This month, BBC Autumnwatch is exploring the wildlife adapting to a season which has come early this year, with four nights of live programmes.
With an over-arching theme of ‘The Changing Face of Autumn’, Autumnwatch will present a vision of a season which has changed dramatically in the wake of climate change.
With the extremes of wildfires and soaring temperatures in the summer, how will our native wildlife have coped and how does that change our expectations of the future? The series returns to BBC Two from Tuesday October 25th at 8pm with nature notes from our four wildlife presenters based in two locations.
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will be at Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk where a traditional farming landscape is being rewilded to attract species once lost from the UK landscape.
Meanwhile, Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke will be at Teifi Marshes and Cardigan Bay in Wales to explore the Autumnal season on the west coast of the UK – from dolphins in the bay to the unmistakeable seasonal sound of a deer rut.
Following a long, hot summer in Norfolk which saw parts of Wild Ken Hill hit by a wildfire, we’ll be discussing the effect climate change is having on our seasons. Devastatingly, some of our favourite wildlife was lost in the fire, such as turtle doves, deer, reptiles and amphibians. Michaela will visit the site where the fire broke out to see if it’s starting to recover.
On set with Chris and Michaela, we’ll also have some macro filming tanks to bring the audience a close-up look at some of the mini-beasts who live at Wild Ken Hill. We’re hoping for some surprises along the way and of course they will all be returned to where we found them.
The stunning Teifi Marshes is one of the best wetland sites in Wales and has a wealth of wildlife that call this corner of Wales home. In Autumn, thousands of starlings perform glorious murmurations over the marshes before descending to roost.
The reserve is situated on the floor of the wide pre-glacial channel left by the former course of the Teifi and now occupied by the river Piliau, which meanders through the marshes in a narrow but deceptively deep cut.
A range of habitats is supported, from open pasture and well wooded hedgerows, through Alder and Willow carr, freshwater marsh with open pools and reedbeds to tidal mudbanks. The area attracts large numbers of wildfowl, notably teal, wigeon and mallard.
For Autumnwatch 2022 live cameras at Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk will bring a range of wildlife straight into our homes. The cameras overlooking the river will hope to catch otters, red deer and tawny owls. And who knows maybe Ray the Rat or some of his close family will turn up again.