Archives for June 2008

Over to you .....


Tim Scoones | 19:50 UK time, Thursday, 12 June 2008


Springwatch 2008 may be over, but nature never stops writing scripts for the greatest show on Earth. Don't stop watching, enjoying and getting involved.

We do have a few titbits left for you. For Bill and Kate's final word on Springwatch 2008 (courtesy of our wonderful new friends at BBC Norfolk), click here.

But it doesn't stop there. Summer is on its way and with it a whole host of wild and wonderful experiences to enjoy, no matter whether you live in a city or in the sticks, young or old, rich or poor, expert or novice. UK wildlife has something for everyone, and this web site will continue to help point you in the right direction.

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The final countdown has begun


Tim Scoones | 17:14 UK time, Thursday, 12 June 2008


The countdown to the final live Springwatch has begun - in just four hours it will all be over. It's a very strange feeling, having lived and breathed this experience for months, suddenly the end seems perilously near.

There's a unique atmosphere in the production village today. Everyone is very excited about the last show (and the last one is always quite a "show", rather than just a "TV programme"). People are buzzing about and there's laughter everywhere. It has even been quite sunny today too.

Bill and Kate are preparing their pieces for a show that is sure to tear along at a furious pace tonight. Researchers are putting the final touches to our Springwatch 2008 awards (we're calling them "Springys"), due to be rolled out tonight. I can hear fanfares being rehearsed from the production control room gallery and there's a debate raging about where in north Norfolk one might buy awards-style gold envelopes.

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It's all getting very "week three" around here .....


Tim Scoones | 18:14 UK time, Wednesday, 11 June 2008


It's all getting very "week three" around here ...... Anyone who has worked on Springwatch will know what I mean. It's a point when a combination of fatigue, elation and (porta)cabin fever starts bringing out bizarre thoughts and behaviours in the Springwatch production team. Suddenly there's a lot more laughter around the production village, but it's slightly too manic (dare I say crazed ....) to be taken as normal. I think in the armed forces they call this "de-mob happy" ... we call it "very week three".

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Busy and relentless!


Tim Scoones | 12:48 UK time, Tuesday, 10 June 2008


It's week three - only three more live shows to go (but don't forget our mini series of Springwatch Specials next week ....) - and you'd have thought the pace of production and the levels of adrenaline would be calming down by now, but no - the pace is simply relentless!

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Build it and they will come


Tim Scoones | 15:31 UK time, Sunday, 8 June 2008


Now that Springwatch is in full swing (or should that be in full spring?), this weekend I have taken the chance to get back home and see my family. With two tiny children - a boy aged 4 months and a girl aged 22 months - I can empathise with all of our birds raising their families. It's hard work! My poor wife has been managing our nest on her own.

Crossing the country on Friday afternoon, I stopped off at a motorway service station near Birmingham. Despite the scene being about as "un-natural" as it gets, with people and cars everywhere and the motorway traffic drowning out most other sounds, I was delighted and heartened to hear all sorts of furious chirruping coming from a row of trees and bushes alongside the car park. On closer inspection, I found two, possibly three, families of newly fledged blue and great tits doing that classic cute-but-vulnerable begging routine, with the ragged parents rushing back and forth with food.

How encouraging to see that, given just a little scrap of green space, these birds had chosen to raise their families here. That little bank of native trees and shrubs will now provide a new generation of blue and great tits to cheer up weary motorway travellers for another year.

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Something for the weekend ......?


Tim Scoones | 23:06 UK time, Thursday, 5 June 2008


It's late on Thursday night and my adrenaline levels are just calming down after another live show from the production gallery, this time wondering if we would have to completely re-order the show as it was happening, were Simon to get loads of dolphins performing live for the cameras in Scotland.

Most of the Springwatch team have already left the site here at Pensthorpe (apart from our dedicated team of cameramen, out trying to film otters, and our story developers, painstakingly watching the camera feeds and giving you the best of the action via our webcams). So week two of Springwatch 2008 is over. We now have a few days to get some rest and reflect on what goodies we can present you for our final week of live shows (nature and technology permitting, of course).

But what about you? Yes, YOU!! What are you going to do this weekend?

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Bill back on the Blog


Tim Scoones | 10:16 UK time, Thursday, 5 June 2008

We're past half way now in the 2008 Springwatch Experience, so I asked Bill to tell us how it's been for him so far, and what he's looking forward to.

Over to Bill - or as we would say in his ear during the live ..... "Coming to you in 5 .... 4 .... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ..... and cue Bill ....."

BILL BACK ON THE BLOG : "Approaching the end of the second week - already! Time always seems to race by on Springwatch and this year quicker than ever. I think maybe it's the effect of having a routine each day which is pretty much invariable, but "content" that is constantly variable. We always seem to be racing towards tomorrow and wondering what surprises it will bring. It's a bit of a rollercoaster, but it's a very enjoyable ride.

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What makes Springwatch special?


Tim Scoones | 13:10 UK time, Wednesday, 4 June 2008


During Springwatch I spend a lot of time doing interviews on the radio. It's great that so many national and local radio stations take such an interest in Springwatch. In fact, this year BBC local radio has gone further than ever in their involvement in Springwatch by setting up Springwatch Action Teams (S.W.A.Ts) in each of their local areas, as well as supporting a number of Springwatch / Breathing Places Festivals - all happening THIS WEEKEND.

The Springwatch Action Teams (some of which require volunteers - yes, you! - check the web site via the link above) will be busy transforming run-down, neglected or unloved parts of community areas into "breathing places" - areas that will be great for wildlife and for people too. Brilliant stuff. I want to thank everyone in advance for helping set these up, and for going along, getting involved and doing something really practical that is going to make a difference to wildlife in their local area. That's what Springwatch is all about - not only celebrating our wonderful wildlife, but getting involved and doing your bit to help out.

I am often asked in radio interviews "What makes Springwatch special ?".

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Live telly ..... hanging by a thread


Tim Scoones | 12:33 UK time, Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Monday's transmission was one of those that proves that Springwatch is a truly live broadcast, and one of the "most live" (i.e : risky and unpredictable) in the business. We nearly lost Simon ....

Did you notice during Simon's pieces from Scotland last night that the picture broke up and even went dead a few times? "Do not adjust your TV sets" as they used to say - it was us, not your TV. Simon's team, pulling off miracles in difficult circumstances from a mobile control room no bigger than a large van, started having intermittent problems with their cameras. It's then that we all realise that, on this show, we are at the mercy of both nature and technology. We are literally hanging by a thread .... the thread in this case being a camera cable.

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Bill On The Blog


Tim Scoones | 11:59 UK time, Monday, 2 June 2008


Enough from me already! I had dinner with Bill last night, and I asked him to reflect on the first week of Springwatch, and to respond to the apparent stir he caused in the words he chose to describe various scenes of animals mating. Were they appropriate for a family audience? Over to Bill...

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