European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
I, like many a young, curly-haired Welsh zoologist was raised on the staple of Attenborough documentaries, (I became especially obsessed with the beautiful scene off the coast of Patagonia with the orca hunting the seals). Springwatch, which recently ended it’s three week run, couldn’t be further from the sandy beaches of Patagonia. It’s been described as many things, Big Brother for animals, the original constructed reality programme, The Really Wild Show for grown-ups, but I think Springwatch is the most important natural history programme on British television.
Bill Oddie and Kate Humble launched the series from the Fishleigh Estate in Devon in 2005 but Springwatch over it’s nine outings has grown into an vital part of the BBC’s output in natural history broadcasting. I recently highlighted what I thought were the strengths of some of the best science/natural history programming, a combination of real science and scientists, authoritative presenter and beautiful images to illustrate points. Springwatch has all these elements and so much more.