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The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn

Chris Packham and a team of wildlife experts follow five suburban gardens over a year, uncovering hidden wildlife dramas, and a vast cast of creatures battling for survival.

The British back garden is a familiar setting, but underneath the peonies and petunias is a much wilder hidden world, a miniature Serengeti, with beauty and brutality in equal measure. In this documentary, Chris Packham and a team of wildlife experts spend an entire year exploring every inch of a series of interlinked back gardens in Welwyn Garden City. They want to answer a fundamental question: how much wildlife lives beyond our back doors? How good for wildlife is the great British garden?

Through all four seasons, Chris reveals a stranger side to some of our more familiar garden residents. In summer he meets a very modern family of foxes - with a single dad in charge - and finds that a single fox litter can have up to five different fathers. In winter he shows that a robin's red breast is actually war paint. And finally, in spring he finds a boiling ball of frisky frogs in a once-in-a-year mating frenzy.

The secret lives of the gardens' smallest residents are even weirder. The team finds male crickets that bribe females with food during sex, spiders that change colour to help catch prey, and life-and-death battles going on under our noses in the compost heap.

So how many different species call our gardens home? How well do our gardens support wildlife? By the end of the year, with the help of a crack team from London's Natural History Museum and some of the country's top naturalists, Chris will find out. He'll also discover which type of garden attracts the most wildlife. The results are not what you might expect... You'll never look at your garden in quite the same way again.

1 hour, 29 minutes

Last on

Tue 29 Mar 2022 23:10


Role Contributor
Presenter Chris Packham
Production Company Windfall Films Ltd
Expert Dawn Scott
Expert Steph West
Expert Dave Hodgson
Expert Karim Vahed
Expert Jolyon Troscianko
Expert Zoe Randall
Expert Emma Sherlock
Expert Kate Risely
Expert Mat Disney
Producer Tom Cook
Director Tom Cook
Executive Producer David Dugan
Editor Laurence Williamson
Director of photography George Woodcock
Production Manager Eva Robins
Production Manager Mel Moore
Production Manager Pete Youens