thousands of breeding birds making the most of the rapidly evaporating water, following the region's first flood for 25 years.
into the country as winter snaps in their homelands across Arctic Russia and Iceland.
Brett Westwood Visits The Beautiful french Wetland Of La Brenne To See Some Of The Plants And animals that might survive here as the British spring climate warms up.
And he asks whether we are doing enough to help the potential icons of spring in the warmer future.
Grant Sonnex Visits The Big Woods Of Arkansas In The Hope Of Seeing The Biological Rediscovery Of The century - the amazing ivory-billed woodpecker.
Until April this year this magnificent bird was thought to have gone extinct in the 1940s.
But now that it has been found again, what future does it have?
The re-introduction of the Red Kite to parts of England and Scotland where it hasn't been seen for over 150 years, has been hailed as one of the most dramatic conservation success stories of all time. Brett Westwood traces the history of the Red Kite in the British Isles and how our attitudes to it have mirrored its changing fortunes.
|100 Years Of Country Diaries||20070212|
The daily Country Diary in the Guardian newspaper has now passed its centenary and is the longest running newspaper column in Britain.
So how have these idiosyncratic nature notes survived the changing fashions of publishing, and what do they tell us about the changes to our wildlife through two world wars and a revolution in the structure of the British countryside?
Paul Evans, himself a Country Diarist, investigates.
|A Country Fit For Cranes||20070625||20070626|
Last month a pair of cranes bred in the East Anglian fens, a remarkable event since their chosen habitat was only created seven years ago.
Michael Scott visits Lakenheath Fen to see the birds for himself and talk to the RSPB about the arrival of the cranes and its effect on plans for future wetlands.
|A Hundred Years Of British Birds||20070507||20070508|
Arguably the most influential journal of its genre, British Birds reaches its 100th birthday in June.
With the help of leading ornithologists, Brett Westwood looks back at a history which mirrors the growth of birdwatching in the UK.
He uncovers the scandal of the Hastings Rarities, the first arrival of the Collared Dove, and the unique legacy of observations in the magazine.
|A Raw Deal For Reptiles||20050620||20050621|
Brett Westwood meets an adder lover who knows all her local snakes and asks why Britain's reptiles get such a poor deal when it comes to conservation.
|A Wolf To The North||19981228||19981229|
Heading north into the alaskan interior, Jim Crumley uncovers the bitter controversy surrounding the hunting of wolves inside alaska's most famous nature reserve, Denali National Park.
He is forced to examine his own prejudices over hunting the animals that symbolise all he loves.
While loss of habitat is a significant threat to many plant species, there is a more insidious threat lurking in the undergrowth - an invasion from alien plants.
Presented by Mark Cawardine
|An Uphill Struggle||20060515||20060516|
Paul Evans takes to the hills to find out why our moors and grasslands are under threat and investigates how the tide might be turning in their favour. On the way, he meets Black Grouse at their frosty leks in the North Pennines and sees a Shropshire hillside catch fire in the cause of conservation.
`Antarctic Journey'. Mark Carwardine travels from Tierra del Fuego, through the Drake Passage, to the Earth's southernmost limits to explore the natural mysteries of Antarctica.
Tessa McGregor visits Oman in search of one of the world's rarest wildcats.
Probably only 200 of these beautifully-marked subspecies of the leopard still survive.
Wild cat conservationist Tessa McGregor visits Oman in search of one of the world's rarest felines - the Arabian leopard.
Probably only 200 members of this beautifully marked subspecies of the common leopard still survive, mostly in the arid mountains of south Yemen and Oman where they come into conflict with local people eager to protect their domestic goats.
Braving extreme heat, dust and exertion, Tessa and her colleagues search for leopards in an area which has only recently been opened by roads, and learn much about local attitudes to Arabia's biggest wild cat.
Justin Anderson has to endure biting winds, sub-zero temperatures and frostbite when he goes in search of Arctic Wolves in Canada with a team from the BBC Natural History Unit.
His quest to see these beautiful but elusive white-coated animals in a vast, hostile landscape of snow and ice is far from easy, but his perseverance is rewarded with an unforgettable encounter.
|Babblers And Meerkats||20060619||20060620|
Aubrey Manning unravels the fascinating story of a sociable bird (the babbler) and a sociable mammal (the meerkat) in the Kalahari desert.
|Badgers: To Cull Or Not To Cull?||20060206|
Tuberculosis in cattle is increasing and farms in some areas of Britain are in crisis. Many farmers blame badgers for the spread of the disease. A public consultation now under way could result in a decision by the UK government to resume killing tens of thousands of badgers.
At this crucial time, Grant Sonnex explores the latest science from the UK and abroad and asks whether the evidence supports a further cull.
`Bats'. Mark Cawardine discovers the latest in research on bats and investigates their puzzling swarming behaviour.
|Beyond The Blue Horizon||20011015||20011016|
John Ruthven investigates the blue whale and the vast waters it traverses.
|Big Blue Questions||20020204||20020205|
Mark Cawardine reports on the latest findings about the behaviour of blue whales, whose lives are still shrouded in mystery.
|Birds On The Brink||20030616||20030617|
The Ruddy Duck is an escaped North American bird which is about to be exterminated in the UK for being too successful and hybridising with rare Spanish White-headed Ducks. The Eagle Owl is an escapee now breeding in very small numbers in the wild in Britain, but may never have lived here. The Great Bustard is a species which was wiped out centuries ago, but which British conservationists are planning to bring back. Nature assesses our differing attitudes to three British birds and explores their futures through the eyes of key conservationists.
|Boar On The Loose||20010212||20010213|
Mark Cawardine asks if, with 300 escaped wild boar reported to be running loose in south-east England, we should kill them for our own safety or celebrate them as a successful reintroduction that will help restore the countryside.
|Brett Westwood Talks To Farmers, Conservationists And Countryside Minister Elliot Morley About Farm||20000515||20000516|
subsidies which work neither for the farmer nor for the environment and wildlife. They look for a solution, and ask if high levels of food production incompatible with a countryside rich in wildlife.
|Bringing Back The Beaver||20020128||20020129|
Mark Cawardine explores the issues involved in reintroducing beavers to Scotland and finds out how their powers of landscaping are being harnessed.
With a comprehensive study of butterflies in Britain and Ireland recently completed, Mark Carwardine investigates the issues and threats facing these most fragile and beautiful of insects.
Pine woodland once covered vast areas of Scotland but is now reduced to isolated pockets. Plans are afoot to expand these, creating a wonderful habitat for the endangered capercaillie. But not everyone is happy to see trees expanding over heather moor, an important habitat in itself and economically important for grouse shooting. Another problem is that deer will have to be heavily culled to allow young trees to grow. Brett Westwood investigates.
Mark Cawardine visits Swansea Bay to question our desire for immaculate, seaweed-free beaches and crystal-clean seas when wildlife shuns them as sterile deserts.
Sea levels are predicted to rise by as much as 1.2m by the end of the century and this will radically transform the look of our low lying coastlines. Plans are already being put in place to help that change and this is bringing benefits for wildlife - but also conflict with locals.
Nature goes to Humberside to discover the start of a 100-year plan to change this magnificent estuary.
It's probably the most familiar fish on the British menu, but how much do we really know about the cod?
Grant Sonnex meets the fish behind the finger and finds out what we need to do to conserve this threatened species. He finds how other countries have addressed the problem of dwindling stocks, meets the fishermen who depend on cod, and asks whether we are prepared to take the necessary steps to sustain this iconic fish.
|Currents Of Change||19990301||19990302|
`Currents of Change'. From malaria in Africa to predictions of a globally warmed future, Howard Stableford uncovers the massive impact of ocean currents such as El Nino and now La Nina on the natural history of the world.
`Dartmoor Ponies'. Auctioneers, welfare officers and the owners of the wild Dartmoor ponies explain to Mark Cawardine their proposals for safeguarding the ponies' future.
|Desert Rhinos Of Namibia||20010108||20010109|
Mark Cawardine joins experts from the Save the Rhino Trust in the remote deserts of north-western Namibia, as they track the critically endangered animals on foot. He comes face to face with Diana, Don't Worry, Speedy and some of the other wild rhinos that have been studied for 20 years, and examines their prospects for the future.
|Dr Gillian Rice Investigates How Strong A Drug Caffeine Is.||19990222||19990223|
|Empathy And Ivory||20030224||20030225|
As the pressure to resume the ivory trade increases, so does the poaching of elephants.
Mark Carwardine considers the uncertain future of the African elephant.
|Exploring The World Of The Tawny Owl.||20001009||20001010|
|Field Skills In The South African Bush||20010129||20010130|
Mark Cawardine travels into the wilds of South Africa to learn how to be a game warden.
He handles venomous snakes, is bitten by an irate termite, skins an impala, spends a sleepless night in a dung hut, tracks animals by their footprints and learns how to identify savanna birds by their calls.
|Flagships Or Follies?||20030630||20030701|
Pandas and tiger are icons of conservation.
They are large, charismatic animals that attract money, but do they also draw attention away from less sexy but equally important species? Or are they ambassadors for the rest of their ecosystem? Paul Evans examines the use of 'flagship' species in conservation, and discovers how saving the Ethiopian wolf could help its poverty-stricken country.
|Foot And Mouth And Wildlife||20010423||20010424|
With the British countryside in turmoil, Mark Cawardine looks at the consequences of the foot and mouth outbreak for wildlife and the questions it raises about the management of wildlife in the countryside.
|Freedom To Wander||20010604||20010605|
Mark Cawardine investigates how access to wildlife-sensitive areas can best be managed to provide both public access and wildlife protection, and examines the impact on wildlife of the access restrictions imposed following the foot-and-mouth outbreak.
|Frogs And Toads||20060313|
Brett Westwood hears the success story of garden ponds that have turned the fate of the nation's frogs around.
But he also learns about the latest fears for frogs and toads as a new amphibian disease threatens to sweep the country.
`Giant Squid'. A giant squid was recently caught in British waters and sent to National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. Mark Cawardine goes to take a look.
Paul Evans asks why the system of legal protection for all species of British birds of prey appears not to be working.
|Great Apes And The Future Of Conservation||20010827||20010828|
`Great Apes and the Future of Conservation'. Mark Cawardine asks whether it is time for a complete re-evaluation of the aims and methods of wildlife conservation given our failure to protect even such high-profile species as the great apes.
|Gulls And Galls||20030601||20030603|
In early June, the noise from the ever-increasing numbers of urban gulls is heard in most of our larger cities. Up on the rooftops, young gull chicks are being ringed to help find out more about the growth and movement of gull colonies as these inner city residents are now being viewed as a significant pest. Conversely, many hundreds of miles away off the coast of California, a recent decline on a heavily populated gull island was causing concern for local scientists. Lionel Kelleway investigates the reasons behind the rise and fall of these different populations. Meanwhile, out in the countryside, galls have been forming on many trees and shrubs since the spring, Stuart Blackman goes on a hunt for galls with a gall wasp scientist to learn about the complex relationship between a gall wasp and its chosen host.
|Gulls And Galls||20030602||20030603|
In early June, the noise from the ever-increasing numbers of urban gulls is heard in most of our larger cities.
Up on the rooftops, young gull chicks are being ringed to help find out more about the growth and movement of gull colonies as these inner city residents are now being viewed as a significant pest.
Conversely, many hundreds of miles away off the coast of California, a recent decline on a heavily populated gull island was causing concern for local scientists.
Lionel Kelleway investigates the reasons behind the rise and fall of these different populations.
Meanwhile, out in the countryside, galls have been forming on many trees and shrubs since the spring, Stuart Blackman goes on a hunt for galls with a gall wasp scientist to learn about the complex relationship between a gall wasp and its chosen host.
Julian Hector discovers that the common seal is considerably more interesting than its name might suggest.
Mark Cawardine assesses the future of heathland in Britain and discovers why conserving and recreating this dwindling landscape is fraught with challenges.
