Mark Rylance stars in Spirit of Place

The renowned actor is the star of a forthcoming environmental short film shot entirely in wetlands in London

Mark Rylance is a committed environmentalist and regularly speaks about the climate emergency

Spirit of Place, written and directed by Jack Cooper Stimpson, is a meditation on identity and follows two young protagonists as they spend time in and around inner-city wetlands. Through chance encounters and curious discoveries they begin to learn about themselves and their relationship with the natural world. It is executive produced by non-profit media and conservation organization On the Edge and is being made in association with wetland conservation charity the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT), of which Rylance is an ambassador.

Cast and crew are implementing Equity’s Green Rider tool that generates better environmental standards and expectations for working on TV and film projects to help reduce a production's carbon footprint, without compromising standards.

Rylance says he's delighted to be involved with Spirit of Place: 'As a proud ambassador for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust I’m delighted to be involved with ‘Spirit of Place,’ exploring our vital but under-appreciated wetlands habitats and the crucial role they play within our precious ecosystem. In this era of ecological crisis, I hope this story inspires audiences of all ages to go out and spend time in nature, to discover for themselves the power of reconnecting with our planet, and helps to promote the conservation and creation of wetland spaces.”

Cooper Stimpson explains that the UK's wetland habitats 'were not on my radar prior to this project and it has been fascinating researching them and learning more about their quirks and characteristics, alongside their scientific function. Putting that on screen has been a wonderful challenge.'

Wetlands are a lesser known ecosystem compared to forests and oceans, but their wellbeing is crucial to maintaining a healthy world.

The film has been shot at Woodberry Wetlands in north London and at the WWT London Wetland Centre in south west London.

The WWT is working to create 100,000 more hectares of wetlands in the UK.

(The film is due for release in 2024)