Episode 4 Autumnwatch


Episode 4

UK wildlife series with Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games. In the ancient Cotswold woodlands, the team view the drama of the fallow deer rut.


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Transcript


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Wild fallow deer rutting in our woods. Oh, yeah, yeah, of course,

:00:19.:00:23.

but they're very sensitive and difficult to get close to.

:00:24.:00:30.

Seeing the majesty of autumn from a hot-air balloon. Oh, that's very

:00:30.:00:37.

sensitive to the weather. Eels migrating through our rivers.

:00:37.:00:42.

Slippery customers difficult to get to grips with. Can we do it? Of

:00:42.:00:52.
:00:52.:01:18.

course we can. Welcome to Hello, and welcome to Autumnwatch

:01:18.:01:24.

Live, coming to you from the beautiful National Arboretum here

:01:24.:01:30.

at Westonbirt. The aim of our programme is to bring you the full

:01:30.:01:35.

flavour of autumn all the way from John owe grots to Land's End and

:01:35.:01:40.

over in Ireland. And we want to bring you the best

:01:40.:01:46.

of British wildlife. We'll be going underground, for the last time,

:01:46.:01:53.

sadly, to catch up with our badgers. What have they been up to? We'll be

:01:53.:02:00.

catching up with our osprey chicks. How have they been getting on with

:02:00.:02:06.

their migration to West Africa, a journey of 3,000 mile.. Eye and

:02:06.:02:13.

it's my pleasure to introduce you to Leah Gooding this week, who is

:02:13.:02:17.

getting up close to the European eel.

:02:17.:02:23.

But what have we been up to? This week, we've been exploring our

:02:23.:02:30.

great British woodlands and what better place to do that than here

:02:30.:02:40.
:02:40.:02:44.

Right now, the UK's woodlands are a blaze of colour. Everywhere you

:02:44.:02:48.

look, it's a feast for the eyes. Now is the perfect time for a walk

:02:48.:02:54.

in the woods. Here at Westonbirt there is one even better way to

:02:54.:03:03.

take in the full splendour of autumn.

:03:03.:03:08.

Of course, aside from the beauty, there's an awful lot going on here.

:03:08.:03:15.

Animals are stocking up on autumn's rich bounty, whilst others are

:03:15.:03:22.

preparing to hib hibernate. Look at this! What is a spectacle.

:03:22.:03:29.

It's this time of year that iconic woodland spectaculars can be seen.

:03:29.:03:33.

The temperatures have dropped and the fallow deer rut is now under

:03:33.:03:39.

way. Here at Westonbirt, woodland

:03:39.:03:46.

management reaches its peak and the tree team are out in force.

:03:46.:03:56.
:03:56.:04:04.

There's a down side to every balloon flight, and here it comes!

:04:04.:04:12.

Well, I've get to say we do a lot of travelling for Autumnwatch, it's

:04:12.:04:20.

usually planes, trains and autumn mobiles. But it was a first, a hot-

:04:20.:04:25.

air balloon. Was it fun? It was fun. If you have any questions at all

:04:26.:04:30.

for us, please get them in now and we will try to answer them, live,

:04:30.:04:36.

in the show. We always say that, don't we, but we're going to make a

:04:36.:04:42.

big effort tonight. OK, autumn colour, it's all around us in these

:04:42.:04:52.
:04:52.:04:55.

trees. What is it? How does it happen? I have been swatting up.

:04:55.:05:05.
:05:05.:05:12.

# Would you like to ride in my And now you can see the fabulous

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variety here. Some leaves have already dropped off the trees. Some

:05:15.:05:21.

are still green. You have wonderful oranges, reds, all the colours of

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autumn. The change in autumn colour is quite a complicated process and

:05:25.:05:30.

it depends on three things, rainfall, day length and

:05:30.:05:35.

temperature. And they all interact. So you might get a beech tree in a

:05:35.:05:41.

wet place that will hang on to its leaves much longer than a beech

:05:41.:05:46.

tree in a very dry place. And the critical thing that happens is that

:05:46.:05:50.

the green pigment in the leaves starts to break down and other

:05:50.:05:58.

pigments start to show through. You've also got the variety of

:05:58.:06:02.

trees from around the world so they are changing colour at different

:06:02.:06:11.

times any way. There can't be a better way to see the full glory of

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Westonbirt than from a hot-air balloon. Fabulous.

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I love that music! I had you down as disco man.

:06:25.:06:30.

jazz. It's been a curious autumn, this one. People are calling it a

:06:30.:06:34.

double-dip autumn. And that's because it started and then it was

:06:34.:06:39.

like the handbrake was pulled on and it stopped and then it started

:06:39.:06:44.

again. And that's probably because it got very, very warm at the end

:06:44.:06:48.

of September, but now, it's really got going. We've noticed the

:06:48.:06:54.

changes in the leaves in the last few days. But I wonder how this

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year compares to other years, because when you get the sunny,

:06:58.:07:05.

warm days and the freezing nights, that's when you get the spectacular

:07:05.:07:11.

colours, isn't it It gives us a chance to talk about the magic

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chemical. Anthocyanine. It is a regular pigment and it needs warm

:07:20.:07:25.

days and cold nights. Warm days produce glucose in the leaf. And

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that glucose, when it is hit by sunshine starts to go red, and the

:07:32.:07:38.

cold nights stop the glucose from going back into the tree. But if

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it's just about to dump the leaf, why does it go to all the trouble

:07:44.:07:54.

to produce the pigment. I'll tell you. It could be a warning sign for

:07:54.:08:00.

insect, because scientists have found that far fewer insects fall

:08:00.:08:07.

on red leaves than green leaves, and it helps the leaf to stay fully

:08:07.:08:13.

functional before it falls off the tree. But autumn isn't all about

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falling leaves it's about fruiting too. And this week, our cameramen

:08:17.:08:22.

have been out and about here at Westonbirt and have seen lots of

:08:22.:08:32.

birds feeding on berries. This is a chaffinch eating Yew berries, but

:08:32.:08:39.

are thought to be poisonous, but the red on the outside is not.