As our most familiar British bird goes into steep decline, Mark Carwardine turns sleuth and investigates the reasons for the mysterious fall of the house of sparrow.
|How Animals Dive||20000529||20000530|
`How Animals Dive'. Standing on an ice flow above 3,000 feet of water, Julian Hector discovers how a hooded seal can dive to the bottom without holding its breath.
|How Does Your Garden Grow?||20030526||20030527|
Nature takes up residence in a wildlife-rich country garden in Wiltshire which has been wired for sound by recordist Chris Watson in order to eavesdrop on the garden's residents as they go about their daily business. Presenter Lionel Kelleway will be digging deeper beyond the sights and sounds to find out about the silent rhythms, signals and cues at work in the garden which are dictating when the birds sing, the bees buzz and the plants grow.
|In Search Of 'classic'||20060612||20060613|
Aubrey Manning enjoys an intriguing journey with a husband and wife team of elephant researchers deep in the South African veldt. 'Classic' is a gargantuan bull who seems to be able to disappear into the thicket.
|Industrial-size Mouth With Fins.||20000626||20000627|
Every summer the Irish Sea is home to a remnant population of 30-foot gentle giants that have always been shrouded in mystery. Bracing the elements, Mark Carwardine goes in search of Britain's very own `industrial-size mouth with fins.'.
Howard Stableford and leading scientists probe intriguing mysteries. Did birds evolve from dinosaurs? Do meteorites hold vital secrets? Does Antarctica conceal the origins of life on Earth?
`Ageing and Death'. Howard Stableford and guests explore the science behind death and ageing in the natural world. / Howard Stableford and guests explore the science behind death and ageing in the natural world.
|Ivory-bill In The Big Woods||20050712|
Grant Sonnex visits the Big Woods of Arkansas in the hope of seeing the biological rediscovery of the century: the amazing ivory-billed woodpecker.
Until April this year this magnificent bird was thought to have become extinct in the 1940s.
But now that it has been found again, what future does it have?
|Keeping Warm In The Arctic||20000522||20000523|
`Keeping Warm in the Arctic'. Julian Hector discovers why an Arctic fox only begins to feel cold below minus 50 degrees Celsius.
|Life In The Trenches||20071029||20071030|
Julian Partridge and Ron Douglas join a team of international scientists on an expedition to explore the trenches which lie thousands of metres below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. They discover a host of weird and wonderful creatures which have evolved to cope with the harshest conditions on the planet.
|Living In The Woods||20020225||20020226|
Conservationists argue for strong planning laws to protect British woodlands. But others want the laws liberalised to create a managed environment.
|Mark Carwardine Encounters The Elusive, Spectacular Golden Eagle When He Braves The Sea Cliffs Of Th||20000703||20000704|
e Isle of Skye in the company of dedicated eagle watchers.
|Mark Carwardine Explores The Importance Pf Britain's Coasts And Island Cliffs To The Many Sea||20000612||20000613|
-bird species that come here to breed every year. He visits one of the noisiest and most densely populated sea-bird colonies in Europe - that of the unusual-looking, blond, blue-eyed gannet on Bass Rock - and learns about the threats to such communities.
|Mark Carwardine Explores The Trials And Tribulations Of The Members Of The Animal Kingdom Who Live W||20000605||20000606|
ith thousands of close relatives.
|Mark Carwardine Tracks Down The Wild And Domesticated Grazing Animals That Have Shaped The Landscape||20000619||20000620|
of the British countryside and discovers how they are being used to conserve a huge number of plants and animals, from the cowslip to the wart-biter cricket.
|Mark Cawardine Finds Out How The Principles Of Evolution Are Being Applied, Through Computers, To So||20010514||20010515|
lve problems. He also discovers how the foraging patterns of ants are being used to develop better communication systems, how lobsters are helping in the design of telescopes, and what a snowflake sounds like when it grows.
|Mark Cawardine Looks At Diseases That Occur Naturally In British Wild Animals And Assesses Th||20010430||20010501|
e risk that they pose.
|Mark Cawardine Looks At The Capercaillie, Britain's Largest Grouse. Deer Fences And A Wet Cli||20010507||20010508|
mate are affecting its survival, but powerful conservation measures are being put in place to protect this magnificent bird.
|Mark Cawardine Spends A Day In The Masai Mara National Reserve In Kenya, 1,500km Of Land Made||20001023||20001024|
up of many different habitats and rich in wildlife.
|Mary Colwell Investigates Hornet Juice, A Performance-enhancing Fizzy Drink Used By Japanese Long-di||20001016||20001017|
stance athletes, which contains a solution fed to the enslaved parents by giant Japanese hornet maggots.
|Migration: Finding The Way||20031105|
Exploring one of the greatest mysteries of animal migration, that of navigation and orientation. How do the birds find their way? What do migratory swans know and what don't they know? Brett joined a team from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, some Russian naturalists and world bird migration and bird flight expert Colin Pennycuick on the Russian Tundra. "Our" swans are 5 Bewicks and 1 Whooper Swan. The team found these birds on the vast open wilderness of the Russian Arctic and placed satellite transmitters on their back. We can follow the extact journey these swans make as they migrate to their wintering grounds (Bewicks to the UK, the Whooper's destination is a mystery). The programme will broadcast many interviews and actuality recorded in the Arctic, together with exciting interaction between Brett, Colin Pennycuick and the BBC weather team. The weather team will be tracking weather across their chosen route specially on our behalf. It will become clear that swans know exactly where they are and where they want to go, but they only live in the here and now. They have no weather forecasting ability and therefore no sense of the dangers ahead. There will be an as live up date of the swans whereabouts during the last few minutes of the programme.
Garden Tigers, Old Ladies, Angle Shades and Common Footmen could be living in your garden, but for how much longer? Grant Sonnex explores the romance and reality of moths.
Mark Carwardine introduces intimate observations of mountain gorillas in the cloud forests of Rwanda by wildlife camera man Martyn Colbeck and primatologist Ian Redmond. Isolated by agriculture and human development, the survival of this gorilla population remains in the balance.
|Paws For Reflection||20030623||20030624|
Paul Evans explores the social lives of domestic cats and examines the hard evidence for their predation on native mammals, birds and reptiles.
|Peregrines In The City||20050516||20050517|
The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world and a supreme aerial hunter.
Brett Westwood joins the nature detectives and follows a trail of clues to discover why cities are proving to be such a magnet for these magnificent creatures which have traditionally been associated with rugged sea cliffs, open landscapes and quarries.
Paul Evans investigates the world of phoenix trees, plants which could potentially live forever. Instead of growing old and dying, trees of many species are capable of re-inventing themselves by re-growing from slivers of bark, rooting down into their own rotting trunks or even growing from branch tips and walking across the landscape over thousands of years. Paul meets the scientists studying these trees and the remarkable partnership they have with fungi.
Prior to the start of Planet Earth on BBC1, Paul Evans goes behind the scenes and hears from some of the team about their experiences in making this epic natural history series.
There were unforgettable close encounters with polar bears and snow leopards, terrifying helicopter descents and journeys through poisonous gas-filled caves.
While the TV series promises to be a breathtaking and awe-inspiring look at the planet; the stories behind the camera are just as remarkable.
`Primates.' Zoologist Charlotte Uhlenbrook travels around the world, from Equatorial Guinea to Madagascar, in search of some of our closest relatives. She encounters potato-washing macaques and chimps running their own pharmacies.
|Prof Jacquie Mcglade Investigates The Future Of Our Inland Waterways. With The Likelihood That Canal||20010528||20010529|
s will become, once more, routes for freight movement, will too much pressure be placed on our waterways and wildlife?
`Racoons'. Huw Cordey investigates the reasons for the rapid increase in North America's racoon population and finds out about alternative methods of control.
Brett Westwood looks at current initiatives to restore the wildlife of Spring to its former glory - Nightingales, skylarks, bumble bees, bluebells and woodland flowers.
Paul Evans investigates a growing trend in British conservation, the idea of creating huge nature reserves to maintain biodiversity.
|Rooks And Crows: lionel Kelleway Joins A Rookery As Its Noisy Inhabitants Return To Start Reb||20030217||20030218|
uilding their nests, and observes the colony's social organisation at close quarters.
`Sea Cows'. Mark Carwardine comes face to face with the Florida manatees as bones of their ancient ancestors are being dug up in Jamaica, linking these extraordinary creature to the great whales.
Mark Cawardine follows an ecological detective story, which reveals the history of sea otters, sea cows and giant reefs of oysters in our coastal seas.
have lived alongside us for as long as we have walked on the earth. Most of us just think of them as garden pests but Nature puts snails in a new light.
They are pioneers in medical research, indicators of environmental change and wonderful food for both pigs and humans. The voracious pest in the garden is a Roman introduction, along with the increasingly rare true Roman snails still so loved by gourmets today.
In the final week of the BBC's Springwatch event, Brett Westwood hosts a live programme to answer listeners' questions about the featured wildlife.
|Spring Songbird Special||20070604||20070605|
As part of the BBC's Springwatch event, Grant Sonnex presents the programme from the RSPB's reserve at Minsmere in Suffolk. Among the reed beds and woodlands, he revels in the voices of some of Britain's finest songbirds and hears about the lives that they lead before their chorus fills the spring air.
As part of the BBC Natural History Unit's celebration of Spring on Radio and TV, Brett Westwood is joined by Richard Mabey for a Dawn Chorus in the Selborne garden of famous 18th-century naturalist Gilbert White, where they explore the history of Springs past through archive sound recordings, literature and archaeology.
A look at the starling, uncovering some surprising secrets of a bird once considered common but now in serious decline.
Mark Cawardine finds out more about the albatross. People once thought that they slept in the air, flying with just one wing at a time, but its real biology is only just being revealed and is even more astonishing.
|The Animal Image||20060213|
Paul Evans explores the power and meaning of the animal image over 13,000 years.
What do the creators of the latest wildlife blockbuster series on television have in common with the ancient artists who gave such prominence to animal images on their cave walls?
|The Answer's In The Soil||20070618||20070619|
Paul Evans delves into the fascinating world of the soil and discovers its importance to the quality of our future environment.
There are an estimated 15 million species of soil organism, all interacting to form complex communities which affect the plants that grow in them and every living thing that depends in turn upon these plants.
|The Australian Night||20011231||20020101|
`The Australian Night'. Chris Watson explores the nightlife of Australia, joining over a quarter of a million fruit bats as they prepare for their nightly feeding frenzy.
|The Beetles: Here, There And Everywhere||20070521||20070522|
Paul Evans explains his life-long fascination with beetles, from humble ladybirds to the swashbuckling diving beetles. He celebrates the myriad world of these extraordinary creatures including the slug-hunting blue ground beetle, the short-necked oil beetles whose larvae hitch rides on bees back to their nest, and an obscure Asian beetle from whom scientists are learning how to produce ultra-thin materials.
|The Cane Toad - A Pest In Paradise||20010903||20010904|
Emma Rigney looks at the latest research into combatting the proliferation of cane toads, which were introduced to Queensland in 1935 to be predatory on another pest but are now advancing across the Northern Territory.
`The Curlew'. Mark Cawardine watches curlews feeding on the Severn Estuary, in the company of wader specialist Peter Ferns.
|The Deep Ocean Frontier||20011008||20011009|
`The Deep Ocean Frontier'. John Ruthven goes to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on a mini submersible to give an eyewitness account of the features of the sea floor.
New evidence suggests that the much-loved dolphin is an aggressive bully. Mark Carwardine goes in search of the true character of the creature with the painted smile.
|The Engabreen Glacier||20060529||20060530|
Paul Evans makes a remarkable journey into a sub-glacial world where his Norwegian hosts have built a laboratory - a place where the glacier is the floor, walls and ceiling of one of the weirdest research facilities in the world.
Paul discovers to his great surprise that life triumphs even here in the deep dark reaches of a glacier's belly, where it's cold, wet, dirty and extreme in every sense of the word.
|The Extinction Of Experience||20071008||20071009|
Although there are more books and programmes about wildlife than ever before, there is much evidence to suggest that we are all becoming less connected with the natural world.
Paul Evans examines the many reasons for this state of affairs and asks what we can do to combat what has been described as nature deficit disorder.
|The Fish Business||20010917||20010918|
Julian Hector investigates the sustainability of the largely unregulated trade in exotic freshwater fish caught in the wild to supply the aquarium market.
|The Hound Of Spring||19990322||19990323|
`The Hound of Spring'.
Nick Baker visits Cornwall to salute the arrival of spring and to find out whether the season is getting earlier each year.
