Marlborough Downs conservation work in TV focus
The Marlborough Downs will be featured on the small screen next week on the new BBC series Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival.
The six-part series looks at British species that face extinction and the conservation projects aiming to help them.
Each week ecologist and Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison looks at different habitats and the farmland episode features the farmer-led and Natural England-funded Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area (MDNIA).
MDNIA project manager Jemma Batten said: “Each episode features four ten-minute items about species associated with that habitat and the rest of the programme gives a more general look at the habitat, which is the segment of the show that MDNIA will feature in.
“I hope it will be good for the project because sometimes farmers can get a bad reputation from the press but there are lots of factors that can lead to depletion of a species, and one of our aims is to show people what farmers do to help wildlife.”
The show is part of BBC Learning’s Summer Of Wildlife and aims to encourage viewers to get involved to save habitats and provide refuges for the animals featured in the series.
Dr Batten said: “The filming took place over a couple of months and the crew went to different farms and they talked to farmers about how they manage the land.
“We’ve done things with the press before and a lot with radio, but this will be the first time the project has featured on TV.
“At first a few people were concerned the show would attract the wrong kind of attention and people would see what sort of species were on the downs, which might attract hare coursing or people looking for eggs, but on the whole people were excited.”
The farmland episode is due to air on BBC One at 5.35pm on September 15.
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