Springwatch attracts millions of viewers

The daily wildlife dramas at a nature reserve near Fakenham attracted a primetime nationwide audience of 3.9m viewers as Springwatch returned this week.

The daily wildlife dramas at a nature reserve near Fakenham attracted a primetime nationwide audience of 3.9m viewers as Springwatch returned this week.

The BBC's flagship nature programme is being broadcast live from Pensthorpe Nature Reserve for the second year.

Countless cameras, cables and production suites - connected by satellite and internet links with the rest of the nation - have made the park a focal point for the huge interest which the show generates across the country.

And while the watching millions tuned in to see the struggles and successes of nesting lapwings, willow warblers and swallows, it has also put Pensthorpe on the map.


You may also want to watch:


Bill Jordan, who co-owns the reserve with his wife Deb, said: 'We have certainly noticed a much greater awareness in the build up to this year's Springwatch on both a national and local level.

'The first night's show was great to watch and we are very encouraged by the outstanding viewing figures.

Most Read

'Over the Bank Holiday weekend the reserve was very busy, which was lovely to see, with everyone from families and couples young and old out enjoying the great weather we had.'

The on-screen team based in Pensthorpe is led by Kate Humble and new presenter Chris Packham, who joined the programme after Bill Oddie quit the show earlier this year.

The popular ornithologist announced he wanted to take a break from filming and was later reported to be receiving treatment for depression.

But Oddie's departure does not seem to have dented the show's popularity, with similar first-night figures to last year when it drew an average audience of 2.4m during its three-week run.

Springwatch's viewing figure at 8pm on Monday represented a 16.1pc audience share of the TV audience. But the wildlife soap opera was overtaken by its human equivalent at 8.30pm, when ITV's Coronation Street pulled in 9.1m viewers.

The BBC's online message boards and webcams have also generated a total of more than 60,000 comments and posts from viewers.

The show includes roving reports by Simon King, Gordon Buchanan and Martin Hughes-Games from other locations around the country.

t Springwatch is on BBC2 at 8pm, Mondays to Thursdays.

Meet the Springwatch presenters - see the Guide.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter