Joe Crowley is at Britain's largest national nature reserve, Mar Lodge, and he is on the search for ptarmigan at the top of a mountain.
The programme heads to the Cairngorms, where Joe Crowley is at Britain's largest national nature reserve, Mar Lodge. He is on the search for ptarmigan at the top of one of the tallest mountains in Britain. Helen Skelton meets one of Scotland's most extraordinary creatures - the golden eagle. And Adam Henson is already preparing for next year's new arrivals on his farm.
Tom Heap is looking at Britain's favourite meat, chicken, and finding out what goes into supplying almost one billion chickens a year.
Earlier this year Mar Lodge in the Cairngorms became the biggest National Nature Reserve in the UK thanks, in part, to an ongoing project to rejuvenate the landscape. After years of decline the native Caledonian pine forest is making a comeback. Joe Crowley is on the estate to meet David Frew and find out how the pine forest is coming back and why this is so important. Joe lends a hand upgrading a footpath to ensure all visitors are catered for. But why is there a newly engineered system of plastic chutes here?
The Snow Roads
The route through the eastern Cairngorms is breathtakingly beautiful, but people tend to bypass it on due to the faster road to the west and the lack of public transport links. However thanks to a new initiative people are being encouraged to choose the slower route and try out Scotland’s answer to route 66. The Snow Roads are a 90 mile stretch of roads and Helen Skelton is taking a journey through the stunning Highland landscape to visit newly installed artworks dotted along the route and to contribute her part towards a citizen science project.
Beinn a’ Bhùird
As winter sets in, the Cairngorms National Park becomes one of the coldest and most inhospitable places in Britain. But at Mar Lodge, in the eastern Cairngorms, there is one resident who is more than at home up in the craggy peaks of the munros. As the snow arrives the plateau at the top of Beinn A Bhuird is transformed into the ideal environment for a particular bird. Joe Crowley joins ecologist, Shaila Rao, on a gruelling expedition up Beinn a’ Bhùird on the hunt for the elusive ptarmigan, but will they see any?
To save his grass for his pregnant ewes, Adam's selling off the last of this year’s lambs but he’s already got one eye on near years batch, that is if his rams are up to the job! With only two rams to serve the hundreds of ewes in this commercial flock the lads need looking after. So it's time he paid them a visit to see if they are up to the task!
An eagle eye view
Scotland is a haven for wildlife lovers with red deer, red squirrels and seals among the favourites to spot. However it is also home to the majority of the UK’s native Golden Eagles with the Cairngorms being a particular hotspot. Helen Skelton is meeting up with elite falconers, Barry and Roxanne, who together have over 30 years experience with these stunning creatures. Together they have developed a high tech way of gaining a unique insight into their lives. Helen comes nose to beak with the eagles and is treated to a birds eyes view.
A New National Nature Reserve
Mar Lodge has recently become the biggest National Nature Reserve in the UK. A large part of this award is down to the quality of the outreach work with conservation groups and the local primary school as well as providing access to all the walkers and outdoor enthusiasts who use the estate. Joe Crowley meets pupils from the local school who are doing their bit.
|Series Editor||William Lyons|
|Series Producer||Joanna Brame|