Springwatch 2021: A vision of hope for nature live from Norfolk

Wild Ken Hill

Woodlands have been returned to nature at Wild Ken Hill - Credit: Wild Ken HIll/AW PR

Whether it's watching garden birds whilst self-isolating, to enjoying our daily exercise at our local beauty spot, nature's helped to see many of us through lockdown.

And as the BBC's Springwatch gets under way from Norfolk tonight, producers said it would present "a vision of hope, inspiration, beauty and co-existence", adding: "Nature has been there for us, now we need to be there for it."

Wild Ken Hill

Wetlands seen from the air at Wild Ken Hill - Credit: AWPR

The show is being broadcast from Wild Ken Hill, near Snettisham, where thousands of acres are being rewilded or turned over to regenerative farming methods.

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will based at the coastal location, while the three-week series will also include reports from Iolo Williams in the Scottish Highlands and Gillian Burke at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

More than 30 remote cameras have been set up at locations around Ken Hill, including kestrel, swallow and blue tit's nests. Mr Packham and Ms Strachan will also be hoping to catch a glimpse of the beavers which have been reintroduced to help mange wood and wetland habitat, along with the estate's many birds of prey.

Springwatch presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan being interviews by the local media. Pict

Springwatch presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan at Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk, from where they will be broadcasting Springwatch - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Packham said nature had offered "respite, solace and breathing space" through the pandemic.

"You look out of your window at the wildlife and it doesn't know Covid's going on," he said "It just carries on as normal. 

"Watching it on TV, watching it on the internet almost reaches the same peak of intensity."

A lapwing

Lapwings are one of the farmland bird species being encouraged at the Wild Ken Hill estate - Credit: RSPB

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As well as the site's incredible wildlife, the start of the series will focus on the story behind it. On parts of the estate which are still being farmed, project manager Dom Buscall and his team are using regenerative practices which include abandoning pesticides, leaving hedges uncut and wide field margins to encourage insects and birds.

Mr Packham said he hoped other farmers would look to Ken HIll as an example and some of the team's ideas would "filter out into the wider landscape".

Red poll cattle on the Wild Ken Hill estate, on the west Norfolk coast near Snettisham

Red poll cattle on the Wild Ken Hill estate, on the west Norfolk coast near Snettisham - Credit: Les Bunyan

Springwatch begins on BBC2 tonight (8pm) and will be returning to our screens each evening from Tuesday - Friday for the next three weeks.