Week one: Charlie Hamilton James's Scottish beaver stakeout
For the first time in 400 years, beavers are once again swimming in UK waters. As part of a major scientific trial, the first nationally extinct mammal ever to be re-introduced to the UK is living free once again. This year, we're sending Charlie Hamilton James and the Springwatch Adventure Team to the home of these released beavers - Knapdale Forest in Scotland.
Charlie Hamilton James
Charlie is leading a mission to reveal the lives, biology and future of these most secretive of animals. The forest is dense, water logged and plagued by midges - it’s going to be a tough challenge. Using the latest technology and a lot of determination, the team hope to watch beavers hard at work cutting down trees, building dams.
Charlie will also investigate the broader issue of re-introducing beavers and other animals back into our countryside. Why do we do this? Should we be doing this at all? It’s an emotive and controversial subject.
One of the Knapdale beavers
These Scottish beavers may have hit the headlines, but they’ve never been studied on camera in so much detail, with so much technology. Centuries ago, we would’ve all been familiar with beavers in Britain. As Springwatch provides a unique insight into their lives, perhaps we will once again get to know and enjoy these remarkable animals.
Roger Webb is the Series Producer of Springwatch, which starts 8pm Monday 30 May, BBC TwoFind out more about the beaver reintroduction project and have your say in the debate.