Interview with Megan McCubbin on Springwatch 2024

PHOTO: Megan McCubbin (Image: BBC Studios/Jo Charlesworth)


BBC iPlayer

May 22 - Interview with Megan McCubbin on Springwatch 2024

How can we support local wildlife this Spring?

We must all do our part in protecting the environment, and that can start in our gardens. Adding a small wildlife pond, native wildflower patch or hedgehog highway is a great way to look after wildlife. The most important thing we can do, though, is to use our voices for nature. By enthusing with neighbours about wildlife's wonders, engaging with community conservation projects or asking local representatives for the changes you want to see in the landscape can be a rewarding and important way to care for wild species.

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

A favourite spring spectacle of mine has got to be the return of the seabirds to our coastlines. The sound, the smell, the chaos... it's fabulous. I love watching the puffins, razorbills, guillemots and gannets going about their business raising a chick in such a seemingly tough environment. Further inland, the emergence of colourful wild flowers and the symphony of bird song is also pretty special. I have just heard my first churring nightjar of the season, as well as a few cuckoos! Two great species to listen out for.

What do you want viewers to learn from Springwatch?

I'd love for viewers to be left feeling empowered. Springwatch is such a joyous celebration of our native wildlife and I love getting to share the latest science and conservation news with the audience as we still have so much to learn. We do know, however, that one in six species in the UK is threatened with extinction and they need our help. I hope views will watch the show, fall in love with nature and wake up the next day feeling inspired and excited to do something different from the day before to support our natural ecosystem. Together, this is how we will turn things around.

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

Some of the best advice I can give for getting children interesting in nature is to allow them to take the lead. When you're outside, let them lead the way and explore what interests them the most. They might gravitate to the meadow, a pond or the woods, they might wish to dig in the soil or climb a tree. It's important to be there whilst they explore safely but giving young kids the opportunity to get curious on their own is very important. I believe all children are born with an interest in the animals around them - it's just about allowing them to harness that fascination in the right way!

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

There really is nowhere else as wild and dramatic as Scotland - which is one of the reasons it is such a special place for me. I am really excited to learn more about the ospreys which make their home across the islands and take a look at the ecology of the loch ecosystems. We also have some very exciting films to show from the country, including a feature of a groundbreaking conservation success for one of the UK's most endangered bird species.

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

If I were a British species, I would probably be an osprey or a blue shark. Both have connections to the water (one of my favourite environments) and really interest me. I would love to know first-hand what their lives are like!


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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