Award-winning filmmaker to premiere new Tyneside kittiwakes film tonight

A new film to help safeguard the River Tyne's kittiwakes colony is to be premiered tonight at the Newcastle's Star and Shadow cinema

Cain Scrimgeour Cain Scrimgeour's pictures show the kittiwakes perched dizzylingly high over Tyneside's streets
Cain Scrimgeour's pictures show the kittiwakes perched dizzylingly high over Tyneside's streets

An award-winning film maker’s latest production with a cast of high flyers will be premiered tonight.

Earlier this month, 23-year-old Cain Scrimgeour from Whitley Bay won the promotion/commercial prize at the Royal Television Society North East and Border awards.

The accolade was for his time lapse film on the starry skies above Northumberland National Park, which helped win the area international Dark Sky Park status.

Tonight, Cain’s new film on the Tyne’s nesting kittiwakes will be given a first showing as part of a drive to safeguard the bird colony.

Cain will be speaking at the 7.30pm public event at the Star and Shadow cinema on Stepney Bank in Newcastle.

It has been organised by Northumberland Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Kittiwake Partnership, with the screening paid for by the Roland Cookson Fund via the Community Foundation.

A grant towards making the film was given by the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club, where Cain has been a member since the age of 14.

About 800 pairs of kittiwakes nest along the Tyne, with 600 on the Tyne Bridge, Baltic arts centre and other buildings on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides,

The birds are due back this month from their winter at sea and are a big attraction for many people.

But there have also been complaints about the noise and mess from the colony.

The Kittiwakes Partnership was formed by the Natural History Society of Northumbria, RSPB, Northumberland and Durham wildlife trusts, Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside councils, Newcastle University and individual researchers and ornithologists to seek solutions which will allow the birds to continue nesting in what is the furthest inland colony in the world.

Cain filmed the birds last year from their arrival to nest building, egg laying and fledging of youngsters, and also interviewed people with an interest in the colony.

“One of the aims of the film is to highlight the kittiwakes and open people’s eyes to what stunning birds they are,” said Cain. “We should be really proud of the fact that we have this colony.”

James Littlewood, director of the Natural History Society, who will introduce the film, said: “The birds attract people to the quaysides and the colony is quite successful at a time when some other colonies in Britain are failing.

“I think it is amazing that we have this wildlife in the city centre and that people can watch the nesting sea birds without travelling to a more distant location.”

At the TV awards, judges praised Cain’s dark skies film as “a remarkable achievement in capturing the awe-inspiring view above our heads.”

Cain was entered for the award by Northumberland National Park Authority, for whom he is making a film on a year in the life of a hay meadow.

He has also won awards for his photography and is acting as a judge in the on-going photography competition being run by the park as part of its plans for its proposed Sill landscape discovery centre.

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