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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Comments

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    Comment number 21.

    A week long Winterwatch is good, but sad that Autumnwatch has to be sacrificed to get it.

    Also Unsprung seems to be suffering from the cramped time frame already-it was rushed in Springwatch. Even if they put it back on the red button for 15 mins a night and then had one longer half hour one on TV. Just a wishlist.

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    Comment number 22.

    Really looking forward to Autumnwatch. We live inside the M25 backing a golf course in NW London, we have regular nightly visits from Badgers rolling up our newly laid turfs. Just thought someone might find this snap shot from suburbia interesting

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    Comment number 23.

    Agree Thistletop....Winterwatch will be great to look forward to but do feel that the once a week format of previous AW series particularly suited the slow progression from late summer through to the onset of the winter months.

    Also sad that Unsprung seems to be yet another victim of finance. The original 15 minute slot on the red button was a great opportunity to feel really involved and to participate. We have already lost the message boards and now it would seem Unsprung may be disappearing gradually. Hope I'm wrong.

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    Comment number 24.

    There we are Jojo, 23 posts already mostly raising concerns about the programme etc. and not a single reply. Judging by previous blogs it doesn't look like we are going to get any response. Come on BBC, don't treat us like idiots.

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    Comment number 25.

    As you say Havadram....there we are ! Would be nice to know that someone is at least registering our opinions and concerns.

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    Comment number 26.

    My 7 year old son and myself love Autumnwatch, there aren't many programmes around to inspire children to have a love of nature[apart from the excellent Deadly 60 series]. I cannot fathom why anybody would think cutting Autumnwatch to a paltry 4 episodes a good move, I now have a very disappointed son.

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    Comment number 27.

    Why has Bill Oddie been dropped from the programme? I haven't watched it since. I used to love the programme and his wealth of knowledge and superb sense of humour are greatly missed. Please don't ever have Kate Humble presenting again, is this why Bill left? she was always hogging the limelight, she irritated me so I am sure she irritated him.

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    Comment number 28.

    Hi,

    fantastic news that Autumnwatch is coming back, but I agree with others in that it is a pity to have a cut-down version only. Please could we have an answer as to why? Your 'watch' programmes are one of the best things on BBC and we could do with more of them, not less. Please don't cut down Springwatch!

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    Comment number 29.

    Please don't bash the presenters, they all work hard and it is very unkind to write negative subjective comments about a person in a public place.

    I am looking forward to whatever Autumnwatch/Winterwatch I can get, and I'm sure they will do a really good job of any shows they air!

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    Comment number 30.

    Don't think anyone has been bashing the presenters Thistletop. I agree with you that they all do a cracking job. A lot of us posting on this blog feel disappointed that the AW format has been changed and cut back....The last thing I would want is to see the series disappear and I do understand that financial constraints come into the reckoning but I do think it would be good to have some feedback from the production team explaining why the change.

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    Comment number 31.

    Aigas is grand - one of my favourite places!
    Like everyone else, I'm sad that the series has been shortened, but shorter is better than nothing.

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    Comment number 32.

    People have short memories. The 8-week coverage with one programme per week only started in 2009. Prior to that the format was a nightly programme, 4 days a week for 2 weeks, I think, with no unsprung. Winnie and goldfinch are right: if you include the 4 new winterwatch programmes there is no reduction in programming apart from a net loss of 6 unsprungs.
    As for the new location, bring it on, I can't wait! :-)

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    Comment number 33.

    Great! So glad to see Autumnwatch is back, what a shame it isn't over 8 weeks this year. 4 nights live & only 1 unsprung just isn't enough.

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    Comment number 34.

    As with so many other comments, I have to bemoan the shortness of the series. Programmes such as 'Strictly' have pre series progs about the competitors, the series itself, spin-offs about who's been knocked out etc, etc, etc. ad infinitum!! Then there are all the dozens of soaps! So we're not asking much to have our interest aired for a bit longer; it is for a huge age range, and educational into the bargain. Come on BBC, give us some value for our licence fee, there's nowt else worth watching!

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    Comment number 35.

    I had the privilege of spending two days at the Aigas Field Centre recently, it is a truly wonderful place. Autumn might be a shorter format but it's new location is pure gold!

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    Comment number 36.

    Have been looking forward to hearing when and from where Autumnwatch will be on our screens, and the location sounds fabulous - but hey, why are we being so short-changed?! And why so little Unsprung - yet again!!? Springwatch was shortened to the bear minimum and now Autumnwatch is even to be on for an shorter series! Just 4 shows - hardly worth the airtime - and where we used to have the brilliant 'Unsprung' following on from the main show, we are to be deprived this pleasure on all but ONE day. Both Springwatch AND Autumnwatch are incredibly popular with young and old alike and the perfect introduction to wildlife for the young. So come on BBC - PLEASE give us back our full measure of the wonderful Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Unsprung - with our fantastically enthusiastic presenters!

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    Comment number 37.

    Great to see a Winterwatch added, but sooo sad that the brilliant autumnwatch has been crammed into less than one week of live shows with only 1 unsprung. I really look forward to these shows and enjoy the dramas as they unfold weekly.
    So, come on BBC listen to your viewers and take your cuts from dreary mind-numbing soaps, quiz shows and reality TV... NOT Science and Nature :-(

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    Comment number 38.

    I agree with most of the above comments. A weekly 90 minute episode of Autumnwatch and Unsprung over eight weeks on these dark nights was an oasis for people who don't watch soaps, cookery programmes or that rubbish Striclty Come Dancing, something that went out of fashion with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

    If you can't do it properly. BBC, scrap it completely and bring back Nature's Calendar with Chris, Sanjay, Mike and Janet.

    I think the best approach to the BBC is for everyone to say a programme's total rubbish, then we'll get four episodes every week, 52 weeks a year.

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    Comment number 39.

    Maybe they could dress Chris, Martin and Michaela up in dance costumes with some nice catchy music. That should get the ratings up and save the programme.

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    Comment number 40.

    Good idea, Havadram. And the programme planners all doing the Lambeth Walk.... ... right out the front door to the nearest Jobcentre.

    Strictly Come Cooking In Autumn. What about it, cheps? Spiffing idea or what?

 

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Unsprung, your autumnal videos...and conkers

Monday 8 October 2012, 09:32

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