Autumnwatch Live 2011: Iconic wild places and a new band of Autumnwatch adventurers
As well as reporting live from our base locations, Chris, Michaela and Martin will be on the road each week, visiting some of the UK's most iconic wild places. And also each week we're inviting a series of guest experts and presenters to tackle their own specialist topics and autumnal adventures.
On the road to the UK's iconic wild places
Chris, Michaela and Martin report on the best of the wildlife action as it happens from a different location each week, from the end of summer right through to the start of winter. They'll also meet some of the local people who have unique and insightful relationships with the wildlife on their patch.
Week one: As autumn starts, the first stop on this nationwide road trip will be the spectacular Wye Valley, where we'll explore the River Wye and the woodland world of the Forest of Dean. We're also hoping to investigate the wild boar, visit a breeding colony of bats and reveal nature's wild harvest. With a dry and sunny start to 2011, autumn has arrived early this year. We'll explain the implications for our wildlife.
Week two: At Spurn Point, a headland at the mouth of the Humber estuary which arches dramatically into the North Sea, we'll focus on migration, one of the wonders of autumn. This area is a real migrations hotspot, and we'll be following the latest arrival and departures, and exploring just how scientists make their groundbreaking discoveries on the birds' epic adventures. (You can start following all the migration news between now and the end of autumn on our weekly blog posts from the BTO.)
Week three: We'll then move on to Exmoor to explore this spectacular region's exposed hill tops, wooded river valleys, rugged cliffs and sheltered sandy coves. Along the way, we'll unveil the region's unique wildlife, and take part in the excitement of the annual Exmoor pony round up.
Week four: In the glorious Cotswolds, we'll watch the drama of the fallow deer rut, revel in the beauty of the autumn colours and explore the secrets of the famous Highgrove Estate.
Week five: It's all change as we journey north to the Scottish island of Islay. We'll witness the spectacular sight and sound of thousands of barnacle geese, meet resident otters and golden eagles, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the elusive merlin.
Week six: We'll be delving beneath the ocean's surface for a marine themed show, based in Anglesey.
Week seven: It's on to the urban jungle, where we'll meet the surprising wildlife in our cites and gardens, including intimate views of a pied wagtail roost.
Week eight: The final stop on the journey will be back in Scotland. As winter takes a grip on the far north, we'll explore the ancient Caledonian forests. We'll be hoping to meet red deer, black grouse and pine martens, and see how wildlife is preparing for the long winter ahead.
A new band of Autumnwatch adventurers...
Old friends and new faces will join us with a unique story that they are best placed to tell, and join Chris, Michaela and Martin live in the studio to introduce us to what they've discovered.
Roy Dennis is the world expert on ospreys, one of our most charismatic birds of prey. In June the Springwatch team witnessed the arrival of the three osprey chicks on the Dyfi Estuary, which represent just a handful of these birds to be born in Wales in the last 400 years. Now, for Autumnwatch, Roy is going to satellite tag the birds and follow them on their migration south as autumn progresses. (Read more about the osprey tagging.)
Charlie Hamilton James will be filming one of autumn's greatest spectacles, the Atlantic salmon run. He'll attempt to swim with the salmon underwater as he tracks their migration up river, using high speed cameras to film salmon doing what we love them for best in autumn: leaping up the waterfalls towards their spawning grounds.
Johnny Kingdom is Exmoor - he lives and breathes this West Country landscape. In a series of beautiful films, Johnny will recount his times filming what is by far his favourite season - autumn. As well as the red deer of Exmoor we'll find out what happens to a cast of other characters like the wild boar, the salmon and the kingfisher as autumn progresses.
Leah Gooding is going to get hands on with 25,000 slippery eels! She'll be helping box them up for release into a Welsh lake as part of one of Britain's most ambitious conservation projects. The project is setting out to help save this mysterious fish, whose population is crashing.
Richard Taylor-Jones is on a mission to raise awareness about Britain's least understood grey and common seals - those living in the south-east of England. Ten years ago no one seemed to know they were there, but ongoing research by passionate volunteers has revealed a population of almost a thousand individuals, all living amongst Britain's busiest seaways.
Iolo Williams is on an epic nautical adventure trying to track down the second biggest animal on the planet, the fin whale. These migrating whales pass through British waters every autumn. Iolo will team up with a group of scientists who have been studying the population in the hope of having a first hand encounter.
Liz Bonnin is off to Scotland to explore the Caledonian pine forest - home to red squirrels, wildcats, capercaille, red deer and many more superstars of the wildlife world. Sadly, very little original forest remains, and Liz is going to find out why it's been lost, and what's being done to help.
A new anchor presenter, new guests, new locations, new features and more.. Read more about this year's Autumnwatch Live.
Roger Webb is the Series Producer of Autumnwatch. Autumnwatch Live returns 8.30pm, Friday 7 October on BBC Two.