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Brett Westwood steps into the world of a creature charged with the lore of night, whose dance with a flame has captivated us and whose cocoons have clothed us. Walk with him as he takes a journey into the domain of the moth. Producer: Tom Bonnett.

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28 minutes

Last on

Mon 2 Oct 2017 21:00

Richard Humphries, MBE

Richard began working in textiles in the mid-1960s. He has always had an artistic and creative spirit, interested in both design and style. Leaving school at an early age he was apprenticed into the trade as a design trainee, with the renowned firm of Warner and Sons Ltd. Richard learnt all areas of the business and became the last to graduate, when the firm ceased trading in 1971.

With his understanding of the clients and their specific needs Richard saw an opportunity and decided to start his own weaving company. Richard founded Humphries Weaving at just 20 years of age in 1972, in the same building where the firm operates from today in historic Sudbury, on the Essex/Suffolk Border.

Over the years he has developed a strong knowledge of not just the silk that most of his products are made from but the silkworms and moths that produce that beautiful material.

Dr Marc Holderied

Dr Marc Holderied is an expert in bio-acoustics at the University of Bristol and specialises in studying ultrasound in moths and bats using pioneering techniques. His work has seen him implement 3D acoustic tracking of animals in the field study bat flight and echolocation behaviour and sonar beam shape in the field and even develop and apply miniature earphones for grasshoppers.

Peter Marren

Peter Marren is a writer, one-time journalist and all-round naturalist. His book The New Naturalists won the silver medal of the Society of the History of Natural History and he is the author of the New Naturalist conservation volume, simply titled Nature Conservation. His latest book, Rainbow Dust, about butterflies, is to be published next spring.

He also writes obituaries for the Independent, conservation news for Whitaker’s Almanack, formerly has a column in The Countryman and is regular contributor to British Wildlife, which includes his famous column of biting wit, Twitcher in the Swamp.

Geoff Martin

Geoff Martin is Senior Curator in Charge of the order of Lepitoptera, meanign butterflies and moths, at the Natural History Museum in London.

He was was a 10-year old boy in the hot summer of 1976 when populations of many insect species rocketed (and went on to crash a year later). He was doing a project at school on metamorphosis and I began to read the book The Young Specialist Looks at Butterflies and Moths by Georg Warnecke and his interest in collecting grew from there and he studied Ecology before working on the collection at the Museum.

Raymond Mendez

Ray Mendez coined the term 'moth wrangler' when he worked on the film The Silence of the Lambs and invented ways to manipulate the behaviour of hundreds of moths to the director's needs on the set. He also made thousands of cockroaches swarm on demand for the film Joe's Apartment and lent his skills to the BBC series Empire of the Desert Ants. He also works closely with museum to install insect installations across the US.

Dr Susan Whitfield

Dr Susan Whitfield is an historian of medieval China and the Silk Road and has worked with the British Museum and the British Library as a curator of the Stein and related collections of 50,000 Central Asian manuscripts and artifacts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites. She has curated several major exhibitions, lectures internationally and has published many books and articles. She also travels regularly along the Silk Road.

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