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.

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  • Episodes available:
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Recent episodes (10)

  • The Listeners Srs 2 - 19 Aug 14

    Tue, 19 Aug 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Ep 3 of 3: Listening is about more than hearing as we discover with four individuals for whom listening is very much the focus of their lives. Presented by Matthew Watson. Produced by Sarah Blunt.

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

  • Living World: Guillemots of Skomer

    Sun, 17 Aug 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    Skomer Island lies off the south east coast of Wales and is home to thousands of seabird. In the early decades of the 20th Century there were 100,000 guillemots on Skomer, but numbers plummeted to just 2000 after the second world war, probably due to oil pollution in the sea. Now numbers are slowly recovering with the current estimated to be around 25,000; but the increase in storms may be a problem for them in the future. Professor Tim Birkhead from Sheffield University has led a 42 year study of the birds and reveals some of their secrets. Produced and presented by Mary Colwell.

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

  • The Listeners Srs 2 - 12 Aug 14

    Tue, 12 Aug 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Ep 2 of 3: Listening is about more than hearing as we discover with people who listen to sounds. Presented by Matthew Watson. Produced by Sarah Blunt.

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

  • Living World: Green Hairstreak - 10 Aug 14

    Sun, 10 Aug 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    The Green Hairstreak butterfly is small, bright green and feisty. The males fight for females, spiralling in the air at break neck speed. This lovely butterfly was not recorded in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh, until 20 years ago but now populations are being discovered in more and more places. Sensitive management is helping bring back this bright jewel to the bilberry and heather clad hills. By excluding sheep and letting gorse and bilberry grow together the right conditions now exist. Green Hairstreak only appear on the wing in May and Victor Partirdge takes Mary Colwell to see where he first spotted them in the Pentland Hills. Produced and Presented by Mary Colwell

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

  • The Listeners Srs 2 - 05 Aug 14

    Tue, 5 Aug 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Ep 1 of 3: Professional listeners reveal how there's far more to listening than hearing. Presented by Matthew Watson Produced by Sarah Blunt

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

  • Living World: The Rock Iguana - 03 Aug 14

    Sun, 3 Aug 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    In the second programme from the Turks and Caicos islands, Tom Heap meets up with marine biologist Mark Parrish to look at the problems facing the critically endangered Rock Iguana. Mark Parrish is a marine biologist who runs a local eco-tourism business. He tells Tom Heap about the problems facing this critically endangered species, particularly the tendency of feral cats to predate on the young lizards. Cats have been spotted crossing onto the island but the warden Alex Williams is determined to keep the local population safe. He takes Tom to see Rocky, the dominant male, his harem of mates and the young challenger to his crown. Presented by Tom Heap Produced by Alasdair Cross

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

  • Shared Planet: National Parks - 29.07.14

    Tue, 29 Jul 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The term National Park can be applied to different types of areas depending on where they are situated, some have more protection for wildlife than others. In the United States the traditional National Parks such as Yellowstone or Yosemite enjoy a high level of protection with many restrictions on what people can do. Contrast that with British National Parks which are working landscapes with villages, farms and even industry. In this week's Shared Planet Monty Don looks at where wildlife fits into this complex mix of wilderness and human activity. In reality how do these much-loved protected areas work for wildlife? Beautiful scenery does not necessarily equal abundant wildlife. And in more human centred National parks, do our needs override those of animals and plants. In the Cairngorms National park plans are underway to build 15000 houses and Loch Lomond has given the go ahead for a gold mine. Produced by Mary Colwell

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

  • Living World: Pygmy Boa Constrictor - 27 Jul 14

    Sun, 27 Jul 14

    Duration:
    22 mins

    In the first of two programmes from the Turks and Caicos Islands, Tom Heap joins local naturalist Bryan Naqqi Manco for a night safari in search of the Caicos pygmy boa constrictor. Presented by Tom Heap. Produced by Alasdair Cross.

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

  • Shared Planet: Zoos In The Wild - 22.07.14

    Tue, 22 Jul 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Ep 8 of 30: As more land is developed for industry and housing or converted to produce food the areas we have fenced off for nature are increasingly important. But are the worlds nature reserves essentially made into a fortress to protect the area from development able to function on their own, or do they need constant management. Are they "zoos in the wild". Monty Don hears from Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa, the reserve that helped replenish Southern Africa's white rhinoceros population and finds out whether size really does matter for our protected areas. Producer: Brett Westwood

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

  • Shared Planet: Urban Wildlife - 15.07.14

    Tue, 15 Jul 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Ep 7 of 30: Wildlife in urban areas can be surprisingly diverse – particularly when neighbouring more natural areas. Can the urban jungle actually be better than some rural areas for bees and birds? In this episode Monty Don hears from scientists working to find out just how important our urban areas are for wildlife. Presented by Monty Don and produced by Brett Westwood.

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

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