The wildlife heroes of Springwatch 2024 - badgers, foxes, puffins, toads and more

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May 22 - The wildlife heroes of Springwatch 2024 - badgers, foxes, puffins, toads and more

Wildlife Heroes

We’ll be revealing the winners of the inaugural Springwatch Wildlife Hero Awards. In Winterwatch 2024 we asked for nominations for individuals and groups who go above and beyond for our wildlife. We had more than 1750 nominations of people doing amazing, heart-warming work up and down the country.

It was the job of Megan McCubbin, Dr Amir Khan and Jim Moir to choose the two winners – one in the Under 18’s category and one in the Over 18’s category.

The winners will be presented with their awards in the second week of the shows.

Pre-filmed Stories

As ever, Springwatch has a number of pre-recorded films which have been documenting the season as it’s been playing out. These films aim to bring diversity in every sense of the word; not only geographically, but featuring mammals and invertebrates, amphibians and fish, reptiles and birds, as well as telling heartfelt human stories of those helping, appreciating and immersing themselves in British wildlife.

Corfe Behind the Scenes

Three miles south of Arne stand the towering remains of Corfe Castle, where mating peregrines have claimed a raven’s nest atop its 20-metre high walls. We go behind the scenes as the Springwatch team hoist a 50kg camera into position, and set one of the coolest nest cams in the programme’s history.

Neonic Flea Treatments

Vet and Conservationist Sean McCormack investigates how flea treatments are poisoning our rivers, threatening the entire food web. While pollution from sewage, industry, and farming is putting huge pressure on our wildlife, new research has found two particularly deadly types of pesticide in almost every watercourse in the country, with the only major source our homes, and the chemicals we use on our beloved pets.

Atlantic Puffins

As Atlantic Puffins decline across Europe, there are colonies bucking the trend. We’ll head to Skomer, to discover why this puffin breeding ground is thriving, and learn how it could help others across the UK. We’ll also gets in the water with the puffins to learn what sociable birds they are.

Welsh Waters

Just off the Llyn peninsula in Wales, the sea bed hides danger at every turn. From cunning Giant Weavers, to Jostling Crabs, and a critically endangered Angel Shark, every mound of shifting sand can hide a hungry mouth. We spend a day in this fascinating and often hidden environment, as we follow an unassuming goby fish navigating its hostile world.

Badgers

Malcolm Ingham has been capturing footage of his local badger clans for over 10 years. Sharing his footage online he has helped to spread awareness for and show people what badgers are really like.

Malcolm has witnessed great badger interactions with otters and sheep and has the invaluable window into the secretive life of a badger family.

Death and Decay

Spring is best known for new life... but all growth is matched with decay. A squirrel has taken its last breath but its story is far from finished. As a newfound oasis, it provides as a nursery, a food source and a breeding ground for an eclectic collection of species.

Natterjack Toads

In the sandy, treeless heaths of Southern England, mires and pools form part of the landscape as a rare green-eyed amphibian ventures out of his winter burrow. Having not been seen in these parts for the last 50 years, the Natterjack toad is a welcome sight. The loudest amphibian in Europe, his chirrup fills the air once again, as he works hard to attract a mate. The full moon adds the final romantic touch. But will the tapdoles find enough food before the pools dry out once again?

Red Throated Divers

At first glance this northerly most land mass within the UK appears deserted. But then, a haunting call ricochets across the loch heralding the arrival of the Red Throated Diver. Only coming ashore in Spring to find a mate, they put on an impressive display, mirroring each other’s moves with mesmeric synchronicity. Dressed to impress, it’s not long before they have chicks in tow. But these chicks need feeding, and often, leaving them precariously vulnerable to scavenging Skuas and hungry hooded crows…

Marsh Fritillery

In the chalk grasslands of North Dorset, one butterfly caterpillar is emerging from a long hibernation. The Marsh Fritillary. But the early Spring weather has been unkind as they battle to feed and absorb enough energy from the sun. When their ‘outer jacket’ cannot expand anymore it simply has to come off, which leaves them vulnerable and struggling to settle into their new skin. They need to go through this six times before pupation and their miraculous metamorphosis into a butterfly can begin. But with so many precarious stages to get through, can they last the distance?

Roy Dennis

Chris Packham travels to Scotland to shine a light on one of his childhood heroes, legendary conservationist, Roy Dennis. A specialist in raptor reintroductions and a passionate advocate for bringing back extinct species to the British Isles, Roy takes Chris on a journey through time as they explore all he has done to help reintroduce White Tailed Eagles, Red Kites and Osprey to the UK. Starting at Roy's home in Moray and finishing at RSPB Loch Garten – the site of Roy’s very first Osprey sighting – this is a fitting and emotional celebration of a man who has dedicated his entire life to protecting our wildlife.

Louis VI

Louis VI - zoologist, musician, and rapper - combines his passions as he speaks up, and speaks out, for nature... He travels to the edges of Eryri in Wales, to a temperate rainforest, one of the rarest and most biodiverse habitats in the UK. Joined by renowned Springwatch soundman Gary Moore, together they record the sounds of species whose voices we are at risk of losing altogether from our natural soundscape. Louis’ aim – to put a mic to mother nature and shine a light on her song, before using the sounds he records back in his studio to make a song of his own.

Capercaillie

We’ll be in the Highlands to meet PHD Researcher Jack Bamber who has dedicated the last four years to preventing Capercaillie numbers from falling whilst simultaneously leaving their biggest nest predator, the protected Pine Marten, importantly unharmed. Jack shows us his new revolutionary strategy to divert the Pine Martens which has had a miraculous 83% success rate. In the early 1990s it was said the Capercaillie would be extinct by 2010, but with Jack and his team’s help, their future may be safeguarded for a lot longer…

Pseudoscorpion

The humble compost heap. A place for our discarded waste, but for a pseudoscorpion it’s a putrid paradise and spring is the season to search for a mate. Danger lurks amongst last night’s leftovers as predators prowl but this amorous arachnid has a crafty claw to get out of harm’s way.

Matt Maran

Award winning photographer Matt Maran has made it his mission to uncover and document the lives of London’s urban foxes. Building a close relationship with these candid canines, he uses his work to characterise them and change people’s opinions of the polarising, but fantastic, fox.

Lira Valencia

Influencer. Londoner. Naturalist. We delve into the life of Lira Valencia as she delights in the wildlife of Walthamstow Wetlands. Her passion for engaging people with species that can be found on urban streets is clear as she takes a trip to heron island to ring the newly hatched chicks.

Fox Tales

There is none so adaptable as the urban fox and an allotment in north London provides the perfect place for these individuals. With a life expectancy of only 18 months we see these creatures contend with the obstacles that city living presents, and their ingenuity as they survive amidst the traffic and townhouses.

Roxy the Zoologist

For social media sensation Roxy Furman, documenting wildlife has always been second nature… Now she’s keen to share her passion with the lady who inspired her love of the natural world in the first place. Her nana Ruth. She wants to give her a glimpse into her world, and share a rare and precious day out together. Suffering from a degenerative genetic disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Ruth uses a wheelchair so Roxy’s chosen College Lakes in Tring for their outing where the hides are accessible and Spring birdlife is abundant.

Sandhoppers

As the sun sets in Scotland, strange creatures emerge on mass. Sandhoppers make their way from shelter to the shingle and seaweed at the high tide line. In magnificent macro detail we follow these invertebrates as they feed providing a crucial service to the shore breaking down detritus, and they in turn provide sustenance for a wealth of seaside species.

Source BBC iPlayer

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

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