Springwatch returns for a new series

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Monday: Springwatch (BBC2, 7.30pm)

Some viewers may be looking forward to summer, but on BBC2 it’s definitely still spring as Springwatch returns for a new series – and with a new location.

For the next three weeks, Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will be based at RSPB Arne in Dorset, and the show’s executive producer Rosemary Edwards thinks it’s the perfect HQ. She says: “We are excited to bring this year’s Springwatch live from RSPB Arne, at the heart of Purbeck Heaths, home to an astonishing array of wildlife, from birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and more.

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“We hope that audiences will have a chance to learn something new about their favourite species, or even discover new ones. We hope that this year’s programmes will inspire more people to explore the beautiful and diverse nature we have in the UK, and encourage them to learn how they can make a difference too.”

Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Iolo Williams and Gillian BurkeChris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke
Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke

The site is being equipped with 30 remote cameras, which should capture species ranging from green woodpeckers and Dartford Warblers to tunnelling bees as they experience the joys – and dramas – of the season.

RSPB Arne is also one of the one of the few places where all six of the UK’s native reptiles can be found, so the presenters will be keeping their eyes peeled for rare sand lizards and smooth snakes.

As Rosemary says, Arne is at the heart of Purbeck Heaths, which has been dubbed the UK’s first ‘super’ National Nature Reserve, and was created through the efforts of seven wildlife partners working together. It’s made up of 11 priority habitats that allow its inhabitants, which include heathlands birds, Britain’s rarest dragonfly, and 12 bat species, to move around more freely and adapt to the changing climate and environment.

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Over the next few weeks, Iolo Williams will be exploring the wider area, and learning more about what makes it so special.

He’s not the only roving reporter as Gillian Burke is hitting the road in North Wales, where she experiences the region’s natural beauty from Snowdonia, across the Menai Straits to Anglesey.

She’ll also be checkout out a reclaimed post-industrial landscape in Gwaith Powdwr Nature Reserve, and learning how are seas are affected by the changing seasons.

Plus, there are reports from across the UK, spotlighting our native wildlife and the people who are working hard to preserve it.

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We can also expect the return of Mindfulness Moments. For newcomers to Springwatch (although given that the show began back in 2005, there can’t be many of those around), these are 90 second films which allow viewers to just experience nature without any talking heads or interruptions.

So, expect to be transported into the world of the red squirrels, take in a tranquil carpet of English bluebells and listen to the UK’s only aquatic songbird – the dipper.

It’s a great reminder of just how incredible Britain’s wildlife really is, and Springwatch is continuing in its mission to make sure we don’t take it for granted.

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