Springwatch moves to Minsmere

The Springwatch team, from left: Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games. Photo by Chris Harbard.
The Springwatch team, from left: Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games. Photo by Chris Harbard.

The BBC’s latest Springwatch programme, which began yesterday (26 May), is this year based at Minsmere RSPB in Suffolk. It will again be presented by Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games.

Talking about the series last week, Adam Rowlands, Minsmere’s site manager, said: “Springwatch is a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature. We hope to be able follow an Avocet nest, and we also have a Bittern nest lined up with chicks already in it. There may even be a chance to look at some commoner species such as Bullfinch and Nightingale.”

Chris Packham, enthusing about the location, said: “I’ve been coming to Minsmere since the 1970s, when I ‘needed’ Marsh Harrier and this was the only place in Britain to see one. Over the years I’ve watched Minsmere evolve into one of the finest nature reserves in the world with a tremendous variety of habitats in one place – an ornithological EuroDisney if you like.

“We couldn’t have found a more perfect locality. Somewhere where we can run cables to view nests in most habitats, all in a half-mile radius. There is public access to much of the reserve which means that what we show is not exclusive, with opportunities for all to watch it in real life, while exciting species like Bittern, Bearded Tit and Marsh Harrier could be seen. We have an excited team who are looking forward to our three years here.”

Michaela Strachan, commented: “I’ll be very excited to see a Bittern but mostly I look forward to the surprises, the unexpected story lines, usually involving behaviour. I really enjoy those moments.”

Birdwatch’s Chris Harbard asked Chris Packham what he felt that Springwatch has to offer the magazine's readers. “We share a common goal,” he replied. “Birdwatch focuses on familiar species with elements of identification and ecology. Springwatch does the same, trying to include things which are both sparkly and scientific, such as some latest gem of information that few people know. It must be enjoyable and appeal to everyone from the novice to the initiated – we want to enthuse people to get off their sofas and look for things.”

Springwatch will run on BBC Two at 8 pm on Monday to Thursday from 26 May to 12 June 2014. Read more about the history of Minsmere in the July issue of Birdwatch, available for pre-order.

Written by: Birdwatch news team