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Going live from Kimmeridge Bay

June 16, 2010

By Nicky Hoar

Communications Officer

Simon King’s Springwatch team settled in with their outside broadcast set-up, this time in the main car park overlooking beautiful Kimmeridge Bay.  It seemed really odd to see the exact same vans, cooking tent, satellite dish and all, but in a totally different place.  I suppose it is just like when you move around when you’re camping and you wake up each time to a different view.

Same set-up, different view

And, like when you’re camping, the food always tastes better outside.  Our marine officers Julie and Emma and volunteer Sarah joined me for the evening to watch the live broadcast (and eat some dinner).  We were all really excited about this great chance to show off the wildlife of the bay and Simon didn’t disappoint – covering issues like our constant battle against nurdle litter on the beaches of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and encouraging people to leave the wildlife just as you find it.   Julie and Emma have been helping him and the rest of the team for several days now – Emma went on a dive to find the corkwing wrasse nest for them (wasn’t that great on last night’s show – what a stunning fish!), Julie took sound recordist Chris Watson to find snapping prawns on the beach (hope they’ll be making a noise on tonight’s show) and both of them helped with food for the ‘fish table’ – just like a bird table but for fish, of course.  And the caterers helped by cooking salmon mousse, which came in handy for Simon to smear over his feet for his ‘prawn pedicure’ on Monday’s show.

Simon gets ready for the show while I check out the salmon mousse

It wasn’t an ice cream evening, but it was beautiful – serene and calm, with fantastic light.  My little camera might not do it justice, but this is what we were looking at, with our Fine Foundation Marine Centre in the centre of the picture, just before  the live show started.

Kimmeridge Bay just before the show

Sitting in the ‘office’ van, watching the show on TV, we could watch Simon for real through the windows, too, standing on the edge of the cliff in the car park, while in the van next to us the director and her team controlled everything with incredible skill, timed to the second with ‘the mother ship’ at Pensthorpe.    Another great Springwatch show, and high time that Dorset’s marine wildlife took centre stage.  So many of us don’t get to see it first hand, so watching Simon’s dives is a chance to see what we are missing – a whole world of wildlife.  Even the experts don’t know much about it – we know more about the surface of the moon that we do about our oceans.   We’ve recently launched an amazing new seabed map of the Dorset Coast, which is helping to push back those frontiers of knowledge.  It’s called DORset Integrated Seabed study (DORIS for short).  Take a look at it – it’s  freely available to the public and you just need to download Google Earth to be able to see it (and that’s free too).  Even to a landlubber like me, it is really fun to zoom in on the map and see the actual shape of the seabed and open up real photos of what’s down there.

Simon hasn’t finished with Dorset’s marine wildlife – he’s planning a live dive tonight.  Fingers crossed that it will work – it’s quite a technical feat to broadcast live from underwater but the BBC crew seem to take anything in their stride, so I can’t wait to see if it works.  Meanwhile, I need to get ready for our first live webchat tonight – I’ll be joining my colleagues Steve Davis and Jane Adams to answer your questions about birds before tonight’s Springwatch show.  Why don’t you join us tonight from 7pm?

Off to check up on our bird nestcams,


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 18, 2010 11:22 am

    It’s been great to read all about the behind the scenes action Nicky. Thank you so much for your blog posts. I do hope you’ll continue to do them after Springwatch has finished?

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