Image for Heron happy hour

Heron happy hour

Duration: 02:52

It's 4.30 in the afternoon at Muncaster - time for heron happy hour! Janet Sumner meets Peter Pennington who explains what goes on. There has been a heronry at Muncaster Castle for centuries, but in the 60s and 70s the numbers fell off considerably. Because the herons were in serious trouble, supplementary feeding was started and soon developed into a tourist attraction. Fish are thrown out on a meadow for the herons, which fly in to get them. About 20 have arrived. Spring is the best time to see them because they need lots of food for their chicks. Some birds are dominant and squabbling breaks out. The public love it as they can get close to genuinely wild animals. It is hard to believe that ten years ago there were only three herons left at the heronry - the improvement is all down to the peculiar, but wonderfully British, heron happy hour.

Available since: Thu 26 Jan 2012


Chris Packham
Sanjida O'Connell
Janet Sumner
Jonathan Bigwood
Jane French
Richard Taylor-Jones
Jenny Craddock
Stuart Woodman

This clip is from

Nature's Calendar Series 1, Spring: Parks & Estates

Chris Packham is rockpooling in Scotland; Sanjida O'Connell sees the Calke Abbey red deer.

First broadcast: 02 Mar 2007

Image for Spring: Parks & Estates Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss