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Thousands of Years Ago, This Was a Forest. See What Remains | Short Film Showcase

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Many equate the English moors with open grassland and bogs. However, they were not always this way. Once temperate rainforests, the trees were felled and fires swept through the land. Filmmaker Burnham Arlidge envisions a future where the forests might return, teeming with life. ➡ Subscribe: http://bit.ly/NatGeoSubscribe ➡ Get More Short Film Showcase: http://bit.ly/ShortFilmShowcase About Short Film Showcase: The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners. Know of a great short film that should be part of our Showcase? Email sfs@natgeo.com to submit a video for consideration. See more from National Geographic's Short Film Showcase at http://documentary.com Get More National Geographic: Official Site: http://bit.ly/NatGeoOfficialSite Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBNatGeo Twitter: http://bit.ly/NatGeoTwitter Instagram: http://bit.ly/NatGeoInsta See more from the filmmaker. http://burnham-arlidge.co.uk/ http://vimeo.com/user62397027 About National Geographic: National Geographic is the world's premium destination for science, exploration, and adventure. Through their world-class scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, Nat Geo gets you closer to the stories that matter and past the edge of what's possible. Thousands of Years Ago, This Was a Forest. See What Remains | Short Film Showcase https://youtu.be/5FYc_Y5qenM National Geographic https://www.youtube.com/natgeo
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Text Comments (310)
National Geographic (8 months ago)
What once was a rich forest is now something drastically different due to human involvement. What are your thoughts on the change that took place?
dolls, dragons & Dopeys/brother (1 month ago)
I think that if humans don't stop, they're going to kill themselves and the world
L98FIERO (5 months ago)
Geosoul  homosapien phobia? Where did that come from?
Andrieli da Silva Pires (5 months ago)
First, when we begin to end the Earth's first natural balance QUANTIFICATION OF SPECIES (our own species) which led to the probable second natural imbalance, the gradual devastation of nature due to the need for more space. But nowadays, what is really killing the planet and its forests is the activity of raising and killing animals for food, Livestock.
Jacob V (6 months ago)
An informative short-film. It's sad to learn how much has changed. Perhaps the locals can organize restoration of the ancient beauty.
austsb (6 months ago)
Nice shots and there is an interesting topic behind this, but it was dramatized into a look how horrible the English have been to their land. In fact you didn't explain anything technical about why when and who actually made transformation from forest to moors. The timescales involved are massive. I feel like you are shaming early civilization from thousands to hundreds of years ago, in the context of modern advanced civilization. Meanwhile, intentional destruction of environments is ongoing elsewhere even with today's knowledge. You also treat moorland as deserts with no valuable ecosystem which is entirely false. While not their original environment, moorland is a rare ecosystem which does provide habitats for a wide range of organisms (although this film claims otherwise) and is therefore protected as such. In fact, England (and the UK in general) has, and is, one of the leading nations regarding environmental and ecological preservation.
Gulya Swift (7 days ago)
Kate S (1 month ago)
Well, many thousands of years ago almost all Europe was one huge forest. And other continents too!
CREATIVE CRASH (1 month ago)
Amezing Video
wright gregson (2 months ago)
I have read that the vast grouse/game hunting estates reject any attempt to restore large areas of the forest. They are too powerful in Parliament.
wright gregson (2 months ago)
good film but save me from the Shakespearean drah-mah.
wright gregson (2 months ago)
the only thing that will save the Earth from total degradation is a pandemic disease that wipes out about 2/3 of the human population. (I am not joking, by the way.) Then the remaining humans can await a massive asteroid hit!!!
Elliot Harrison (2 months ago)
Sooo...now what?
See ThruYou (3 months ago)
just plant native trees near the rivers and it will expand rapidly.. problem solve.. oh wait.. who got time for that?
oyo Martinez (3 months ago)
sharon r bower (3 months ago)
That is a fair decrepit example of a forest. Most of those trees already look dead. Covered with moss. I doubt the moores were entirely forest. If you want forest buy yourself some land and plant it to trees.
