Springwatch to be broadcast from West Norfolk this month
Television's top nature programme Springwatch is to be hosted from West Norfolk later this month.
Springwatch returns on Tuesday, May 25, for three weeks and Wild Ken Hill between Heacham and Snettisham will host Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham as they present live every evening from Tuesday to Friday on BBC 2.
Wild Ken Hill’s wetlands and farmland are a paradise for birds and insects alike.
During spring, the live cameras will give its audience an intimate glimpse into the exquisitely hidden nests of lapwing in the tussocky grasses, avocet out on the open scrape and perhaps even rare turtle doves in the thorny tangles of scrub.
Dominic Buscall, project manager at Wild Ken Hill, said: “We're extremely excited to co-host Springwatch this year. We are greatly looking forward to celebrating the best of British wildlife, as well as sharing the important and innovative work we do at Wild Ken Hill, and hopefully providing a message of hope for the recovery of nature in Britain.”
This is not the first time that Springwatch has come to West Norfolk. From 2008-2010, three series were broadcast live from Pensthorpe.
A BBC spokesman said of the move to Ken Hill: "It wouldn’t be Springwatch without a blue tit nest and in the ancient woodland, a wealth of our beloved songbird species are nesting alongside fearsome predators – including goshawks!
"Out on the fen our cameras will capture the wonder of the newly-introduced beavers. And with two males having joined the already established females at the end of last year, there could well be the possibility of beaver kits.
"There is plenty to whet the appetite of any entomologist with insect populations waiting to be unearthed; in sandy habitats the rare Breckland leatherbug might be glimpsed.
"Overhead populations of bats take over as the hunters of the night and Chris and Michaela may even be able to glimpse of the barbastelle bat, one of the UK’s rarest species of mammal."
The BBC said the exciting re-wilding project on the Norfolk coast will be home to more than 30 remote cameras – each hoping to capture the drama of spring as it unfolds.
"We already have cameras in a Barn Owl box and it’s looking likely that Kestrels are planning to nest on the site too.
"There are farmland bird species that are in decline across the country but at this site they’re doing well, such as the Linnet, Grey Partridge and Curlew.
"Other birds we’re hoping to bring to the audience are the crowd-pleasing birds of prey, the Red Kite, Marsh Harrier and Goshawk and the ever-popular Swifts, Yellowhammers and Redshanks.
"On the dunes and coastal marshes many species have already been spotted; Reedwarblers, Common sandpipers, Skylarks and Long-tailed Tits.
"And if we’re really lucky, we may get a full range of waterfowl such as Pintails, Shovelers, Teal, Widgeon, Gadwall, Mallards and Garganey.
"But it’s not all about the birds. The site is also rich in some of our favourite mammals such as Brown Hares and at least three species of deer. In the re-wilding section of the site they have introduced Red Poll Cattle, Exmoor Ponies, Tamworth Pigs and Beavers.
The site is rich in invertebrates and small mammals all of which are to be discovered by the cameras."