National Trust (March 27, 2023) – In this episode of The Wild Life, a new series of nature films from the National Trust, Paralympic medallist and TV presenter, Ade Adepitan explores Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve – one of Europe’s most important wetlands.
The Fen, which has been under the care of the National Trust since 1899, supports more than 9,000 species, including a wide variety of plants, birds and dragonflies. The raised boardwalk allows easy access to a landscape of flowering meadows, sedge and reed beds, home to water voles and rare birds, including hen harrier and bittern. Introduced by presenter Julia Bradbury, this film sheds light on how climate change is affecting Wicken Fen and the biodiversity it supports.
You’ll also find out about the work being done to protect wildlife habitats and ensure the peat here continues to store carbon. Ade discovers how Wicken Fen connects people to nature and learns more about future plans to extend the site. He also meets the Konik ponies and Highland cattle, which help to support this fragile landscape through conservation grazing.
National Trust (March 20, 2023) – In this episode of The Wild Life, a new series of nature films from the National Trust, presenter Jules Hudson heads to Eryri (Snowdonia) to learn about a tree planting project that will help to protect the landscape for the next hundred years and beyond.
Join Jules on his visit to Hafod Garregog – a Celtic rainforest and reclaimed seabed along Afon Glaslyn (River Glaslyn). National Trust rangers have planted native saplings here to store carbon, slow the flow of water and provide a boost for nature and wildlife. Jules discovers that local tree species such as willow, aspen and hornbeam are less susceptible to diseases and can adapt better to the climate.
These trees will also create homes for warblers, moths, bats and nearby otters, as well as encourage a diverse variety of plants to grow. You’ll also discover how the National Trust works with volunteers to plant trees and find out more about the charity’s wider ambition to plant and establish 20 million trees by 2030.
The Woodland Trust – River woodland is key to tackling
thetwin climate and biodiversity crises – reducing flooding, improving river health and restoring the ecosystem. We’re working in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to plant and restore river woodland for people and wildlife.
In Scotland, this particularly means fish. Salmon, to be exact. Whole upland river catchments devoid of trees are seeing Scotland’s rivers warm to a point that could see salmon disappear in just 20 years. These fish need clean, cold water to thrive, and river woodland is the way to return it to them. The Woodland Trust is working across river catchments to expand native woodland alongside rivers and burns.
Trees provide shade and cover for young salmon and trout, stabilize riverbanks, slow the flow of water downstream and create wildlife corridors. A key part of this work involves working with landowners to plant and restore river woodland on their land, advising on the initial planting and empowering them to monitor their river woods into the future.
The Easter Beltie Restoration project returned a straightened agricultural stream to a natural meandering course, to improve habitats for nature and boost climate resilience.
The project was the only one of its kind in the north east of Scotland, and has created a new, two-kilometre stretch of meandering river corridor flowing through ten hectares of floodplain, rich in habitats where nature can thrive.
The Beltie Burn is a burn in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which below Torphins and Glassel is known as the Burn of Canny. It begins in the hill of Benaquhallie, and flows for 25 km south-east through Torphins before joining the River Dee about 4 kilometres west of Banchory.
In Zimbabwe, the mighty rhino is making a comeback. In southern Africa, the animal was poached to near extinction in recent decades. We visit a wildlife sanctuary, with an elite anti-poaching team, to see how the animal is being bought back from the brink.
It’s one of the most successful rhino conservation projects in Africa. In south-eastern Zimbabwe, a private wildlife sanctuary is working hard to bring endangered rhinos back from the brink. In decades past, the mighty Black Rhino was poached to near extinction in southern Africa. Its horn, almost worth its weight in gold, makes it a target for organised poaching gangs.
In 1998, the privately-funded Malilangwe Trust had a population of 28 white and 28 black rhinos, imported from South Africa. Today its rhino population numbers in the hundreds. Reporter Michael Davie, an Australian born in Zimbabwe, returns home to witness this extraordinary wildlife success story. He spends time with the sanctuary’s highly trained anti-poaching team, the Malilangwe Scouts, the tip of the spear against the ever present poaching threat.
“Individually you can’t win against poaching and we need every one of us to fight against poachers,” says Patrick, a Sergeant in the Scouts. “You have to be a team, a strong one.” Davie captures all the incredible action of the hectic “rhino ops” where specialists dart the animals from helicopters then move in on 4WDs as they dash across the park. Led by ecologist Sarah Clegg, the rhino ops team collect vital data on the herd.
“They’ve got this reputation of being bad-tempered and dangerous and they are, but I think it’s mostly that they’re just such emotional creatures,” says Sarah, who’s studied the animal for more than two decades. “They’re just insecure, you know? And so they need more love.” Malilangwe increased its rhino population to such an extent that last year, it relocated some of its Black Rhino herd to nearby Gonarezhou National Park — a former killing ground for rhinos.
“It’s what we all aim for in our careers as conservationists,” says Sarah. “It’s a wild park, so being able to put the rhino back into that park is like waking it up again.” This visually stunning story has a powerful message of hope. “Everyone needs to know the rhino is special,” says Patrick.
On this week’s show: Whether biofuels for planes will become a reality, mitigating climate change by working with nature, and the second installment of our book series on the science of food and agriculture.
First this week, Science Staff Writer Robert F. Service talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about sustainable aviation fuel, a story included in Science’s special issue on climate change. Researchers have been able to develop this green gas from materials such as municipal garbage and corn stalks. Will it power air travel in the future?
Also in the special issue this week, Nathalie Seddon, a professor of biodiversity at the University of Oxford, chats with host Sarah Crespi about the value of working with nature to support the biodiversity and resilience of our ecosystems. Seddon emphasizes that nature-based solutions alone cannot stop climate change—technological approaches and behavioral changes will also need to be implemented.
On the island of Borneo, many forests have been cleared to make way for oil palm plantations or mining. That’s having a disastrous effect on nature. So the 100 Million Trees project aims to bring back the forests.
“When it comes to climate change, scale is essential. We need to be scaling up our work and being really bold and ambitious, and that’s exactly what Cairngorms Connect is.” Find out how Scotland’s largest landscape-scale restoration project is fighting back against climate change in our new film for Cairngorms Connect.
Roughly 18,000 people reside within the 4,528 square kilometre national park. The largest communities are Aviemore, Ballater, Braemar, Grantown-on-Spey, Kingussie, Newtonmore, and Tomintoul. Tourism makes up about 80% of the economy. In 2018, 1.9 million tourism visits were recorded. The majority of visitors are domestic, with 25 per cent coming from elsewhere in the UK, and 21 per cent being from other countries.
The world is facing a growing waste problem, with 2bn tonnes produced last year alone. Is it possible to clean up this mess by turning trash into cash? 00:00 – The world has a huge waste problem.
Video timeline: 00:45 – Upcycling to reduce waste 02:46 – Building offices from recycled products 03:46 – The problem with traditional recycling 04:59 – Waste reduction relies on a circular economy 05:38 – Taiwan’s waste management success 08:20 – The problem with incineration 09:55 – Is the future zero waste? 10:43 – Consumption attitudes are changing Read our special report on waste here https://econ.st/3JrlD6y
In China, Maria joins forces with Angelababy, one of the country’s biggest megastars. She is taking a bold approach to addressing the demand for pangolin products.
Pangolins, sometimes known as scaly anteaters, are mammals of the order Pholidota. The one extant family, the Manidae, has three genera: Manis, Phataginus, and Smutsia. Manis comprises the four species found in Asia, while Phataginus and Smutsia include two species each, all found in sub-Saharan Africa.