Best of Natural History Radio
BBC Radio 4
The BBC Natural History Unit produces a wide range of programmes that aim to immerse a listener in the wonder, surprise and importance that nature has to offer.
Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Wild Boar
The wild boar has had a checkered history in the British countryside. This once native species was hunted out of existence in the 13th Century and despite a number of reintroductions finally disappeared from our fauna in the 17th Century. And for the next 300 years the sound of boar, the onomatopoeia collective term for boar is , sound, lay silent across the landscape. Until around 20 years ago, when wild boar once again roamed some areas of the British countryside. But how did they get there? To find out more, in this Living World, Lionel Kelleway heads to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire on the trail of this shy and evasive animal, which although now firmly re-established in the British landscape is surprisingly hard to track down. Lionel enlists the help of boar expert, Dr Martin Goulding and after a day in the woods, the result was a surprise to both of them. In the decade since the programme was first broadcast, the situation of wild boar has of course changed. Wildlife pr...
Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Winter Ravens
The raven is both agile and majestic in flight but shrouded in mystery, superstition and folk law. How was it that our biggest member of the crow family, a bird once protected as an important scavenger in ancient times, was then persecuted almost to extinction in the British Isles, with less that 1000 pairs clinging onto a precarious future in few remote hills in upland Britain? In this Living World from 2010, Lionel Kelleway travels to the syperstones in Shropshire where thankfully the raven is making a remarkable comeback. Here he meets up with Leo Smith and Tom Wall from the Shropshire Raven Study Group, a group who have been studying these magnificent birds for nearly 20 years. As they walk to an old raven nest in wet woodland, they encounter many ravens on the wing. But the tide has turned and now Shropshire is home to a remarkable wildlife spectacle, a raven roost in a private woodland where Lionel is chorused by over 60 ravens wheeling and displaying in the gathering dusk. Si...
Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Caledonian Pine forest
Standing next to a tree which was likely a sapling when wolves roamed freely in Scotland is a humbling experience. And so it was that Lionel Kelleway began this Living world from 2002. Joining Lionel next to a venerable 'granny tree' is renowned naturalist Roy Dennis MBE who explains that today just 1% of the original 1.5 million hectares survives. Unraveling the complexities of what happened to this huge tract of the Caledonian Forest which the Romans called 'silva caledonia' is revealed as the duo trudge across the landscape looking for ecological clues and to revel in the abundant wildlife that still thrives here, from pine marten to Scottish crossbill. But what of the future? To bring the story up to date since this programme was first broadcast in 2002, wildlife presenter Lindsey Chapman refreshes the story for today's audience, including some ambitious plans to rewild the area once more. Producer Andrew Dawes
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