Winterwatch at Wild Ken Hill broadcasting from tomorrow
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan were back at Wild Ken Hill today preparing for a fortnight of live programmes in what will be the last Winterwatch from this location.
On-site at lunchtime the BBC production team and presenters were meeting the press, including ourselves.
KL1 Radio's Richard Dix (left) talking tech with Outside Broadcast engineer Adam Robbins who is in the Vision Supervisor
Asked what they were most looking forward to Chris Packham said: “We have got the thermal camera back which gives us the opportunity to see the animals doing things that you would never see in real life. Last year we had a fox taking a stoat which was an extraordinary piece of behaviour. That thermal camera is really cutting edge."
Michaela said: ”I’m always excited to see what the star of Winterwatch will be.”
Chris Bishop asked what the team would like to see before they leave wild Ken Hill. “Foxes,” said Chris, "we’ve seen a few but not many, a polecat would be good but any of the mid-size mammal predators that play a really important ecological role ,and without them you haven’t got a fully functional ecology, and those numbers really need to pick up here at Wild Ken Hill.”
The question from T&A was: “So after two years here, what do you consider is the legacy for Wild Ken Hill and going forward what would you like to see them do?”
Michaela said: "I hope that other farms would be inspired by the work they’ve done here and what they’ve seen and the fact that you can do farming and wildlife hand-in-hand which is what we’ve shown. Both can be productive so I hope other farms can be inspired by it and want to follow.”
Chris added: “We’re going to leave and take all our cameras with us, but Wild Ken Hill need the opportunity to bring people here and show people what they are doing, so part of that is diversification and what we see in UK farming is the more farmers can diversify and employ new business practices the more they profit, sometimes to significant levels. I read a report recently that in parts of Wales where diversification has within three years increased profits by 20%.
“What Wild Ken Hill needs to do now is to make sure they can get public visitors; we want the public and farmers to come here, stay here, and see the work they’ve done then go away, copy it and spread the word.
“This needs to be seen as a site of excellence where people can come and visit and recognise effectively how little it costs to achieve that excellence and how profitable it can become in terms of the future of the farming here, and everyone who lives and works in the community.”
Photos: Ian Burt