Wild Isles: Our Precious Isles has been viewed over 10.7 million times in the first 30 days since it’s premiere on BBC One and iPlayer on 12 March. Our 5-part series aims to do for the wildlife of Britain and Ireland what the ‘Planet’ series have done for the wildlife of the world. This incredible viewing figure, and the huge conversation around the show, shows how Wild Isles is succeeding in shining a light on spectacular scenery and rich and varied wildlife found at home like never before.
Alastair Fothergill, Series Producer, explains why Britain and Ireland are so globally important for nature: “There are a number of reasons. Firstly, we have among the most varied geology on the planet. Our temperatures range from subtropical in the far south to arctic conditions on the top of the Cairngorms in Scotland. Our coastline is over 22,000 miles long and we benefit from the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. Our position on the globe is perfect for summer visitors from the south and winter visitors from the north. All these factors combine to create one of the richest natural histories in Europe. We have more ancient oak trees than the whole of Europe put together, most of the world’s chalk streams flow in southern England and we are globally important for the sea birds.”
Episode 1 looks at the wildlife that exists in our unique landscapes, from the micro-world of bumblebees to the high-speed life of the kingfisher. If you’ve not watched yet, here’s an incredible chase sequence filmed on the Farne Islands, with puffins and black headed gulls as they battle over sand-eels.