Winterwatch presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke/Credit: BBC Images
Who presents Winterwatch?
Presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Gillian Burke and Iolo Williams will host a wildlife extravaganza, celebrating winter – the wildest, coldest Cairngorms season from Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st January on BBC Two.
What is coming up on Winterwatch?
This season Winterwatch 2020 will return to the tipi studio nestled amongst the Caledonian Pine at the Dell of Abernethy, for one last time. The Dell sits on the edge of the Abernethy Caledonian pine forest and is surrounded by Caledonian Pinewoods, open grassland, farmland and garden spaces, all bordered by the stunning River Nethy.
Loch Garten is hidden within Abernethy Forest Getty
The presenters will be investigating how the local highland wildlife and spectacular landscapes are coping with the ravages of winter 2020 but also revealing a much bigger and more significant story which is affecting us all.
Chris Packham says: “Scotland – land of the brave, home of the wild and hope for the UK’s wildlife. This is the happening zone in conservation and home to the most amazing diversity of sexy species. I can’t wait”.
Here is what to expect from the new series:
Live wildlife possibilities
The Watches live camera streams reach audiences as far away as France, America and India. This winter they will be streaming again from a variety of live cameras focused on the local winter wildlife.
Watch the live Pine Martin Box, live Squirrel Box, and Badger Sett cameras provide views of the Dell’s mammals, but the team will also be watching the local wildlife take on some seasonal challenges too.
Michaela Strachan says: “I’m so excited to be going to the Cairngorms for Winterwatch. It’s such a stunning place. Full of wildlife, dramatic, wild and very, very cold! The wildlife always delivers from Golden Eagles to Mountain Hares, Wild Cats to Black Grouse, Ptarmigan, Pine Marten, Red Squirrel, Water Vole, Otter. The Highlands have a wonderful diversity of wildlife and habitats. It’s one of those places in the UK where you can really connect with the natural environment.”
Red squirrel translocation
The red squirrel is the nation’s only native squirrel but they have had a tough time hanging on to their territory since the late 1800’s. Scotland is now one of their last remaining strong holds. Winterwatch joins passionate conservationists who, determined not to lose them forever, are carrying out translocations to repopulate their historic ranges.
A wild Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) on an old mossy fallen Oak. (Credit: Getty Images)
Wild Therapy – dreaming of orcas
Two films follow the emotional journey of a young lady who is determined to overcome her battle with anxiety through ‘wild therapy’. Having always wanted to see wild orca, she has to overcome all her fears to achieve her mission, which means far more than just seeing these animals in their natural environment. A personal message of pride and strength is also part of her adventure.
Britain’s most northerly otters
The Shetland Islands has one of the densest populations of otters in Europe. Winterwatch will look at how the community of otters survive island life; beginning in the depths of winter as the young cubs first leave their Holts. By following their stories we discover how the young families cope through the seasons, capturing important moments including their first swimming lessons, play time and hunting expeditions.
European otters live in a range of habitats in the UK, including wetlands, rivers and along the coast Getty
Beavers – eco engineers
For the last five years a population of beavers have been thriving on the River Otter in Devon. Winterwatch meets up with Mark Elliot from the Devon Wildlife Trust, who has been studying their progress. Mark has discovered how the beavers have impacted on the ecosystem. With the Government preparing to make a decision next year about whether beavers can remain in the wild in England, Winterwatch exclusively reveals the results of the Wildlife Trust report into these charismatic mammals and how they are impacting the landscape in this particular study area.
Beavers eat only plants and do not eat fish. They feed on aquatic plants, grasses, herbaceous plants and shrubs during the summer months and woody plants in winter/Credit David Chapman
Springwatch and Autumnwatch 2020
Winterwatch will be followed by Springwatch and Autumnwatch (known as The Watches) later in the year,