Wild Britain With Ray Mears
Published: Sat 05 Jan 2013
In the third series of WILD BRITAIN WITH RAY MEARS, Ray continues his celebration of the British landscape and its wildlife. Ray travels the length and breadth of Britain during spring and summer to explore forests, rivers, islands and coasts – revealing the wildlife secrets that each habitat reveals if you know where to look.
At each location Ray meets a cast of local experts - conservationists and amateur enthusiasts with a passion for the wildlife on their doorstep. He shares his knowledge of field crafts, such as cooking limpets collected from the shore or tracking and observational techniques for wildlife, and examines the underlying geology which has given each landscape its character.
In this episode, Ray explores the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire - the largest area of chalk grassland in Britain and home to our biggest military training operation.
Amongst the tanks scattered across the vast landscape Ray discovers an ancient invertebrate whose survival depends on military maneouveres. MOD conservation officer Iain Perkins shows him the protected fairy shrimp which inhabit the temporary puddles created by the land being churned up. Rare wildflowers bloom in the unlikeliest of places and Ray spots several farmland bird species all in drastic decline elsewhere – the grey partridge, yellowhammer and corn bunting.
Roe deer are getting frisky as their breeding season approaches and Ray sees the hare – a sacred animal to the local Druids who built Stonehenge. Ray teams up with David Waters – an adopted Wiltshire man who pioneered the return of the Great Bustard – the world’s heaviest flying bird – after an absence of 180 years.