Sunday 22 September 2019

Springwatch team to spread environmental message with new series

Chris Packham, Gillian Burke, Iolo Williams and Michaela Strachan return to Springwatch.

Springwatch presenters Gillian Burke, Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham (Glenn Dearing/PA)
Springwatch presenters Gillian Burke, Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham (Glenn Dearing/PA)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

The Springwatch team are set to spread an environmental message with their new series.

Presenter Chris Packham has said he wants to inspire a love for nature that will make viewers want to protect it.

The broadcaster, who spoke at an Extinction Rebellion protest in London last month, said he does not believe the planet is doomed and damage can be repaired.

Fellow Springwatch presenters said there is increasing acceptance of mankind’s impact on the environment, and their show can give practical advice on how to make a difference.

Presenters Gillian Burke, Iolo Williams and Michaela Strachan said Springwatch has the power to inspire without being humourless and “depressing”.

Speaking to reporters in London ahead of the new series, which airs later this month, Packham said: “I wouldn’t be sat here talking today if I thought we were ‘f*****’ to be quite honest with you.

“I think we have an enormous capacity to repair and restore.”

He added: “I still think there is a role to be inspirational.

“If people don’t love it, they won’t care for it. And if they don’t care about it, they won’t ever take any action to look after it.”

The team are asking viewers to take part in a vast data-gathering scheme, the show’s biggest ever, and answer simple queries on the state of nature in their garden.

Garden Watch data will be used by scientists to assess the health of British wildlife.

The Springwatch presenters hope their show can provide practical tips to those wishing to do their bit for nature, in a time when acceptance of climate change is ever increasing, without being downbeat.

Strachan said: “It’s really important when you’re trying to get a message across to have some humour and I think a lot of conservation doesn’t have any humour at all, and it’s all depressing, so you need the balance.

“You have our programme that has the science, the beauty, the conservation stuff. Positive stuff you can do.

“And then you have the news that tells you the hardcore conservation stuff and the political stuff.

“I think they’re all as equally as important as each other.”

Presenters will broadcast from the one of the wildest parts of the UK, the Cairngorms National Park, when the show returns to TV screens.

Burke said of the current interest in climate and the environment: “I think these are really interesting times because it seems that more and more people are really in a point of acceptance that as a species we’ve impacted the planet.

“And as more people accept that and acknowledge that, that’s the beginning of being able to do anything about it.”

Coverage will include tracking ospreys, wildcats, martens, and the seasonal cycles of wildlife in the Cairngorms.

BBC Two’s Springwatch 2019 airs Monday to Thursday for three weeks from Monday May 27.

PA Media

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