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BBC Springwatch starts with Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan expecting the unexpected at Snettisham's Wild Ken Hill





Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan are on site at Wild Ken Hill in Snettisham along with the crew to start the Springwatch live shows.

Showing tonight at 8pm on BBC 2 the live shows will be on nightly for the next three weeks live from the reserve.

With a theme of the restorative power of nature the presenters always expect the unexpected, with a look in to nature from thermal cameras that the naked eye might never see.

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan return to Wild Ken Hill to begin filming Springwatch. Picture Paul Marsh. MLNF-22PM05340
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan return to Wild Ken Hill to begin filming Springwatch. Picture Paul Marsh. MLNF-22PM05340

Both presenters enjoy visiting West Norfolk and in their own way get some downtime while they are here.

Chris Packham said: "The restorative value of nature gives some respite and recovery especially in lockdown for people who hadn't previously realised the value of nature.

"I say I could do with a walk at my own pace and in a green space and when I go home at the weekends I get up the following day and feel connected back to where I live.

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan stand in the poppy field at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham ahead of filming Springwatch. MLNF-22PM05345
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan stand in the poppy field at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham ahead of filming Springwatch. MLNF-22PM05345

"I am completely in my zone with the animals I love, away from the trials and tribulations and ready to start again."

Michaela Strachan said: "Every season I am here for at least a long weekend and get a lung-full of nature, I visit Heacham, Snettisham and the RSPB.

"It's a stressful world we're living in so we are saying sit back and enjoy Springwatch, breathe in and enjoy nature."

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan pose in the poppy field at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05344
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan pose in the poppy field at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05344

Springwatch will be happening at the same time as the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the area and each presenter will enjoy this in different ways.

Chris said: "I am not a big party goer, certainly not communal parties.

"I will walk the poodles and listen to the Sex Pistols."

Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, pictured here with Lynn News Reporter Jenny Beake, are expecting the unexpected in their live filming at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham, over the next three weeks. MLNF-22PM05339
Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, pictured here with Lynn News Reporter Jenny Beake, are expecting the unexpected in their live filming at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham, over the next three weeks. MLNF-22PM05339

Whilst Michaela is looking forward to going along to Jubilee events in Lynn, she said: "I enjoy a street party and seeking out Jubilee celebrations.

"Though nature gives an escape from the madness of the Jubilee but I like the community spirit."

BBC Springwatch returns to Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham from tonight. Part of the production facility at Wild Ken, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05334
BBC Springwatch returns to Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham from tonight. Part of the production facility at Wild Ken, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05334

The presenters have worked together for a number of years now and have been coming to Wild Ken Hill over the last three years following the progress of the reserve's rewilding and re-generative farming.

Chris said: "We are very pleased to be back in Norfolk and East Anglia and to see the working farm and rewilding.

"There are masses of birds and because of the technology we can cover everything in advance.

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan meet the press at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05341
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan meet the press at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05341

"Meg is roving around the North East and we are showing as best we can the restorative power of nature."

Michaela said: "Since lockdown we want to make sure people harness that when they go back to their busy lives and find peace and solace.

"It is proven that going in to nature calms you down and brings you peace."

Springwatch is being filmed at Wild Ken Hill Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05337
Springwatch is being filmed at Wild Ken Hill Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05337

Even though the presenters and team have been visiting the site regularly for The Watches there is always an element of surprise captured in the technology that is used on the site.

Chris said: "There is always stuff we can't predict and things that surprise you.

"The technology is so small and unobtrusive it gives extraordinary insights.

The production crew set up in the grounds of Wild Ken Hill Settisham. MLNF-22PM05338
The production crew set up in the grounds of Wild Ken Hill Settisham. MLNF-22PM05338

"Wait and see."

Michaela said: "There is such a fantcastic variety we are always blown away at Wild Ken Hill we sometimes say 'woah, we did not expect that to happen.'

Chris said: "You see things you wouldn't expect on the thermal cameras like the fox catching a stoat on the marsh."

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan pose in the poppy field at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05342
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan pose in the poppy field at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. MLNF-22PM05342

The working rapport is evident between the presenters, with Chris nudging Michaela so she falls over when they are crouching for photographs from the press.

Michaela said: "We support each other incredibly well and are both passionate about what we do.

"Chris is interested in minute details and I am interested in the bigger picture which is why perhaps it works so well."

Chris said: "We do cover for one another, it's an absolute joy."

Wild Ken Hill is close to their hearts when they visit, they each find their own ways of relaxing in their downtime.

Chris said: "I de-stress at home in the New Forest and switch off.

"I take my dogs out every day and watch them run and I am stimulated by nature's joys."

Wild Ken Hill is a special place to both presenters and they are often surprised what is captured on film as well as seeing the progression and growth of the reserve due to its natural rewilding and re-generative farming processes.

Chris said: "Here the special spot is the wildlife hub and here is an enormous amount of excitement on the cameras that has never been recorded before.

"There are barn owls, kestrels, kites and marsh harriers and new species we haven't featured before, hedgerows are being scoured.

"We'll see some educational and interesting things."

Michaela said: "The restorative power of nature also applies to the landscape here at Wild Ken Hill.

"I have seen 14 different species of birds nesting and for a working farm that is impressive.

"It goes to show how restorative it is.

"It's a mini savannah."

Chris said: "What is happening here is so good but is not being taken up y the wider farming fraternity.

"We've got to beak the stranglehold that big agriculture has over farming, go up against the power of big agriculture."

"They need to implement the techniques and tools and play a role in restoration.

"Everyone can do a lot more a lot more quickly."

Springwatch starts tonight on BBC 2 and as Chris said: "See what unfolds in the next three weeks."



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