It's a Green badge special, jam-packed with UK wildlife. We come face to face with the reptiles on our doorstep. Also, young gardening expert George is back.
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It's a green badge show, so we're looking for UK wildlife
in the Blue Peter Garden. There's loads here!
-We've got bugs...
No, boys, it's just a hosepipe -
we're going to need it later! Don't worry.
-Welcome to Blue Peter.
We are loving the Olympic Games so much,
two things are going to happen.
We're continuing our summer of sport with a badge baton relay.
And that thing is the second thing - look at that on-screen!
I want one of those, even though it exists in the digital world!
Every week, we're challenging you to earn a different badge,
if you haven't already got them.
And this week, it's so recycled, this badge, it's green!
Yes, it's made of frogs.
We love the green badge, and as you know, we award it...
Stop it! ..to anyone who sends in a letter, picture, poem, poster,
it could be anything to do with the environment, conservation or nature.
To help you earn your green badge,
we have a show jam-packed full of inspiration.
And here's what's coming up on today's show...
I'll be catching up with the Springwatch team to find out
which little creepy-crawlies call our forests their home.
UK wildlife expert Mike Dilger is going to be here to bring us
face-to-face with some reptiles - I'm going home!
-You're not allowed!
-And do you remember the Radzi and Barney
electric bike challenge?
Well, Barney is still so excited about that,
his face is doing this...
That's right. But first,
I think our BP Garden needs a little bit of a makeover,
and luckily we know just the person for the job.
He knows his onions from his radishes...
Stop it! It's gardening pro George!
Come on over, come join us.
Thanks for wearing a matching outfit to me.
Thank you for that. Welcome to Blue Peter,
or should I say welcome back,
-because you did our veg patch!
-Yes, I did.
Which, by the way, is looking awesome.
If you want a catch up, you can get that online, of how it's doing.
Talk to us - tree, why is there one here?
Well, today, we're going to plant this beautiful crab apple tree
-into that hole.
It really is beautiful. Is now a good time to plant them?
Well, the best time is in spring or autumn,
but because this is in a pot, it's absolutely fine.
We're going to get it in the hole in a second.
-You've dug quite a big one there, haven't you?
-And what's in there?
Bone meal is an organic fertiliser which should help the roots grow.
-So, George, we've got a crab apple, we've got a hole -
-shall we put it in?
-Well, first, we need to pick it up...
-I'll give you a hand.
What we're going to do is called teasing the roots, and basically,
we're just going to tickle the plant.
Tickle it! Is it going to laugh?
-There we go. We're getting a bit of soil on the ground,
but you've got to be quite delicate here, haven't you?
Yes, to make sure you don't pull the roots out,
-because that would be disastrous.
-George - can we put it in the hole?
The next job is just putting the compost in.
But when you are putting the compost in,
make sure there's no large clumps, because if there's any large clumps,
it will create air pockets, which will stop the roots growing.
That's a top tip right there.
-George, we're coming back to you in a little while, aren't we?
You sort the crab apple tree out.
While he does that, time to see what happened when I went to meet
the Springwatch team
and a few very creepy crawlies - have a look at this.
Today, I'm going to be going on a special walk.
But this isn't just any old stroll, because I'm going to bioblitz.
That's right, bioblitz.
Does anybody actually know what bioblitz is?
-I thought you might!
Let's go, come on!
bioblitzing involves counting
as many different species of wildlife
in a single area. And today,
we're on the hunt for bugs in a small part of the forest
near the Springwatch HQ at Minsmere.
-Shall I get it?
Come here, come here!
'Counting the number of different insects in the forest
'gives the rangers a really good idea of how healthy the habitat is.'
-Is that a little worm?
'But as well as counting,
'we're also collecting them for a closer look later on.'
Oh, the beetle thing flew out.
-Oops, did you lose it?
And there are some interesting ways of doing it,
including using a device called a pooter.
Oh, found one! What do I do?
-Wait, is it this end?
You collect the insects by sucking them through a tube.