There is also a chance to help with the forthcoming series of `Springwatch'.
|The Ingredients Of The Garden||19990208||19990209|
A look at the recipe for a good garden - the key ingredient being the understanding of its ecology.
|The Island Laboratory||19990315||19990316|
`The Island Laboratory'. Isolated from the mainland, offshore islands are both breeding grounds for unique species and laboratories of extravagant evolution. But these islands are also fragile havens, vulnerable to human exploitation leading to mass destruction and extinction.
|The Jurassic Coast||20020211||20020212|
`The Jurassic Coast'. Mark Cawardine visits the fossil-rich coast of West Dorset.
|The Lark Ascending||20060605||20060606|
The skylark has been celebrated by poets and musicians for centuries, but this rural icon is in trouble. Skylark populations across the United Kingdom have crashed over the last 30 years and their fabulous song is heard much less nowadays as a result of changes in the way we farm. But the skylark may now be on the point of recovery thanks to painstaking research and new agricultural payments which could see one of our most familiar birds back in its rightful place at 'Heaven's Gate'.
Brett Westwood explores the ups and downs of Shelley's famous 'Blithe Spirit'.
|The Nightingale Man||20030512||20030513|
Lionel Kelleway pays tribute to broadcaster and ornithologist, Chris Mead who worked tirelessly for the British Trust for Ornithology for over forty years.
Chris Mead was a big man, both in stature and personality.
He was enthusiastic about the natural world, and about communicating this world to those around him.
Chris's knowledge of birds was encyclopedic, he was also a brilliant communicator.
The voice of the British Trust for Ornithology, he worked tirelessly within the ringing unit, as an ambassador and latterly as the press consultant.
With contributions from colleagues, Dilys Breese, who worked with Chris and produced so many of the early editions of Living World and Wildlife and Jim Flegg, former director of the BTO and a great friend.
Lionel Kelleway also joins Rob Fuller from the BTO as he goes in search of a dusk chorus by the nightingale, and talks about the results of the Nightingale Survey, pioneered by Chris Mead, and launched by Dame Vera Lynn in 1998, and the subsequent work to manage habitats for the nightingale and secure its future in this country.
|The Only Great Ape In Asia||20071022||20071023|
Orang-utans survive in the rapidly disappearing tropical rainforests of Borneo and northern Sumatra, seriously endangered in much of their range. Patrick Morris and Barrie Britton revisit a colony in Sumatra first filmed by Barrie over 10 years ago.
As the film crew trek through the rainforest, they discover the extraordinary relationship between mothers and their offspring as they teach their young about life in the trees.
|The Plum Prospects For Orchard Conservation||20070430||20070501|
Traditional orchards in England, which have steadily declined in the last 50 years, are now being proposed as a priority habitat under the review of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Brett Westwood explores the importance of old orchards for wildlife and finds out what new conservation measures would mean.
|The Rarity Factor||20060703||20060704|
Paul Evans searches the mud of a Buckinghamshire pond for a botanical jewel on the brink of extinction and asks why we care so much about rare wildlife.
How do animals and plants become rare and when they do, why do we ascribe value to them? How has a preoccupation with the rare and beautiful affected conservation and who says rare things are more important than the commonplace? Paul's visit to some exquisitely rare plants and animals is followed up with a discussion between some pretty rare individuals who know a thing or two about the subject.
The Rarity Factor
Lionel Kelleway joins David Harper at Dartington Hall in Devon to celebrate a popular Christmas character and one of our best loved garden visitors, the robin.
|The Soft Estate||20050627||20050628|
is the name given by the Highways Agency to the thousands of hectares of roadside verges that edge the motorways and trunk roads in ENGLAND.
Passing them at speed, the average motorist might not realise how important these strips of land are for wildlife.
Relatively undisturbed, they are proving to be vital corridors and refuges for many rare species.
Brett Westwood explores what makes up these significant habitats and finds out whether the organisations responsible for their maintenance are able to manage them for the benefit of wildlife whilst taking into account road construction and safety.
|The Sounds Of Britain: An Urban Dawn Chorus||20070924|
Paul Evans tells the story of how the dawn chorus in a Liverpool park was recorded and then released into a children's hospital for the benefit of the patients.
|The Sounds Of Britain: Islay||20070917||20070918|
Writer and naturalist Paul Evans and wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson capture the atmosphere and spirit of the Hebridean island of Islay, famous for its whisky and wildlife. They encounter chattering choughs on the sand dunes, drumming snipe, corncrake, curlew, lapwing, and barn owls, and find the time to visit to a Victorian distillery.
The Sounds of Britain: Islay
|The Sounds Of Britain: The Wrekin Forest||20071001||20071002|
Paul Evans reveals the mysteries and atmosphere of the shaggy woodland slopes of Shropshire. Dominated by the whaleback ridge of the Wrekin and Ercall hills, the former medieval hunting ground now borders on the urban fringe of Telford, forming an important link between town and countryside.
|The Sounds Of Britain: Wicken Fen||20070910||20070911|
Paul Evans and wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson capture the atmosphere and spirit of Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, Britain's oldest nature reserve, on a single day in May.
|The Spring Blog||20070528||20070529|
A colourful and delightful diary of spring created by Paul Evans and the Nature audience on the programme's blog to coincide with Springwatch on BBC2.
An insight into the natural life of the swamp.
|The Upside Down Tree||20020107||20020108|
Brian Leith finds out about the extraordinary African baobab tree, which can live more than 3,000 years and can be used as a water tank and even a prison.
Julian Hector examines ducks away from the village pond - from life in the desert to the struggle to survive on Arctic ice floes.
Chris Watson travels to Queensland where he joins Karen Coombes in her search for an amazing group of animals: tree kangaroos. It's bizarre but true, kangaroos that lives in trees.
|Trees And Risk||20070305||20070306|
Paul Evans assesses the future of our urban trees. As climate change threatens stronger winds and wetter weather, and housing in our towns and cities becomes ever denser, is our fear of trees and the risks they pose putting the Victorian legacy of the urban forest in jeopardy?
|Turtles In Trouble||20011001||20011002|
Mark Cawardine investigates the responsibility that the UK bears in protecting marine turtles from exploitation on their tropical breeding beaches.
Hedgehogs are one of the nation's favourite animals but, on the Scottish island of Uil, they are getting out of hand.
Four hedgehogs were introduced to the island in the 1970s to control garden slugs, now there are an estimated five thousand and the population is growing.
Scottish Natural Heritage say that a cull is necessary because the hedgehogs are eating the eggs of endangered wading birds such as the lapwing, dunlin and ringed plover.
Are the hedgehogs really such a problem? Why are they being killed instead of relocated? Lionel Kelleway investigates.
|Unearthing Buried Rivers||20070514||20070515|
Paul Evans reports on the rebirth of the urban waterway.
For centuries, we have covered up our city streams and built over the top.
But now the buried rivers are being brought back to life as the realisation dawns that natural water flowing through our cities can reduce flooding and pollution as well as creating a better environment for people and animals to live.
Mark Carwardine examines the phenomenon of the urban deer, as the deer population continues to increase.
Wild boar, eagle owls and ruddy duck - they've all escaped into our countryside. Some are welcomed by conservationists, others are shot and some are the focus of heated debate.
So what should we do with our wild escapees? Brett Westwood investigates.
Mark Cawardine undertakes an atmospheric sound journey around Britain, exploring the nature of wind and its interaction with the natural world, from the dispersal of pollen grains and seeds on a gentle breeze, to the uprooting of trees by howling gales.
|Wind Energy At What Cost?||20070319|
A controversial wind farm on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis has split the local community, despite winning the approval of the Council for the Western Isles. Conservation groups including the RSPB are concerned that the 181 proposed turbines and their associated infrastructure will harm populations of rare breeding birds and damage peatland habitats. But with renewable energy at a premium and a welcome injection of jobs for the island, the scheme is an attractive economic proposition. Brett Westwood explores the difficult decisions to be made in shaping the future of Lewis's landscape and prosperity.
|Winter Bird Flocks||20010205||20010206|
Mark Cawardine explores why birds flock with others of their kind.
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson rigs up microphones in a reed bed near the River Severn and then waits for dusk to arrive.
He gears up for one of winter's most dramatic wildlife spectacles - as thousands of starlings gather in the air, morphing into the strangest shapes before diving into the reeds, and flying from one area to another, calling and squabbling over the best sites to roost for the night.
Mark Carwardine joins a research crew off the coast of Iceland and finds out why zooplankton are a crucial indicator of global warming and declining fish stocks.
|01||The Superlative Bird||20020527||20020528|
`The Superlative Bird'. Mark Carwardine studies the remarkable hummingbird - its heart rate is over 1,000 beats per minute and it drinks half its own weight in nectar every day.
`Big Snakes'. Mark Carwardine asks whether boa constrictors and pythons can make suitable pets.
`Orchid Resurrection'. Mark Carwardine investigates the reappearance of the Lady's Slipper orchid, once almost extinct in Britain but now returning with conservationists' help.
|04||In The Moray Firth, Mark Carwardine Watches The Only Resident Population Of Bottlenose Dolphins In T||20020617||20020618|
he North Sea.
|05||Mark Carwardine And Expert Nick Davies Explore The Life Of The Cuckoo, Drawing On Decades Of Researc||20020624||20020625|
h carried out at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire.
|02||01||The Vogelkop Bowerbird||20090421||20090422|
Wildlife film director Stephen Lyle is joined by cameraman Barrie Britton to recall their close encounter with two birds that revealed the sculpting of ornate structures and singing of songs beyond the vocal range of human beings in the courtship performance of the male vogelkop bowerbird. Making sense of the biology is Dr Joah Madden of Exeter University, who has spent the last ten years studying this sexual display.
A close encounter with two birds that revealed an exquisite courtship performance.
|02||02||Access For All?||20090428||20090429|
Paul Evans visits Dorset to find out why heathland birds don't welcome hordes of visitors.
Some wildlife organisations advocate the importance of 're-connecting' with the natural world, which means encouraging people onto nature reserves and other places rich in wildlife to experience it first hand. But whether people go as naturalists, horse-riders, dog-walkers or mountain-bikers, they all have an impact on the places they visit.
Paul tramps the heaths to find out why nightjars and woodlarks are averse to hordes of visitors.
|02||03||The Future Of The Amazon||20090505||20090506|
Paul Evans investigates the Amazon, the biggest area of rainforest left on Earth.
|02||04||Anuta - An Island Governed By Love||20090512||20090513|
Situated in the South Pacific, Anuta is home to 300 people, which based on the size of the island is a population density to rival Bangladesh.
It is a place where people follow a traditional way of life that goes back hundreds of years. The nearest school is hundreds of miles away and there is no clinic. Few people earn money, but they don't need it. Everything they need they grow or harvest themselves, and have sustained their resources across the generations.
Reporter Huw Cordey visited Anuta to record part of a BBC television series, South Pacific. In this programme he meets the islanders and their chief, and hears about their lives. He fishes, catches birds and lives with them, discovering that all Anutans live by the principle of 'Arofa', or love.
He also finds out how modern life is catching up with the Anutans, and why not everyone there is happy with the island idyll where tradition is all and individualism is nothing.
Brett Westwood asks leading conservationists whether we are being consistent in our approach to non-native plants and animals.
We cull ruddy ducks and uproot Himalayan balsam, but we also enjoy watching little owls and hares in the countryside.
None of these species is native to the United Kingdom, but the way in which we think of and deal with them can appear contrary and illogical.
|02||06||Decline In Migrants||20090526||20090527|
Brett Westwood searches for the reasons behind the declining numbers of many of our migrant songbirds - including the cuckoo, turtle dove and spotted flycatcher - and where the birds are most vulnerable.
Speaking to researchers from the RSPB and British Trust for Ornithology, he explores the dual world of our migrants, like the pied flycatcher which spends its summers in the lush oak woods in the British Isles but winters in west African savannah woods. For some species, such as the cuckoo which evolved in Africa, northern Europe is a treasure trove of habitats and food supplies to be exploited, and many of our successful migrants are birds which originated in Africa but then moved north to cooler areas to breed.
Do the reasons for them now being under threat lie here in the UK or south of the Sahara in their winter homes, and will they be able to evolve new wintering or summering areas to compensate for losses?
|02||07||Seabirds - Canaries On The Cliffs||20090602||20090603|
Chris Sperring explores declining seabird numbers and asks if it represents a crisis or just a blip.
Visit any windy, spray laden seabird colony in the spring and early summer and every sense is fired by the sound, sight and smell of thousands upon thousand of birds flying to and fro with fish to feed their young that are perched precariously on every ledge.
Or that is how it should be. In many seabird colonies it is now much quieter and many traditional nesting ledges are empty. Seabird ecologists are increasingly concerned about how many species are fledging young, and in some areas none are successful in raising chicks at all.
