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The Oak Tree Planters

Lindsey Chapman introduces an update to this Living World from 2004. In this episode Brett Westwood heads for the oak trees of the Wyre Forest with John Tulley in search of jays.

The jay is one of Britain’s most colourful birds. A kaleidoscope of fawns, pinks, greys, black and white, alongside striking blue wing patches which, if you’re lucky enough to get close to see, alter in graduated shades of blue and prove unmistakable in a discarded feather. Colourful they may be, for many of us though the normal view of a jay is as it disappears into woodland raucously screeching and alerting us to its presence. In autumn however, jays have other things on their mind, like collecting acorns for the winter larder. And it was in autumn at the time of peak activity that finds Brett Westwood heading to the Wyre Forest to watch the bird nicknamed the "colourful crow". Joining Brett is ornithologist John Tulley who explains that jays have excellent memories and will return to most of the acorns they bury - but not all - making them a key species when it comes to the rejuvenation of Britain's forests. even uphill.

Lindsey Chapman hosts this revised Living World from 2004 by gently bringing the story up to date for today's listener.

Producer Andrew Dawes

Available now

22 minutes

Last on

Sun 14 Oct 2018 06:35


Natural Histories

Natural Histories

Nature that has had a profound impact on human culture and society across history.