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From Badenoch to England's threatened woodlands for film maker

By Tom Ramage

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A noted film-maker from Kingussie has turned her attentions to saving more than 100 ancient woodlands threatened by England's high speed train.

Helen Graham, who left Badenoch after years of unstinting community work including the establishment of Kingussie's Food on Film festival, told the Strathy today (Friday, May 8) of her latest project down south.

Helen Graham wood walker
Helen Graham wood walker

"I've recently been involved with some folk musicians in Oxfordshire," she explained.

"They came up with such a beautiful and poignant new song that I offered to try and record and mix it for them under lockdown restrictions and make a video too.

"We posted it on YouTube yesterday.

"The ongoing destruction of at least 108 ancient woodlands, both named and unnamed, to make way for the high speed train HS2 from London to Birmingham and onwards is such a tragic loss.

"Many people are campaigning and have even taken to camping among or up the trees."

Banding together for the trees
Banding together for the trees

The heartfelt lament, beautifully illustrated by Helen's camera, is called ‘Unnamed’ and can be enjoyed here

She has now been making short films for some 17 years. Her themes are often based around community, family and traditional ways of life.

As well as Food on Film, she produced celebrated films for Cairngorms National Park Authority in partnership with Crofting Connections, since released on DVD.

Particularly poignant for Badenoch was her "Isabel - A Most Determined Woman" which commemorated the 70th anniversary of the founding of Britain's first Living History Museum.

Photos by Anna Deacon.

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