:08:39.:08:49.
:08:49.:08:50.

And this bluetit is pecking at the soft, fruity part of this Hawthorne

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berry. And even cold tits, which through

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the summer are pretty much insect- eating birds, are changing to being

:09:06.:09:10.

herbivores in the winter as well. We've been talking a lot about the

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changing of the leaves and that's one autumn spectacular, but one of

:09:15.:09:19.

my favourite, which I have mentioned before, is the rutting

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deer. Last week we talked about the Red deer, but what about the Fallow

:09:27.:09:33.

Deer? This is the perfect time to find them rutting, as I found out.

:09:33.:09:38.

The roaring of fallow deer bucks is a classic sound of British autumn.

:09:38.:09:43.

In many deer parks around the country you can go and see the

:09:43.:09:53.
:09:53.:09:55.

bucks calling to try to attract as many Roe deer as they can. It has

:09:55.:10:00.

been estimated that 100,000 fallow deer live deep in woods. They are

:10:00.:10:07.

not used to people so to see the shy deer in their rut, I've gone

:10:07.:10:15.

deep into the Cotswold woodland. Here is a classic example of a

:10:15.:10:20.

fallow deer rutting, they're stamping their authority by

:10:20.:10:27.

scraping this bark off. And another sign is a scrape. The ducks trample

:10:27.:10:33.

the mud and urineate in it and roll around to spread their smell. A few

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days before my visit, our camera team set some cameras out. They are

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obviously awake and active at night? They are basically nocturnal.

:10:45.:10:51.

The majority of their feeding is at night. Unlike the backs who will

:10:51.:10:57.

fast during the rut. There is one of the bucks, moving away. He was

:10:57.:11:05.

actually at the scrape. He was. could be catch a glimpse of one of

:11:06.:11:12.

these elusive bucks calling deep in the woods?

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ROARING SOUND SCOOPS. WE KNOW WE'RE GETTING CLOSE NOW, BECAUSE IF YOU

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CAN HEAR A BELLOWING NOISE. THAT IS That is the male fallow deer,

:11:27.:11:37.
:11:37.:11:40.

calling the females in. That was great! We actually saw,

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saw him go past, chase the doe and his antlers just look spectacular.

:11:50.:12:00.
:12:00.:12:09.

And he's not stopping, he's not Here he comes. And it's great,

:12:09.:12:15.

because those does haven't spotted us yet. You can pretty much see

:12:15.:12:20.

what is happening here. The buck is trying to keep the does in this

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area, because this is his territory. Every time the does go off, he

:12:25.:12:35.

starts bellowing, to call them in and then tries to push them back.

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Now, you do, occasionally, see a young male. It's called a pricket,

:12:44.:12:54.

try to mate one of the does. This one is black, but his colour

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difference it not unusual in fallow deer. He's been unsuccessful, but

:13:00.:13:07.

they love to have a go. He's been here virtually all week calling

:13:07.:13:12.

right through the night. He's a real good buck. For me, it's been a

:13:12.:13:22.
:13:22.:13:23.

brilliant day out. Michaela, I think he just said that

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that buck was growning for a week, night and day? He was unbelievable.

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He didn't stop. And he didn't stop trying to round the does in. And he

:13:36.:13:43.

doesn't eat all this time. That sound, to you and eye, each one

:13:43.:13:51.

sounds quite similar, but to the doe, they can tell how fit the duck

:13:51.:13:57.

is by the quality of his roar, because of the size of his chest

:13:57.:14:02.

cavity. And they choose to be with the buck, I know he goes round and

:14:02.:14:08.

rounds them up. But it is sort of female choice. It's hard work being

:14:08.:14:12.

a buck. I went to see those in an estate and I went with an expert.

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And it was very, very difficult to see them. If you want to see the

:14:17.:14:21.

deer in a much easier and accessible place it's eaters to go

:14:21.:14:30.

to a deer park, somewhere like Richmond or Pet worth park. And we

:14:30.:14:36.

don't want to discourage people from going out to look for deer,

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but they are sensitive. Don't rush in there. So my top advice would be

:14:41.:14:44.

to find someone who is experienced at watching them and go out with

:14:44.:14:48.

at watching them and go out with them.

:14:48.:14:54.

On our website, you'll find some guidance and tips on how to watch

:14:54.:14:58.

deer without disturbing them and top spots to visit. When it comes

:14:58.:15:06.

to larger animals in the UK there are fewer species which are poorlyy

:15:06.:15:12.

underto do so, but there is still one species which is shrouded in

:15:12.:15:18.

mystery and that's really exciting. So we asked Leah gooding to go out

:15:18.:15:27.

and find out what she could about the European eel. With its snake-

:15:27.:15:34.

like appearance, slimy skin and nocturnal habits, the European eel

:15:34.:15:40.

is often the subject of fascination and revulsion. Living in the depths

:15:40.:15:48.

of our murky rivers it's easily of our murky rivers it's easily

:15:48.:15:53.

forgotten or ignored. But eels have been a big part of my

:15:53.:16:01.

life, because we're Londoners. Readily available and cheap, eels

:16:01.:16:08.

have been common fare in London since the 18th century. Jellied

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eels became the symbol of London's working-class, Cockney cuisine and

:16:15.:16:20.

they're still sold today. When I was younger, my mum used to

:16:20.:16:27.

bring me and my family to this eel and pie shop.

