Author: Laura Dewis
  • Video
  • 5 minutes

I Bought A Rainforest - Episode 3

Updated Monday, 14th August 2017
Nine months on and the project has hit rock-bottom. Charlie has to decide what to do next. In our clips, the forest catches fire - and Charlie uses a halluciogenic brew to get a clearer head.

Charlie Hamilton James with cattles I Bought a Rainforest is a new series following wildlife cameraman Charlie Hamilton James who has bought 100 acres of Peruvian rainforest. Charlie's original aim was to ring-fence the whole area to prevent illegal loggers from entering the park. Nine months on and the project has hit rock-bottom. Unable to secure his land because of a squatter called Elias, Charlie had planned to evict him. But having now met his family and his disabled daughter, Heidi, Charlie is fast learning that if you want to protect the rainforest you need to include the local people.

He goes to spend time with one of his neighbours, a Wacheperi shaman called Don Alberto, who treats sick people with traditional plants and hallucinogenic medicines. He then heads across the border to Brazil. In a vast landscape of charred tree trunks, he meets cattle rancher Dino and his four strong sons who are planning to burn a huge chunk of virgin forest to increase the size of their farm. As he gets to know Dino, Charlie is forced into a radical rethink of the very man he once saw as his greatest enemy. 

Back at his land, Charlie makes Elias an offer he's sure the family can't refuse. It turns out that the answer had been staring him in the face the whole time. Together, Charlie and Elias embark on a new joint project; one that sees them working together rather than battling one another, planting trees, and heading towards a sustainable future for this one patch of precious rainforest.

Clip: The forest on fire

Clip: Charlie's vision




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