Woodland Animals

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Episode 3 of 4

Duration: 1 hour

Chris Packham presents the series that examines Britain from an animal's point of view. Each week he encounters an elite group of five animals each of which senses the world in a very different way. By understanding their needs, problems and histories on these islands, Chris reveals what they make of modern Britain - and its humans.

This time Chris looks at woodland animals. Chris meets our top woodland predator, the goshawk. With the use of high speed photography, Chris demonstrates how these impressive raptors twist and turn in flight to negotiate dense thicket, something which could account for the forests that they like to inhabit in Britain.

Chris also meets the hedgehog, the animal that gets the best national health service after humans; and the fallow deer, an animal that has been so pampered through history that it has sometimes been treated better than its human neighbours.

Chris discovers that stag beetles rarely move beyond the M25 when looking for a home - a nice piece of rotting wood to live in. And he meets a man who is so determined to make Britain a better home for the red squirrel, that he wants the rest of us to eat the grey ones.

  • Chris puts Ellie the Goshawk to the test

    Chris puts Ellie the Goshawk to the test

    In controlled conditions, with the use of a series of different shaped gaps and tubes, slow motion photography reveals how a Goshawk is able to negotiate the most densely packed undergrowth. To allow her to fit though some of the narrower gaps, she has to withdraw her wings completely. The slow-motion footage reveals that, to stay airborne, she uses her large tail to give her crucial lift.

  • No problem for a Goshawk

    No problem for a Goshawk

    Ellie shows how negotiating a narrow gap and a tube is no problem for a Goshawk adapted for hunting in the woods.

  • From the woodland to the golf course

    From the woodland to the golf course

    Although originally a woodland animal Chris discovers that the best place for the modern British hedgehog is a golf course. The closely cropped greens are easy to find worms in, the rough, ideal for nesting and best of all, there are no humans around when you come out at night.

  • A Stag Beetle Mystery

    A Stag Beetle Mystery

    A stag beetle spends five years of its life underground, first as a larva then a pupa and finally a subterranean beetle before emerging for a glorious few weeks of flying, fighting and sex before it dies. Most of the time that it’s under ground, it’s eating rotting wood – turning it into the fat in its body and ultimately – when it dies - recycling the nutrients of the forest. So insects like the stag beetle are crucial to the forest ecosystem.

    The mystery with stag beetles though, is that they seem to prefer the areas around London and in Hampshire to anywhere else. Chris discovers that it could be all to do with their dislike of chalk…

Credits

Presenter
Chris Packham
Presenter
Chris Packham
Series Producer
Paul Bradshaw
Series Producer
Paul Bradshaw
Executive Producer
Tim Martin
Executive Producer
Tim Martin

Broadcasts

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