HRISHABH JHA (3 months ago)
Reminded me of avatar. Don't know why
geisteswissenschaft (3 months ago)
Over dramatic directing makes it hard to follow and slightly boring.
Felix Maurice Fastflash (3 months ago)
This is sad and true, but one must consider that Britain is an island nation and with a relatively large population at that!
Riley Bell (4 months ago)
At the end of the day our solar system is doomed to die eventually. We're all just atoms made up from the universe. What happens on this planet doesn't really matter in terms of the universe. We might die, our planet might die, but the energy and atoms that makes us what we are will live forever.
Riley Bell (4 months ago)
Even tho this is sad this is the direct result of evolution. We are every part of evolution same as an animal or a plant.
Metralon (4 months ago)
why such bad sound quality though?
Dedhy Setiawan (4 months ago)
Please add caption thank you
Chris Klugh (5 months ago)
I live in BC, and the forest fires get worse every year. I think This is what the West Coast Rain forest will look like within a century. :(
Crispy K (5 months ago)
i'd live there
Addrex (5 months ago)
What are you doing about it, whining in the comment section? We are not destroying our earth, we are reconstructing it. Like when new iphones come out and Apple discontinues the old ones. We are not destroying those, we are building new ones and keeping the old ones in mind as we look forward to an ever changing world that still has much waiting to be discovered.
I K (5 months ago)
And they say Thanos is evil !!
Hy Vong (6 months ago)
Why Hollywood never makes any thing like this, such a waste of time watching scenes from blue background with ugly characters
gowtham cs (6 months ago)
7:18 min . .that look of fox ! And also photographers have did their job wonderfully ♥️
Amanda Bruney (6 months ago)
Terry Burns very good narration
Bk Jeong (6 months ago)
Sadly people are actually trying to prevent recovery of these forests because they wrongly assume the open terrain is natural.
boris jandric (7 months ago)
We are not like this, but some how we are.
thomistking (7 months ago)
This is absurdly over the top. Prehistoric humans burned forests so that they could hunt (this is also how the American prairie came about), and the land has been repeatedly cleared since then. Similarly, much of the rain forests in South America did not exist until European diseases killed off the tribes who had cleared the land. And yet, we are suppose to feel bad about it?
Sukanta Bhattacharjee (7 months ago)
The true cost of land is priceless & free. And Now the price of land is growing so much no space for trees.
noah lawrence (7 months ago)
Sounds like the narrator from 300 lol
Not really here (7 months ago)
Why can't trees be replanted there??
Upcycle Electronics (7 months ago)
What is this? I watched the first 4 minutes. This isn't interesting or educational. It's just a bunch of unconnected images and emotional blabbering. I don't get it.
timber_beast (7 months ago)
Humanism put human needs above everything we believed was owed to the gods (or god). The more humans "advance" from the ignorant obedience to the supernatural, the worse we treat our greatest gift - EARTH. It is a bitter irony we have this knowledge and do nothing to change.
Nusrat JAHAN (7 months ago)
There is a song in Bengali that goes like this: Oh God, since you made me cry all my life, why don't you make me a piece of cloud so that I could at least cry for the wellbeing of others....
Jackie O'Connor (7 months ago)
Most Humans see the natural environment as a pest to be controlled, used and destroyed ♊
mmacs (7 months ago)
Can someone explain why there are fires in the name of conservation?
jesse e (7 months ago)
That was powerfully and movingly presented... The voice, wording, music moving in perfect sync.
The Reckoner (7 months ago)
We spend billions in the effort and people just INSIST that we survive as a species and my first instinct is, why? Why must an obviously violent and both destructive and self-destructive species go on, whether it be us god apes here on what we call Earth or any other life form? Why? We've proven ourselves time and again unworthy of possessing anything nice. We'll just F it up and tear it up, give us time.
Chica 411 (7 months ago)
Humans are like a parasite to earth were just devouring its beauty
Revathi Narayan (7 months ago)
Still we haven't understood the importance of trees nd greenery around us. And this is really very serious....!!! Consequences are gonna be worst.😕😕😕😕😔😔😔😔😔
72Yonatan (7 months ago)
Thank you Burnham and all of his helpers for making a moving and educational documentary; hope that many will be moved to restore part of what was lost.
