Springwatch to broadcast from new Dorset location as series returns

Springwatch will return this month as the nature series broadcasts from a new location at RSPB Arne Nature Reserve in Dorset.

Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will be at the site – which is one of the few places in the UK where all six native reptiles can be found, including the rare sand lizards and smooth snakes – for several weeks from May.

The nature reserve has 30 remote cameras set up to try and capture different species including birds such as green woodpeckers and Dartford warblers as well as tunnelling bees.

Senior head of commissioning for BBC factual Jack Bootle said: “I am delighted that Springwatch will be showcasing a new location this series.

“I look forward to this time of year when the cameras  capture the spectacular scenes from the awakening wildlife – from dens, nests, meadows and woodlands from across the UK.

“We are happy to yet again have the chance to bring the extraordinary, colourful and unpredictable spring world to viewers living rooms, and I hope that Springwatch’s loyal fans enjoy the new series.”

Elsewhere, Welsh naturalist Iolo Williams will be looking at Purbeck Heaths in Dorset, a nature reserve that envelops Hartland Moor, Stoborough Heath and Studland and Godlingston Heaths to form a new “super” National Nature Reserve, which is home to heathlands birds, Britain’s rarest dragonfly, and 12 bat species.

In Wales, presenter Gillian Burke will take a road trip through Snowdonia and across the Menai Straits to Anglesey along with taking a look at post-industrial landscape the Gwaith Powdwr Nature Reserve.

The programme will also feature a number of stories spanning across the UK and the natural world, including mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, fish, reptiles and birds and the stories of people who work with wildlife.

Mindfulness Moments, which are 90-second films of uninterrupted nature, will also return and see segments on red squirrels, English bluebells and the UK’s only aquatic songbird – the dipper.

Rosemary Edwards, executive producer of Springwatch, said: “We are excited to bring this year’s Springwatch live from RSPB Arne, at the heart of Purbeck Heaths,  home to an astonishing array of wildlife, from birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and more.

“We hope that audiences will have a chance to learn something new about their favourite species, or even discover new ones. We hope that this year’s programmes will inspire more people to explore the beautiful and diverse nature we have in the UK, and encourage them to learn how they can make a difference too.”

The BBC announced in February that the other iteration of the nature series which is broadcast usually later in the year, called Autumnwatch, would not take place in 2023 and beyond as it seeks to “focus” its resources on content that has “the highest impact”.

It will instead direct more money into sister programmes Springwatch and Winterwatch.

The BBC must find £400 million in annual savings by 2027/28, as outlined in the corporation’s latest annual plan, which was published in March.

Springwatch returns to BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on May 29 at 7.30pm.