It has been an exciting time at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve recently. The BBC’s television show Springwatch was broadcast from its brand-new home at Minsmere, following the fortunes of British wildlife through the season. The three-week long wildlife party started on Monday 26 May and stretched right through to Thursday 12 June 2014. This is a wonderful endorsement of everything the Natura People project has helped us achieve at Minsmere.
With over 5,600 plant and animal species recorded on site, the reserve is one of the richest areas in the British Isles for wildlife, and in spring it is bursting with a stunning array of both exotic and familiar species. And this year, the BBC had it bugged! Their cameras were immersed in this magical place, capturing its wild residents as they face a daily struggle to survive and breed.
We know that RSPB Minsmere, on the stunning Suffolk coastline, boasts an unprecedented array of internationally important habitats from sand dunes, shingle beaches and saline lagoons to reedbed heathland, woodland and grassland. We were able to share it all with the great British viewing public – between 2.2 and 2.5 million viewers tuned in every night to watch nature at its best!
We had entertainment from a colourful cast of local characters, including rare birds such as marsh harriers and avocets, as well as Springwatch favourites - badgers, otters and red deer. But the undoubted stars of the show were the bitterns.
Minsmere has seen an uplift in people not only visiting Minsmere, but many other nature reserves around the country. We had a staggering increase on social media activity around all of the nature stories and generally people just loved the atmosphere that was created at the site. There has been a real buzz and it is so exciting to be a part of it. Minsmere is looking forward to welcoming back Springwatch in 2015.