Love Mind (7 months ago)
I mean the storyteller's voice... 🤓..Amazing I tell ya
kil dem ol (7 months ago)
tendertears2001 (7 months ago)
We as humans will also be phased out of existence as our time will also end upon this earth. Then the earth can return to its former self. The forest will reclaim the land, the water and air will once again be cleansed of our destruction. We seem to be a biological failed mutation that had our turn at life on this wonderful planet and must eventually take out turn of extinction. Hopefully the next mutated generation will see the beauty of this planet and learn to live in coexistence. One should also remember that the universe is in a constant changing state, our sun will die and our solar system will collide with other planets and our beautiful earth will be destroyed. All will not be lost as a new planet will be born and yet perhaps another species will be given a chance to their own existence and perhaps answer the proverbial question, What is the Meaning of Life? Give your thoughts and comments:
巨人の肩 (8 months ago)
Britain in a nutshell.
Tanguy Decaen (8 months ago)
Nous devons replanter ces endroits!
Alexander E01 (8 months ago)
This video was breath taking; I'm left wondering why so little is being done to replant the forest or at least allow it to regrow. Are these lands even being used?
Hey Ya! (8 months ago)
This made me tear up
Robin (8 months ago)
RybaFryba (8 months ago)
well....one can just plant trees there
Gary Johnson (8 months ago)
It'sa been my understanding that over time Hugh forest were decimated to provide the building material for wooden ships, homes, etc, that made Britain and past civilizations what it is today. There were no import/export of material like exists today. Pine is becoming the commercial tree most desired because it relatively fast growing, old growth hard wood tree are slow growing but they keep clearing and burning land for new developments here in the new world. Humans never learn as they keep putting their priorities before nature. Peace
Debbie Crigger (8 months ago)
Humans need to wake up! Think of the Earth this way, it is our child to protect, love nurture, and to always keep it as healthy as we can because without it staying healthy we will just be a footnote. Whether you like it or not Everything is Connected!
Christian van Haaften (8 months ago)
The Uploader or Shortfilm producer messed up the video encoding, It looks blurry and the sound is terrible.
Geosoul (8 months ago)
Very disappointed with this flick. Shaming people for something they didn't do. This film is only incouraging ignorance, and homosapien phobia, not even raising real awareness. I would've been far more interested in learning what the theory was in detail of what happened so long ago and why. It's not likely to have been anyone group of people's in existence today, if people at all. What's more there's no call to action. You need a call to action otherwise your just advocating despair. Replant the forest, use groundwater permaculture techniques to revitalize the land. However be realistic, truthful and responsible in the information you advocate. It's possible this land can't be like it once was exactly, due to some environmental micro or macro system having changed throughout the millenia. Sometimes forests spring up under certain conditions but dont proliferate any more and simply maintain themselves due to constantly shifting environmental systems. But a different type of forest or environmental system with a little encouragement might be able to thrive. I get the temptation to do the whole "shame humans" dialogue. But I'm telling you right now that is a dark and despicable tactic, and by far less effective, than a properly informative, imagamitive and inspiring call to action could achieve. Come on national geographic, I believe you can do a better job! Use Posative frameing, use good not bad, doing so will always make for a far more powerful, motivating and impactfull message.
1caramarie (8 months ago)
I don't understand why some people can even believe that barren land is a good thing. Are bogs in the English moors used to harvest peat for fuel, like in Ireland? It makes zero sense why they are burned on a regular basis.
Captain Picard (8 months ago)
moors aren't naturel, that's racist.
F8oK8 (8 months ago)
Who is the narrator?
plumeria8357 (8 months ago)
Praise the Lord for His magnificent creation. What a wonderful world He provided with resources to take care of mankind. We must also be wise in our care of it.
Dilip K (8 months ago)
West need to depend less on wood..
TF Sheahan (8 months ago)
If we are looking for places for atmospheric carbon to go, why not restore the moors. It's not like they're doing anybody any good, are they?
