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There is much material within HW's archive concerning The Vanishing Hedgerows, his four draft film treatments being of particular interest. Regrettably it is impractical to reproduce here more than a few pages of these. A representative selection of the material is presented below.





The 'Notes on Conservation' handed over to HW by David Cobham (which appalled HW) need looking at in more detail in order to understand the film's remit and Cobham's vision – and the amount of work that went into the making of this film.


i) Two foolscap page pages summarising the situation as it was at that time is a most interesting document.



hedge 17 Nature Conservation


hedge 17 Nature Conservation2



ii) A 19-page (foolscap) typescript summarising a conversation between David Cobham and Max Hooper, then head of the Nature Conservancy Council (later English Nature, now, since 2006, Natural England).


HW has heavily edited the first page with crossings out in red and green felt-tip pen to remove words and passages that he felt unnecessary for his purpose:



hedge 17d page of offical notes Hooper Cobham




On subsequent pages he has underlined and ticked the items he intends to use, and notes the page in his own script, for example:


burning stubble: 'HW, p.27'

pesticides in barn owls: 'HW, p. 22'

DDT in herons: 'HW, p. 25-26'

David asks 'What about otters': Hooper replied 'I know nothing about otters.'

HW marks this 'HW, p. 13-14-15'

run off of farm fertiliser in streams, algol bloom etc: 'HW, p. 27'

red spider mite: 'HW, p. 25'

loss of farm buildings / barn owls: 'HW, p. 29

loss of hedges: 'HW, p. 24'

(up to 5000 miles a year of hedge is removed – being put back only c. 20 miles a year)

There is considerable detail here as this is main subject of the film.

detriment of modern farming methods: 'HW, p. 31'

Max Hooper quotes here the old saying:

'Live as though you're going to die tomorrow, but farm as if you'll farm forever.'








A selection of early notes by HW on various scraps of paper found in The Vanishing Hedgerows file, which show how he evolved his own ideas:



hedge 18 HW notes 1


hedge 18a HW notes 2


hedge 18b HW Notes 3


The note below is on the reverse of page 3, intended to be inserted after 'working all day':


hedge 18c HW Notes 3a insert for 3


hedge 18d HW Notes 4


hedge 18d HW Notes 5



hedge 18f Notes june 1970



hedge 18g More Notes 1


hedge 18h More Notes 2


hedge 18i More Notes 3



hedge 18j extra text 1


hedge 18k Extra text 2









HW's first draft treatment:


Clipped together in a large bundle are pages from his first draft that were evidently excluded from the second draft (to save retyping, pages from the first draft used again were taken straight into the second draft). Two pages are shown here as examples.



hedge 19 Discarded 1



hedge 19 discarded 2



Following receipt of the first draft, David Cobham wrote with some notes and advice on how he wanted HW to proceed:



hedge 19a DC Notes1


hedge 19c DC2









HW's Second Draft Treatment: dated 3 March 1970 – 31 pp. of typescript which have been heavily revised by HW. Some pages are shown below as examples.


There is also a neatly typed clean carbon copy in the file.



hedge 20 2nd draft p 1


hedge 20a 2nd draft p 3


hedge 20b 2nd draft p 18


hedge 20c 2nd draft p 30


hedge 20d 2nd draft p31









HW's Third Draft Treatment


Upon receiving this treatment, David Cobham sent a page of notes to HW, who wrote on it his responses:



hedge 22 DC memo HW replies









HW's Fourth Draft Treatment (TS foolscap 30 pages)


The full Fourth Treatment, dated July 1970, was printed in HWS Journal No. 53, September 2017 with an introduction by Anne Williamson, as 'The Vanishing Hedgerows: A Cry from the Heart – 1970'.


This is the first pages of the typescript:



hedge 23 4th draft p 1









Finished script: dated 35 November 1970: typescript foolscap – 11 pages.


Anne Williamson deduces that this is the script that went to the BBC, as indicated by David Cobham's 'Introduction' below:



hedge 24 title


hedge 24a DC memo 1


hedge 24b DC intro 2



The first page:



hedge 24c page1








There is a copy, with a red cover headed 'THE VANISHING HEDGEROWS', of the Shooting Script, dated 17 March 1971, which is prefaced by a short introduction:



hedge 25 Shooting intro



This is followed by a 30-page shooting script which details the camera shots to be dovetailed with HW's voice-over, of which this is the first page:



hedge 25a1 shooting script page1



The shooting script for the last scene of The Vanishing Hedgerows:



hedge 25b last scene 1


hedge 25c ending2









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