Autumnwatch returns to Sherborne Park
Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and Gillian Burke have returned to Gloucestershire to see the wildlife around Sherborne for the new series of Autumnwatch, until 26th October.
The BBC Two programme, which was based at Sherborne for Springwatch, has returned to see how the wildlife is preparing for the coming winter.
The Sherborne Park Estate was chosen to be the first ever location to be used all year round for all three of the BBC 'watches', which started with Springwatch in May.
Autumnwatch is updating on some of the key characters from Springwatch, the cameras are positioned at wildlife hotspots to pick up new and developing stories as they happen.
Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games are based at Sherborne and will explore how UK wildlife is coping with the onset of autumn this year, while Gillian Burke is live from the south coast.
" I love the deep reds, oranges, purples, yellows, it's a changing season. I love the sound of crunching leaves and that it's chilly but not freezing cold!"
As well as featuring the spectacular autumn colour from the parkland trees, the programme is expected to follow fallow deer as they move across the estate, track trout with underwater cameras as they migrate along the Sherborne Brook and find where bats are roosting.
The ranger team at Sherborne have been working with the farm tenants and the BBC to set up more spectacular filming opportunities and, hopefully, find some of the rarer things which live nearby.
Presenter Chris Packham said: 'I have a great passion for British natural history, I'm 56 and have been looking at it all my life but I know that I'm going to learn something new and maybe see something new.
'I'm sure it will be challenging as ever. Autumn and Winterwatch are more difficult series than Springwatch but that makes it a test of the inventiveness and the imagination of the team. For me it's about those unexpected surprises. You go into it and end up learning something new about something you've never previously thought about and if you're really lucky you get to see something new on one of the cameras which is fantastic.'
Michaela Strachan said she was looking forward to returning to Sherborne: 'It'll be great to go back to Sherborne and see how the countryside has changed in autumn.
'It'll be great to see if we can catch up with the barn owls we filmed in Springwatch and I hope we manage to follow the fallow deer rutting. Some people get a bit fed up with rutting deer every year but I can watch it endlessly, it's always fascinating. Also I'm looking forward to seeing more of the red kites. We had so many amazing birds of prey on Springwatch so hopefully we'll have a few for Autumnwatch as well.'
Autumnwatch is on air in the evenings on BBC Two from Monday 23rd to Thursday 26th October.