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17 September 2014
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Nature's Calendar

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Chris Packham

Chris Packham

Nature's Calendar is very close to my heart.

I have a profound interest in getting people off their sofas and into the wilds where they can look at animals, rather than just studying them on the television from afar.

Chris Packham opens up the world of nature to you...

Home grown nature

ChicksNature needs to be experienced first hand.

You have to be able to touch it, see it, smell it and exercise your curiosity - and that's what Nature's Calendar is all about.

Sometimes we're so overwhelmed by TV images of glamorous animals in exotic locations, that we often forget that there's some really beautiful wildlife at the bottom of our gardens.

I want to destroy the mystique about wildlife. For me, home is where the heart is.

I've travelled all over the world but my favourite animals are right here at home.

On your doorstep

BadgerIt's a myth that you have to be an expert to watch wildlife. You don't have to be a life-long specialist.

You can be just like me and spend time watching and studying these animals just for fun.

Take Badgers, for example. Watching this nocturnal creature isn't a mystical art - it's practical common sense.

Anyone can go out and find a Badger sett and have great fun doing it.

When I was younger, I studied Badger excrement for five years, but you don't have to get quite so carried away with poo as I did!

I've been passionate about nature from an early age.

As a child I transformed our home in Southampton into a menagerie bristling with a diversity of species.

Snakes, spiders, finches and foxes all soiled my parents' carpets!

Passion for wildlife

Tawny OwlMy ever-growing passion for wildlife has shaped my career.

I studied Badgers for several years and this led to a degree in Zoology at Southampton University.

One of my early TV ventures was presenting the Children's BBC Wildlife programme, The Really Wild Show.

It was so good that it won a BAFTA.

My more recent BBC programmes include X-Creatures and Watch Out as well as Inside Out which has included a number of wildlife features.

Magical creatures

Dolphin c/o Charlie PhillipsOne of my favourite experiences during the filming of Nature's Calendar was watching Dolphins in the Moray Firth.

The sight of these remarkable creatures is truly awesome in spring.

Another favourite moment during the series was my visit to Rathlin in Northern Ireland where I saw an amazing bird spectacle on the cliffs of this rocky island.

Two hundred thousand birds pack onto its cliffs and sea stacks in spring - making it bird central.

I've rarely seen so many birds up close and personal.

Spring highlights

Badger c/o SWTAnother highlight of the series was my trip to Buckland Newton in Dorset, a good place to watch Badgers.

And spring is a really excellent time to watch some of the UK's birds - especially breeding birds such as Peregrine Falcons at the Falls of Clyde in Scotland.

People from the UK travel thousands and thousands of miles for a sight like this without realising just what treasures we have on our own doorstep.

This is exactly what our programme sets out to do - raise awareness of the depth and diversity of wildlife, fauna and flora around the British Isles.

Wildlife through a lens

GrouseWorking on Nature's Calendar and Nest Box Special has been really great fun.

It has given me the chance to revisit some fantastic places around the British Isles as well as finding new ones that made filming a real treat.

I've stayed in some dodgy 'Fawlty Towers' style hotels, endured bouts of sea sickness, survived bad weather, and eaten some strange local delicacies, but it's all been worth it.

I wouldn't have swapped this experience for anything, and I hope that you will feel the same way too when you watch the TV series.

Most of all, I hope that Nature's Calendar will make you feel as passionate about nature as I do.

So get off your sofa, get out there and enjoy the great British outdoors. It’s sure to satisfy the most curious of creatures!

Nature team

Meet the rest of the Nature's Calendar team:

Janet Sumner
Sanjida O'Connell
Mike Dilger

Meet the web team:

Sue Wilkinson



Watch and Listen

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Today's clip:

Seal safari

Nature's Calendar


Activities (Image: Red Squirrel)

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Make a difference for people & wildlife in your neighbourhood.

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