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Winterwatch sets up home in the Cairngorms

Chris Packham backs Trees for Life crowdfunding page.
Chris Packham backs Trees for Life crowdfunding page.

It is possibly the toughest environment for animals to survive in Scotland.

Now, the struggles of wildlife in the Cairngorms will become a year-round focus for one of the most popular series on our screens.

Winterwatch will broadcast live from a new location within the Cairngorms National Park – and the presenters will return again throughout 2019 for Springwatch and Autumnwatch.


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Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke will host the BBC shows, kicking off the year in the depths of winter.

The freezing temperatures and blanket of snow make it an extreme environment to call home, and the team will explore how the local wildlife adapts to get through this toughest of seasons.

Springwatch and Autumnwatch later in the year will keep up with some of the key year-round residents such as golden and white-tailed eagles, red squirrels and pine martens.

By staying for a full year, the team will get to know the area like never before, exploring the snow-capped mountains, ancient forests, raging rivers and deep, silent lochs.

The Winterwatch studio will be based at The Dell of Abernethy, a lodge built in 1780 which sits on the edge of the Abernethy Caledonian pine forest.

From here, the team will be able to showcase the whole region, seeking out the wildlife that thrives in the challenging habitat, and looking at the people and projects working to conserve it.

The Watches will also reflect the wildlife issues and spectacles across the UK in a series of pre-recorded films for each series.

Michaela Strachan said: “I’m so excited to be going to the Cairngorms for Winterwatch. It’s such a stunning place, full of wildlife, dramatic, wild and very, very cold.

“The wildlife always delivers from golden eagles to mountain hares, wild cats to black grouse, ptarmigan, pine marten, red squirrel, water vole, otter.

“The Highlands have a wonderful diversity of wildlife and habitats. It’s one of those places in the UK where you can really connect with the natural environment.”

Chris Packham added: “Scotland – land of the brave, home of the wild and hope for the UK’s wildlife. This is the happening zone in conservation and home to the most amazing diversity of sexy species. I can’t wait.”

And Gillian Burke said: “I cannot wait to get going and bring the best of British wildlife from our new home in the Cairngorms! Brace yourselves for a truly wild Winterwatch.”

 

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