Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 09:44 UK

Springwatch focus on Welsh sites

Kate Humble and Simon King
The Springwatch team will feature animals from around the UK

The wildlife and habitats of north and mid Wales are to feature prominently in this year's BBC Springwatch programme.

Presenter Simon King and a team of specialist wildlife film-makers will visit mountain, lake, coast and island locations during the next three weeks.

Kings is particularly looking forward to catching up with red kites in Powys, which he first saw as a 13-year-old.

Springwatch, which starts at 2000 BST on Monday on BBC Two, will also be at locations in Norfolk and Essex.

The programme also plans to follow a variety of birds and mammals in the Welsh countryside, ranging from goshawks and polecats in the Welsh countryside.

Wildlife cameraman and presenter King has been in Wales for a week pre-filming, and the rainfall has already proved to be a "challenge".

"As a local (near Lake Vyrnwy) said when we commented on it, 'that's why they built a reservoir here'," he said.

The presenter has been in Wales before, but says he does not claim to "know" the area.

Simon King
Simon King views footage filmed in the Welsh countryside

"I'm looking forward to all of it," he said.

"I'm looking forward to going to Gigrin Farm (Rhayader, Powys) because I came to see red kites when I was about 13 years old.

"There was just one pair and we had to get special permission and watch them from about a mile away, now they feel like part of the fabric of the Welsh countryside."

Mr King said he felt Wales was a haven for creatures which were not found elsewhere because of the "peace and quiet".

He said he liked the fact that to get here it was necessary to make an effort to "turn left", and it was not on the way to anywhere else.

"It has made it very special," King added.

Filming near Lake Vyrnwy
The sometimes challenging weather makes some interesting photos

He said the decision on where to take the Springwatch programme was always difficult, and the planning for the following year started as soon as they were off air.

As well as Lake Vyrnwy the team will visit Bardsey Island, the Snowdonia National Park, South Stack on Anglesey and the North Wales Wildlife Trust Reserve at Cemlyn Bay on Anglesey.

The popularity of the show is down to the fact that British wildlife was popular, and there was a sense of "ownership" by the public, he added.

"It's super to be inclusive, to have all elements of the British Isles... we are all shareholders," he said.

The presenters who "jabber" on about the wildlife hoped to make it "infectious" he said.

"But ultimately if only seven people watched us, and seven million were out bird watching or getting involved in wildlife, I'd consider that the ultimate accolade," he said.

King and fellow presenter Kate Humble will be joined for this series by Chris Packham, who replaces veteran Bill Oddie.

Springwatch starts on BBC Two at 2000 BST on 25 May 2009.

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