None went in my mouth, to be fair. Yes, we've got something in there.
And you didn't eat it!
So, bioblitzing is basically a great big wildlife health check,
as Springwatch presenter Chris Packham explains.
The more you find, the healthier that community is.
So if you find lots of bugs, lots of mammals, lots of birds,
lots of plants, you know that you've got a good, sustainable,
healthy community. That's what we count them.
And it's something that anyone can do, pretty much anywhere.
You don't need a big, posh garden,
and you certainly don't need to be on a nature reserve.
You can do it in a window box.
I'm quite excited now to have my first bioblitz.
'After a couple of hours,
'we've collected up a huge variety of species,
'which indicates this woodland is very healthy indeed.'
Maddy, what have you found in there?
A beetle and two woodlouse.
This whole area is made for these little bugs,
because of all the logs and things.
Just lift one up and everything is underneath.
Before we return our bugs to the wild,
we're going to head back to the Springwatch studio
and take a closer look at them.
But on the way back, we come across one last, fascinating creature.
What is this? It's huge!
It's a hairy bear caterpillar.
It's so hairy, isn't it?
Am I right in thinking we shouldn't touch him?
Yes - when they're hairy like that,
the spines can actually cause a skin rash.
-They are kind of like a really tiny but long hedgehog.
And look at all his little legs moving around -
-that's pretty awesome, isn't it?
Up close and personal - I love it!
Back at base, we can get a really good look at our discoveries.
This is where they get those really cool close-up shots of all
the insects, and it's almost like
they've set up a little studio just for bugs. It's so cool!
And the results are incredible.
You can properly see everything on him - looks really cool.
All the little scales on his body, on his head.
You're getting some nice wiggly shots there?
-They're quite speedy.
-Well, not too speedy.
These cameras really help us to see all sorts of detail we'd never have
noticed while out in the woods.
It's actually got web, look!
He's hanging off the twig with his web!
Also, if you look really closely,
you can see that his legs actually have little hairs on them.
-Did you see that?
-Look at that.
-That's so cool.
It's been a successful day bioblitzing,
and the data we've gathered will be shared with the Springwatch team to
get a better idea of how healthy the wider nature reserve is.
It's been amazing being behind the scenes and meeting some of
the Springwatch crew, and seeing how
they put all of those intricate shots together.
And it's shown me what a diverse selection of wildlife
there can be in one tiny piece of land.
So, get outdoors, grab a grown-up and get bioblitzing.
It's surprising how much wildlife you can find
in your garden. All you've got to do is look for it, and a man
who knows all about that is Mike Dilger, everyone!
-He's back on the show! Mike, so good to see you.
Let's talk about this, Wildlife In Your Garden - it's your book,
and it's about wildlife in your garden - how did this come about?
It does what it says on the tin, Barney.
It's all turning kids on to wildlife on their own doorstep.
There's so many competing attentions for kids these days - social media,
video games... But I want to get kids into what I got into when
I was a kid, which is wildlife.
I started 40 years ago watching wildlife,
and I'm as obsessed now as I was back then.
And really, it's where you first start watching wildlife,
in your own back garden. There are 60 million gardens in Britain.
Even if you don't have a garden, you can go to your local park.
The idea of the book is to get kids identifying wildlife and also trying
to improve their gardens for wildlife as well.
Let's talk about the sort of things we can see in our gardens.
I never would have said reptiles could be found in a garden.
Six native species of reptile in Britain -
three of them can be found in gardens.
We're going to start with probably the most unusual,
this is the common lizard.
Right at the front we've got a pregnant female.
She's full of eggs, and probably later in the summer,
what will happen is, those eggs will burst,
and out will come perfect little miniature replica lizards.
-These are lounge lizards, they like to bask all day long.
That's what they'll be doing, they'll be basking on log piles,
any south-facing walls,
and they'll be running around catching little invertebrates.
Because they are cold-blooded - they need heat to survive.
So the obvious question would be, what are they doing here in the UK,
where there is hardly any heat? Apart from today!
