Wild Britain With Ray Mears
Published: Fri 25 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 visits the remote Isles of Scilly – a collection of islands lying 28 miles off the Cornish coast. Battered by Atlantic storms but with one of the mildest climates in the UK, species can be found in Scillies which are not found on the mainland. Exotic plants like the South African Hottentot fig grow wild and the Scillies are home to an exceptionally rare species of insect – the red barbed ant – which entomologist Ian Beavis helps Ray find. Along the rocky shore Ray demonstrates how to harvest limpets and cooks up a limpet risotto for lunch. The islands are a critical stopping off point for migrant birds, like the barn swallow, which feed up on the abundance of insects before moving onto breeding sites on the mainland. Insects are the reason for the wealth of wildlife that lives on the islands and at night Ray has a wonderful encounter with a hedgehog.