Best of Natural History Radio

Best of Natural History Radio

The BBC Natural History Unit produces a wide range of programmes that aim to immerse a listener in the wonder, surprise and importance that nature has to offer.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

Subscribe for free

Subscribe to this podcast and automatically receive the latest episodes.

More help with subscribing

Recent episodes (10)

  • Living World - Whooper Swans - 23 Nov 14

    Sun, 23 Nov 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    When freezing temperatures descend on Iceland, majestic whooper swans migrate south to the Highlands of Scotland where they flock together on wet land, whooping musically to one another in high and low tones. The beauty of the whooper swan has long been revered and over the winter months the Insh Marshes Nature Reserve plays host to this spectacular gathering. Living World presenter Trai Anfield and the RSPB's Catherine Vis-Christie take to the marshes to see how these elegant birds are faring after their long journey to Scottish shores. Produced by Tom Bonnett

    Download 10MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Shared Planet - Mangroves 18th Nov 2014

    Tue, 18 Nov 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Mangroves have been destroyed worldwide, we are trying to restore them. Is that possible? Can we really restore nature back to what it once was?

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Living World - Dry Stone Walls 16th Nov 2014

    Sun, 16 Nov 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    Mary Colwell travels to White Peak to meet Sarah Henshall, lead ecologist with Buglife and Simon Nicholas, the local Ranger for the National Trust, to discover the 350 million year old limestone that forms the walls and search for the mini beasts that live in their depths.

    Download 10MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Shared Planet: Blue Whales 11th Nov 2014

    Tue, 11 Nov 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Blue whales are increasingly being hit by ships, especially off the coast of California. As whale numbers recover from hunting and the number of ships that ply the oceans increases this is a growing problem. What can be done? Monty Don explores this little known threat to whales, a threat that is found in all oceans all over the world and effects most species of whale. It seems that the welcome news that whale numbers are slowly rising is being countered by concern over ship strikes, most of which are fatal. A simple solution is to slow the speed of ships down to around 10 knots, but this has financial implications for the shipping industry, so a balance has to be struck. Technology could help, but it is expensive, not reliable in choppy seas and in the case of sonar could fill the ocean with more noise. How can we share the oceans with giants and still move 90% of traded goods by boat?

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Living World - Great Crested Newt 9th Nov 14

    Sun, 9 Nov 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    As the weather starts to chill, Chris Sperring travels to the Somerset Levels to seek out a last glimpse of the great crested newt as it prepares for hibernation. It's at this time of year we discover why ponds that dry up are important for their breeding and how far they are prepared to travel to find a good place to haul up for winter.

    Download 11MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Shared Planet Beavers in Business 29 Oct 14

    Tue, 4 Nov 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The European beaver was hunted to extinction for its fur, meat and the aromatic secretions from sacs near its anal glands. Now it is coming back throughout Europe , either naturally or by being introduced, as here in the UK. Wherever they settle they transform the landscape by building dams and channels and create a landscape of pools and watercourses that hold back flood water, pollution and silt from entering the main rivers. In these times of severe weather events and flooding beavers are doing for free what landscape engineers would do at great cost. Viewing nature in terms of the services it provides, or evaluating nature in financial terms, is a growing movement in conservation. Nature can be seen on balance sheets and hopefully respected for all that it gives us for free. But there is concern that monetising nature leaves it open to the ruthless world of finance and trading and diverts attention away from the real aims of conservation.

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Living World: Eastern Wolves 02 Nov 14

    Sun, 2 Nov 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    Algonquin National Park in Ontario is home to the Eastern Wolf and a magnet for visitors to this wilderness national park. Canadian reporter Sian Griffiths meets David Legros in the park and is taken on a wolf howl expedition too look for this shy and retreating animals. The park organises public wolf-howls to bring members of the public closer to and give richer encounters with this wonderful creature. The Living World has special access to the park and the rangers for this exclusive nature walk with a difference. Produced by Jamie Merritt

    Download 10MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Shared Planet - Albatrosses and Fishing 28th Oct 2014

    Tue, 28 Oct 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Albatrosses are giant flying seabirds that inhabit the southern oceans. Many species have been studied intensively over decades on their breeding grounds in the sub-Antarctic and the Pacific. Clever studies involving satellite tracking and simple observations from ships have shown they can disperse and forage across the whole of the southern ocean. Monitoring of their populations has shown a marked decline in their numbers since the 1980's so much so all albatross species are now threatened. A key cause of albatross decline was found quickly after the decline in populations was noticed; long-line fishing hooks baited with squid and floating on the surface after being deployed was an easy meal for an ocean scavenger and often their last. Shared Planet visits this story many years after it broke to report a cautious success on the high level conservation measures that were put in place involving biologists and the fishing industry.

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • The Spirit Child 27 Oct 14

    Mon, 27 Oct 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Paul Evans narrates a ghostly tale inspired by the true story of Alice Glaston who was the youngest person to be hung in Tudor England. Starring Bettrys Jones. Produced by Sarah Blunt

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Living World: Nightjars 26 Oct 2014

    Sun, 26 Oct 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    Chris Sperring is in Somerset during the last days of summer to find a bird that is one of the first to leave before the autumn. As the light fades a strange whirring sound fills the air and silent masters of flight hawk for moths and other airborne insects. Produced by Ellie Sans

    Download 10MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

Terms of Use

The BBC Podcasts are for your personal non-commercial use only.

All title, ownership rights and intellectual property rights in and to the BBC Podcasts shall remain the property of the BBC or third parties. You may not edit, alter, adapt or add to the BBC Podcast in any way. The BBC Podcasts are made available by the BBC on an "as is" and "as available" basis and the BBC gives no warranty of any kind in relation to the BBC Podcast. To the maximum extent permitted by law the BBC will not be liable for any loss or damage which you may suffer as a result of, or connected to, the download or use of the BBC Podcasts.

 

See the full Standard Licence Terms here.

Play recent episodes

You may also like

In Our Time Archive: Culture

  • Factual
  • Factual > History
  • Factual > Science & Nature

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas as it applies to culture - from literature and the visual arts to artistic movements and their origins.

Wed, 29 Jun 11

42 minutes

BBC Inside Science

  • Learning
  • Factual > Science & Nature
  • Factual

Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world. Covering everything from the humble test tube to the depths of space,

Thu, 20 Nov 14

28 minutes