Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Springwatch: Hampshire man showcases Itchen Navigation

A 25-year-old film-maker from Hampshire is to make his television debut later as millions of BBC Springwatch viewers share his passion for local wildlife.

Matt Hamilton has uncovered the secret life of the mayflies that inhabit the Itchen Navigation.

"I had to make a film for my masters in wildlife documentary production at Salford and the Itchen is my local river," said Mr Hamilton.

"To have Springwatch feature it is surreal, absolutely unbelievable."

The film reveals the intimate relationship Mr Hamilton has developed with the chalk stream by observing its wildlife over many years.

'First inspiration'

It is home to otters, water voles and many other important species and once formed a trade link from Winchester to the sea.

"I could have gone to lots of spectacular wildlife destinations around the world for my dissertation, but to really tell my story I wanted to show what I know best - I made a film about the river that was my first inspiration to photograph nature.

"To go back to the Itchen with a crew from Springwatch and appear on the programme is amazing."

Mr Hamilton's ambition is to turn his love of wildlife filming into a career. At the weekend he leaves his job in a local supermarket to spend eight weeks in Arctic Canada as a research assistant.

"I want to turn this passion into a career as there is nothing I want more than to be outside watching or working with wildlife.

"I've spent a couple of months working at a supermarket, but this weekend I'm off to the arctic to film snowy owls over the breeding season."

Springwatch can be seen Monday to Thursday at 2000 BST on BBC2 until 16 June.

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