These worrying signs are increased by looking at the number of birds that are washed up dead on beaches during the winter months. Once the seabirds have left the cliffs in the summer they spend the rest of the year out at sea. But many are now succumbing to starvation and end up washed ashore. There are definitely signs that the North Sea is changing and that seabirds are finding it harder to cope.
Chris Sperring explores declining seabird numbers and asks if it represents a crisis.
|02||08 LAST||Pollination * *||20090609||20090610|
Paul Evans asks if enough is being done to conserve honeybees, their habitats and the flowers which provide them with pollen and nectar.
The modern threats to honeybees, which include varroa mites and colony collapse disorder, are being widely publicised. But the honeybee in the UK is just a single species - there are over 260 species of solitary bees and bumblebees in the British Isles, all of which perform a free and efficient pollination service.
Paul Evans asks if enough is being done to conserve honeybees.
Brett Westwood encounters the large blue butterfly on the Somerset Downs, which was reintroduced 25 years ago after being declared extinct in 1979. It has become established there with the help of scientists who have unravelled its bizarre, carnivorous life cycle. The large blue's caterpillar spends most of its life in the nests of ants who milk it for its sweet honeydew, but as Brett discovers, the ants get more than they bargained for.
Brett Westwood encounters the large blue butterfly on the Somerset Downs.
Brett Westwood investigates the potential for restoring large areas of heathland that could be unlocked by the thinning of Forestry Commission woodlands.
Made famous by Thomas Hardy and purple with heather in late summer, lowland heaths are some of the UK's rarest habitats and are home to some of our most specialised wildlife including sand lizards, insectivorous plants and the strange nightjar. They have steadily declined over the last century, but a new open habitats consultation could spell the restoration of large tracts of heathland from Forestry Commission woodland.
Brett talks to foresters and conservationists about the possibilities that opening up our woods present for people and for wildlife.
Brett Westwood investigates the potential for restoring large areas of heathland.
|03||03||The Sea Of Cortez||20090901||20090902|
off the coast of Mexico, is a whale and dolphin hotspot where the widest variety of cetaceans on earth can be found in one place. Along with close encounters with whales, Tessa McGregor also reflects on the prophetic words of Ed Ricketts and John Steinbeck in their book, The Log of the Sea of Cortez.
Tessa McGregor explores the Sea of Cortez, a whale and dolphin hotspot off Mexico.
|03||04||Manx Marine Nature Reserve||20090908||20090909|
The Isle of Man government is considering designating an area of their coastline as a marine nature reserve, protecting invaluable habitats and species. The island is famous for its marine life, not least the basking shark, so, Brett Westwood asks, how feasible is it to set up a conservation area in the sea?
Brett Westwood asks how feasible it is to set up a conservation area in the sea.
|03||05||Mud, Birds And Tides: The Severn Estuary||20090916|
The Severn Estuary is the largest, muddiest and most dynamic estuary in Britain, and thousands of birds use it every year as a stopping-off point on their migrations to and from Africa. Other migrants, including butterflies and fish, make use of it, too.
In fact, as Chris Sperring discovers, the Severn Estuary is a vital nursery ground for some of our most commonly-eaten marine fish; tiny sea bass make it as far as Gloucester before heading off back to sea.
|03||06||Calf Of Man||20090922||20090923|
Brett Westwood visits the Calf of Man, a rugged island to the south of the Isle of Man.
It has taken many years for the BBC Natural History Unit to get onto the Calf of Man, a rugged island to the south of the Isle of Man. The weather and tides need to be right to get on and off the Calf, and for this programme it also had to be a new moon in order to meet a particularly enigmatic seabird which is yet to breed on the island.
An unusual sound safari, eavesdropping on the world of insect sounds.
In an unusual sound safari, Paul Evans is our guide to the musicians of the insect world. There are head-banging beetles, tymbal-clicking cicadas, stridulating crickets, whining mosquitoes, pulsating moths, and toe-tapping plant hoppers. The world vibrates to the rhythms of insects. Their songs announce their presence, define their territory, lure potential mates and even shock predators.
In Japan, the songs of crickets have long been admired, and tiny caged insects are kept in the pocket or hung up in temples or houses where their songs are enjoyed as much as the dawn chorus of birds is appreciated in the west.
For some insects, sound is a weapon. For example, species of tiger moths produce pulses of sounds which they use to deter hunting bats. One explanation is that the moth's signals jams the bat's echolocation calls, in an aerial battle of sounds.
On the ground, another battle is being fought using sound as a secret weapon. Scientists at York University are developing hand-held recorders and sound recognition systems to detect wood-boring larvae in imported wood. With no sign of infestation on the outside, the larvae can be detected inside the wood by listening to the sounds they make as they tunnel and feed on the internal tissues.
|03||09 LAST||Migrating Stones||20091013||20091014|
A poet and a stone are companions on a most unusual journey to Australia.
Poet and writer Alyson Hallett travels to Australia with a large piece of limestone as a companion, inscribed with a line from one of her poems. This is the third journey Alyson has made with a stone; each destination has been different, each stone has been different, but each has been similarly inscribed by the sculptor and lettering artist Alec Peever.
It is a project which began seven years ago, inspired by a dream and an encounter with an erratic - a huge boulder that had broken away from its motherbed centuries ago, lodged in ice and then set off on long, slow journey, until eventually it was deposited on a Welsh mountainside. It was here that Alyson encountered the boulder.
Fascinated by the idea that stones are fellow companions and movement is an essential part of their nature, Alyson started to explore the cultural importance of stones, and embarked on her project, The Migration Habits of Stones.
Alyson takes a journey with her third stone to Koonawara in Australia. We also hear from stone letterer Alec Peever and Bill Morris, warden of Leigh Woods in Bristol, the site of the first migrating stone.
Gardening for wildlife is one of the most popular and practical things we can do to keep in touch with the natural world. But does it have any real benefits for wildlife on a countrywide scale or is it merely a placebo which convinces us that we're doing something to save the planet? Paul Evans visits the winter conference of the Wildlife Gardening Forum to find out if our efforts are making a difference, and asks conservationists where the future of wildlife gardening lies.
Paul Evans questions the benefits of gardening for wildlife.
|04||05||A Local Patch - 1||20100202||20100203|
The first of two programmes exploring our relationship with the landscape and the value of getting to know 'a local patch'.
Three wildlife enthusiasts share their experiences of their local patch and its wildlife.
For wildlife cameraman, John Aitchison, the local patch is the sea loch which is just a stone's throw from his home on the west coast of Scotland.
For wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson, the suburban back garden in Newcastle upon Tyne is his local patch, and for wildlife artist writer Jessica Holm, it's the woodland on the Isle of Wight where she spent four years studying red squirrels.
Recordings from each location are weaved together, highlighting the value of getting to know a patch of landscape so well that it's like having 'a second skin', as Jessica Holm says.
Walking along the shore from his home, John reflects on the memories which are trigged by familiar sights: the stone where the seals haul out, the stream where he's watched the otters bathe, the patch of grass where the lapwings shelter.
With time, the unfamiliar has become familiar; his closest neighbours are the curlews, oystercatchers and sea otters.
For Chris too, time has bred familiarity and memories of the past are bound up with this garden.
His memories are of the sounds of the past - the houses sparrows which used to be so common, the wind sighing among the leaves of the cherry tree, the swifts arriving in the summer.
The recordings he has made in his garden also demonstrate how the landscape has changed; the house sparrows once so common are now hardly ever heard in his garden, but the recordings allow him to reconnect with the past, relive memories he associates with the sounds, like his children sleeping in their pram.
It is 20 years since Jessica Holm has visited Newton Copse on the Isle of Wight where she spent four years studying red squirrels, and yet the landscape feels the same.
She even finds the paths she made to the trees where she had stapled live traps to catch the squirrels she was studying.
Walking among the trees she explains, 'I think when you get really attached to a place, it never leaves you...
it becomes part of the fabric of you.
And even though I haven't stepped foot in this copse for 20 years, it feels exactly the same as it did all that time ago.'
The programme reveals the emotional and spiritual strength each of the three derives from a connection with the landscape that comes through time spent in a landscape, through observing, watching, getting to know a landscape, becoming familiar with its colours, moods and character.
It's a revealing and fascinating insight into the power of experience and the relationships between people and place, between Man and Nature.
Three keen naturalists describe the relationship with their 'local patch'.
|04||06 LAST||A Local Patch - 2||20100209||20100210|
The second of two programmes exploring our relationship with the landscape and the value of getting to know 'a local patch'.
Paul Evans explores both the personal benefits which can be gained from connecting with the natural world and the wider benefits for wildlife conservation.
He examines the roles of garden wildlife monitoring schemes, and the ways in which these schemes not only generate data which provides information about the UK's biodiversity but also encourages individuals to get involved with the landscapes around them.
The programme explores how an interest in a 'local patch' can lead to a sense of responsibility and care, and the relationship between getting to know your local patch and the long-term benefits for conservation of our wildlife and our wild places.
Paul Evans explores the value of getting to know your 'local patch'.
What strikes most people when they first arrive in Antarctica is the quiet. "It's so quiet; its the only place in the world that you can actually hear Geology happening; all these processes that you're schooled to think take thousands and thousands of years, the movement of glaciers and the shifting of rocks... And that's an amazing experience that process of the landscape changing" says Jeff Wilson, a Director on the BBC series Frozen Planet. And the sounds of 'geology happening' are captured in the first of a new series of NATURE by wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson. The sounds of the ice are astonishing; from the huge, powerful grinding and creaking sounds as glaciers calve or ice sheets buckle under pressure, to the delicate sounds of water lapping under thin sheets of sea ice or the tinkling sounds produced when fine needle-like ice crystals move in a breeze of volcanic gases inside an ice cave at the base of Erebus, Antarctica's most active volcano.
With contributions from some the team who worked on the BBC series, Frozen Planet, NATURE presents a journey in sound across this frozen landscape. Whilst above the ice, the landscape is quiet, below the ice the underwater world is full of sound; for example, Orcas (killer whales) use pulses of sound to navigate rather like bats and produce and squeaks and whistles to communicate with one another over vast distances, whilst Weddell seals produce the most hauntingly beautiful ascending and descending tones. Antarctica - frozen landscape, and surprising, mesmerizing, powerful and haunting soundscape.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
Astonishing and revelatory sounds above, below and within Antarctica's landscape of ice.
|05||02||The Water Boatman's Song||20120110||20120112|
For over a year, sound recordist Tom Lawrence has been capturing the sounds of Pollardstown Fen in Ireland. These are no ordinary sounds, but the sounds of a hidden world; an underwater world, where an orchestra of creatures create an extraordinary and vibrant music. Above the water's surface, grasshoppers and crickets stridulate; that is, they rub one part of their body across another to produce 'those fiddling tunes so evocative of summer'. Below the surface, something similar happens as water beetles, water scorpions, great diving beetles, water boatmen and lesser water boatmen and hundreds of other species produce sounds day and night at over 2Khz, reaching 99 decibels in some cases - the equivalent of sitting in the front row of an orchestra "Tapping, knocking, hammering, drumming, clicking, creaking, cracking, croaking, buzzing, fuzzing, bleeping, winding, reeling, revving, puttering, pattering, humming, pulsing, squealing, shrieking.... the insects reveal themselves". Writer and narrator Paul Evans meets Tom Lawrence and takes a journey into the Fen to hear these sounds for himself. Tom leads the way. His friend, Jim Schofield joins them, bringing with him a boat (an inflatable boat that they first have to pump up), and then the three men 'wobble' along reed-lined drains into the Fen. It's a journey of revelations; not only does Paul encounter the underwater orchestra, but also Old Ireland and with it a magical adventure; They find a snake, haul up a bag of treasure, climb the steps of a Famine Tower, experience vertigo as they stand with their heads in the clouds high above the quarried land, watch Peregrines swipe through the air like sharp knives, and learn the story of a hanged man, his lost love and a vixen who wanders amongst the reeds, her piercing cry echoing through the darkness.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
Paul Evans goes in search of the Water Boatman's song.
|05||03||The Ghost Roost||20120117||20120119|
Over ten years ago before the West Pier in Brighton was destroyed by storms and fire, wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson and sound designer Thor McIntyre Burnie were given permission to rig up microphones in what had once been the grand concert hall. During the day, the pier was a dangerous place to venture, but on a winter's night, as dusk fell, and the sea glowed red, it was transformed into a magical scene as tens of thousands of starlings gathered in the air above, performing their aerial acrobatics (murmurations) before descending onto the pier to roost for the night. The starlings roosted in what remained of the concert hall, and it was the sounds of these birds gathered in their night roost, which Chris and Thor wanted to capture - from dusk until dawn, when the birds departed once again on their feeding trips.
