The RSPB’s Rupert Masefield looks forward to the return of Springwatch to the Suffolk Coast’s Minsmere nature reserve and asks, ‘What better time for us to think about how we can all pitch in to give wildlife a helping hand?’
In the spring the natural world goes through a transformation that never ceases to be a source of amazement and pleasure when it comes around each year. As the days get longer nature emerges from the subdued torpor of winter and by May is in the midst of an unbridled frenzy of activity. Hedgerows, meadows, heaths and woodlands; reedbeds, coast and gardens, are all bursting with life, which makes this one of the best times to get outdoors and explore the wonderful world of British wildlife.
It might seem counter-intuitive then that for three weeks each spring, the imaginations of millions of nature lovers should be captured by a television programme? Maybe, but then BBC Springwatch is not like any other television programme.
A wildlife spectacle we can all join in with
The 90th birthday celebrations of Sir David Attenborough earlier this month highlighted for me something I think a lot of us don’t spend enough time appreciating: if you just take the time to look for it, amazing wildlife is all around us. Sir David has been sharing his passion for nature with successive generations since the 1960s, and Springwatch has given a lot of those same people a forum for sharing the passion he helped inspire in them.
Since it first appeared on our screens in 2005, its unique brand of wildlife spectacle mixed with intimate stories of the animals (and plants) that live all around us has captivated audiences by bringing British wildlife into our living rooms. But what has always made Springwatch stand out from other more traditional natural history programmes is the element of audience participation. From sharing viewers’ wildlife photos and footage from garden nest-box cameras, to asking us to become citizen scientists by taking part in wildlife surveys, our involvement has been a big part of the programme, and why it is so enduringly popular.Buy Now