Geraldine Murray (8 months ago)
I visit Middleton Park In Leeds as much as possible. I adore it.
Jan Fellstrom - Beta (8 months ago)
I live in the Black Forest. Wildlife is declining here too. Forests alone are not the answer!!!!!!
seriously? really? (8 months ago)
Why are we not attempting to replant the forests? Native species of plants and trees still exist. Large scale reclamation has occurred in places all over the planet. The Loess plateau watershed rehabilitation project in China has now reclaimed 35,000 square kilometers land once decimated by human activity deforestation, over-farming burning and clearing. The subsaharan reclamation projects in Africa attempting to reverse the desertification of land that was once arable is another example.
dolls, dragons & Dopeys/brother (1 month ago)
Not enough people try. I nothing will change if we keep on using dead bodies of trees for our everyday purposes. I'm in 6th grade and we are doing woodworking. I HATE CUTTING DEAD TREE CARCASSES!!!!!!!!
Matthew Aufderhar (4 months ago)
They also provide millions of dollars in revenue to Scotland do to their being used as grounds to raise hundreds of thousands of game birds. The moors are kept like that to provide habitat for the game species that people in that area like to hunt. The push back by those people is what is keeping the moors how they currently are
Bk Jeong (6 months ago)
Because conservationists in the UK are mostly mistaken about the origins of these open areas.
Dalia Jaimes (7 months ago)
Because people are dumbasses who don't think. We need more projects like the ones you have mentioned
jedsart jedsart (8 months ago)
So sad 😢
Bradley Woods (8 months ago)
Defiantly agree with this, however the start was slightly exaggerated.
Linda Adams (8 months ago)
WHY haven't the forests been re-planted ????? !!!!
SanFranGirl1982 (8 months ago)
Hey UK! Fit reforesting the English moors into your budget!
Justin Weaver (8 months ago)
good camerawork, but it needs to explain what happened more, I still have no idea why the forest disappeared other than a fire happened.
B uppy (8 months ago)
They tried replanting it with trees but some people (environmentalists) objected because a unique ecosystem took its place. The trees have and are being removed.
The Blue Rose in Winter (8 months ago)
Some years ago i went to England to visit in laws , I kept asking where is the forests? there is no trees in the fields?So shocked was i to see nothing and i felt a terrible loss that this green and verdant land of rolling grasslands and planted gardens had lost it all, had destroyed the natural beauty and the habitat of its wildlife, to the point it had extinguished the species that had lived in the ancient forests. And even its beloved red squirrels had to live in special sanctuaries.And its deer had to be breed and sheltered . Please plant trees and make the forests again.
Al humphits (3 months ago)
We have the room for far more forest regeneration, especially in marginal areas. A lot of UK land is wasted.
austsb (6 months ago)
Few forests because of thousands of years of relatively dense population on a small island. Bear in mind that import of food is a recent phenomenon as is the efficiency of modern cultivation. Remaining forests are mostly protected and maintained by a government body. I don't understand why you expect there to be lots of trees in fields. Fields are there for the purpose of growing crops, having trees in them is rare and counterproductive. Any such trees that do exist are likely protected by Tree Protection Orders (TPOs); as are all trees of significant value in the country. You are also contradicting your sentiment; as rolling grasslands and planted gardens are also not natural; they too replace the forests. The natural beauty you are imagining is not the same beauty provided by the Forests you supposedly mourn after. Red squirrels are endangered because of dominant, non-domestic grey squirrels. There is plenty of habitat for squirrels, grey ones being extremely common. Wild deer are still common and are rarely "bred and sheltered". I actually see wild deer from my house every so often and I live on the edge of a large town with no "deer shelters" Sorry but your statements are largely false, somewhat contradictory, fancified and generally make it seem like you have no idea what you're on about. What parts of England have you actually been to (if at all)?
221b BAKER STREET (7 months ago)
o if only..some us dream of that 2 br
Valentina Guadalupe. (8 months ago)
Kwame Yeboah (8 months ago)
Earth die screeming silently
Preet Singh (8 months ago)
I am realy feel bad that humans day by day destroying forests and destroy all beautiful places like that one
Mark Tan (8 months ago)
Is it just me or does the voice sound like Iwan Rheon's?