It was no easy task rigging up the concert hall with microphones. "When the wind blew" Chris said, "chunks literally fell off and were tossed into the sea like autumn leaves". They rigged up an array of different microphones as they wanted to capture both the sense of space; the atmosphere of the concert hall, as well as close up sounds of the birds themselves. As dusk approached the first birds arrived over the pier. In time, they descended into the concert hall, and an extraordinary performance began; the sounds of tens of thousands of performers gathered together. Today the West Pier no longer exists except for some skeletal fragments. The starlings have passed into history, but what's left are the recordings. They are the recordings of a Ghost Roost.
NATURE recreates this performance with 'programme notes' about the performers and the venue.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
The sounds of a Ghost Roost; a performance by starlings.
|05||04||Emma Turner; A Life In The Reeds||20120124||20120126|
In 1911 a photograph of young Bittern in the nest taken by Emma Turner proved that Bitterns were breeding again in Norfolk having been driven to extinction in Britain in the late 1800s. Using extracts from her book, 'Broadland Birds', this programme tells the remarkable story of Emma Turner a pioneer of bird photography (1866-1940); who spent some 20 years at Hickling Broad in Norfolk, where she lived on a houseboat she designed named 'Water Rail' (after the first photograph she took in the Broadlands) and in a hut on a tiny island amongst the reeds (which became known as Turner's island). After meeting and being inspired by Richard Kearton (who along with his brother Cherry Kearton was one of earliest wildlife photographers) she decided to take up wildlife photography and to document all the Broadland birds. She befriended two marshmen, Alfred Nudd and keeper Jim Vincent, and with their help she learned the ways of the marsh, and how to find, study and photograph the Broadland birds. It was Vincent who helped her find the young Bittern in 1911. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Photographic Society for her photograph of the bird. Emma Turner was not only a pioneer bird photographer but a hugely respected ornithologist, whose studies of birds contributed enormously to our knowledge today. She died in 1940 with many accolades including having been one of the first ten women to be elected a fellow of the Linnaean Society and the first honorary ladies member of the British Ornithologists' Union.
Sound recordings by wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
The remarkable story of Emma Turner; a pioneer of bird photography.
|05||05||In Search Of The Tiger's Roar||20120131||20120202|
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson travels to India, to capture the sounds of the forest and the spine tingling roar of a Bengal Tiger.
Chris is leading a team of wildlife sound recordists on this quest. They travel to Corbett National Park which was established in 1936 as Asia's first National Park. It stretches over some 1300 sq km. in the foothills of the Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand.
The park is named after the legendary hunter, naturalist and author Edward James Corbett, better known as 'Jim Corbett'. Author of 'Man-Eaters of Kumaon', Corbett spent many years killing tigers and leopards before concern about their future and that of their habitat, led him to playing a key role in establishing the National Park.
Today the Park is home to a rich and diverse range of wildlife including over 100 Bengal tigers. To help them, the team have several local guides; who are not only skilled in the art of tracking tigers; knowing what signs to look for; like scats on the ground, scratch marks on the trees, and perhaps most importantly, knowing how to listen to the forest and use the alarm calls of other animals such as the peacocks and samba deer to help track the tigers. It might sound easy enough but as Chris and the team discover, it's far more difficult than it sounds.
In their search for tigers, they play a game of 'Grandmother's footsteps' with a pair of elephants, encounter crocodiles in a river, are puzzled by something that sounds like rain but isn't, and record the unusual barks of Hanaman Langurs in the forest. As for recording the roar of a tiger, they need skill, patience and, a bit of good luck.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson travels to India to record the roar of a tiger.
|05||06||Painting In Sound||20120207||20120209|
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson spends much of his time listening and recording the sounds of the natural world. When the National Gallery invited him to create a sound piece inspired by a painting of his choice, he chose Constable's 'The Hay Meadow'. This was the start of a creative and exciting project, which also involved students from Ravensbourne College of Art and Design and other professional musicians and sounds artists. The project began with audio guides for paintings selected by the artists, and then later developed into an evening event involving a live sound mix in the gallery to accompany a tour of the paintings with an art historian. NATURE uses these events to explore how painters use a range of techniques to excite the viewers senses; not only the visual sense, but the senses of smell, touch and perhaps most poignantly, hearing. The programme also explores how sound installations and sound guides may help some viewers, especially people who might feel intimidated by paintings, to engage with these works of art.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson explains how landscape paintings have inspired him.
|05||07||James And The Giant Redwoods - Part One||20120214||20120216|
Ever since he was a boy, James Aldred has loved climbing trees. And over the years, James has dreamt of searching out some of the world's biggest trees including the world's tallest living tree, a Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Northern California called Hyperion, which measures 379.3 feet tall. (The tallest tree in Britain is a Douglas Fir in Argyll, Scotland which is about 209 feet tall). Hyperion at nearly 380 feet tall is about 3 times the height of Nelson's Column!
Hyperion was discovered on August 25, 2006 by naturalist Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. The tree was verified as standing 115.55 m (379.1 ft tall) by Stephen Sillett. It's estimated to be increasing in height at about 2cm a year. The exact location of the tree is kept a secret to prevent human traffic disturbing and causing damage to the tree or its environment. In the first of two programmes, NATURE tells the story of how James and three friends were introduced to Michael Taylor who to their delight and beyond all expectations, offered to take them to see some of the world's biggest and tallest trees, including an enormous Coastal Redwood called Emerald Giant. And not only did they see the tree, but they got to climb it, as one of the aims of their trip was to collect seed from these trees for a Conservation project at The University of Oxford, Harcourt Arboretum. Climbing these trees is no mean feat, it's a relentless, exhausting climb. As Ben says, ' You gotta earn it". And then, back on the forest floor, Michael has another surprise in store for them, when he leads the way through the forest to Hyperion, the world's tallest tree. "It just reminds me of one of those enormous chimneys on Battersea Power Station... it just goes on and on, and on, up and up and up" says James.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
James Aldred travels to California in search of the world's biggest trees.
|05||08 LAST||James And The Giant Redwood - Part Two||20120221||20120223|
Ever since he was a boy, James Aldred has loved climbing trees. And over the years, James has dreamt of seeing the world's tallest living tree, a Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Northern California called Hyperion - which measures 379.3 feet tall. (The tallest tree is Britain is a Douglas Fir in Argyll, Scotland which is about 209 feet tall. Hyperion at nearly 380 feet tall is about 3 times the height of Nelson's Column!).
Hyperion was discovered on August 25, 2006 by naturalist Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. The tree was verified as standing 115.55 m (379.1 ft tall) by Stephen Sillett. It's estimated to be increasing in height at about 2cm a year. The exact location of the tree is kept a secret to prevent human traffic disturbing and causing damage to the tree or its environment. After months and months of research trying to piece together clues from books and papers as to the location, of the tree, James approached Michael Taylor and to his complete amazement and delight Michael agreed to take James to see Hyperion.
In the second of two programmes, NATURE follows James and three other tree climbers as Michael first leads them to The Grove of Titans; which as its name suggests is a grove of some of the world's biggest trees by mass. Despite the fact that James and the others had seen pictures of the trees in books and on the internet, nothing could have prepared them for the colossal size of these trees. But there was another surprise in store for James when Michael led the way to Hyperion, the world's tallest tree and not only did James get to see this tree, but he also got to climb it. It was a dream come true and an unforgettable adventure.
Producer Sarah Blunt.
James Aldred visits the Grove of Titans and climbs the world's tallest tree.
Spring woodlands are loud now with the drumming of great spotted woodpeckers and their familiar head-banging territorial sounds are everywhere in the UK. Numbers of great spotted woodpeckers have increased 250% over the last few decades and they have taken to feeding in garden bird-tables along with tits and robins. However, their much smaller cousin, the tiny sparrow-sized lesser spotted woodpecker has declined by as much as 90% in the same period and from 2011 is one of the species monitored by the Rare birds Breeding Panel.
To find out why our woodpeckers have experienced very different fortunes, Brett Westwood visits the Wyre Forest on the Worcestershire/Shropshire border. This ancient oak wood is one of the study plots for a 3-year RSPB research project on the lesser spotted woodpecker, and one of the best sites to see them in the UK. They are one of the most difficult birds to study because of their size, their attraction to feeding high in the canopy and their huge winter range. A single bird may range over 700 hectares of forest habitat in winter and so is very hard to locate. In spring , they call and drum, making February March and April the best months to see them, before the leaves are fully expanded. For Nature, Brett Westwood visits Wyre with Ken Smith and Elisabeth Charman, woodland ecologists from the RSPB, to search for the birds and to learn about the results of the survey. Although the decline of the lesser spotted woodpeckers is still shrouded in mystery, some interesting facts have emerged. A third of the broods are deserted by one of the parents, leaving the other, usually the male, to bring up the young. Lesser spotted woodpeckers glean insects from leaves and there are indications that climate change may be affecting their prey supplies.
Among woodland birds, "lesser spots" aren't the only species whose numbers are falling. Nightingales, willow tits and wood warblers are also declining sharply which raises questions about the suitability of our woods for many species. But with the rise of the greater spotted woodpecker, also a woodland bird, teasing out the reasons is a challenge for scientists. Brett talks to Rob Fuller, of the British Trust for Ornithology who's studied woodlands for over 30 years, and hears about the complexities of monitoring woods and the birds which live in them.
Producer: Brett Westwood
Editor: Julian Hector.
Brett Westwood finds out why woodpecker numbers in the UK are both up and down.
|06||02||Wood And Water||20120410||20120412|
According to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, fish live in trees too. The Trust's biologists are using wood as a remarkably effective tool to change the depth and flow of stream s and improve them for wildlife. They don't just stop at streams either: at the confluence of the Tame and Trent rivers , they've submerged entire willow trees in gravel islands in a project to widen the river channel.
Across the country in Norfolk the National Trust has felled trees into the River Bure at its Blickling Hall estate and in just a few years, has seen gravel beds improve for trout - members of the local fishing club are impressed - and exotic damselflies.
In Nature: Wood and Water, Brett Westwood explores the growing use of coarse woody debris( CWD) in managing our rivers. Visiting the sites he finds that this natural engineering is remarkably cheap and fast-acting. Wood felled into sluggish currents can vary flow rates and affect silt deposition. In some places scouring by faster currents has exposed gravel beds which are spawning areas for trout, and slacker areas where the young trout can shelter in pools or hide among the tangle of branches. In Staffordshire, the debris has helped native crayfish to hide in shallow streams, and the wood itself is a breeding ground for rare insects including the scarce logjammer hoverfly which lays its eggs in partly submerged sunlit logs.
There are worries from landowners about flood prevention, but according to Alastair Driver of the Environment Agency, if sites are carefully chosen, then CWD could be useful for retaining water higher in river catchments and preventing excessive flooding downstream. By mimicking nature, and allowing our rivers to be more dynamic, we could improve the quality of our river wildlife and fulfil some of the ecological requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive.
Brett Westwood finds out why conservationists are dropping logs in rivers and streams.
In 1135 King Henry I died, allegedly of eating a "surfeit of lampreys" and the phrase has passed into our language, even though the vast of majority of us, and that includes many naturalists, have never seen a lamprey. We have three species in the British lsles and although they are classed as fishes, they are among the most primitive creatures with a backbone. They're survivors too: over 200 million years ago, lampreys looking very similar to those we see nowadays were clamping their suckers - lampreys don't have jaws - onto primitive fish and sucking their blood.
But as Brett Westwood finds out in Nature, nowadays we're giving these ancient survivors a challenge. Lampreys need clean waterways free of obstacles as two of our species migrate inland from the sea to breed in gravelly stretches of our rivers. They also spend up to 6 years as blind larvae buried in silt and so can be vulnerable to floods and water extraction.
On the River Ure in Yorkshire Brian Morland is monitoring river lampreys for the Environment Agency and he shows Brett his first blind lamprey larvae or ammocoetes. He also talks about the huge sea lampreys, a metre along and thick as a man's arm, which are being restricted by river blockages such as dams and weirs. But Paul Frears, a fisheries manager with the Environment Agency has lamprey's interests at heart and with funding from the European Water Framework Directive, can offer fresh hope to these weird and endlessly fascinating fish.
