Monday (28 May) sees the return of the highly popular BBC Two series ‘Springwatch’ to our screens.For the next three weeks, Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games will be following stories of survival in spring – a crucial time for wildlife.As well as bringing us the action from all the live cameras, the series will reveal the beauty and drama of the most exciting season (I think spring is the best, anyway). For a second year running, the home of Springwatch will be the RSPB’s stunning Ynys-hir nature reserve in mid-Wales, where the presenters will be reporting all the latest wildlife news from across the UK, reacting to stories as they happen, and investigating the events that matter.Now, we know the footage and photography will be amazing, and the presenters will have all the facts and figures to hand – so wouldn’t it just be easy to settle down each evening, enjoy the nature and wildlife from the comfort of your living room and then that’s it for another year?Well – if you’re anything like me, No Way! Springwatch makes me want to get out and about to look for my own wildlife stars and enjoy first hand some of the wonderful wildlife on my doorstep. The RSPB has over 20 nature reserves in the south east from heathland in Surrey and Sussex, to woodland in Kent and wetland in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight, as well as several Date with Nature projects.At this time of year our nature reserves are teaming with wildlife, and the staff and volunteers there are dying to show it off!From the UK’s largest Heronry (250 pairs!) at Northward Hill and a ‘Bee Fest’ (celebrating the humble bumble bee over 9 days) at Dungeness; to evening walks looking for the mysterious nightjar and other nocturnal creatures such as glow worms, bats, owls and moths at Pulborough Brooks and Broadwater Warren. If you are looking for activities to introduce a younger audience to the joys of wildlife, Pagham Harbour, Farnham Heath, Rainham Marshes and Pulborough Brooks all have family activities going on.Away from our reserves, you can also find the RSPB at the New Forest Raptor and the Chichester Cathedral Peregrines Date with Nature projects.So, as you can see there are plenty of opportunities to feast your eyes on some wonderful wildlife across the south east, and the RSPB is here to help you experience and discover our natural wonders. Enjoy the TV series as the drama unfolds - but don’t leave it there for another year - let it inspire you to discover the wildlife on your doorstep and have your very own Springwatch experience!
The humble bumble (Short-haired bumblebee, by Dave Goulson (rspb-images.com)Springwatch is on BBC Two at 8pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 28 May – 14 June, bbc.co.uk/springwatch