They are sun-seekers, and they can find it
in the most surprising places. April to October, they find enough
heat to be able to live their life.
October to March, as soon as the frosts start to hit,
that's when they start to close down, they go into hibernation,
this incredibly deep sleep.
They'll drop their temperature just above freezing,
their heart rate will slow right down,
and they'll basically survive without eating the whole winter.
First rays of spring, they'll wake up and away they go.
Beautiful. There you have it. I never would have seen one of those
in my garden, but have a look, you might find one!
-Next up, here we go.
-Look at that.
That, Barney, is a grass snake.
Three species of snake in Britain -
this is the one that's by far the most common in gardens.
I think grass snake is a bit of a rubbish name -
it should be called water snake.
If you've got a pond, you will always find them close
to water. They love eating frogs, small mice, big invertebrates.
I can tell it's a grass snake,
because it's got that lovely yellow collar.
This isn't venomous, before you ask.
-Have a look at this - this is a jaw of a grass snake.
-And what it does is, it grabs hold of the prey,
it's got backward pointing teeth so the prey can't get away.
So that starts to coil round
and squeeze the living daylights out of its prey.
And these actually lay eggs, so...
a basking place, near water is a good place to look.
But compost bins are brilliant for them.
Warm, rotting vegetation is where they lay their eggs,
-until the young hatch.
-Incredible. What about the last one?
The last one I think is probably
the most common reptile in people's gardens.
You say that, but we saw this earlier on,
and this is the first time in my life I've ever seen one of these.
But you know what it is?
I know what it is now, but I didn't before.
-It's a slowworm.
-It's a rubbish name.
Another one with a rubbish name. It's not a worm, it's actually
a legless lizard.
If I was to stick that in an X-ray machine
and you'd look at its skeleton,
you'd see a pair of shoulders and a hip girdle -
which means evolution has made it lose its arms and legs.
Over thousands and thousands of years, it's decided,
"I don't need them.
"I can go into really small, tiny places" -
your arms and legs get in the way.
So this crawls into little tiny nooks and crannies,
comes out at night, eats slugs and snails.
It is the gardener's friend.
Its tongue, you can see, it's not a forked tongue, like a snake,
it is a notched tongue.
And it's also got a pair of eyelids, which is very characteristic
-They're beautiful things. Now, you're an expert,
so you can handle these creatures, but if we see them in our garden,
are we best just to leave them alone and enjoy the show,
-or can we pick them up?
-Well, you have to be
particularly careful with slowworm,
because what they do is, they drop their tail.
It's an escape mechanism.
If a crow, for example, grabs its tail,
it can snap its muscles and its tail comes completely off,
and that will wiggle around
and fool the predator into thinking that's the food.
And the vital organs, the head, the body,
will basically slither away to live another day.
So I know what I'm doing, I'm very careful I don't hold the tail.
I would say, stand back and admire them,
because they are beautiful things.
Mike, thank you for being here again -
always nice to see you on the show.
If you want to find some ways to welcome wildlife into your garden,
if you go online, you'll find some tips from Mike himself.
-Mike, thank you very much.
One great place to see wildlife is the Blue Peter pond,
and earlier this year, Radzi and Naomi gave it a good old clear-out.
Here's how they got on.
When Blue Peter moved from London to Salford,
we brought the garden with us.
Four years later, and it's thriving.
Let me show you around.
For starters, we have
hand, foot and paw prints of some rather famous Blue Peter presenters!
I recognise those ones!
The statue of legendary Petra, the first ever Blue Peter dog.
We have CBBC's Naomi Wilkinson.
And the Blue Peter vegetable patch, which is looking...
Hang on, Naomi, what are you doing here?
I'm here to help you with some spring cleaning, Radzi!
And this is what we're taking on - the centrepiece of the garden,
the Blue Peter pond.
And as Naomi is used to getting up close and personal with nature,
she's the perfect person to help.
Naomi, good to see you!
You, too, Radzi. But what is with the feather duster and the gloves?
