Why Pensthorpe was chosen

PENSTHORPE was chosen to host Springwatch after a visit by Bill Oddie last year while he was making his recent series shown on BBC2.He was impressed by what the reserve had to offer - and suggested it to the production team after they decided to look elsewhere after basing the series in Devon for the last four years.

PENSTHORPE was chosen to host Springwatch after a visit by Bill Oddie last year while he was making his recent series shown on BBC2.

He was impressed by what the reserve had to offer - and suggested it to the production team after they decided to look elsewhere after basing the series in Devon for the last four years.

East Anglia was always the likely location for the series base - and part of the attraction of Pensthorpe for the programme makers was its location.

It is just 15 miles from the North Norfolk coast with internationally-famous wildlife sites like the Cley marshes and Blakeney Point.

The Wash, an internationally-important wildlife haven is just 20 miles away - as is Thetford Forest and the Breckland area with very different habitats.

Bill Oddie, who will be based at Pensthorpe with co-presenter Kate Humble, is delighted the programme is coming to Norfolk.

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“Pensthorpe is an amazing place with its combination of good things to see and do and wonderful conservation projects going on behind the scenes. I'm thrilled that it is to be the new home of Springwatch,” he said.

The production village, built for three weeks of live outside broadcasts, will involve more than 100 programme makers - but they will be on a part of the farm not open to the general public.

They have been spending the last few weeks fitting tiny cameras into bird boxes around the reserve - but visitors will be hard-pressed to work out which are fully wired!

Presenters Bill Oddie and Kate Humble will present some of the links from the normally-open part of the reserve, but as the show goes out live at 8pm and the reserve closes at 5pm that should not present much of a problem.

Bosses at Pensthorpe are delighted by the arrival of the Springwatch team.

General manager Deb Jordan said: “It is fantastic news for Pensthorpe, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, that BBC Springwatch has chosen us as its new home.

“It is also great news for Norfolk, which is the UK's premier bird-watching destination and is blessed with many internationally important nature reserves.

“We are working very closely with the Springwatch team to ensure that the best of the Wensum Valley's natural world is revealed to a national TV audience.”

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