Wild Isles filming locations: Where to see wildlife from the BBC One series
Sir David Attenborough is returning to our screens with a BBC One landmark series on British and Irish history. Wild Isles, airing on Sunday 12th March 2023, highlights the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us in the British Isles.
To celebrate the five-part series, The Wildlife Trusts has revealed the stunning filming locations seen in the episodes. From puffins on Skomer Island to the beautiful wildflowers growing on Clattinger Meadows, many of these places can be visited and enjoyed during the year.
"The British Isles are very precious and are inhabited by astonishing wildlife and magical landscapes that capture the imagination," Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says. "From puffins making their homes on Skomer to fragments of ancient rainforests in Dartmoor, we are so lucky to have such a range of incredible natural wonders right on our doorstep. It is wonderful that Sir David is bringing these treasures to the world."
The new series comes at a time when nature is under immense pressure. Craig adds: "Wildlife has suffered catastrophic declines in recent decades and, without monumental effort to create a wilder future, some of our most cherished species will go extinct. We hope this series will inspire people to take a stand for our wildlife and help put out natural world into recovery."
Take a look at the places you can visit below:
Skomer Island is the ultimate wildlife adventure. Lying less than a mile off the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, Skomer is famous for its renowned wildlife, especially the puffins which arrive to breed between April and July. While the puffins alone make the place worth visiting, the series also highlights Manx shearwaters, who return here from the coast of South America in late February and March.
Lackford Lakes is a wildlife oasis with a landscape of lakes, reeds, meadow and woodland. According to The Wildlife Trusts, the Wild Isles team were drawn to this beautiful location by the buzzards that hunt rabbits in the species-rich grasslands that surround the lakes.
Planning a visit? The team explain: "Listen to the sound of singing birds in spring with the arrival of nightingales and warblers from Africa – and later on, watch swallows and martins sweep over the water's surface feeding on small flies."
With 40 acres of prime limestone downland, this precious hillside is one of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's most treasured habitats. One of the most striking features of Daneway Banks is the large ant hills made by the yellow meadow ant. Covered in wild thyme, it's the perfect place for butterflies to nest.
In the series, the crew filmed the life cycle of the extraordinary large blue butterfly. The clip shows how this once-extinct butterfly depends on ants, wild thyme and wild marjoram.
"Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is proud to care for this amazing place which is the UK's finest remaining example of enclosed lowland grassland," say the team. "It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its fabulous wildflowers and is so rich in wildlife because the land has been farmed traditionally without the use of artificial fertilisers."
Late April is the best time to see thousands of delicately patterned snakeshead fritillaries and blossoming wildflowers, including meadow saffron, tubular water-dropwort, orchids and the extremely rare downy-fruited sedge. You might not plan to visit meadow fields in the winter, but the colder months at Clattinger welcome wading birds such as teal, lapwing and snipe.
"This is a fabulous place to see birds! In spring watch for great-crested grebes famous courtship ritual as they dance and shake their heads at each other. Reed warbler, waders and terns drop in on their summer migration," say The Wildlife Trusts.
"As winter advances shoveler and wigeon join the other ducks present all year round and occasionally the endangered and secretive bittern pays a visit to this Wiltshire Wildlife Trust haven. Watch out for the sight that drew Wild Isles to visit – the hobbies hunting dragonflies over the water. White-tailed eagles can sometimes also be seen here, attracted by the fish in the lakes."
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