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Peter Hak's family have run the place since 1911 and recently he's

:16:33.:16:38.

noticed things are changing. People aren't eating eels like they were

:16:38.:16:45.

20 or 30 years ago. I think the price has sky rocketed. It's

:16:45.:16:51.

cheaper now to eat pie and mash than eels. Where do you get them

:16:51.:16:58.

from? Mine come from Holland. We used to get there from England, but

:16:58.:17:01.

they've been in decline. So, if right in the heart of London

:17:01.:17:05.

they're having to get their eels from Holland, what has happened to

:17:05.:17:10.

the English eel? Well, the Autumnwatch team have sent me on a

:17:10.:17:18.

mission to find out. First of all, I need to know more about what I'm

:17:18.:17:25.

dealing with. I've come to meet Matt at the London Zoo aquarium.

:17:25.:17:31.

Can you tell us what the eel is? Just in case anyone wasn't sure,

:17:31.:17:36.

because they don't look obviously like a fish, they are a fish. Most

:17:36.:17:42.

of these are yellow eels. They're the fresh-water version of the

:17:42.:17:47.

European eel. Some of these are getting close to being silver eels,

:17:47.:17:57.
:17:57.:17:58.

and that's the marine form. amazing to discover the incredible

:17:58.:18:06.

life of the European eel. Every year, they go to the Sargasso Sea

:18:06.:18:13.

where they spawn and die. From there, the baby eels make the

:18:13.:18:19.

incredible 3,000 mile journey back to our rivers where they grow big..

:18:19.:18:26.

When they reach the estuaries of Europe, they elongate into what we

:18:26.:18:35.

call glass eels, which are completely see-through. Then they

:18:35.:18:41.

become elvers, and feed and grow to become the yellow eel and when this

:18:41.:18:48.

is ready to go, it becomes a silver eel. So within the life cycle there

:18:48.:18:53.

are four or five different stages, all of which are still the same

:18:53.:18:57.

European eel. But they're not having a good time at the moment,

:18:57.:19:07.

are they? No, in the past 30 or 40 years, the number of juvenile

:19:07.:19:13.

elvers we've found returning is up to 30% to 35% less. So we're

:19:13.:19:17.

worried about the populations in fresh water. The European eel is

:19:17.:19:22.

facing a whole raft of problems. And next, I'm going to be looking

:19:22.:19:27.

at some of the issues surrounding them. As well as trying to find out

:19:27.:19:32.

what is being done to help the juvenile eels when they return from

:19:32.:19:41.

the ocean to our British rivers. It's a first for Autumnwatch and

:19:41.:19:45.

what fascinating animals. Extraordinary creatures and so much

:19:45.:19:55.

still isn't known. Jellied eels? don't think so, it didn't look nice.

:19:55.:20:02.

It's now our last time with our badgers underground. Ryan asks,

:20:02.:20:08.

"How deep is a badger's sett?." Because badgers tend to go into the

:20:08.:20:13.

side of hills, not straight down, but about eight metres.

:20:13.:20:20.

Let's look at what has been going on in the sett in the past week.

:20:20.:20:25.

This is Andrew Cooper's farm. He's been feeding this particular bunch

:20:25.:20:29.

of badgers for many years. And they come out every night to have a

:20:30.:20:34.

feast. He doesn't give them too much. He doesn't overfeed them,

:20:34.:20:40.

because he has to be careful that they have their normal food as well

:20:40.:20:46.

as the peanuts. They follow clear tracks. And now we're right inside

:20:46.:20:53.

the sett. An awful lot of grooming. If we're quiet, we can hear them

:20:53.:20:59.

snufling around. This is the bit that has been magical for me, to

:20:59.:21:07.

see this. Have the hidden cameras in the sett. Badgers are very

:21:07.:21:12.

solitary animals, the same group as stoats and weasles. So to have them

:21:12.:21:17.

living socially is unusual. there's no mating going on, they're

:21:18.:21:23.

just grooming. Yes, grooming and marking them with the sett scent.

:21:23.:21:30.

We think this is Fancy Claws, and Boris here.

:21:30.:21:37.

And what is fascinating is that Fancy Clause, here, she could have

:21:37.:21:43.

conceived but not yet be pregnant. How does that work? Most badgers

:21:43.:21:47.

will mate in spring time, but even though they conceive it doesn't

:21:47.:21:52.

implant in the womb. It goes into suspended animation. And nearly all

:21:52.:21:58.

the females, it will implant the egg into the womb in December and

:21:58.:22:02.

it takes seven weeks to develop and all the baby badgers will be born

:22:02.:22:07.

in the first couple of weeks in February. So they conceive at

:22:07.:22:13.

different times but all have their babies at the same time. Yes.

:22:13.:22:18.

That's the last we're going to see of them and we hope you have

:22:18.:22:23.

enjoyed our badgercam. But although lots of people love watching

:22:23.:22:27.

badgers, they have been a contentious subject in the

:22:27.:22:33.

countryside. We've had a lot of people on the message board. Many

:22:33.:22:38.

want to know more about the more serious, controversial story that

:22:38.:22:41.

surrounds badgers. It is a complex issue that concerns a lot of

:22:41.:22:45.

farmers. We've tried to unravel it for you. Here is Martin with an

:22:45.:22:52.

update. The number of badger setts, like

:22:52.:22:56.

this, have been increasing all over the UK in the past few decades. And

:22:56.:23:02.

that's because in the '70s, the law was changed to protect badgers and

:23:02.:23:06.

since then their numbers have gradually increased. But at the

:23:06.:23:12.

same time the number of badgers have increased so too as the number

:23:12.:23:17.

of bovine TB. It accounted for the slaughter of 29,000 cattle last

:23:17.:23:25.

year, at a cost of �90 million to the taxpayer last year. Badgers

:23:25.:23:29.

often dig for earthworms in the farmers' fields and there is some

:23:29.:23:34.

evidence that they play a role in spreading the disease. The

:23:34.:23:39.

Government's badger culling trials ran between 1988 and 2005. It

:23:39.:23:42.

showed that culling badgers intensively within an area could

:23:42.:23:49.

lead to a drop of bovine TB cases of 28%. But the same experiment

:23:49.:23:55.

also showed an increase in cattle TB of up to 9% in the areas

:23:55.:24:00.

surrounding the culling zones. That's probably because the

:24:00.:24:05.

badgers' territorial boundaries had broken down, so the badgers were

:24:05.:24:10.

able to travel further afield and spread the disease. We looked into

:24:10.:24:14.

this in detail in last year's Christmas special. And we reported

:24:14.:24:19.

that any such cull would have to be widespread, rigorous and repeated

:24:19.:24:23.

over a number of years to be effective. That could be expensive

:24:23.:24:27.

and the Government are considering its options. So what has happened

:24:27.:24:33.

since Christmas? Well, in July, Caroline Spelman, the English

:24:33.:24:37.

Environment Minister, said she was strongly minded to allow a badger

:24:37.:24:43.

cull to go ahead in areas with a high instance of TB some time in

:24:44.:24:48.

20126789 We spoke to DEFRA, the department, this week and their

:24:48.:24:52.

spokesman said the decision on whether that cull would go ahead

:24:52.:24:57.

would be expected some time later this year. DEFRA also said they

:24:57.:25:03.

were working hard to develop a vaccine for both badgers and cattle

:25:03.:25:07.

that was affordable and practical. We've been out to find out more

:25:07.:25:12.

about that. Here in Gloucestershire, there is a trial going on to see

:25:12.:25:17.

how effective vaccinating badgers might be. Traps are set out in the

:25:17.:25:21.

evening and baited with peanuts. In the morning, any badgers that are

:25:21.:25:27.

caught are vaccinated. They are then marked to make sure they are

:25:27.:25:31.

not vaccinated twice if they get trapped again. It will probably be

:25:31.:25:35.

at least five years before we can expect to see a drop in the

:25:35.:25:40.

instance of TB in the vaccination trial area. It could turn out to be

:25:40.:25:43.

very effective. But there are concerns that it may be an

:25:43.:25:47.

expensive solution in the long-term. Other researchers are trying to

:25:47.:25:52.

develop an oral vaccine for badgers. But they will also have to work out

:25:52.:25:56.

how to get the badgers to eat enough of the baited food. Perhaps

:25:56.:26:00.

the best solution is a vaccine for cattle. But it could take a number

:26:00.:26:07.

of years for such a vaccine to be developed and regulated. Meanwhile,

:26:08.:26:14.

the debate rages on. And the problem is this: No-one can be surn

:26:14.:26:20.

how effective a badger cull will be certain how effective a badger cull

:26:20.:26:25.

will be in the control of cattle TB. The Government is under pressure to

:26:25.:26:30.

do something. The question is, will that something be effective in

:26:30.:26:37.

helping our beleaguered farmers? It is a very complex issue and an

:26:37.:26:43.

emotive one as well. We would like to know what you think. Please let

:26:43.:26:51.

us know on the blog This year, we've been lucky enough to visit

:26:51.:26:57.

one of Westonbirt's neighbours. Prince Charles lives just down the

:26:57.:27:03.

road at Highgrove, and he manages his gardens very much with wildlife

:27:03.:27:08.

in mind. The Highgrove Estate is the home of

:27:08.:27:13.

the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. For many years now,

:27:13.:27:18.

the gardens have been managed organically and sustainably and

:27:18.:27:24.

they have become a haven for wildlife. John ridgely is the

:27:24.:27:29.

assistant head gardener and he has a lifetime's experience of

:27:29.:27:34.

gardening with wildlife in mind. I'm tidying up the herbaceous

:27:34.:27:42.

border for winter. But taking out the untidy stuff and dead stuff and

:27:42.:27:45.

leaving plenty of habitat and environment for wildlife to

:27:45.:27:51.

overwinter. You find ladybirds, hover flies, lace wings. Solitary

:27:51.:27:56.

bees that live inside hollow stems. So it is really important to leave

:27:56.:28:05.

room for hem to overwinter. Frogs and toads, newts, even possibly

:28:05.:28:12.

slow worms live in the undergrowth w' often uncover them when we're

:28:12.:28:18.

clearing the beds. And if leaves blow into hedgerows that's a good

:28:18.:28:25.

habitat for hedgehogs. All the cleared vegetation is put to good

:28:25.:28:32.

use. All the vegetation goes into compost. Nothing is wasted at

:28:32.:28:39.

Highgrove. Anyone with a garden can create a compost heap. It provides

:28:39.:28:49.
:28:49.:28:50.

habitats for invertebrates, which in turn attract their pred -

:28:50.:28:55.

predators. And if you're lucky a habitat for low worms. It's easy to

:28:56.:29:00.

have a little corner where you can pile twigs that fall out of the

:29:00.:29:08.

trees, pruning, or blown down leaves. You can create little

:29:08.:29:13.

habitat piles, it doesn't have to look a mess, but it has the same

:29:13.:29:21.

benefit. The gardening team are busy throughout the harvest in

:29:21.:29:26.

autumn. We're picking crab apples, but the birds do well, because we

:29:26.:29:34.

can only reach so far to leave lots for the birds, the thushes and the

:29:34.:29:39.

lapwings. And of course, autumn is a great time to start planning for

:29:39.:29:46.

spring with wildlife in mind and there's nolg better than planting

:29:46.:29:54.

crocus bulbs. One of the reasons why we plant crocuses, apart from

:29:54.:29:59.

they look beautiful, is that they provide early nectar for the bees

:29:59.:30:09.
:30:09.:30:09.

in the spring. Other bulb plants for bees are the early-flowering

:30:09.:30:13.

daffodils, snowdrops, that provides lots of food for them. This might

:30:13.:30:18.

be a grand estate but there are things that everyone can do to help

:30:18.:30:21.

make space for wildlife in the garden.

:30:21.:30:25.

What I like about wildlife gardening is that we are all

:30:25.:30:31.

managers of that resource. And we can do whatever we like in our back

:30:31.:30:36.

gardens, within reason. So it's your chance to be a nature

:30:36.:30:39.

your chance to be a nature reservist.

:30:39.:30:45.

Go to our website for lots of tips and hints. And a lady from the

:30:45.:30:50.

wildlife truffle has written a blog on how best to prepare your garden

:30:50.:30:57.

for wildlife for the winter. A question from squeaky Ted. He says

:30:57.:31:04.

how many badgers can live together? The most I've seen from my study of

:31:04.:31:11.

setts is 15. But I have known of 50-odd. But it doesn't last long,

:31:11.:31:16.

because they fight with each other and disperse. Thank you very much

:31:16.:31:26.

for that. Squeaky Ted, what have Fleur, fox, 57y and many others of

:31:26.:31:33.

you got in common? It is because you have heard, as we have, strange

:31:33.:31:43.
:31:43.:31:48.

sounds emanating from the woods all I set off in the dark of the night,

:31:48.:31:54.

with Camillaman Mark to find....tawny owls. And you may

:31:54.:32:03.

well be hearing tawny owls a lot this year, because this is the time

:32:03.:32:11.

they're most vocal. And the established breeding pairs are

:32:11.:32:17.

saying, "Don't come here, this is our territory" and they will defend

:32:18.:32:22.

that place. But at the same time, the youngsters are trying to find

:32:22.:32:29.

their own area, and sadly if they don't find an area, they will die.

:32:29.:32:39.
:32:39.:32:40.

So a lot of this calling is saying, "Don't come here, this is ours."

:32:40.:32:50.
:32:50.:32:55.

Tawny owls donth just - don't just to-twit-to-woo. They have 12 basic

:32:55.:33:02.

calls. Get out there and listen to them, it's magic.

:33:02.:33:10.

They're super. I've become addicted to them. You're a little bit deaf,

:33:10.:33:16.

Chris, so you can't hear them. But tawny owls, fantastic to see them.

:33:16.:33:22.

Have a look at this tawny owl hunting. Now, you would think,

:33:22.:33:29.

wouldn't you - look at those enormous eyes, not the mouse, the

:33:29.:33:36.

tawny owl. You'd think they'd use sight - great shot! But no, it's

:33:36.:33:43.

their ears that they use. And that facial disc is like the gristley

:33:43.:33:50.

bit of our ears, so that's used to channel the sound down. So they're

:33:50.:33:55.

out listening to mice rustle on the floor. And they have a really

:33:55.:34:00.

problem in the rain, because they can't hear because of the rain and

:34:00.:34:06.

afterwards they can't here because the leaves are all sauftened by the

:34:06.:34:13.

rain. And if it's raining the call is reduced by 40%. So it carries

:34:13.:34:18.

far further when it's die. So when it's raining only about 5% of the

:34:18.:34:28.
:34:28.:34:29.

owls actually call. So a rain storm may be inconvenient Foro us, but

:34:29.:34:35.

for owls it could mean life and death Now, there is a lot of hard

:34:35.:34:42.

work that goes into Westonbirt. And I went out with the curator here,

:34:42.:34:51.

especially about looking after trees that might have some problem.

:34:51.:34:57.

Here is your beech getting some high tech treatment. I presume this

:34:57.:35:04.

is what led you to investigate this further? Yes, this is a fungus that

:35:04.:35:14.

is causing decay inside the tree. But it is only one bill body on a

:35:14.:35:20.

huge tree. Is this enough to cause a lot of damage? It is. All the rot

:35:20.:35:30.
:35:30.:35:34.

is from the base, from the buttresses, into the roots. This is

:35:34.:35:44.
:35:44.:35:45.

a picus sonic tomograph, which allows sound waves to pick up

:35:45.:35:54.

sounds inside the tree. And when the results are annualised, a

:35:54.:36:01.

decision is made to fell the tree because of the decay inside it.

:36:01.:36:08.

You can see how spongey that is. Yes, it is. Look at this, the data

:36:08.:36:12.

revealed by the tomograph was very, very accurate. Although the fungus

:36:12.:36:17.

has led to the death of this tree, death isn't the end of its value in

:36:17.:36:24.

terms of wildlife. Westonbirt has a large area of natural woodland. You

:36:24.:36:31.

may think this is looking pretty sterile and inert, but look again.

:36:31.:36:38.

