The Suffolk Coast
  • BBC Springwatch - Avocet - RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve - (c) Oscar Dewhurst
  • BBC Springwatch - Bittern - RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve - (c) Oscar Dewhurst
  • BBC Springwatch - Marsh Harrier - RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve - (c) Oscar Dewhurst
  • BBC SpringWatch - BBC Studio - RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve
  • BBC Springwatch - Sand Martin at Cliff - RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve - (c) Oscar Dewhurst

BBC Springwatch Returns to RSPB Minsmere

From next Monday 25th May, our tranquil corner of the coast will be appearing on televisions across the world as BBC Springwatch returns to RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve. Since the first year of hosting last year, RPSB Minsmere has seen a 25% increase in visitors across the year, and it’s not hard to see why.

We arrive at Minsmere and head to the café to meet Visitor Experience Officer Ian Barthorpe, as he arrives, Ian apologises for being a few minutes late:

“I had a message to say an osprey had been sighted so I just dashed up to the viewpoint to see if I could spot it, which I did!”

We sit down in the bustling café, which on this Spring Wednesday morning, is packed with walkers, birdwatchers, nature lovers and a couple of BBC employees who had snuck into the café for a coffee and slice of cake (the apricot cake is not to be missed!)

My first question for Ian: So what makes Minsmere so special?

“It’s the variety of habitats and the variety of species; most of the habitats found in lowland England, can be found here, we are very lucky to be part of a continuous suite of protected sites right along the coast, from Kessingland, Covehithe and Walberswick to the north and Sizewell, the estuary and Landguard Nature Reserve to the south.”

BBC Springwatch Presenters-The Suffolk Coast v2Springwatch is in its second year of a 3 year residency at Minsmere, and like last year’s stand out moments, this season audiences are in for more rare sightings. With last year’s bittern nest discovery, the adder predating a goldfinch nest and the badgers managing to invade the scrape, I asked Ian what could be in store over the coming weeks:

“We are looking forward to seeing how things have developed from last year and hopefully accessing marsh harriers, bearded tits and stone curlews which we couldn’t get to last year. The badgers are now also being tracked by GPS, so we are intrigued to see how they have moved around the reserve and how they impact other species.”

With a huge variety of over 100 species of birds breeding at Minsmere, it’s easy to see why the BBC have committed to filming here for the next two Springs, and as we drove up the long entrance through woodland, we spotted the Springwatch studio and workers bustling around preparing to lay some 13km of cables throughout the reserve.

“Despite the crew working round the clock, their presence has very little impact on the visitor experience. You may spot a presenter or crew member wandering round occasionally, and they, like those who come here, are nature lovers and so are keen to spot some of our rare wildlife during their lunch breaks.”

BBC Springwatch starts on BBC 2 on 25th May at 8pm, for more information on RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve and to plan your visit go to www.rspb.co.uk/minsmere