All New Autumnwatch 2012 - live on TV, Red Button and Online

Monday 1 October 2012, 11:51

Holly Spearing Holly Spearing Series Producer

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We're delighted to announce that Autumnwatch returns at the end of October with an exciting new format and location, planned to capture all the best wildlife action of autumn. As if that's not enough cause for celebration, Autumnwatch will be followed by the brand new live series, Winterwatch, in January.

Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and guests will be following all the wildlife stories as they happen, broadcasting live from our new location. And for the first time, Autumnwatch will be based in Scotland, at one of the best places to showcase the beauty and drama of this dynamic and diverse season. There'll be 4 live shows on BBC TWO from Tuesday 30th October until Friday 2nd November, with Autumnwatch Unsprung on Friday, and our live cameras will be on BBC Red Button and the Web around the clock.

Our New Location
So what about Autumnwatch's new location? We'll be based at the Aigas Field Centre, in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. It's one of the finest areas in the country to experience autumn wildlife, and we'll be right at the heart of the action. Nestled in a wooded glen and surrounded by dramatic mountains, Aigas is home to some of the UK's most iconic animals, from highland specialists to familiar garden wildlife. In the forest, there are red squirrels, pine martens, red deer and crested tits. Birds of prey cruise over the moorland, while foxes and small mammals hunt in the undergrowth, and a loch is home to a family of beavers. We can't wait to show you!

The cameras are being prepared as we speak and with many mammals only active at night, our team will have infra-red, thermal and live mini-cameras to provide a unique insight into their rarely-glimpsed nocturnal lives. The latest macro camera technology will reveal the fascinating, hidden worlds of tiny creatures that normally go unnoticed - we'll truly have autumn covered from the canopy to the leaf litter.

Of course, the wildlife always writes the script, and we've learnt to expect the unexpected on Autumnwatch! But we're hoping to bring you the following:-

  • Beavers - for the first time in the UK, Autumnwatch aims to show exclusive, intimate views from a live camera inside a beaver's lodge as they prepare for winter.
  • Pine martens - these secretive and little known creatures are notoriously elusive but Autumnwatch will have a privileged opportunity to see them up close.
  • Mammal stump - back by popular demand: the mammal stump is a hollowed out tree trunk with embedded cameras and offers a unique perspective on the dramatic lives of small mammals.
  • Buzzards, red squirrels and foxes. In autumn all these species employ different feeding strategies as they prepare for winter. Scavenging, hoarding or stealing - we'll be following their every move.

Live Online and on BBC Red Button
This year, there's more opportunity than ever to watch the action. The remote wildlife cameras switch on on Sunday 28th October, before the series airs on TV.

We now have an Olympic line up of platforms to watch the cameras on - BBC Red Button, the Web, iPads, iPhones, android phones and tablets. So now you can stay tuned to the action, where ever you are.

We're also excited to announce that this year, for 17 hours a day, we'll have live commentary on the live cameras from wildlife experts and broadcasters Chris Sperring and Euan McIlwraith. (Between midnight and 7am the cameras will still be live, with text commentary - apparently presenters need to sleep.)

As always, there are plenty of ways for all of you to get involved.

The Autumnwatch team will be checking all these regularly and we're looking forward to seeing your pictures, receiving your questions, and finding out about your own experiences of autumn.

So that's the big news about the new series, and the new location. But that's just the start - from our base in Scotland we'll be following autumn across the UK, and the team are already out and about filming. The autumnal highlights include an in-depth wild diary, showcasing the beauty of the UK's most iconic landscapes, and revealing the new science and behaviour of some of our best loved animals. We'll be posting more news about all of this soon. Also, look out for a blog from our very own Martin Hughes-Games, who'll be talking about how everyone can get involved in Autumnwatch Unsprung.

And if that wasn't enough, after Autumnwatch, we'll be telling you all about our brand new series, Winterwatch - live for 4 days in January.

We hope you are all as excited about the new look Autumnwatch and Winterwatch as we are!

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Been looking orward to Autumnwatch - but why only 4 days not 4 weeks like in the past.

    But if you are doing an Winterwatch in January will you be doing a Summer on in July next year as well.

    So we have a live show in the four seasons.

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    Comment number 2.

    Looking forward to it, shortened version though it is. Will there be a messageboard, or is it pointless asking?

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    Comment number 3.

    Autumnwatch and Springwatch really are the highlight of my TV viewing, so its exciting to hear about Winterwatch. But 4 shows and only one Unsprung seems so limited. So dissapointed.

    Is this all down to budget cuts? If so why not cut some of the utter rubbish like Eastenders? Put Autumnwatch on instead, it might encourage more people to get out and about, instead of being down and out.