Well, you said spring cleaning, so I've come prepared for a bit
-No, I meant clean the pond, in springtime...
Yeah, I mean, no, I knew that.
Because otherwise I'd look a bit... silly.
Unlike a fish tank, ponds don't need regular cleaning.
But from the amount of fish poo and leaves in ours,
we know a tidy-up is due. But we're not doing it alone.
On hand is a man who knows his fish - pond expert Chris.
Chris and I are just filling up this holding tank -
give the fish somewhere nice to live while we clean their pond.
But where's Radzi?
-Nobody panic! Radzi's here!
Don't worry, Naomi. I'm going to dive in there and save all the fish.
Or we could just use a net to collect them.
Who is Annette, and where is she?
I mean... I mean, I knew that.
I did, I did know that!
OK, let's transfer the fish.
Here you go.
'As our pond is safe from predators,
'our fish population has grown.'
'With the last ones finally out, we can drain the water.'
Let's pump the pond!
Whoa! So, the pump drains the water from the pond,
and then it goes into this area so it's reused to water the garden.
'Nicely done, Naomi.
'But there's a problem over at the fish tub.'
Chris, I am shocked at how many fish there are in this tub.
-How many are there?
They're all in perfect health.
And are all of these fish going to go back into the pond?
No, it'd be better if we rehouse some of them.
-A bit more space.
-A lot more space for them, yes.
Although they're healthy, our pond can't sustain this many fish,
so Chris will make sure some of them find a happy new home.
Right, back to the job in hand.
The pond is almost empty.
There's just the lovely job of removing the silt and sludge!
That looks yuck!
Yeah, I'm glad I'm not going in there.
-I mean, I'd have loved to, but I don't have any gloves!
The silt will actually be used as a fertiliser,
to help the rest of the garden grow.
It's taking ages!
'All right, Naomi! Some of us are working hard!'
Hang on! I've found a mobile phone!
Mum, I'm cleaning out the pond!
It doesn't work.
Look at that! That is one spotless pond!
All that's left to do now is refill it.
There ain't no party like a Blue Peter pond party!
-All right, to you, Chris.
-'And we're even using some of the old pond water,
-'to help the fish settle back in.'
So, we're just putting some plants back into the pond.
You don't actually have to plant these in soil.
They're quite happy just floating in the water,
and those will provide lots of oxygen for our fish.
So the clean-up is complete.
But Chris has a special surprise for us - two new fish,
carefully selected for our pond.
They're called shubunkins,
and they're very suitable for this type of pond,
because they produce a lot less waste than other fish.
Aw, you're going to love it in there!
-Chris, thank you so much for your help.
And, Naomi, you worked your socks off all day,
so we have two Blue Peter fish, and I think we should name them
Radzi and Radzi B.
Radzi is an awesome name for a goldfish.
-I want one!
-Now, then... You've gotta buy 'em there!
Feast your eyes on the Big Badge Wall.
And if you need to earn your green badge for your badge baton,
then this is the perfect bit of inspiration for you.
I'll pass over to Mike, cos you really want to talk
about this bit of post from Jacob, don't you?
Jacob's book - Birding From Your Bedroom.
It's got amazing information about identifying bluetits,
great tits, with colours, descriptions!
-This is me when I was a kid.
This is a nature presenter...
-He's so good!
-..a nature reserve warden of the future.
Jacob, you're a genius, thank you.
Now, this is me when I was a kid.
I'd have made a massive stegosaurus, like five people from Essex have.
-Millie, Charlie, Thomas,
Benjamin and Layla, you are all legends!
And you've earned yourselves a green badge.
If you can see your picture here, you are a legend anyway,
and you will receive one of the brand-new
recycled green Blue Peter badges.
They are brand-new, but if you want one of the old ones,
fear not, they're just as brilliant!
You can't earn the new one if you've got the old one.
They both get you into over 200 attractions...
-I was on my own there for a second!
Grab a grown-up before the summer, before you head out there
and check online to make sure that the offers are still there -
they do change and we don't want you to be disappointed.
