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Tune in to Winterwatch at Snettisham



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For fans of the BBC series of the Watches, the team, crew and presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan have returned to Wild Ken Hill in Snettisham.

Winterwatch, (or the newly-misnamed "Waterwatch" as Michaela said on Tuesday's live programme) has returned to the rewilding nature reserve eager to follow up on the beaver enclosure, woodcock, hares and a rat that has been named Ray.

In the first programme aired last night the thermal imaging picked up a rat with a kink in its tale so it has been named Ray after The Kinks singer Ray Davies.

Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham have spotted woodcock, hares boxing and of course Ray the Rat during this season of BBC Winterwatch. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01150
Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham have spotted woodcock, hares boxing and of course Ray the Rat during this season of BBC Winterwatch. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01150

Returning to the site this January, the weather has its ups and downs and luckily it hasn't rained heavily.

Though it is quite chilly, the skies are blue and sunny with sunrises and sunsets and the full moon on Monday night visible in daylight adding to the mood.

Chris Packham, who will be appearing at the Princess Theatre, Hunstanton this April said: "It's a pleasure to be back. We don't mind rain, only prolonged rain has an impact.

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan stroll though Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham during BBC Winterwatch. (Picture Paul Marsh).MLNF-22PM01147
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan stroll though Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham during BBC Winterwatch. (Picture Paul Marsh).MLNF-22PM01147

"Cold weather gives it a more wintry feel and the clear days show up wildlife activity.

"There are nice sunsets and sunrises which reflect the season."

Some features so far have shown up on the cameras during the day and evening.

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan on a bright sunny but chilly day as they film BBC Winterwatch from Wild Ken Hill in Snettisham. (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01148
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan on a bright sunny but chilly day as they film BBC Winterwatch from Wild Ken Hill in Snettisham. (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01148

Michaela said: "Woodcock on the field, which are difficult to see as they are secretive, has been amazing to see here on the thermal cameras.

"Seeing people engaging on Twitter with the Jack snipes trending is great."

Another feature that the presenters are hoping to see are the beavers.

The bright days have been able to highlight the wildlife activity taking place at Wild Ken Hill with thermal cameras placed to watch night time activity. Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.(Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01149
The bright days have been able to highlight the wildlife activity taking place at Wild Ken Hill with thermal cameras placed to watch night time activity. Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.(Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01149

Chris said: "During Autumnwatch the beavers turned up a bit quicker but I am confident we will see them."

Michaela said: "We have a camera in the lodge and like a challenge, so we are looking forward to it."

Hares have been spotted boxing which is slightly earlier to see in the season.

Chris Packham is confident that beavers will be seen on the thermal cameras at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham, this Winterwatch. MLNF-22PM01153
Chris Packham is confident that beavers will be seen on the thermal cameras at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham, this Winterwatch. MLNF-22PM01153

Michaela said: "They are known as March hares but we have seen images of them boxing at night live on camera." Teaching adults and the next generation of youngsters about the natural world is high up on the agenda with the BBC and at Wild Ken Hill.

Eastgate Academy in Lynn recently opened up their outdoor classroom and enjoy the benefits of teaching young pupils about nature in a practical way.

Michaela said: "I am always surprised when I speak to biology teachers and they don't do outdoor lessons.

Michaela Strachan is excited to see woodcock along with hares boxing on the thermal cameras, with cameras also placed in the lodge to highlight the beavers in their enclosure. Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01157
Michaela Strachan is excited to see woodcock along with hares boxing on the thermal cameras, with cameras also placed in the lodge to highlight the beavers in their enclosure. Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01157

"How can you expect to inspire children just from text books.

"We all saw that hare just now in the field and we all stopped to look and to see it, in real life it sparks emotions.

"You are bound to be impressed when you see it rather than just in a book."

Dominic Buscall, project manager at Wild Ken Hill where BBC Winterwatch 2022 are broadcasting from in Snettisham. (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01144
Dominic Buscall, project manager at Wild Ken Hill where BBC Winterwatch 2022 are broadcasting from in Snettisham. (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01144

Education is important to Wild Ken Hill with opportunities to volunteer which post graduate Joe Thompsett, 26, from Snettisham has utilised this week gaining experience to work in environmental consultancy.

Dominic Buscall, project manager at Wild Ken Hill said: "We have youth groups 200 days a year and it's so important, it's about improving future systems.

"It is important for young people and adults to learn and now after lots of campaigning, Natural History is now a GCSE subject on the syllabus.

Chris Packham is also involved in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. (Picture Paul Marsh)MLNF-22PM01154
Chris Packham is also involved in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. (Picture Paul Marsh)MLNF-22PM01154

"With organisations like Wild East we are creating a grass roots movement to see environment change in out natural parks and farms, for future generations."

Michaela said: "The more rewilding we can do in the country the better, without a massive impact on the yield of farming and trying to attract the interest of the young."

Yesterday's programme saw another incredible visual prop made by Lucy Lapwing (Hodson) showing rhynchokinesis which is a form of upper jaw mobility in some birds.

Lucy Lapwing (Hodson) making a visual prop for BBC Winterwatch 2022. Broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01143
Lucy Lapwing (Hodson) making a visual prop for BBC Winterwatch 2022. Broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01143

Lucy is currently working on a visual prop to show how swim fish up a river.

Chris said: "In the river watch section we will focus on otters and Arctic char which are part of a rewilding project in the Lake District.

Michaela said: "Megan will be looking at eels and we will also show caddis fly larva which look like a pebbly sleeping bag."

Knowledgeable, friendly and chatty presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan with Lynn News reporter Jenny Beake. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01152
Knowledgeable, friendly and chatty presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan with Lynn News reporter Jenny Beake. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01152

Chris is also involved with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch which is taking place at the end of this month.

He said: "It is amazing that people get involved and feed birds in their garden and in the past we have seen greenfinches and big flocks of chaffinches.

"But this winter we have had a handful of chaffinches caused by the devastation of trichomoniasis disease and seen big changes in greenfich and chaffinch.

BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham.Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan with Lynn News Reporter Jenny Beake. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01161
BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham.Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan with Lynn News Reporter Jenny Beake. (Picture Paul Marsh) MLNF-22PM01161

"Bird feeders can be the source of infection which seems counter intuitive when encouraging people to feed birds but there are some things that can be done."

Trichomoniasis is a disease caused by the protozoa trichomonas gallinae and is highly contagious among birds, but does not travel to other animals or humans.

Michaela said: "There are pros and cons of feeding birds and it is important to clean bird feeders every week to stop diseases."

BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh).MLNF-22PM01163
BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh).MLNF-22PM01163

Winterwatch will be on BBC 2 tonight.

BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh).MLNF-22PM01160
BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh).MLNF-22PM01160
BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01162
BBC Winterwatch 2022 broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill at Snettisham (Picture Paul Marsh). MLNF-22PM01162


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