On the surface there's lots of algae and liken and lower down

:36:38.:36:47.

there is ddlichen And lower done there is a lot of

:36:47.:36:55.

moss. To see lava of the insects we'd have to break this open, so

:36:55.:37:00.

we've not going flood that. But you can see the holes where they have

:37:00.:37:05.

gone in or, more likely, come out. So this is still a very, very

:37:05.:37:09.

valuable piece of the woodland eco- system, despite the fact that it

:37:09.:37:15.

has been dead for a long time. So there is plenty of dead wood here

:37:15.:37:20.

at Westonbirt. But they have a very active tree nursery, so once that

:37:20.:37:25.

tree has been cut down, they're going to replace it with another

:37:25.:37:30.

tree. We're surrounded by trees here, but that's not the same

:37:30.:37:38.

elsewhere in the UK. The UK has only 12% of tree cover so we need

:37:38.:37:42.

more trees. And you can do something about it. If you have a

:37:42.:37:48.

garden, you could put a tree in it, or lots of trees. The woodland

:37:48.:37:53.

Trust are up for giving away 1.6 million trees. You can apply for

:37:53.:38:01.

these and you can plant them in community areas, and the Government

:38:01.:38:07.

community areas, and the Government is backing it.

:38:07.:38:14.

Take a look at our website. planting trees, I've asked for them

:38:14.:38:19.

for Christmas It's time now to go to Leah. Yes, to learn more about

:38:19.:38:25.

to Leah. Yes, to learn more about the European eels.

:38:25.:38:30.

The European eel is in terrible decline. Numbers of juvenile eels

:38:30.:38:36.

reaching the UK from their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea are

:38:36.:38:45.

down an aastonishing 90% since the 1970s. And for those that do reach

:38:45.:38:52.

the UK, the rivers ahead are fraught with challenges. When the

:38:52.:39:00.

young eels first enter our rivers it is there they first face the

:39:00.:39:06.

problems. Sluice gates act as a barrier for eels trying to migrate

:39:06.:39:11.

up river. The problem is, eels cannot jump. There is a cascade

:39:11.:39:16.

there, which the eels can't get over. Andy Don from the Environment

:39:16.:39:22.

Agency has come up with the idea of eel passes to help them navigate

:39:22.:39:29.

this obstacle. We have them on each bank, because eels, as they migrate

:39:29.:39:36.

hug the banks as they go upstream. So we're trying to replicate what

:39:36.:39:43.

happens naturally with the moss and weeds on the banks, with this

:39:43.:39:51.

artificial substrate. We get elvers using this, but we've

:39:51.:39:58.

seen some big eels of two feet using this pass. And this is a

:39:58.:40:04.

camera that counts on a daily basis how many eels pass, because all the

:40:04.:40:09.

action happens in the night-time. It's not unusual to have several

:40:09.:40:19.

thousand eels using the passes. With more eel passes on thousands

:40:19.:40:25.

of obstacles in English waterways, the migrating eels are happened

:40:25.:40:32.

every year. But eel passes are not the only way to boost our eel

:40:32.:40:38.

population. Businessman, Peter Wood makes his money exporting eels for

:40:38.:40:42.

restocking projects. Today, for the first time, he's going to be

:40:42.:40:47.

restocking a lake in written. I've heard you're about to release

:40:47.:40:52.

25,000 eels back into the wild. To be honest, it only looks like

:40:52.:40:57.

you've got a few hundred here. you look on the screen, you can see

:40:57.:41:02.

thousands and thousands with their little heads sticking out of the

:41:02.:41:09.

box. Peter has spent the past few months raising thousands and

:41:09.:41:13.

thousands of tiny elvers in these tanks and they can be released

:41:13.:41:20.

today. Time to pull the plug. We're ready. The elvers shoot down

:41:20.:41:26.

the plug hole and pour into the packing area, where they're boxed,

:41:26.:41:31.

ready for the journey. commercial value of these juveniles

:41:31.:41:41.

is, say, 50p a piece. For every 10,000 eels, it will be �5,000. So

:41:41.:41:48.

altogether more than �10,000 worth of eels going into the lake. So, as

:41:48.:41:54.

a businessman, what does it feel chucking �10,000 into a lake?

:41:54.:42:03.

have to invest in our future. We can't take things out without

:42:03.:42:10.

putting something back. By catching the tiny glass eels and bringing

:42:10.:42:18.

them on in captivity, Peter has dramatically improved their

:42:18.:42:24.

survival rate. Hepatitising me release them is Julian. Why is this

:42:25.:42:33.

such a good lake to release the eels? Here you have swamp areas and

:42:33.:42:40.

reed beds which is great for fish like this to take refuge in.

:42:40.:42:44.

Especially at this young stage in their lives, where there are a lot

:42:44.:42:50.

of things that want to eat them. When we're releasing this

:42:50.:42:56.

significant number there will be a lot that will survive into

:42:56.:43:02.

adulthood. These elvers will spend the next seven to 12 years here

:43:02.:43:08.

growing up into silver eels and then in the autumn they'll migrate

:43:08.:43:12.

3,000 miles into the Sargasso Sea to spawn. And it's the problems

:43:12.:43:22.
:43:22.:43:30.

they face on that journey that I'll And Camilla will serve the

:43:30.:43:36.

breakfast "here you are, love". Apparently Charles will have

:43:36.:43:39.

specialised servants in the hotel. What is one particularly good at?

:43:39.:43:47.

The chap who squeezes the toothpaste. Or gives you the

:43:47.:43:57.

naughty images on the TV. Such a great image of your life. Is that

:43:57.:44:03.

some sort of slang? According to a book on the history of Buckingham

:44:03.:44:11.

