The aim, the beeb state, is to inspire and galvanise people to discover more about the incredible species and habitats on their doorstep.
Chris Packham says: “The Summer of Wildlife is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our UK wildlife. That’s all of us – in towns, cities and the countryside – and all wildlife; big, small, feathered, furred, scaled, the creeping, crawling and slithering. We would like everyone to get involved in their community, young and old, we want them to enjoy the species that live around them and learn more about looking after them. Please join in! ”
BBC Learning is at the heart of the season, co-commissioning programming with BBC One, BBC Two and CBBC, and bringing it together with major events across the UK and an online experience that will reveal the nation’s wildlife in a new light.
Abigail Appleton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Learning, said: “We want the season to inspire audiences right across the UK – whether they live in cities, towns or the countryside – to get closer to our extraordinary wild neighbours.
“The season features wonderful content across TV, radio and online and the chance to see some of our best known wildlife presenters and experts close up at BBC live events. There will also be hundreds of other local wildlife activities and events run by our partners. By the end of the summer, we hope millions of people will have discovered more about UK wildlife, know how to recognise and spot animals, and understand what we can do to help protect this country’s unique species.”
The season will kick off with BBC Two’s Springwatch with three weeks of live programming from Ynys-hir in mid-Wales, presented by Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games.
As well as featuring the best of UK wildlife as Spring unfolds, the new series will include ‘Tricks of the Trade’ with the team revealing their wildlife tracking tips; ‘On the Road with the Roving Team’ providing an insight into the wildlife we share our daily lives with; and ‘Escape to the Garden’ that will discover, meet, and celebrate the wildlife that lives on our doorstep. The series will also help to launch Springwatch Garden BioBlitz, helping draw attention to the importance of peoples’ local wildlife ‘patch’ and inviting the audience to get involved.
There is also a new Springwatch Daytime and Learning co-commission, Springwatch In The Afternoon, presented by naturalist Nick Baker. The programme will broadcast live on BBC Two from the heart of the Springwatch field base in Wales.
Wild! is a new commission from CBBC that will encourage children to get out, get active and get hands on this summer and as the summer continues, Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival on BBC One will show what people can do to save Britain’s threatened wildlife.
The Burrowers on BBC Two is a three-part series that will explore the extraordinary subterranean world of voles, rabbits, badgers and moles. The season will also include special programming across local radio and Countryfile will feature four specially commissioned wildlife films from renowned wildlife cameraman Richard Taylor–Jones.
As summer fades to autumn, the campaign will be drawn to a close with Autumnwatch, outlining the successes, events and findings of the summer.