School pupils 'go wild' for BBC Springwatch opening show

Children enjoying the outdoor life and toasted marshmallows.

Children enjoying the outdoor life and toasted marshmallows. - Credit: West Norfolk Academies Trust / Barking Dog Media

West Norfolk school pupils went "wild" for the opening episode of BBC Springwatch as they watched it being broadcast from a Norfolk site they have close ties with.

Children at Snettisham Primary School and Heacham Infant and Junior School watched the new programme very closely on Tuesday night, which was broadcast live from Wild Ken Hill in west Norfolk.

The West Norfolk Academies Trust schools have strong connections to the Ken Hill Estate which has become the base for Springwatch presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and the BBC crew.

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

Children at the schools have been involved in a community project being run by Wild Ken Hill and each class at the schools will be involved in the initiative, which started in February, throughout the year.

Executive headteacher Louise Jackson said: “We started in the spring term when we collaborated with families and Nick Padwick, manager of the Ken Hill estate, through Zoom presentations to learn about the size of the project and the animals being reintroduced there.

“Pupils in Key Stage 2 at Snettisham will be taking a tour of the rewilding site and one of our classes has already made a visit and were lucky enough to see a pair of red kites.

"We are also delighted that white tailed eagles will be reintroduced to our area."

The tour was led by Michaela Dartford who also visited Heacham Infants to encourage younger children to enjoy forest school sessions and to look closely at micro-habitats on the school site.

Thousands of acres at Wild Ken Hill are being rewilded or turned over to regenerative farming methods.

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The new series first aired at 8pm on Tuesday, May 25 live on BBC Two and will be broadcast from Tuesday to Friday for the next three weeks.

Behind the scenes at Heacham Bottom Farm where some of Springwatch is being filmed. Picture: Daniell

Behind the scenes at Springwatch, where remote cameras are monitoring a clutch of birds' nests at Wild Ken Hill - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Packham explained in the opening episode that the west Norfolk countryside is the base of this year's programme to celebrate a "vision of the future", which was this year's theme.

BBS Springwatch is also livestreaming video footage of wildlife at the site on its website, on BBCiplayer and on Youtube from 10am to 10pm until 9pm on Friday, June 11.