Press Centre

Wild China with Ray Mears

  • Episode:

    1 of 7

  • Title:

    Beijing and The Great Wall

  • Transmission (TX):

    Tue 13 Jul 2021

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    7.30pm - 8.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 28 2021 : Sat 10 Jul - Fri 16 Jul

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Thu 01 Jul 2021

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 6 July 2021.

Wild China with Ray Mears

Series overview

This brand new series for ITV features natural world expert Ray Mears on a journey of discovery among the landscapes and wildlife of China.

Starting in the capital Beijing, and taking in wonders of the world like the Great Wall of China, Ray walks with elephants in the country's tropical rainforest, joins rangers rewilding the nation's giant pandas, searches for the elusive snow leopard, explores one of its most famous landscapes in Karst country, comes face to face with a brown bear, and treks in the foothills of the Himalayas alongside herbal medicine experts, uncovering secrets of its plants.

Across the seven episodes, filmed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the bushcraft specialist travels across the vast country, aiming to provide a vivid insight into the diverse flora and fauna populating some of the wildest places on earth.

This is a Tin Can Island production for ITV

Episode 1: Beijing and The Great Wall

Ray's adventure starts by discovering the surprising wild side to the country’s capital city, Beijing. He discovers the tree-lined streets of the city where over the past 40 years a massive planting scheme has transformed Beijing into one of the world’s greenest cities.

Beijing is on the flight path for millions of migrating birds. At the Beijing Raptor Rescue Centre Ray meets Dr Zhou Lee, a veterinarian who is part of a team of vets from the International Fund for Animal Welfare who treats injured birds and returns them to the wild. Dr Lee reveals that they have tracked some of their avian patients as far as Mongolia – over 2000 miles away! He watches as Dr Lee checks over an injured long-eared owl. At dusk they return it to the wild in a city park.

Ray visits Nanhaizi nature reserve – a city park that for thousands of years was the imperial hunting ground of China’s emperors. Today it is home to the odd looking Pere David deer, reputed to have the feet of a cow, the head of a horse, and the neck of a camel and the tail of a donkey! North West of the city at Gubeikou, Ray strikes out to explore the wild side of the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall of China is not a single wall, but a series of lengths of wall spanning 6000 kilometres of wild countryside. 

Historian Dr William Lindesay reveals what life was like for the people who built and patrolled it. Ray discovers that today far from being a defence, the wall has become a haven for wildlife. He meets conservationist Huang Qiaowen from the Bring the Leopards Home project, and discovers how China’s biggest cats are being encouraged to return to the region.