According to the same book, what is so special about the white drawing

:44:11.:44:16.

room at Buckingham Palace? It's black. The actual answer is that

:44:16.:44:20.

it's yellow, but also it has a full length mirror in one corner and

:44:20.:44:30.
:44:30.:44:36.

during functions, a footman is A quarter of a million migrant

:44:36.:44:40.

birds of prey fly over here every autumn on their way south. Some

:44:40.:44:44.

will have come all the way from the United Kingdom. They congregate on

:44:44.:44:50.

this part of the coastline, looking for the shortest sea crossing to

:44:50.:44:54.

Africa. So they funnel down from western and northern Europe and

:44:54.:44:59.

choose this point to make their exit from Europe into Africa. Which

:44:59.:45:06.

is just about nine miles across the straits of glib tar. You can see

:45:06.:45:12.

the ships going into the Mediterranean. Just like the watch

:45:12.:45:19.

point I was at in the Pyrenees, on throlgss have been watching birds

:45:19.:45:25.

here for decades. Today, it seems to be short-tailed

:45:25.:45:31.

eagles. How many do you think might go through today? How many? Perhaps

:45:31.:45:38.

3,000. 3,000. That's more than I've ever seen in my life, by a long,

:45:38.:45:46.

long way. But it's not just raptors that come here to cross the waters

:45:46.:45:51.

to Africa. It's also a famous crossing for storks. 150,000 of

:45:51.:45:57.

them pass over this point every autumn. Many of these birds rely on

:45:57.:46:04.

the uplift created by warm air rising from the land. So the birds

:46:04.:46:07.

circle upwards until they gain enough height to soar across the

:46:08.:46:14.

sea and land in Africa. But not all birds have the same strategy for

:46:15.:46:19.

crossing. Ospreys are very strong flyers and don't rely on thermals

:46:19.:46:23.

in the same way. They can leave Europe anywhere along the Spanish

:46:23.:46:29.

coast and make slightly longer sea crossings to Africa. But what about

:46:30.:46:35.

our ospreys? What did they do? Eamonn was the first one to set off

:46:36.:46:44.

on his miing glags, and he was also migration and he was the first one

:46:44.:46:54.
:46:54.:46:58.

to make this crossing. This is the spot where Einion left. He flew

:46:58.:47:02.

across Malaga and passed over here at exactly two o'clock in the

:47:03.:47:09.

afternoon and flew out over the coast and on to Morocco. So great

:47:09.:47:16.

news, Einion made it successfully to North Africa. But what about his

:47:16.:47:26.

brother Dulas, and we haven't even mentionedlery, the sister.

:47:26.:47:34.

Einion got to Africa on 6th December. Dulas made it to north

:47:34.:47:40.

Africa on 19 September, because he blew a little off course.Lery left

:47:40.:47:47.

the nest in Wales a week after her brother got to North Africa. She

:47:47.:47:53.

left on 13th September and made quite quick progress through Europe,

:47:53.:47:57.

but she got to North Africa on 20th September. So all three of them

:47:57.:48:02.

have made it this far. Where do they have to go now? They go down

:48:02.:48:08.

the west coast of Africa and their biggest obstacle and biggest

:48:08.:48:15.

challenge will be if they cross the Sahara desert. How will they get

:48:15.:48:22.

on? We'll find out next week. Isn't it amazing that they have all made

:48:22.:48:32.
:48:32.:48:34.

it. It is. Why do beech hedges hold on to their leaves but a tree dunts.

:48:34.:48:39.

I'm not a tree person. But apparently if a tree is stressed

:48:39.:48:46.

they hang on to their leaves. So if you've trimmed a beech tree to

:48:46.:48:52.

become a hedge, that's why they hang on to them.. Now the final

:48:52.:49:02.
:49:02.:49:11.

report about efforts across the UK There were claims that he had an

:49:11.:49:16.

affair with his first wife while married to his second wife. He's

:49:16.:49:21.

lifting the injunction now. No-one was allowed the talk about it or

:49:21.:49:28.

report it. Was it generally known? Yes. Did you know it Yes. Did you

:49:28.:49:38.
:49:38.:49:48.

know it? Yes, Ian told me. Did you You have two big bags of eels. Why

:49:48.:49:56.

are we catching them? We catch these eels as they migrate out so

:49:56.:50:02.

that they can go to sea and spawn. It's a big effort to make sure

:50:02.:50:09.

these guys get on their way. It is a huge effort. Last year we caught

:50:09.:50:16.

39 tonnes of eels. Although this trap and release plan only occurs

:50:17.:50:23.

in Ireland it is helping scientists in England. David is running a

:50:23.:50:26.

satellite tracking programme to see what happens to the eels when they

:50:26.:50:33.

go out to sea. This trapping project is the best way he can get

:50:33.:50:41.

the large silver eels he can fit with the tags. These eels have

:50:41.:50:47.

eaten their last meal and they'll get to the Sargasso Sea without any

:50:47.:50:54.

food so we can pop these tags into their bodies, and they'll record

:50:54.:50:59.

the depths and temperatures. And when the eel dies this tag will

:50:59.:51:07.

come to the surface, where it might be collected by a beachcomber, who

:51:07.:51:13.

returns it to us. But this eel had an unfortunate end. He was eaten by

:51:13.:51:22.

a whale. How do you know that? dive pattern is similar to that of

:51:22.:51:32.
:51:32.:51:32.

a short-fined whale. The eel kept diving, then had a siesta before

:51:32.:51:39.

lunch, and then it kept diving again, following the same pattern

:51:39.:51:47.

as the whole, so we think it was inside.

:51:47.:51:52.