Producer: Brett Westwood
Editor: Julian Hector.
Brett Westwood discovers how the fortunes of Britain's lampreys could be improving.
are in decline in the UK. We know this from a number of studies and from the fewer corpses we see on our roads: ironically the more flattened hedgehogs, the greater the likelihood of a strong population. But teasing the facts from the image we have created of a vulnerable creature that has to be rescued and nurtured, is a challenge.
For Nature, Paul Evans meets the scientists who are grappling with surveys and techniques for assessing hedgehog numbers and status, scientists like Tom Moorhouse from Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit who's beginning a study to radio-track hedgehogs on arable farmland. The study is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People's Trust for Endangered Species, a sure sign that the need to stem the decline of our hedgehogs has become urgent.
Producer: Brett Westwood
Editor: Julian Hector.
Hedgehogs are in decline. Paul Evans separates the science from the sentimentality.
For Nature, Paul Evans meets the scientists who are grappling with surveys and techniques for assessing hedgehog numbers and status, scientists like Tom Moorhouse from Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit who's beginning a study to radio-track hedgehogs on arable farmland. The study is funded by the Hedgehog Conservation Society and the People's Trust for Endangered Species, a sure sign that the need to stem the decline of our hedgehogs has become urgent.
|06||05||In Search Of The Japanese Sika||20120501||20120503|
If you're up early enough in Purbeck, Dorset and you're lucky enough to spot a deer, it's most likely to be a Japanese sika deer. This area has the largest population in England and the deer are often to be seen grazing on the salt marshes and heath that are such an important part of the landscape here. And if you're travelling on one of the Brownsea Island ferries you might even see one in the water, swimming to or from the island - sika are good swimmers.
In evolutionary terms sika deer are recent arrivals to the UK, having been introduced from the Far East into deer parks a little over 150 years ago. Some escaped, others were released and they bred successfully in the countryside beyond park boundaries. Today the Japanese sika is free living in the wild and is now widespread across northern and western mainland Scotland and in the Scottish Borders, well established in Northern Ireland and found in concentrated pockets in England. The sika in Purbeck originate from deer introduced to Brownsea Island under the mistaken view that the surrounding water would contain them.
Naturalist, Chris Sperring, is up at the crack of dawn to join Angela Peters of the National Trust and Toby Branston of the RSPB as they begin the Spring count of sika deer in Purbeck. He talks to ecologist Dr Anita Diaz of Bournemouth University and discovers why sika are doing so well in this part of the world, what impact they're having on one of the country's most biodiverse areas and just what makes these elegant and beautiful animals tick. He also finds out how conservation organisations like the RSPB and National Trust are managing the delicate balance of deer, people and internationally important habitats.
Presented by Chris Sperring
Produced by Karen Partridge.
Chris Sperring searches for sika deer and discovers their impact on the Dorest countryside
|07||01||Bird Wars On Malta||20120731|
: Bird Wars on Malta
Twice each year the skies above the Mediterranean island of Malta are filled with the spectacle of thousands of migrating birds. Kestrels, bee-eaters, honey-buzzards, turtle dove and quail, among other species fly first north, in the Spring, to the breeding grounds of Europe.
They return south in the Autumn to their wintering grounds in sub Saharan Africa. If their migration takes them over Malta, twice each year they must run the gauntlet of hunters' guns. Many of the migrant bird species are protected, only two species are legal quarry for Maltese hunters.
Investigative journalist Matthew Hill travels to Malta to talk to the hunters about the age-long culture of hunting birds on Malta and to investigate allegations of widespread illegal hunting.
Presented by Matthew Hill
Produced by Lizz Pearson.
Matthew Hill investigates allegations of illegal bird hunting in Malta.
|07||02 LAST||Quest For The World's Largest Butterfly||20120807|
Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is the world's largest butterfly with a wingspan of 30 cm. Despite its enormous size, it is hard to find and is almost restricted to a remote plateau in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea.
Travel writer and naturalist Mark Stratton has been itching to see this gargantuan insect for years and in this special edition of "Nature" he sets off on a quest to find out more about this striking and elusive creature which would dwarf British robins or wrens. His journey takes him to the remote Manangalas Plateau in the mountains north of the capital city, Port Moresby.
Here in the dense and humid rainforest he discovers a dedicated conservation scheme to grow the butterfly's food-plants, rear caterpillars and protect its habitat. In the face of general decline and the destruction of rainforest for oil-palm and cocoa plantations, it seems that the butterfly has staunch allies among the local tribes-people and conservation groups, but still its future is far from secure and Mark learns that in common with other rare and threatened animals, the world's biggest butterfly may need to pay its way in order to survive.
Mark Stratton visits Papua New Guinea to search for Queen Alexandra's Birdwing.
|198D||01||The Antarctic Island||19981012||19981013|
The first in a new series about the natural world visits the Antarctic island of South Georgia, one of the most remote and inhospitable places on earth which is also home to an astonishing array of wildlife, including the wandering albatross, the king penguin and the mighty elephant seal.
|198D||02||The Badger Cull||19981019||19981020|
The Government is leading a major cull of wild badgers to establish whether this is an effective means of preventing the transmission of bovine tuberculosis to cattle.
But with TB in cattle on the rise, this may not be the answer.
|198D||03||Great White Shark||19981026||19981027|
The Mediterranean has produced the largest ever great white shark.
This summer has witnessed a major drive encouraging divers, fishermen and tourists to assist scientists in discovering more about this fish.
When Mark Carwardine joined the package-holiday crowds to see what he could find out for himself, he landed an unexpected story.
This summer has witnessed a major drive to encourage divers, fishermen and tourists to assist scientists in discovering more about this fish.
|198D||04||Sharks In The Med||19981102||19981103|
Is there really a breeding ground for great white sharks in the Mediterranean, and could they be the last few survivors of a population hit by fishing, pollution and public apathy? Mark Carwardine investigates.
|198D||05||The Voices Of Gombe||19981109||19981110|
Joanna Pinnock talks to Charlotte Uhlenbroek, presenter of BBC2's `Chimpanzee Diary', about her close encounters with the wild chimpanzees of Gombe in Tanzania and her studies of their behaviour.
|198D||06||Bees In The Desert||19981116||19981117|
The Sonoran Desert in Arizona is home to a greater diversity of bees than anywhere else in the world.
Gerry Northam traces the history and conservation of the forgotten pollinators.
An ecological approach to water management in Britain.
|198D||08||The Big Sleep||19981130||19981201|
Mark Carwardine investigates the science behind body clocks, natural rhythms and sleep, and discovers a nightjar that hibernates for several weeks in a dark cave, a lungfish that sleeps in a cocoon of mud for four years or more, and the cicadas that emerge simultaneously after 17 years underground.
/ Mark Carwardine investigates the science behind body clocks, natural rhythms and sleep, and discovers a nightjar which hibernates for several weeks in a dark cave, a lungfish which sleeps in a cocoon of mud for four years or more, and the cicadas which emerge simultaneously after 17 years underground.
|198D||09||A Drop Of Life||19981207||19981208|
Hidden from the naked eye are beasts so small their entire world is a single drop of water.
The affable `Ford Cortina,' the neurotic `Mass Hysteria' and the menacing `Terminator' - as they are so called - are just some of these strange animals.
/ Hidden from the naked eye are beasts so small that their entire world is a single drop of water.
|198D||10||Life On The Brandberg||19981214||19981215|
Biologist and rock climber John Altringham investigates an unexplored monolith that freezes at night and bakes in the Namibian sun.
t is, what can be done to control numbers.
|199D||As The Nights Draw In, Nature Has Started To Close Down Her Life-giving Bounty. The Earth Is Going T||19991101||19991102|
o sleep - insects, worms and plant life turn over and rest.
Mark Cawardine examines what is going on during this cyclical phenomenon.
|199D||Big Cat Diary||19991011||19991012|
Naturalist Jonathan Scott describes his unique relationship with Half-tail, a wild leopard whose life he followed for nearly ten years and whose story became familiar to television viewers in BBC2's `Big Cat Diary'.
|199D||Cats Versus Charisma||19991004||19991005|
`Cats versus Charisma'.
Paul Evans reports on the spectacular comeback made by the polecat, one of Britain's rarest mammals, which it has achieved without the benefit of expensive conservation programmes that have benefited the likes of the otter and the osprey.
Mark Carwardine explores the world of the seemingly invincible imported red fire ant in the southern states of America and finds out why this insect has become one of the most studied species of ant in the world.
|199D||Mark Carwardine Investigates How Man's Increasing Use Of Underwater Acoustics Is Interfering With Na||19990830||19990831|
vigation and communication between whales and dolphins.
|199D||Mark Cawardine Investigates The Damage Wrought By The Mink. A Creature Once Valued For Its Coat Is N||19991018||19991019|
ow blamed for the decimation of the water vole population and many bird species.
|199D||Mark Cawardine Travels Through The Countryside Discovering How Autumn Reveals Itself In Woodland, By||19991025||19991026|
rivers and in towns.
|199D||Photographer And Zoologist Mark Carwardine Journeys Through The Land Of Ice And Fire To Discover For||19991115||19991116|
himself the lure of Iceland.
He explores the black lava fields, spouting geysers, ice-capped mountains and breathtaking views.
Landing that first salmon is something all fishermen remember.
Sadly, the wild Atlantic salmon is in crisis.
The seas and rivers are no longer hospitable to this most majestic of fish.
This programme investigates the reasons why salmon could be in danger of living only in the memory of these fishermen.
This edition takes a closer look at one of Britain's much maligned birds - the magpie.
Does it deserve the reputation of songbird killer and thief? Or is it just a natural part of our avifauna which suffers from a negative public image? Presented by Mark Carwardine.
As we approach the millennium tree planting season, Paul Evans surveys the future for Britain's trees.
Mark Carwardine visits Belvoir Forest Park in Belfast, the only inner-city forest left in Europe - a busy working wood used by foresters, squirrels and the public alike.
Yet only 80 miles west in Fermanagh lies an ancient ash forest which is as close to its original state as possible, with pine martens, otters, lichens and underground caves.
|199D||Wildlife Film-maker Gets A Taste Of Life In The Amazon Rainforest When He Travels To Manu To||19990823||19990824|
film brightly coloured monkeys and shy tapirs.
|199D||01||Blue Whales In Iceland||19991213||19991214|
Mark Carwardine travels the globe in three programmes looking at whales.
1: `Blue Whales in Iceland'.
Once a nation of whale hunters, Iceland is now a Mecca for whale watchers.
Carwardine has an encounter with a blue whale and her calf.
|199D||01||Killing For Culture||19991122||19991123|
Three programmes looking at hunting around the world.
1: `Killing for Culture'.
Gerry Northam traces the origins of hunting to an exchange of meat for sex and asks whether subsistence hunting cultures can survive in the face of commercial pressures and animal rights.
|199D||02||Dreaming Of Whales||19991220||19991221|
Southern Right Whales in South Africa.
From his hotel in Hermanus, Carwardine gazes out of the window from his bed and sees the whales gathering in the bay.
Then he sets sail for rare sightings of Heaviside dolphins, jackass penguins and Cape gannets.
|199D||02||Killing For Kicks||19991129||19991130|
Three programmes looking at hunting around the world.
2: `Killing for Kicks'.
Gerry Northam looks at how hunting has changed the world's landscape and natural history.
Just what does it feel like to pull a trigger and end an animal's life?
|199D||03||Killing For Cash||19991206||19991207|
The last of three programmes looking at hunting around the world.
`Killing for Cash'.
Kangaroos are hunted for pet food, seals for their penises and fish for your dinner plate.
Gerry Northam examines the consequences for animals and people when commerce and hunting mix.
|199D||03 LAST||Grey Whales From Alaska To California||19991227||19991228|
Mark Carwardine travels the globe in the last of three programmes looking at whales.
`Grey Whales from alaska to California'.
Carwardine follows the spectacular migration of grey whales as they travel down the west coast of North America.
Julian Pettifer Meets The World's Unsung Heroes Of Nature Conservation As They Receive Recognition for their work in the Whitley 2000 International Conservation Awards presented by HRH the Princess Royal.
