Interview with Michaela Strachan on Springwatch 2024 which begins on May 27

PHOTO: Michaela Strachan (Image: BBC Studios)

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May 22 - Interview with Michaela Strachan on Springwatch 2024 which begins on May 27

How can we support local wildlife this Spring?

Obviously we can do all the usual stuff that we always speak about that everyone should be doing anyway, like feeding the birds, putting out water, leave a bit of the garden messy, plant local foods.

But also something we're going to be talking about this series is The Big Help Out, the biggest mass volunteering event of the year between the 7 to 9 of June. It's not just wildlife, it's volunteering for lots of different organisations, but obviously we're going to be focusing on the wildlife.

We’re going to be looking at things like animal sanctuaries, environmental projects, local wildlife groups, doing all sorts of different things that people can volunteer with wildlife, anything from a beach clean to surveys, and it really is a great way that people can support local wildlife.

What are your favourite kinds of wildlife to spot around this time of year and why?

One of my favourite birds in the UK are puffins and also I'm choosing them because we're going to be filming some nests on the Dorset coast. I'm going to focus on this one species because it could actually be a real turning point for puffins this year. Their numbers have dropped dramatically, mainly due to climate change and overfishing and the loss of what they eat, which is sandeels.

But just recently the government have got some new legislation out which is stopping industrial sandeel fishing in the English North Sea and all Scottish waters from the 26 of March. And that's in time for the puffin breeding season, so I think it could this could be a real turning point for not just puffins, but other seabirds as well. And I find that incredibly exciting that something so big has been done to help a bird like the Puffin and so many of our of our seabirds around our coastline. I love puffins I love the colourful beaks and I love the fact that they're so interesting to watch and they're real characters.

What do you want viewers to learn from Springwatch?

I think like as in every Watch our aim is to inspire our viewers, inspire them to see wildlife, care about it, and then protect it. If you don't know about wildlife, you're not going to be interested. You're not going to care about protecting it. So I mean, I think that's what we really want viewers to take home from any series of the watches that we do.

And the other thing that we're promoting is the Hero Awards. We want to show people that anyone can make a difference, we can all be wildlife heroes, anyone can help with wildlife. And during the series, we're going to promote so many different ways that you can do that and to inspire people with our Hero Awards, awards where people have nominated others that have done amazing things for wildlife. And as I say hopefully that will inspire people to do their own things however big or small they might be.

Every series we learn something fascinating and something that surprises the experts. And I love it when we show those things and people go away with a wow moment from something that they would have totally overlooked. We want them to go away with wow moments and wow facts about things that they would never know about never had the chance to see.

What advice do you have for getting kids interested in wildlife spotting?

I think it's getting harder and harder to get kids connected with wildlife because of the competition between watching wildlife and the draw of social media and all the other platforms that kids get involved with. So I think the way to get kids into nature is using social media to inspire them. I think we've just got to find new ways of keeping kids connected, most kids are born with a fascination for wildlife. So the challenge is not to let kids disconnect with that, you know, to keep them with that fascination and I also think we just need inspiration from young people. And we're doing that more and more on the show.

What do you hope to see when you're in Dorset?

One of the things we're really excited about is cameras on a peregrine nest. We’re rigging up cameras on Corfe Castle with the National Trust and it's the first time we've rigged a historic monument ourselves. And so that's exciting in itself. We haven't had cameras on a peregrine nest for a long time now. There's also a raven nest on Corfe Castle so it will be interesting to see the interactions between the peregrine nest and the raven nest . I think that's going to be quite an exciting nest for us to watch.

If you were a British wildlife species, what would you be and why?

I'd love to be a bottlenose dolphin. I think dolphins are smart, they're fit, they're speedy. They hang around in gangs, which looks fun, and they’ve got the ocean as a playground. They make people smile, and people are usually really pleased to see a bottlenose dolphin. People like dolphins and I'm one of those people who likes to be liked. So those are my reasons for wanting to be a dolphin!

About

Springwatch is back ­­– bigger and better than ever!

The main location for Springwatch 2024 is RSPB Arne in Dorset. We’ll be returning this spring to catch up on the stories and wildlife characters from Springwatch 2023 – one of the most dramatic seasons we’ve ever had. We’ll also be exploring key sites across the county of Dorset, discovering the varied landscapes and local wildlife that call it home. We’ll also be on a road-trip discovering all that the Isle of Bute, Loch Lomond and Glasgow has to offer.

