Springwatch returns to our screens tomorrow evening and will be broadcasting every evening live from RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve
, right here on The Suffolk Coast.
What you can expect to see
For three weeks between 25th May and 11th June 2015, presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games will be bringing us the sights and sounds of a wildlife extravaganza in full swing as they once again explore the reserve’s amazing variety of habitats, from sand dunes to woodland and shingle beaches to reedbeds, in search of the weird and wonderful species that live there. Minsmere is the most wildlife-rich site in Springwatch’s 11-year history
. This huge reserve on the East Anglian coast is one of the most diverse patches of the UK, with more than 5,600 plants and animals species recorded on the site. This astonishing figure includes more than 1,000 species of moth and butterfly, 336 kinds of bird and 37 species of mammal.
This year, the cast of firm favourites such as last year’s show-stealing stars, the bitterns, as well as otters and avocets, will be joined by a host of new characters, including rare species like reedbed-specialists the marsh harriers, nocturnal moth-eating nightjars, and the UK’s only venomous snake, the adder.
Click on the link above to download the Minsmere Reverve Map in PDF format.
A year of firsts
There are going to be some exciting firsts for BBC Springwatch
too, like the show’s first underwater nest camera, filming a fiercely protective male stickleback defending his eggs. After last month’s Springwatch at Easter preview, animal tracking promises to be one of the dramatic highlights. GPS collars fitted to the reserve’s badgers by RSPB and University of Brighton scientists will help the team to track the nocturnal predators’ movements and learn more about their activity and impact on other wildlife around the reserve- and hopefully avoid a repeat of last year’s avocet nest destruction.
A word from the presenters
Expectations for this year’s programme are at fever-pitch amongst the presenters, with Martin, Chris and Michaela all having their own personal highlights they are looking forward to.
Michaela: “It’s fantastic to come back and be familiar with the place, knowing we’re going to visit old favourites again- last year the bitterns were a huge highlight. This year I’m very excited about the badgers we’ve tagged and finding out where they go. Then there are surprises- year to year we never know which nest we’ll be able to get cameras on- and the drama of what we might see.”
Martin: “I’m looking forward to slightly more odd things. We’re going to be sampling the insect life high in the skies above Minsmere using a blimp, to try to find out what the swifts and swallows and sand martins are feeding on at different levels in the sky, which will be exciting!”
Chris: “It’s going to be better than it was last year because I know it a little bit better and I know what time the best cakes are put out in the cafe. Last year I called Minsmere the Disneyland of wildlife and I didn’t mean that in any way disparagingly, it’s because it offers a great range of resources to a great range of wildlife and the chance to see that here is perhaps unrivalled anywhere else in the UK. Last year we had the bittern bonanza, this year we’re hoping for a feast of marsh harriers – it depends, the birds might have other ideas!” Watch Springwatch wildlife cameras on BBC2 iPlayerBBC Live camera highlights - 25th May 2015
Visiting RSPB Minsmere for Springwatch?
During filming of BBC Springwatch 2015, visitors are welcome to the reserve, whilst you can't access the studio, you can experience the magic of Minsmere, spot this year's animal characters and speak to experts about the wildlife. You may even bump into a presenter, all of whom are known to spend their lunch breaks exploring the reserve!
Where to stay near MinsmereThe Westleton CrownThe Ship At DunwichSuffolk SecretsThe Brudenell HotelThe White Lion HotelSolely SouthwoldHome@21 B&BBest Of SuffolkBig House HolidaysMollett’s FarmAldeburgh Bay Holidays
Places to eat near MinsmereBrudenell Seafood & Grill RestaurantThe White Lion Bar & Brasserie BleueTwo Magpies BakeryLady Florence River Cruise RestaurantSouthwold Boating Lake and Tearoom
Attractions near MinsmereAfrica AliveLong Shop MuseumLowestoft Maritime MuseumBeachesSuffolk MuseumsAldeburgh CinemaAngels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)Aldeburgh MusicSouthwold PierEaston Farm ParkThorpeness Golf ClubOutdoor Play Areas On The Suffolk CoastCycle BreaksSnape Maltings
Check the weather at Minsmere