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Hasta la vista, Springwatch

June 18, 2010

By Nicky Hoar

Communications Officer

It’s been a fabulous 3 weeks with Springwatch in Dorset but now it’s time to say goodbye – or rather ‘hasta la vista’ or ‘au revoir’, because I can’t believe we won’t be seeing them again.  Simon King and the BBC team have found it hard to leave Kimmeridge Bay and the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve . They tried on Wednesday, planning to do a live dive at Swanage Pier. 

The beautifully restored Victorian pier at Swanage

The pier is certainly a lovely spot, where you can get all your equipment up close to where you are diving (right under the pier, where all the wildlife hangs out) and all the trucks, especially the satellite truck, can park right on the pier. But, as is so often the way, the weather intervened and, as we’d hoped they would, they turned around and came back to Kimmeridge.   And what a coup!  An amazing broadcast from underwater.  Well done Simon, underwater cameraman Scott and all the technical crew for making it happen – and Simon, of course!  It was awesome to see him present the programme as smoothly as he does on land, but from the bottom of the bay.   Let’s hope it gets more divers down there not only to enjoy but also record the wildlife.  Diver records are really important to improve our understanding of our marine wildlife and its habitats, and we have been able to influence decision making at a national level, thanks to the records of our volunteer Seasearch divers.

Seasearch diver Richard Yorke recorded this conger eel, goby & prawn for us

So we ended our Springwatch experience on a massive high.  Best bits?  Meeting Simon and his team and Chris Watson, the sound recordist; watching the live broadcast overlooking Kimmeridge Bay; nearly winning the pub quiz in the wilds of Powerstock common; the roe deer family at Kingcombe; the corkwing wrasse at his nest; apple sponge with white custard; cheesecake with raspberry coulis; oh, and most of all, getting Dorset’s wonderful wildlife and habitats the recognition they deserve.

It's been a great Springwatch in Dorset

Regrets?  I have now met Simon, Kate Humble and Bill Oddie (during Autumnwatch on Brownsea Island in 2008) and Chris Packham (a good friend of Dorset Wildlife Trust, who came to our Urban Wildlife Centre to meet our 25000th member) and Chris Watson, but I would have liked to meet cameraman John Aitchison.  I love his films and the quiet way he narrates them.  He was in Dorset the whole time, but never where I was!  Maybe next time…  

So it’s back to normal work.  There is so much going on at Dorset Wildlife Trust that there isn’t really time to feel flat after Springwatch, but it’s on to the next thing, and for me that’s this week’s launch of our Return of the Natives project that I told you about, to clear the alien plants from our rivers and make way for the native ones.  We launched it on the Hooke near Kingcombe with a (non-alcoholic) pimms & CAKE.

Time to save Dorset's rivers, once I've eaten this cake

So it’s goodbye from me for now, but if you want to keep in touch, you can sign up for my monthly e-newsletter with all the latest from Dorset Wildlife Trust.  If we get news that Springwatch or Autumnwatch is coming back for more, you’ll be first to know.   Dorset Springwatch.

It’s not goodbye, it’s hasta la vista


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