Projects include encouraging youngsters to look after their environment in the aftermath of war in Croatia and championing biodiversity in Kenya.
|200A||02||Many Species Of Birds Of Prey Now Have Higher Populations In Britain Than Ever Before. Mark C||20000221||20000222|
arwardine assesses their impact on game birds and racing pigeons and asks whether birds of prey may need to be controlled in the future.
|200A||03||Film-maker Huw Cordey Witnesses One Of The Amazon's Great Wildlife Spectacles - The Arribada||20000228||20000229|
or mass nesting of the rare giant river turtle.
In a period of two weeks, thousands of female turtles haul themselves up on to the sand bars in the middle of the River Xingu - but whether the eggs hatch is becoming an ever increasing lottery.
|200A||04||Mark Carwardine Assesses The Importance Ascribed To Conserving The Oldest Living Things On The Plane||20000306||20000307|
t, including a tree which carbon dating suggests is up to 6,000 years old.
Andrew Sachs asks if parrots' behaviour is evidence of real intelligence and explores the implications of plans to re-establish endangered species in the wild.
In the course of the programme, he meets an African grey parrot that talks and behaves like a precocious child, a macaw that turns on the central heating, and a cockatoo that trashed its owner's kitchen.
|200A||06||Mark Carwardine Investigates How The Brown Hare Is Being Affected By Modern Farming Methods And Asks||20000320||20000321|
if mad March hares boxing in the fields will continue to be a familiar sight in the British countryside.
|202C||01||Mark Carwardine Investigates The Effect Of New Eu Agricultural Subsidies Upon Wildlife. Also Featuri||20020902||20020903|
ng Africa's largest elephants, hidden in the forgotten wilderness of Mozambique.
|202C||02||Mark Carwardine Joins A Bat Detective As He Explores A Victorian Manor House. And The Oldest Hominid||20020909||20020910|
skull ever found reveals interesting facts about our ancient ancestors.
This bird of prey, traditionally associated with woodlands, has become an unwelcome visitor to urban gardens.
The inside story from an ex-Galapagos guide of the impact of tourism and introduced species on the wildlife of the islands.
Mark Cawardine explores how the urban environment provides a haven for some spectacular British wildlife, such as the black redstart.
40 Years After The First Plant Atlas For The Uk Was Published, Its Long-awaited Successor Is On The bookshelves.
Mark Cawardine explores the changes during the interval.
|202C||07||The Ban On The International Ivory Trade May Be About To Be Scrapped. Is This Good Or Bad For Ele||20021014||20021015|
phant conservation? Mark Carwardine investigates.
|202C||08||Great White Sharks||20021021||20021022|
Mark Carwardine's diving adventure off the coast of Guadeloupe brings him face to face with the sea's great predators.
|202C||09||Mark Carwardine Looks At The British Countryside As Autumn Sets In, And Finds That The Idea T||20021028||20021029|
hat all wildlife hibernates for the winter is a complete fallacy.
Mark Carwardine on how some golfing organisations are making wildlife habitats amid the greens and fairways.
w well are we managing to accommodate them? Mark Carwardine investigates.
|203A||03||Already Stricken By Offshore Oil Spillages, The Common Scoter's Wintering Grounds May Be Under Threa||20030120||20030121|
t from proposed wind farm locations.
Mark Carwardine investigates.
October is the start of the 16-week pheasant shooting season and with more people than ever keen to take part in a shoot, this 'sport' is experiencing a resurgence not seen since its heyday in Edwardian times.
In order to support this, huge numbers of pheasant are bred, reared and released into the countryside but the majority of them are never actually 'bagged'.
Paul Evans explores what's driving this ever-growing industry and what effect this surplus of pheasants could be having on habitats and eco-systems in the wild.
First of three programmes in which Yvonne Ellis sets out to prove that reptiles are highly sophisticated creatures, with an astonishing range of survival techniques.
|203C||02||Stopping The Flood: A Watery History Of Britain||20031006||20031007|
After a long, dry summer, Autumn brings fear of flooding.
It's a perennial problem that global warming is likely to make worse.
One solution is to return our river catchments to a more natural state.
But what is the natural state of Britain's watery landscape? Lionel Kelleway uncovers the watery history of Britain, visits a pilot river restoration project and asks whether the re-wildling of our rivers could help prevent floods and be a boon to wildlife.
|203C||02||Turtles And Tortoises||20030915||20030916|
The second of three programmes in which Yvonne Ellis from the BBC Natural History Unit explores the life of reptiles around the world.
Yvonne travels to Bali to meet a Swiss restauranteur who leads a one man crusade to save green turtles from being killed for the illegal food trade.
Although protected under the Endangered Species Act, they are still being harvested in their thousands every year.
Across the Pacific Ocean on the Galapagos Islands, she also discovers that while the land tortoises to be found there are no longer at threat from man, a tortoise hatchery is the only way to help regenerate population numbers effected by the arrival of goats and other introduced species on the islands.
|203C||03||Ancient Trees And You||20031013||20031014|
Paul Evans invites you to take part in the national ancient tree hunt.
Britain is the best place in Europe for magnificent ancient trees; some over 1000 years old.
But, surprisingly, neither protecting ancient woodlands nor the many new woodland planting schemes will help conserve them.
Paul finds out why, asks what is best for their future and goes ancient tree hunting.
Last of three programmes in which Yvonne Ellis sets out to prove that reptiles are highly sophisticated creatures with an astonishing range of survival techniques.
Tessa McGregor has spent the summer searching for the world's most beautiful and elusive wild cat in the mountains of Siberia.
This is the story of a scientific expedition which set out to piece together the life of the snow leopard in the extraordinary wilderness of the Altai Mountains in Central Asia.
|203C||05||By The Light Of The Moon||20031027||20031028|
Mark Carwardine investigates the influence the Moon has had on evolution and discovers without it, life itself may not have developed.
|203C||06||Migration: Heading South||20031103||20031104|
NHU Radio has successfully mounted a tough expedition to Arctic Russia with a team from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, together with Russian naturalists and our scientific consultant, world migration expert - Colin Pennycuick.
The programme will broadcast interviews collected during the field trip to Russia, together with exciting actuality of finding and catching "our" swans on the Arctic tundra.
The programme will be following 5 Satellite-tagged Bewicks swans and a single satellite tagged Whooper Swan.
We hope to discover for the first time the route the Bewicks take from Russia back to the UK, and find out where the Whooper Swans go.
We bring latest news of the swans during the last few minutes of the show.
Presented by Lionel Kelleway
|204A||01||Life, Love And Ancient Trees||20040105||20040106|
Ancient trees that have been part of the British landscape for as much as 1000 years are home to some of our rarest insects, fungi and lichens, as well as being stunning in their own right.
Britain has more of them than any other country in north-west Europe, but we have very poor records of where they are.
In October Nature asked the audience to take part in the Ancient Tree Hunt, a national survey for our lost ancient trees, and to write in with stories of the trees that are important to them.
Now we return to the subject to explore the historical story that these trees tell.
We explore the personal and cultural importance of these trees that was reflected in so many of the letters that Nature received.
There are named trees, like the Elephant Tree, the Admiral and His Majesty.
There are war time stories of evacuees' school lessons and canoodling couples under the boughs of ancient oaks.
There are inspired poets and painters, a Nottingham window cleaner who is writing a book on ancient trees in his spare time, and the woman with MS who was proposed to under an ancient beech and proposes to be buried under a beech.
And we'll have the first results of the Ancient Tree Hunt.
|204A||02||The Regal Lion||20040112||20040113|
, emblem of African wildlife, is declining at an alarming rate, with numbers falling from 200,000 to an estimated 20,000 since the early 1980s.
Habitat fragmentation, trophy hunting and illegal poaching are all taking their toll, so conservationists, politicians and local people find a way of allowing humans and lions to live together? Lionel Kelleway investigates.
Lionel Kelleway celebrates dung, which provide so much information to field biologists.
But as well as enlightening us, dung can also deceive and mystify.
|204A||04||Respect Your Elvers||20040126||20040127|
The number of young eels returning to our rivers from the Sargasso Sea has fallen dramatically over the past twenty years.
Lionel Kelleway investigates whether their migration routes are blocked by weirs, if over-fishing and pollution are to blame or whether the decline is just part of a natural cycle.
are beautiful birds of the South American forests, but the species is under threat from poaching and loss of natural habitat.
Lionel Kelleway reports.
Nature this week is in the mountains of a remote nature reserve in China - the heartland and one of the few remaining homes of one of the most enigmatic yet adored endangered mammals of the world - the giant panda.
Our guide on this exclusive journey to one of these vitally important protected areas for the giant panda is wildlife cameraman Michael Richards.
As part of a wildlife film crew, he travelled in March 2003 to the Qinling mountain range where the Changqing Nature Reserve is found, a further day's travel on from the nearest city of Xian involving bone-shaking hours driving on rough, dangerous roads.
Once there, Michael spent 4 weeks up on the high forested silent mountain ridges and tumbling water-filled gorges following literally on the path of the panda.
An extraordinary opportunity and privilege not afforded to many.
Michael was able to experience the beauty of the landscape as the mountains emerged from winter into spring, and follow on the trail of several giant pandas.
Initially it was just panda droppings and scent-marked trees on the paths that the reserve rangers found, but eventually Mike was able to spend days high in the mountains, following individual pandas as they wandered through the bamboo, feeding, sleeping, feeding, sleeping.and feeding and sleeping some more.
About 95% of a panda's day is spent just sleeping and eating.
On the highest ridges the sharp snap and crack of a bamboo stem was the only signal that there was a panda in Mike's midst, hidden somewhere feeding amongst the foliage.
You might think a boldly coloured, slightly lumbering bear, which spends most of its day resting or sitting eating would be easy to find, but pandas are notoriously difficult to locate in their natural habitat.
|204A||07||A River In The Ocean||20040216||20040217|
What is the Gulf Stream? Lionel Kelleway investigates the mysteries of ocean currents.
Is the mild weather we get from the warm Atlantic waters here to stay?
|204A||08||The Last Wild Camels||20040223||20040224|
Huw Cordey ventures into the Gobi desert in Mongolia in search of what is thought to be the last truly wild herd of Bactrian camels.
Accompanied by camel scientists and Mongolian camel trackers, he goes deep into the desert on his search, camping out every night in temperatures that can drop to minus 45 degrees centigrade.
This remote area of the Gobi has never been inhabited by man and is one of the most harsh and challenging places to travel through in winter.
What is the mysterious disease killing India's vultures? And how has their dramatic decline become a public health issue? Paul Evans investigates.
Climate change caused by greenhouse gases and other emissions is now bringing spring much earlier to the British Isles.
Jeremy Bristow examines the impact this is having on some of our most familiar native plants, birds and butterflies.
Great tits, red admiral butterflies and chiffchaffs are all affected in different ways and, as Jeremy discovers, we can all play a part in recording their responses to a warming climate.
After 30 years, the frigate HMS Scylla began a new career in March this year, as an artificial reef below the waves off the Cornish coast.
Paul Evans investigates.
Battleship Reef: After 30 years, the frigate HMS Scylla began a new career in March this year, as an artificial reef below the waves off the Cornish coast.
|204B||02||Protecting Our Trees||20040524||20040525|
Gerry Northam meets some extraordinary trees and the people who are passionate about them.
Often our ancient trees are saved only by the doggedness and devotion of the people who love them rather than the law, so Gerry asks whether we need greater powers to protect our trees.
Love them or hate them, grey squirrels are advancing across the country and our native red squirrels may be extinct in a couple of decades.
Paul Evans investigates.
|204B||05||Thriving On Neglect||20040614||20040615|
Brownfield sites of disused quarries, railway sidings, old factory sites or scraps of overgrown waste ground have always been valued by conservationists for their wildlife.
They're also where many of us built dens as children, walk our dogs or take exercise.
But with building land at a premium in urban areas, they are now under threat as never before.
Lionel Kelleway visits the best of the Brownfields and chairs a discussion with leading thinkers on the future of these neglected habitats.
The Manx Shearwater is one of the most extreme of all seabirds, living over 50 years and migrating thousands of miles to South America each winter.
As 90% of the world's population breed in the British Isles, we are responsible for the species' wellbeing.
Lionel Kelleway investigates the natural history of these fascinating birds, and finds out what we are doing to ensure their long-term survival.
|204B||07||Ragwort: Friend Or Foe?||20040628||20040629|
With its distinctive yellow late summer flowers, Ragwort is home to thirty species of insects.
It is also a deadly poison, responsible for the deaths of many horses every year.