And here's another reason to try and earn your green badge and,
if you're really lucky, we might even hand-deliver it ourselves.
Today, I'm on an epic mission to do, not just one,
but two green badge hits.
And one of them is the biggest I've ever done.
I'd better get a move on!
First, I'm heading to a school in Manchester,
to surprise 220 Blue Peter fans who planted an edible playground.
It's a space they can play in and also grow food for their lunches.
How cool is that?!
-How are you doing?
I heard about the edible playground, I'm here to find out about it.
-When did it first start?
-And you've been growing stuff since?
-It was Jenny's idea.
It's a great idea, isn't it?
Normally, we go and give just one green badge out, but, um...
BADGES RATTLE IN BAG
-I think you all deserve one.
-Sound about right? ALL:
All right, then.
'And 220 badges later...'
-Thank you, Blue Peter!
Now, I'm on the way to meet Eva.
She's ten years old and she's designed
a beautiful bird box that I want to go and see.
She has absolutely no idea that we're here.
-How you doing?
Good, do you see the TV cameras?
-Have you heard of the show Blue Peter?
-You're on it!
So, Eva, this has got to be one
of the most beautiful bird boxes I think I've ever seen.
-That is definitely worth a green badge, isn't it?
I'll tell what we'll do. I will give you a green badge if you'll take me
to actually see this birdhouse, is that a deal?
-There you go. It's yours. Congratulations.
Shall we go in? Hi, Mum!
'The bird box really caught my eye as an ingenious make,
'and it hangs on a special memorial tree in Eva's garden.'
There it is. Wow! It's so much more beautiful in the flesh.
Look at it! Tell me the story. Where did the idea come from?
I'd done something similar at school, like, making a Viking house,
and so we did it, like, as a birdhouse
and put, like, the thing on top.
Whose idea was it to make it out of lollipop sticks?
-That's genius, by the way.
So, you've got your green badge.
-Is that OK?
How great was that?
And you can find out just how to make
Eva's lollipop bird box online. There's a little guide for you.
Speaking of attracting birds to the garden -
George, you have been very busy since we last saw you.
-What are you doing there?
-Well, I'm just putting some bark chips on.
-And bark chips help to suppress weeds.
Basically, it just means to keep the weeds off.
OK. And we've got kind of a stake thing
keeping it upright, haven't we?
Yes, just to keep it, so it doesn't blow down.
Sounds good. And you've given the crab apple tree a bit of
-a drink as well, haven't you?
-Yes, I've given it a bit of a water,
just to get them roots in and just give them, like,
-just like a drink before a race, you know?
-I love it!
OK, well, George, thank you so much for coming in.
I guess all we do now is sit back,
chill out and wait for those crab apples, isn't it?
Lindsey, I told you last time!
It's going to take months to happen! Oh!
I knew that, George!
-I know that!
-Remember to water it in summer, though!
And he's off! What a pro!
We love George. Thank you so much for coming on.
And I think we should finish the green leg of our Badge Baton Relay
in true style, with a Barney versus Razdi,
so over to Barney, who's got more details.
Yeah. Ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha!
What Barney's trying to say is, we'll be doing that!
We're taking on OSET bikes,
electrically-powered bikes that can go pretty much anywhere!
We've come to a course in Yorkshire,
where young riders test their skills, to see how we compare.
It's time to meet our coach, Dan.
Dan, pleasure to meet you.
Never mind the interview, I want one!
Barney is very, very excited about this.
-Hi, Dan, how are you doing?
-Hi, Barney, pleased to meet you.
I ride a bike, but it's very different to this.
What's the difference between the one I ride and this one?
There's no seat, you stand on the foot pegs.
All you've got to think about is the throttle, which is
-on your right hand.
-The throttle, is that
-Not on these.
-There's no "vroom-vroom!"
-Of course not!
Dan, shall we get a book out and find out all about...?
Radzi, you're a good friend.
Pipe down, let's get on the bikes,
let's make this film happen. Here we go!
And we're off. Well, one of us is, anyway.
