Rix & Kay, the leading regional law firm headquartered in Uckfield, held an exclusive screening of Flight of the Swans, a documentary created about the ‘Human Swan’ Sacha Dench, and her expedition for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in 2016. The event, attended by Sacha herself, took place on Wednesday 27th November at Uckfield’s privately-owned cinema, the Picture House, giving attendees the unique opportunity to view on the big screen the spectacular imagery captured in the documentary.
The film documents Sacha’s unique expedition to save Europe’s smallest swan, the Bewick’s swan, from extinction. Sacha Dench accompanied the swans for the entire length of their migratory route from Arctic Russia, covering 6,500km across 11 countries, to their destination in the UK. Sacha flew the entire trip in just a paramotor – a small propeller engine strapped to her back with a simple fabric wing – facing in the process enormous challenges to her own safety on top of those presented by her efforts to save the swans themselves from extinction.
Sacha’s expeditions are supported, not only by Rix & Kay itself, which has been a lead sponsor both of the Flight of the Swans and also Sacha’s upcoming adventure, the Flight of the Osprey (see below), but also by patrons such as Sir David Attenborough, Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE and Dame Judi Dench. Sir Ranulph Fiennes called Flight of the Swans “especially worthwhile and innovative” and Sir David Attenborough said “this expedition is marvellously imaginative and adventurous”.
The screening was attended by 100 specially-invited guests, including local business leaders, clients and members of the local community with an interest in conservation and a commitment to the local environment. It is anticipated that the documentary will be released to the public but Rix & Kay’s screening was a tremendous opportunity for attendees to see it beforehand and get insight from Sacha Dench herself into the expedition, its outcomes and the challenges faced along the way.
The event included a Q&A session with Sacha, where she also raised awareness of her forthcoming expedition, Flight of the Osprey, which is even more ambitious and gained national media interest when it was launched in August 2019. In autumn 2020 Sacha will fly from Scotland to Ghana, crossing 15 countries, to investigate the threat to the osprey during its annual migration. A silent auction held on the evening raised funds for the Flight of the Osprey.
Bruce Hayter, Chairman of Rix & Kay, commented:
“Rix & Kay is extremely proud to support such important conservation efforts, and it was a privilege to share this inspirational documentary with our guests.
“We are longstanding supporters and sponsors of Sacha’s important global conservation and research projects, providing legal services to the team as they travel the world. We make sure that the adventurers are legally protected so that they can carry out their important work.
“The firm has a history of supporting ambitious conservation projects, having previously supported the Catlin Artic Survey Expedition led by Pen Hadow and Ann Daniels, and continues to work closely with Ann and her team on their latest polar projects.”
Sacha Dench commented after the expedition in 2017:
“WWT is incredibly grateful to the many people and organisations that have already generously supported Flight of the Swans. It’s wonderful that we work with businesses and charities and individuals that have a genuine interest in the conservation and environmental issues we’re trying to address. We thank Rix & Kay for their terrific contribution,”
and said of the documentary screening on 27th November:
“I was delighted to be able to present the Flight of the Swans documentary to Rix & Kay’s distinguished guests and to be able to introduce them to our newly formed charity ‘Conservation Without Borders’ and our next major expedition – the Flight of the Osprey. Rix & Kay’s support has been and continues to be key to the success of these expeditions.”
Some photos from the event: