BBC Springwatch lands a new home in the Cotswolds
Springwatch will return to BBC Two this month, broadcasting live from a new location in rural Gloucestershire.
Presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and Gillian Burke (pictured below) will host the three-week wildlife extravaganza live from the National Trust’s Sherborne Park Estate. The Watches will settle at the site in the Cotswolds countryside in the heart of the UK for the rest of the year, to cover the changing seasons for Autumnwatch and Winterwatch.
With five tenant farms surrounding the village of Sherborne and the constant activity at the working National Trust estate, the Springwatch team will explore: The eighteenth century water meadow which is rich in fish life, otters, dragonflies and damselflies; the disused Second World War airbase where arable crops grow and hares and farmland birds such as skylarks, yellowhammers and the ‘red listed’ corn bunting congregate – as well as reporting from historic oak parkland, riverbank environments where the Windrush Rover and Sherborne Brook waterways criss-cross, limestone grasslands, wildflower meadows and the miles of Cotswold stone walls which house weasels, stoats, rodents, lizards and colonies of lesser horseshoe bats.
Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual says: “I’m thrilled the Watches have found such an extraordinary home for the next twelve months. The Sherborne Estate is the perfect location to bring the very best of British wildlife to our loyal audience”.
Simon Nicholas, National Trust countryside manager at the Sherborne Park Estate says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Springwatch to Sherborne. The idyllic estate is like the Cotswolds in miniature – and thanks to the efforts of our rangers, farmers and partners it is home to water voles, red kites and flocks of rare farmland birds. Thousands of families come to our woods and parklands each year to see the nature on their doorstep”.
Springwatch Unsprung will also be filmed at the new Cotswold location, with Chris Packham returning as host accompanied by celebrity guests who share a love for wildlife including film stars, comedians, authors and musicians. Springwatch Unsprung will air on BBC Two from June 5-16 at 6.30pm.
The Springwatch team will also offer viewers rolling news, streaming wildlife action as it happens on the Springwatch Live website, on BBC Red Button and on mobile devices from 4am to midnight daily during the new series transmission dates from Monday 29 May to Thursday 15 June on BBC Two. (BBC/CT)