Broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill Springwatch starts tonight (30th May)

Broadcasting from Wild Ken Hill Springwatch starts tonight (30th May)
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan at Wild Ken Hill

Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will be in west Norfolk for the next three weeks showcasing the best of the season's wildlife.

The local press were invited to meet Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan this morning ahead of the first programme in this year's Springwatch that will be broadcast live this evening.

We were invited behind the scenes to see how they film and monitor the nests and and keep up with the stories and drama.

Asked what they were most looking forward to seeing this year Chris said: "We've already got some great footage and know there will be fantastic behaviour that will unfold but for me it's the stuff we can't predict - the things that take us all by surprise, and the technology we've got is so small and unobtrusive that it allows us to sick our noses into these creatures lives in a way we could never do before, and there will be one moment that captures our heart and imagination and we'll never forget it, and I don't know what it is yet so we'll have to wait and see."

"We get such a fantastic variety here, I think that's what's blown us away with Wild Ken Hill; I counted up at least fourteen different species that had cameras on the nest last year and it's usually the ones that you are not really expecting to be terribly exciting that give you the storyline - what will it be this year? - we can't tell, we don't know what's going to happen and that's what I think is so lovely, we can't write the script so hopefully something will will surprise us with something really interesting that we hadn't known or even thought about," said Michaela.

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In the large barns the 'mothership' of screens and computers are housed and monitored by technicians who are capturing and editing what is happening around the site. The 30 remote cameras allow an intimate view into some of the most magical nests on site including barn owls, hidden marsh harriers, lapwing as well as spring songbirds.

Nest

‘The restorative power of nature’ is the theme running through this year's Springwatch. "Don't forget how we turned to nature to find peace and solace during the pandemic." said Michaela, "you can go into the wild and it will calm you down and relieve stress."

Chris added: "It's as much about restoring the soul as restoring nature, and what's happening here at Wild Ken Hill is so good but it's not being taken up by the wider farming community who should come and see this and get on board more quickly. 

"It's time to break the stronghold of big agriculture and embrace regenerative farming. 

"Healthy soils mean we can feed ourselves, feed the soil and support wildlife too."

Other members of the Springwatch team will be presenting from around the country with Megan McCubbin on a spring road trip across the North of England starting in Kielder Forest and moving on to Hauxley Nature Reserve before the last stop in Newcastle city centre. 

Iolo Williams is returning to one of his favourite wildlife havens of all time, bringing spring's best offerings from the Isle of Mull.

There will also be a return for an audience favourite – Mindfulness Moments. In each programme, there will be a 90 second film of pure nature. No music, no presenter voice-over, just natural sound and glorious pictures.

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