Our mission, as always, is to inspire, engage and captivate our audience. Inviting them to immerse themselves in the best of this season’s wildlife, as it happens.

This year, BBC Springwatch returns to iPlayer and BBC Two from Monday 27 May for three weeks of live programmes. Our presenters will be the audience’s eyes and ears exploring our LIVE locations and witnessing dramas, as they happen.

We’ll be broadcasting live:

Mon 27 May – Weds 29 May (8pm) + Friday 31 May (7.30pm)
Mon 3 June – Thurs 6 June (8pm)
Mon 10 June – Thurs 13 June (8pm)

As always, the audience will be encouraged to join the conversation as we celebrate this season full of new life and hope. We’ll react to topics and questions from viewers as they come in – and nothing is off limits when it comes to discussing the wildlife we love.

With an overarching theme of ‘Little Things Make A Big Difference’, Springwatch explores the premise that even the smallest of actions to help our wildlife can have a massive impact when we act collectively.

We’ll have a whole new array of live nest-cameras rigged across our springtime location to bring a fresh cast of characters to a primetime audience. We’ll have a range of pre-recorded films, which have been capturing what’s been happening across the UK this year. And we’re not shying away from some of the hard-hitting truths and challenges affecting our wildlife.

This year, we’re revealing more behind the scenes of Springwatch so the viewers can have exclusive access into how the series is made and the care we take not to disturb our wildlife cast of characters.

Chris and Michaela will be stationed at the RSPB’s Arne reserve in Dorset.

RSPB Arne comes alive at this time of year with rare breeding birds, specialised heathland insects and all six of the UK’s native species of reptiles.

Set against the backdrop of Poole Harbour, RSPB Arne seems to have it all. Famous for its wide-open heathlands where reptiles roam, we’ll be exploring ancient oak woodlands, farmland and reedbeds. If that wasn’t enough, mudflats, scrub, wet woodland and acid grassland are just some of the habitats where the huge variety of wildlife which call Arne home can be found.

In spring, the vast heathland that characterises this area is warming up a range of rare, unusual and charismatic characters for the breeding season.

Iolo Williams will be exploring the bountiful wildlife that Dorset has to offer as he spreads his wings to meet some of its rarest residents. From rare Little Terns nesting on the vastness of Chesil Beach to Dormice snoozing in the tranquillity of Garston’s ancient woodland, the rich habitats of southern England have a wealth of wildlife stories to explore.

Over the course of the series, he’ll be meeting those people that have dedicated themselves to understanding and protecting these special species. At Portland Bird Observatory, he’ll be joining migration monitors that have been logging spring’s arrivals on the Dorset coast for over 60 years. He’ll be meeting experts unpicking the surprising urban life of Bournemouth’s Nightjars whilst, over the border in Hampshire, he’ll look at how the efforts by local farmers are trying to turn the tide for our fastest declining bird – the Turtle Dove.

Megan McCubbin is heading to Scotland. In the Firth of Clyde off the west coast of Scotland is the Isle of Bute. It is a small island but when it comes to wildlife it packs a punch and Megan is on a mission to see as much as she can for the first week of Springwatch. She will take a deep dive into the underwater habits of seals and watch the impressive hunting habits of Osprey that return each year to breed.

She will also team up with Glasgow University’s field research centre to uncover the life that calls Loch Lomond home. The freshwater is surrounded by temperate rainforest providing habitat for an array of species which are the subject of study for the team. For two nights Megan will uncover some of the science and get hands on with the wildlife that lives on the loch.

She’ll then head to Argaty Rewilding Estate in Perthshire and explore this family-owned rewilding estate revelling in red kites that call this working farm home and discover the difference beavers have made to the landscape. Megan will get hands on with the habitat, seeing all the signs of the ecosystem engineers, and if we’re lucky, see them for ourselves!

The final week of our Scottish Springwatch tour will take Megan to Glasgow. Here she’ll be uncovering and discovering the urban wildlife that can be found in one of Scotland’s most industrious cities. We will have cameras trained on peregrine falcons nesting in tower tops and the iconic water voles hidden away in the undergrowth, as well as featuring fascinating new science and research taking place in the heart of the city.

Watch Springwatch on iPlayer and BBC Two from Monday 27 May

Source BBC iPlayer

May 23, 2024 2:00am ET by BBC iPlayer  

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