. In order to achieve this, we worked with volunteers from Not1More, and two specially recruited student volunteers, to create a media strategy that would help build movement, raise awareness and ensure media presence at the preview.
Not1More received word that the eviction of the forest defenders at Jones Hill Wood had been brought forward which meant that the timeline for the preview had to be brought forward by a month leaving us with just three weeks to gather enough attention that a court would issue an injunction to stop the demolition of the woodland and eviction of the defenders.
Through rapidly accelerated press and social media engagement we were able to bring 200 people to the preview including journalists for the BBC, Vice and Aljazeera, The Times and The Guardian. We delivered a seamless screening including a live Q&A session with the films producers and forest defenders from the Jones Hill Wood site - some of whom were connecting via mobile phones in order to participate.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to save Jones Hill Wood, but as a result of the preview event Vice picked up the film allowing for increased awareness of the impact of HS2 Phase One and highlight some of the human rights infringements that police and bailiffs perpetrated to clear the site.