Springwatch returns with a special 10th anniversary edition

BBC’s Springwatch returns with a special 10th anniversary edition from a new location…

It first hit our screens back in 2005 and, since then, Springwatch has become something of a British institution, now as much a part of Britain’s spring as baby birds and frolicking lambs.

The show, which is known for its remarkable wildlife footage, will broadcast from a new location, RSPB Minsmere nature reserve on the stunning Suffolk coast, for its 10th birthday.

Teeming with an astonishing amount of wildlife, there are more than 5,600 plant and animal species recorded on site.

“It’s very different to anywhere we’ve filmed before,” says Michaela Strachan, 48, who is back to present the three-week TV event alongside Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games.

“We’ve spent the last three years in Wales, and now we’re going to have access to a whole new cross-section of species.”

The team will be following rare birds such as marsh harriers and bitterns, as well as the more familiar creatures such as badgers, otters and red deer, while cameras positioned in and around birds’ nests will be ready to catch exciting footage of hatching fledglings.

A number of roving reporters will also be producing news stories from around the country, including a feature on grey seals on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel and a young urban fox family in Brighton.

Meanwhile, Martin will travel to the Somerset Levels to investigate the effect of last winter’s floods on its wildlife. But, fortunately, it’s not all bad news.

“Some species have proved amazingly resilient and some have actually benefited from the floods,” Martin told the Daily Express. “We went to a heronry down there and discovered it had swollen to record size. Certain species are thriving.”

Springwatch will be sharing a remarkable moment with one of its viewers, too. Jo Milne, who recently gained her hearing after having been deaf for 40 years, will listen to the dawn chorus for the very first time.

“It’s something that every one of us takes for granted,” reflects Chris. “When you watch Jo concentrating on this beautiful sound for the first time, she becomes a vehicle for the viewer to understand its poignancy.”

For long-standing viewers of Springwatch there’s an additional treat in store when Bill Oddie, one of the original presenters, makes a special guest appearance.

“I think we’re all very proud to be a part of something that has been on TV for 10 years and is still as popular as it was when it first started – if not more so,” says Michaela.

“To be given the opportunity to be immersed in the British countryside for four weeks of the year in the spring is an absolute joy.”

This year’s series will feature:

Badgers Live cameras will be capturing badgers and their young in their setts, while Martin Hughes-Games will be following the rescue of Noah and Storm, two badgers affected by the flooding in Somerset.

Red deer The team will analyse the social behaviour of one of the largest red deer herds in the country during birthing season and cameras will be poised to capture the first moments of a calf’s life.

Stoats Although their numbers have been in decline recently, stoats are found in abundance at RSPB Minsmere. Springwatch cameras will follow their hunts on the grasslands.

Grey seals One of the world’s best underwater cameramen, Doug Allan, goes in search of the gorgeous and fascinating grey seal off the coast of Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.

Fox cubs Springwatch follows the fortunes of Brighton’s urban foxes during cub season to learn about the phenomenon of foxes living on our doorsteps and gathering a picture of fox family life.

Bitterns Minsmere’s famous booming bitterns are found in large numbers at the reserve and the Springwatch team will be hoping to track down this notoriously shy bird.

Click here for more on this year’s series from Michaela Strachan.

Springwatch, BBC2, from Monday, May 26.

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