Stay Motivated (8 months ago)
This is so sad, at least one time,I want to see the old world with out any humans and animals😭at least one time😢
Jay Gupta (8 months ago)
I promise you together we can reverse it again
daniel summerfied (8 months ago)
Nice video but... It could easily be replanted, I can bet you the Dartmoor National Park agency do not want to! Just like the New Forest Park authority in Hampshire/ Dorset that keep clearing the Broad leaf regrowth to preserve the Heath lands. When I asked they told me that Forest means hunting ground and it has been like it for 900 years. The only thing that is planted is Pine by the Forestry commission!
aLOOF gOALS (8 months ago)
this is not very informative. it's like someone just saying adjectives over creation scapes footage
Abdullah Al Abdullah (8 months ago)
Every one involved
Abdullah Al Abdullah (8 months ago)
Flexible balance
Abdullah Al Abdullah (8 months ago)
extinction of Existence
Big Black Rock (8 months ago)
No wood was used in the making of this film.
Daniel Widyanto (8 months ago)
Is this film based on reality? Any scientific journal to support this? The bog was there because there's no drainage for the water, and all plants are rotting. So it's more geological change rather than human interference.
Atlas WalkedAway (8 months ago)
Jeez louise, will you just tell me what the heck is going on? I don't need the 5 minute feminist poetry slam at the beginning to understand the premise that humans are bumbling, shortsighted fools.
Atlas WalkedAway (8 months ago)
OK, 6 1/2 minutes in and he starts the sentence with "LYNX". I'm done.
Jory Blake (8 months ago)
The dear lord Jesus works in mysterious ways
Sarah B (8 months ago)
Jory Blake What is that supposed to mean?
الحسون المقنين (8 months ago)
My friends If you are a bird lover, welcome you to my channel
l2e9aL (8 months ago)
The “forest” that was shown to have been destroyed was actually a forestry plantation of non-native conifers that have pretty much the same effect on the landscape as the moorland does, if not worse. They can be done well, but many aren’t. That’s the only issue I find with this film.
101yayo (8 months ago)
We can just plant more trees.
everton zp (8 months ago)
No problem, human race wont last more than a few centuries so after this "little disease" this planet will recover itself and be beautiful again.
Smokey 420 (8 months ago)
Would you rather have people kill themselves while you in your hypocrisy are also a human being whom you also believe to be a disease even though it is the love of money is the root of all evil?
madhavyu (8 months ago)
It is not moors, it is moops - English moops.
Maria da Luz Moutinho (8 months ago)
Pena ver o vídeo às prestações....apesar da Terra dispor de espantoso poder de recuperação ..O homem não lhe dá espaço, nem tempo, nem descanso para surgir nova vegetação...O solo contém elementos químicos necessários mas porém precisa de os converter mas sem a cooperação de organismos vivos isso torna-se difícil...danificando devido ao intensivo emprego erróneo... Perdemos e continuamos a perder....veja-se a Amazónia??
Blake Stone (8 months ago)
Ever Hear of re-planting! If every person planted 1 tree, then took care of it for its first 5yrs. A Forest could be established. With the Money spent making this Documentary, it could have been used to organize & pay for a Planting. I'm not going to Cry for the Lose they could undo. I give them a Thumbs Down for being Lazy and not re-planting. More Proof we're a bunch of Idiots.
Alisher Zhumazhan (8 months ago)
Please sounds 😍
LagiNaLangAko23 (8 months ago)
All we need are six stones and fingers strong enough to snap.
LagiNaLangAko23 (8 months ago)
We don't have a comparable landscape in my country but I always thought that moorlands are like that because of poor or acidic soil. Isn't this where bog bodies are found?
Bhat Bhat (8 months ago)
We had to do something..... Otherwise it vl b too late... 🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲
Maria Kocurowska (8 months ago)
Oh wow
Waveland44 (8 months ago)
TK Baha (8 months ago)
mutation leading to extinction eventually.
BeastModeA2332 (8 months ago)
Poor animals :/