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Springwatch: Packham and Humble set to explore Norfolk
By Martin Barber
BBC Norfolk

Springwatch presenters Martin Hughes-Games, Kate Humble, Simon King, Chris Packham and Gordon Buchanan

Norfolk's wildlife is getting ready for a TV close-up as the new Springwatch season promises to investigate the county's wider habitats in 2010.

Based at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, Chris Packham and Kate Humble will also visit the Broads and the Norfolk coast.

"Norfolk is a special place for wildlife. We're going to spread our net to reveal the gems that live there," said series producer Roger Webb.

The new series of Springwatch begins on Monday, 31 May at 8pm on BBC Two.

For the first time the popular wildlife series will be broadcast in high-definition, allowing viewers to get even closer to the daily live action drama from the programme's animal stars.

The 2010 series marks the swansong for Springwatch at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, near Fakenham, and it promises to be the most exciting ever.

New woodland nest boxes could entice a nuthatch or a tree creeper for a mini-cam exclusive and it's hoped that kingfishers and otters will move into their purpose-built riverside apartments.

"Preparations are all complete for the return of the Springwatch team to the reserve in less than a month's time," said Deb Jordan, co-owner of Pensthorpe.

"The cold snap earlier in the year has played into the programmes' favour as things out on the reserve are that bit later than they were last year.

"We have the potential for some new and really exciting characters to take centre stage... but you'll have to wait until then to find out who and what they are."

Underwater secrets

Alongside the familiar nest-cams, Springwatch will also be delving into the River Wensum, which flows through the heart of Pensthorpe, to explore its underwater secrets.

"Springwatch is a period of intense work, but I can concentrate on one thing - the wildlife," said Chris Packham.

"I'm keen to do a snorkel safari down the river because I feel our fresh water fish are not really enjoyed by very many people, yet they are only just below the water.

"I came away from the series last year thinking that was really good fun. I played a small role in a wonderful big team."

Kingfisher
Springwatch cameras hope to watch a family of kingfishers

More than four million viewers tune in to watch Springwatch, with many thousands joining the Springwatch family via the programme's website.

"Springwatch opens the door into the natural world and I strongly believe that the natural world is for everyone, irrespective of their age, where they live or their level of expertise, and I hope it will continue to give people that," said Kate Humble.

"The series is the greatest soap opera on earth and none of us know what is going to happen, it is entirely dictated by the wildlife.

"Wildlife has this incredible ability to constantly surprise and you would think there wouldn't be any more surprises and yet every single year we see species we have never featured before.

"That unpredictability and never quite knowing what nature is going to throw up next is very compelling viewing."

The 2010 season will also be making a return to Kate's home in Wales to get an update on her latest beekeeping adventures.

As a beekeeper, Kate is also heading up the BBC's Bee Part Of It campaign, across the UK, until September.

If you can't wait until the 31 May for your Springwatch fix, the team are presenting a series of one hour specials from 17-19 May, at 8pm on BBC Two.

Chris Packham investigates how climate change is affecting the UK's wildlife, Simon King explores the wildlife to be found in our cities and Gordon Buchanan discovers the marine riches of our seas, including his dramatic encounters with killer whales in UK waters.





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