But people must keep sending us these tags, because it unlocks

:51:52.:51:58.

crucial information for us. Now the rest of the tagged eels are

:51:58.:52:02.

sent off to the release site. They're not going to be released

:52:02.:52:09.

into the sea, but back into the river just below the dam. Why don't

:52:09.:52:15.

we put them into the sea, why do we do this process? These are released

:52:15.:52:21.

into the fresh water to give those eels a period of adjustment before

:52:21.:52:26.

they hit the saltwater. Let's do it. Finally, it's time to release the

:52:26.:52:36.
:52:36.:52:39.

eels. They're about to undergo some huge physiological changes as they

:52:39.:52:47.

people to go into the sea water, but they no longer face any more

:52:47.:52:53.

man-made obstacles. How does it make you feel? It's a good job, a

:52:53.:52:57.

good story, the conservation of fish and it works. How many will

:52:57.:53:02.

reach their spawning grounds, we simply don't know, but Denis and

:53:02.:53:07.

his team have helped them on their way Now, I was watching that and I

:53:08.:53:13.

thought to myself, it's inside a whale and then all of a sudden

:53:13.:53:21.

they've recovered it. How did they do that? So we thought possibly it

:53:21.:53:28.

had passed right through the whale and poo-ed out into the sea and

:53:28.:53:33.

recovered on the beach. So you won't be surprised to find that if

:53:33.:53:39.

you recover one of these things, you get a �50 reward. 40 have been

:53:39.:53:45.

recovered and that's really, really, really good. That is impressive.

:53:46.:53:53.

can learn a lot from these tags. I put a tag in a piece of carrot cake

:53:53.:54:01.

I gave to Michaela in 1992, and I know everywhere she has been ever

:54:01.:54:06.

since. We also have a blog, which you should check out. Which with

:54:06.:54:10.

Leah has written into all about the eels and the tagging.

:54:10.:54:16.

What a thing! I will have travelled all over the world since 19926789.

:54:16.:54:20.

But if you're out travelling you'll want to know the weather this

:54:20.:54:25.

weekend. And I think for some of us it might be wet. What do you think?

:54:25.:54:30.

I think it will be a wet weekend, but it depends where you are?

:54:31.:54:36.

whole country is going to be different. I think it's going to be

:54:36.:54:40.

pouring with rain where you're going. To find out exactly what is

:54:40.:54:49.

going on. Let's see from the professionals. What has John

:54:49.:54:58.

Hammond got to say? I'm going to confuse you even more,

:54:58.:55:03.

because depending where you live, you might want your wet things or

:55:03.:55:10.

warm things. Tonight, it will be turning wet

:55:10.:55:14.

across Scotland. Wet and windy coming up from the

:55:15.:55:18.

south-west. The best of the sunshine tomorrow across eastern

:55:18.:55:24.

parts of England and pretty mild. 16 degrees. So quite pleasant. On

:55:24.:55:28.

Sunday, we keep the mild south- westerly winds. A lot of cloud

:55:28.:55:35.

around but it dampens across the south for a time and then rain

:55:35.:55:40.

returning to Scotland. So, yes, this weekend, variety is the spice

:55:40.:55:45.

of life. Thank you very much. Obviously a

:55:45.:55:52.

mixed weekend, but we all have coats and wellies, so plenty of

:55:52.:55:58.

chance to still get out tonight, but what about the wind for the

:55:58.:56:03.

migrating birds? Yes, wind is a key feature. This

:56:03.:56:09.

October we've had weather fronts in the north bringing a lot of rain to

:56:09.:56:17.

northern parts of the UK. Further south, not much rain, but we've had

:56:17.:56:22.

strong southerly winds in the early part of next week, and mild ones

:56:22.:56:28.

too. How mild? Much, much milder than it should be this time of year.

:56:28.:56:34.

In fact, if we look back at October this year, the average temperature

:56:34.:56:40.

has been 11.5 Celsius. It looks like it will come in as the seventh

:56:40.:56:45.

warmest October on record, a record that goes back 100 years. So

:56:45.:56:50.

significant, windy and pretty warm. Thank you, John. Windy and warm,

:56:50.:56:55.

what sort of impact will that have? With the lessening of the winds, we

:56:55.:57:01.

might see some of the birds that have been hanging on in Scandinavia

:57:01.:57:08.

and Iceland, they might use this decrease in wind to come over. And

:57:08.:57:14.

a few birds moving in from the low countries. Perhaps some of the

:57:14.:57:20.

blackbirds from Germany and Poland might come over. But equally

:57:20.:57:25.

swallows from the UK might depart from the southern shores. But I

:57:25.:57:32.

think we're going to have a massive surge of moths coming up on the

:57:32.:57:38.

southerly winds. So if you're a mother out there, tell us if there

:57:38.:57:45.

are lots of moths coming up this weekend. So, what about next week?

:57:45.:57:55.
:57:55.:57:56.

We're heading to the isles of Islay. To see thousands and thousands of

:57:56.:58:06.
:58:06.:58:08.

barnacle geese. And Richard Tailor- Jones will be investigating seals.

:58:08.:58:16.

And we're going to slim bridge for four weeks, and we're interested in

:58:16.:58:21.

the Bewick's swans. They did have four, but they're now down to three.

:58:21.:58:27.

But we'd like to thank all the staff at Westonbirt here. They've

:58:27.:58:31.

made us all very welcome. Thank you made us all very welcome. Thank you

:58:31.:58:35.

Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games broadcast from the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, with all the latest autumn wildlife action. The team report back on the glorious autumn colours and wildlife of the ancient woodlands, and the drama of the fallow deer rut, seen during their trip to the Cotswolds. Plus an exclusive look at wildlife gardening at the famous Highgrove Estate, and guest presenter Leah Gooding investigates the plight of one of our most mysterious and iconic fish, the eel.


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