    At least give us an extra Unsprung.....

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    Comment number 4.

    Great News,but agree it is too short. For such a fantastic programme covering the most dynamic season it was great to view the changes over the 8 weeks as winter approaches. Still best TV and looking forward to the series. Will there be a Xmas special again this year?

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    Comment number 5.

    Agreeing with all the above comments....great to have you back and coming from the Highlands and to hear that the web cams will be up and running.... but just four shows to cover the slow progress of the Autumn season....very disappointing.....and assume no message boards.
    Great shame that the powers that be don't see just what a little gem the Watch series are and how much they are eagerly anticipated....

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    Comment number 6.

    Yep, looks like yet another watering down of a popular series. No doubt the BBC will fob us off and tell us they've cut it back to 'provide a quality service'. Using that logic perhaps they should cut the license fee, surely it would allow them to make better programs all round ??!!

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    Comment number 7.

    "We now have an Olympic line up of platforms to watch the cameras on ". I think it was the cost of the BBC coverage of the Olympics that has caused the demise of programmes like this. Okay, so nature progs are not everybody's cup of tea but neither are a lot of shows that are on more often and more regular than SW, AW, WW etc.

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    Comment number 8.

    Aaaaa.................only 4 live shows.
    But still I'm very happy to see the team again on my telly here in The Netherlands!!

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    Comment number 9.

    Great to have AW back - October and the onslaught of autumn is always amazing, its the best time of year. Love the idea of winterwatch thats a great idea but even if you have to cut AW down to 4 programmes instead of 8 as in previous years its a shame its not one a week as it was great to see the change from late summer to winter and all the changes. Not sure about the one a night thing - Will wait until the end though to pass comment. Its still one of the best things on TV.

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    Comment number 10.

    As many have said below, this is one of the highlights of my BBC2 year & one week of programming is a bitter blow. I do realise that cutbacks have to be made but 75% seems a bit excessive. Please BBC! Listen to what your viewers are saying & posting here...
    On a more positive point it will be good to see the team back....

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    4 days!!!! Are you having a laugh??? Olympic line up? More like school sports day!
    This brilliant program used to be on for 3 weeks. What has happened?
    Maybe the BBC think showing a repeat of a tacky gameshow is more important?


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    Comment number 12.

    says on Facebook they have 4 more live shows in January as "Winterwatch"
    So that's same number as we usually get after all

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    Comment number 13.

    Really looking forward to the series, just a shame we have to wait so long for it to start! The new location is an excellent choice!

    Those complaining about being short changed and cutbacks, The last 3 years we've had 8, 1 hour programmes over 8 weeks. This year we are getting 8 1 hour programmes over 2 weeks, 4 in autumn and 4 in January, so its the same total!

    1 unsprung is disappointing though, we had 7 last year :(

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    Comment number 14.

    Very disappointed in this cut - hardly "Autumnwatch" more like "not-even-a-week-watch" - don't think I'll bother.

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    Comment number 15.

    I know SO many people who, like me, really look forward to each series of Springwatch and Autumnwatch. It really is a blow to learn that Autumnwatch will only get four programmes and one unsprung. Pleeeeze BBC, don't scale down your commitment to a winning formula.

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    Comment number 16.

    re 15 evie ... see my message 12 and Goldfinch message 13
    we **still* get 8, but this time split over autumn (4 live shows in late Oct and early Nov) and winterwatch (4 live shows in January)
    For years people have asked for winter and summer watches
    This summer we got one show
    And now we have a proper winterwatch
    Sounds good :)

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    Comment number 17.

    Holly states:

    " And as if that wasn't enough.." hahaha.

    You're having a laugh, my darling.

    Still, as long as we get our regular 58 hours of cookery programmes and 44 hours of Strictly, who needs anything interesting or educational when our brains have gone numb anyway?

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    Comment number 18.

    PS More red deer... I'm losing the will to live now..and I'm not going to comment on crested tits on SW/AW

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    looking forward to the new series . anyone "missing " the messageboards should sign up here , . i've noticed some familiar names above , why not give it a try ?
    winnie the newt .... you're already "in" , so come on !

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    Comment number 20.

    Well done Holly for the determinedly upbeat introduction to this, but like others I suspect this is the phasing-out process for AW and then how will SW survive? After there had been some interesting new stuff in SW I was looking forward to AW... :-( Sorry, but I'm underwhelmed by the prospect of Winterwatch....

    The programmes from all round the world eg the series Chris did were wonderful but unreal... I'm so sad that it looks as though we are going to lose the local view...

    Yes I agree Arch... how many cookery and house-buying programmes do we need?


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