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Planet Earth II producer ‘utterly charmed’ by Norfolk landscape

PUBLISHED: 16:54 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 27 July 2017

BBC Planet Earth II producer Dr Chadden Hunter hosted a talk about the series for King's Lynn Festival 2017. Picture: Chadden Hunter

BBC Planet Earth II producer Dr Chadden Hunter hosted a talk about the series for King's Lynn Festival 2017. Picture: Chadden Hunter

Chadden Hunter

A producer of the award-winning Planet Earth II documentary said he was “utterly charmed” by Norfolk’s sweeping landscapes and beer gardens during the filming of a part of the documentary in the county.

The Norfolk harvest mouse was the only British animal to feature in Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterThe Norfolk harvest mouse was the only British animal to feature in Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

Dr Chadden Hunter, who has worked on the series since 2007, was recommended to film a segment for the Grasslands episode at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, in Fakenham.

One of Norfolk’s furry inhabitants turned into a national superstar after it became the only British animal to feature in the show - the harvest mouse.

“Few would have predicted the world’s grandest wildlife TV production would be lured to Norfolk by one of it’s smallest ambassadors,” Dr Hunter said.

Dr Chadden Hunter making friends behind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterDr Chadden Hunter making friends behind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

“The harvest mouse shoot was my first visit to Norfolk and I was utterly charmed.

“Farmers went out of their way to show us the wild meadows they were incorporating alongside their fields to encourage wildlife.

“It was early summer, the sun was shining, the meadows were a riot of colour with wild flowers and the Norfolk beer gardens tempting. It has to be one of the most pleasant wildlife film shoots of my career.”

A harvest mouse, which featured in the Grasslands episode, being filmed in Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Fakenham. Picture: Chadden HunterA harvest mouse, which featured in the Grasslands episode, being filmed in Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Fakenham. Picture: Chadden Hunter

He said it was rare for a British animal to make the final cut of a David Attenborough documentary but added: “The harvest mouse was one of our viewer’s favourite characters in the series and won a lot of hearts.”

Fans of the epic wildlife series can learn all the secrets of what went on behind the scenes in a talk with Dr Hunter on Saturday, July 29 in St George’s Guildhall at 3.30pm. As part of King’s Lynn Festival, Dr Hunter will reveal never-before-seen footage and talk about his journey from wildlife biologist to film-maker.

One of his fondest memories on the show, he said, was getting lost in the world’s tallest grass in Kaziranga National Park in India.

Scenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterScenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

“Towering four metres above us the grass made us feel like insects,” he said.

“We got lost in a labyrinth of green tunnels created first by elephants but then navigated by Bengal tigers, Asian rhinoceros, water buffalo and sloth bear.

“All of them potentially dangerous if you startle them, but the grass was so impenetrable the creatures could be only metres away and remain unseen.”

Behind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterBehind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

To book tickets, contact the King’s Lynn Festival box office on 01553 764864 or visit www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk

Scenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterScenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

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