Yvonne hears the arguments and searches for middle ground where both plants and animals can flourish.
|204B||08 LAST||The Gender Game||20040705||20040706|
Boys down the pub talking football, girls taking tea over baby chat.
All sound like stereotypes, but male and female segregation is a fact, not just for us humans, but also for animals as varied as bats, gannets and bighorn sheep.
John Altringham investigates the fascinating reasons why it's biologically best to keep apart from the opposite sex.
|204C||01||Insects On The Move||20040920|
At the end of summer and in early autumn, as the migrant birds are thinking of heading south, the British countryside receives a fresh wave of visitors which makes the numbers of swallows and cuckoos seem like small fry.
These are the insects which bring a cosmopolitan feel to our gardens arriving unannounced and unnoticed from as far a field as North Africa.
In the first of a new series of Nature, Lionel Kelleway explores the world of the insect travellers to Britain.
He meets the Painted lady butterflies which sometimes arrive in millions from the shores of the Mediterranean and beyond, the Marmalade hoverflies which are feeding on greenfly in almost every garden throughout summer and autumn, and the dragonflies which are using their migratory skills to colonise the UK from continental Europe.
Some butterflies even cross the Atlantic to reach us.
Monarch butterflies from North America are often recorded in south-west England, especially in a favourable wind.
In some years numbers are dramatic.
In 1976 countless millions of ladybirds stained the shorelines of eastern England red as they made landfall in search of food.
In 2003, gardens across the country were graced with what looked like tiny hummingbirds.
They were Hummingbird hawk-moths and most had probably been born many hundreds of miles south in Spain or Portugal.
|204C||02||The Raven's Return||20040927|
Decades of persecution by farmers and gamekeepers drove ravens out of the lowlands far into the west but now these big birds are returning.
Paul Evans reports.
|204C||03||The Overlooked Underfoot||20041004|
We often ignore small, flowerless plants like mosses, liverworts and lichens but, as Paul Evans discovers, these ancient organisms are giving us important clues about our changing environment.
|204C||04||Our Jurassic Sea||20041011|
The Jurassic was the heyday of the dinosaurs, but it was also a great era for the global oceans.
Indeed this was the time all the crude oil was deposited and many of the now famous animal fossils were formed.
Lionel Kelleway explores this fascinating time along the south coast and most unusually, the heart of Wiltshire.
Our clanky and stroppy friend from the sea - more familiar on our tables than under the water - is, from the scientists perspective, the animal of the moment.
Lionel Kelleway discovers that the familiar lobster is yielding technical innovations based wholly on its own design for space telescopes, kamikaze mine busters and smart molecules for cleaning up pollution.
|204C||06||The Native Plants Are Restless||20041025|
Alien plants grab the headlines.
Whether they've escaped from gardens or been introduced accidentally, plants like Japanese Knotweed or Himalayan Balsam are painted as villains, and huge amounts of money and time are being spent in trying to eradicate them.
But while conservationists grapple with them, are they missing the native plants such as bracken and bramble which may be more of a threat to sensitive habitats and vulnerable species? Paul Evans asks if we've achieved the right balance in dealing with unwanted plants.
|204C||07||The Deer Rut||20041101|
Presenter Lionel Kelleway spends a few wind swept days on the Isle of Rum immersed in the sounds and drama of the red deer rut.
This is the time for great warriors to battle it out for their prize, a harem of hinds.
|204C||08||The Toxic Timebomb||20041108|
With many chemical pollutants now awash in the environment, scientists are only just discovering the longer term serious effects which may be behind unexplained changes witnessed in animal behaviour.
Not only have these substances been seen to cause fish in British rivers to change sex, but changes are also being seen in birds, mammal and reptiles across the world.
Presented by Paul Evans
|204C||09 LAST||Amateurs As Experts||20041115|
Paul Evans asks how much nature conservation policy in the British Isles involves naturalists with field experience, rather than bureaucrats sitting behind desks.
En route he discovers an exciting initiative to harness the enthusiasm and knowledge of keen amateurs, from moss-collectors to fly-fishermen.
Huw Cordey embarks on a caver's dream trip; the descent into Lechuguilla, the deepest cave in the United States.
Apart from its enormous size, what makes Lechuguilla so impressive are the incredibly beautiful and varied gypsum formations that adorn the walls, ceiling and floors of the caverns and passages.
|205A||02||The Clock Of Life||20050110||20050111|
Lionel Kelleway investigates the mysteries of biological clocks in the living world.
A trawl of the rich waters of the Amazon in the company of biologist Adrian Barnett.
The Amazon Basin is the largest river basin in the world, covering some 6 million square kilometres in the north-eastern part of South America.
Most of it is within Brazil covering almost 60% of the country's area.
Biologist Adrian Barnett has spent many years studying the wildlife of the Amazon, most recently within Brazil.
Travelling through flooded forests, up and down tributaries, and exploring drying out pools and lakes with local scientists, he discovers an intriguing world of transparent catfish, the shocking experience of electric eels and attempts to spot one of the largest mammals to be found in the rivers, the elusive giant otter.
Lionel Kelleway gets close to avocets on the Exe Estuary and investigates latest research on how they sense their prey by touch.
|205A||05||Mid Winter Wonders||20050131||20050201|
Imbolc is one of the four cornerstones of the Celtic calendar or fire festivals, and is celebrated on 1st February, the point of mid-winter.
On the eve of Imbolc, Paul Evans explores this celebration of mid-winter as the light returns, the days lengthen and we see the first signs of Spring.
|205A||06||The Life Of Fens||20050207||20050208|
After decades in the wilderness, ferns are fashionable again, and not only among gardeners.
As botanists unravel the lives of our most familiar and beautiful ferns, they are re-defining the way we determine species and evolution.
Paul Evans follows the fortunes of ferns from the Great Victorian Fern Craze to the origins of plant conservation in Britain.
Beyond the example of cats and dogs appearing to know when their owners are returning home, there are a host of finely-tuned senses at work within the animal kingdom.
With very few wild animals thought to have been lost during the recent devastating tsunami, Lionel Kelleway explores the behaviour and instincts of animals that might help them to survive such catastrophic natural disasters.
Albatrosses are famed for their long journeys but recent research has shown just how far and fast they travel - one bird flew around the world in 46 days.
Gillian Burke finds out how understanding albatrosses' movements may help to conserve these ocean wanderers.
are still a regular sight on the streets on Northern Indian cities where they "dance" for tourists and earn money for their keepers, the Kalander gypsies.
But this traditional practice causes great distress to the bears and is threatening their wild populations.
Tessa McGregor visits a bear sanctuary established by international conservation organisations committed to removing the animals from the streets and providing the Kalander people with alternative sources of income.
|205C||01||Apes Or People First||20050919||20050920|
Paul Evans finds out what really matters to the people who live with the world's dwindling populations of great apes as their neighbours and asks conservationists whether they are doing enough to take human needs into account.
As politicians and conservationists meet in the Congo to try to thrash out agreements to protect the dwindling populations of great apes around the world - orang utans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos - Paul Evans turns his attention to the people whose countries are home to these animals.
Since conservationists are forever saying that people's interests need to be taken into account, what are the burning issues for people who live with gorillas at the top of the nearby mountain, or whose home is the Congo Forest that houses the world's few remaining bonobos (pigmy chimpanzees)?
In the light of the human, political and development issues, Paul asks the conservationists whether their plans to save the great apes can really work.
|205C||02||The New Forest||20050926||20050927|
Paul Evans explores the ancient landscape of the New Forest, Britain's newest National Park.
He looks beyond the chocolate-box image to discover how the relationship between people and wildlife has created this unique place, and discusses the issues they both face.
|205C||03||A Blight On The Landscape||20051003||20051004|
Phytophthoras, a family of fungus-like organisms, are one of the most successful globe-trotting plant pathogens.
Infestans, the most notorious member of the family which causes late potato blight, led to the devastating famine in Ireland in the mid 1800s.
Today, a war is waged against new strains of phytophthoras which are affecting a growing number of tree and shrub species on most continents.
Paul Evans explores how scientists are trying to identify and contain these easily spreadable disease and death bringers.
is the naming and classification of living things.
From Linnaeus to ultra-modern bar-coding, Paul Evans browses the taxonomic menu and finds that species such as Red Grouse and tomatoes have all had their identity crises in the past.
|205C||05||Deep Sea New Horizon||20051017||20051018|
John Ruthven joins the research vessel New Horizon, to trawl the depths of the San Clemente Basin off the coast of California for some intriguing transparent marine creatures with bizarre lifestyles who live way down in a trench.
|205C||06||Trees Of Trafalgar||20051024||20051025|
To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Admiral Nelson, Paul Evans visits woods in England and Spain that provided the timber used to build the warships.
He also visits the Trafalgar Woods Project which aims to plant 33 new woods to commemorate each of the ships in Nelson's fleet.
|205C||07||The Yellowstone Wolves||20051031||20051101|
Ten years ago, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
Howard Stableford finds out how their population has grown.
With the current shift in the seasons, and Spring and Autumn arriving earlier, Paul Evans follows up on a few wildlife stories that made the headlines this year.
He investigates whether certain species are just experiencing a natural flux in numbers, or whether changes affecting their food sources and habitat conditions are a result of what may become permanently warmer temperatures.
Brett Westwood presents a special edition of Nature from Slimbridge.
With invited guests from the world of natural history and conservation and surrounded by the hubub of newly arriving migrant wildfowl, Westwood presents listeners' questions about bird flu and it's relationship to our wildlife and us.
|205C||08||Bird Flu Special||20051107||20051108|
With the current shift in the seasons, and Spring and Autumn arriving earlier, Paul Evans follows up on a few wildlife stories that made the headlines this year.
He investigates whether certain species are just experiencing a natural flux in numbers, or whether changes affecting their food sources and habitat conditions are a result of what may become permanently warmer temperatures.
|206C||01||One Hundred New Naturalists||20060911||20060912|
The 100th title in the Collins New Naturalist series is published this month, over 60 years after the first.
Brett Westwood explores the chequered history of the longest-running series of natural history books in the world - an entire set of which could fetch £20,000 at auction.
He meets the authors, publishers and collectors, one of whom is prepared to contemplate crime to get his hands on a missing volume.
One Hundred New Naturalists
The hundredth title in the Collins New Naturalist series is published this month, over 60 years after the first.
|206C||02||In Search Of The Emperor||20060918||20060919|
Following in the steps of the Victorian butterfly hunters, Brett Westwood goes in search of the ultimate prize.
The Purple Emperor is one of Britain's most sought-after butterflies and was known as 'His Imperial Highness' by early collectors.
But, as Brett discovers, the feeding habits of this regal insect are at odds with its magnificent appearance.
|206C||03||What A Scorcher, An Ecological Review Of Summer 2006||20060925||20060926|
While Britain basked in glorious sunshine, basking sharks gathered off the Cornish coast, southern crickets sang in Scotland for the first time and an important heathland nature reserve went up in smoke.
Paul Evans investigates the effects of this remarkable summer on wildlife and habitats.
|206C||04||The Sounds Of Galapagos||20061002||20061003|
From grazing fish and snapping pistol shrimps, to gobbling frigate birds and mating giant tortoises, the unique sounds of the Galapagos islands are captured in this evocative audio portrait.
With Joe Stevens of the BBC Natural History Unit, and wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson
|206C||05||Why Garden For Wildlife?||20061009||20061010|
Paul Evans explores the pros and cons of gardening for wildlife, aided by author Ken Thompson and Chris Baines.
|206C||06||The Urchin In Trouble||20061016||20061017|
Our British hedgehogs are having a hard time and ironically that's reflected by fewer numbers killed on the roads.
Paul Evans explores the reasons why we've lost up to a fifth of our hedgehogs in the last few years, and finds out what we as individuals can do to help one of our most iconic animals.
|206C||07||Ups And Downs||20061023||20061024|
Paul Evans visits Dartmoor in search of bats and damselflies and asks whether the conservation of important species and habitats is the job of the National Parks.
|206C||08||India's Blue Hills||20061030||20061031|
Tessa McGregor visits India's Nilgiri Hills which turn blue every twelve years as the rare kurunji flower bursts into bloom.
She meets the rare Nilgiri tahr - half-goat, half-antelope and a symbol of wild mountain habitats across the globe.
|206C||09||Diary From A Strange Country||20061106||20061107|
Paul Evans gives a personal account of a remarkable year through his country diaries - the changing sounds of the countryside and archive of wildlife which made the news in 2006.