Nature of Britain (5)

NoB5

The main theme of last Wednesday’s Nature of Britain was ‘Coastal Britain’. This latest programme in the 8-part series continued to maintain the very highest standards of photography, producing a good match between underwater and above the surface shots, so we saw Arctic Skuas diving for fish, as well as whales and killer whales hunting off our shores. Most remarkable for me was the feature on the otters-the camera crew and production team responsible for producing that work must be in line for an award-the patience and time invested in obtaining that footage merits one alone!

From large coastal creatures to small ones-we saw a species of bee that cleverly utilises discarded snail shells as ‘hatcheries’ for its young. Again, the very informative nature of the programme managed to convey the interaction of a number of factors which influence life along the British coastline – the sun, the wind, rain and tides all play a part in shaping the lives of our coastal creatures. This is particularly so in inter-tidal zones, and this was very well demonstrated through the use of time-lapse photography, as the tidal cycle which dominates life in our rock pools was quickly speeded up, revealing isolated pools of water as the tide went out, which in turn were replenished with fresh micro-organisms that in turn fed the occupants of the pools, as the next high tide returned.

This led cleverly to the local West Midlands feature of the programme-how do you represent the coastal aspect of the Nature of Britain, to reflect that aspect of nature in a land-locked region of the UK? Slimbridge of course!

Web-link to Slimbridge

Web-link to the BBC Staffordshire web site-where you can see the local features of Nature of Britain again.

Nature of Britain (4)

BBC filming children’s group FoWB

Last Wednesday night, towards the end of BBC 1’s Nature of Britain, Wombourne was featured for a few minutes, when Miranda Krestovnikoff presented her report about the conservation and education work that the Friends of Wom Brook undertake along the Brook in Wombourne. Rather fittingly, her report began in Wombourne, and then switched to highlight the sterling work being undertaken by the Whitchurch group who have developed their water vole habitat.

The main part of the programme, produced by Alan Titchmarsh, focused on ‘Freshwater Britain’-not only providing an informative insight into the lives of some of Britain’s more ‘interesting’ water wildlife, but also presenting a veritable geography lesson, which gave an interesting account of the journey our water takes, from rain falling on our uplands, flowing downstream and forming with other streams into small rivers, which in turn join others to make a large river flowing down to our coasts and thus into the sea.

Below is a link to the BBC Staffordshire website.

When you get to the BBC page, look for ‘Watch Video’/’Freshwater’ – please be patient-Wombourne is featured towards the end of the feature.

Click here to see last Wednesday’s West Midlands part of Nature of Britain

Nature of Britain (3)

underwater camera graphic

The latest in the series of BBC 1’s Nature of Britain, shown last Wednesday night (24/10/07) on BBC1 continued to uphold the high standards of photography and presentation set in the first 2 issues. Alan Titchmarsh, despite having provided countless feeding opportunities for the bird life of this country during his many gardening activities, was still being attacked by them during last Wednesday’s programme!

On this occasion, in demonstrating the adaptability of many of Britain’s creatures to urban life, Alan revealed how city buildings provide ideal nesting grounds for what were originally coastal birdlife. This was graphically shown on the famous bridge over the Tyne in Newcastle.

Naturally nesting birds will defend their young-hence their aggressive flying directed at Alan, when he investigated the ‘penthouse’ area of a high rise building.

Elsewhere in the programme we saw other wildlife more originally associated with the countryside such as blackbirds, robins, foxes, hedgehogs and badgers that are now established urban dwellers. The main reason for this-the abundance of discarded food within reach of this urban-dwelling wildlife.

There were two enduring memories from last week’s episode-ducklings taking their first plunge from on high, into the ornamental water feature at the Barbican in London, and secondly, Miranda Krestovnikoff revealing the startling abundance of sticklebacks beneath the surface of a Birmingham city centre pond.

Next week, the work of the Friends of Wom Brook group in Wombourne is due to feature in the ‘Where you live‘ section shown during the last part of each episode of the Nature of Britain series. We believe that only viewers who are able to receive BBC 1 Midlands TV (available on Sky as well) will be able to see this.