Hang on! Don't forget,
this is my very first time riding a powered bike and, believe me,
it's not as easy as Barney is making this look.
Look at him, he loves the speed!
I'm scared of the speed!
-And that needs to change.
-Come on, Radz!
I am definitely getting the electric bike bug,
and I'm not the only one - these young riders love it too!
They're really fun and you can play about on it all day
and the batteries last long.
Barney just did a wheelie!
I was, like, really excited, like, "I want to have a go!
"I want to have a go!"
You can really play around any time you want, anywhere,
and you get no noise complaints from any neighbours or anything.
'Already, training's over and now we face the really big challenges that
'will test our biking skills.'
'But before we get stuck in,
'we need some final advice from top young rider Olly.'
You need to understand that
you can't put your foot down, cos if you do,
every time you touch the ground,
it's a penalty towards the ultimate score,
so you want to be sharp on your brakes and have good balance.
Barn, I'm not ticking many of those boxes.
I think if you believe in yourself, you can do this.
Do you know what? Bring on the challenge!
He's got no chance.
Time for our first big test.
The hill! It's a steep descent down a muddy track and up the other side.
This one is all about brakes and power.
And I'm up first!
Let's have a go here, Radz. See what happens!
Back brake on. Stick to the line.
Here we go. Down the middle bit.
Bit of power! Wey-hey!
-Stage one complete.
-It's now time for the turn of Chingyanganya.
He is nervous. I know it doesn't look this steep on camera,
but it really is a lot steeper when you're going down!
-Keep your speed and don't fall off! Keep going! Yes!
-Mate, well done.
So, we've both nailed that one.
It's on to challenge two, the U-Turn.
We have to ride up a rocky path
to the top of a field and back down the other side.
'That may sound easy, but remember,
'we have to do a complete run without putting a single foot down.
'And this time, I'm up first.
'And I quickly realise this section is a lot tougher than the last.'
That's not the track!
'It's so rocky
'And no matter what I do, I can't get my bike going.'
My challenge has changed. It's "Can I push this bike around?"
'This stage has clearly beaten me.
'But I really want to try and just complete it.'
Oh! That was too tough.
That was too... I tried my best, but I've met my match.
'It's clear that, no matter how hard I try,
'I'm never going to be able to get around this section without
'touching the ground. But can Barney?'
'I soon see why Radzi was struggling.
'This is really tough!'
'But no matter how many attempts it takes...'
Come on, mate! This is the one!
'..I'm determined to do a complete run without touching the ground.'
Come on, Barn!
Go on, Barn!
Go on! Yeah!
'Hee-hee, at last! I've done it! Get in!'
'Only the final challenge is left - The Puddle With A Step.
'OK, the name needs a bit of work, but this is tricky!
'You have to ride through water and make it over a large rock and onto
'a raised section, all without touching the ground.'
'Although I gave it my best on challenge two, I failed,
'so this one would definitely beat me.
'Over to you, Barney!'
Oh! So close!
'Well, you know what they say. If at first you don't succeed...
'Try again! And, yes, he does it!'
That is the most fun I've ever had!
Not just the fun of this brand-new sport, but look at
the future champions right here.
It was absolutely amazing.
Thank you for helping us out and all your top tips.
One thing before we go, though. Um, do we get to keep the bikes?
I want one!
You genuinely deserve one, mate.
You were awesome! I was awful!
However, something that is awesome is next week's show.
Make sure you're watching it, cos the Badge Baton Relay continues,
with this little beauty!
-Look at it in all its glory!
-It's the purple badge.
It is! And of course, we give it out to anyone who reviews the show.
So how about you head online, print out a purple badge review form
and let us know what you thought of this very show?
While you're there, check out the BP Fan Club.
You can watch exclusives and play games. Go and check it out!
-We'll see you next week, everybody.
It's a Green badge special, jam-packed with UK wildlife. We come face to face with the reptiles on our doorstep. Also, young gardening expert George is back to turn the Blue Peter garden into a bird haven.