Wetlands starring role on TV show

PUBLISHED: 10:47 14 March 2013 | UPDATED: 10:47 14 March 2013

Countryfile presenter Matt Baker (left) during filming  with EDDC Countryside team member Doug Rudge

Countryfile presenter Matt Baker (left) during filming with EDDC Countryside team member Doug Rudge


Axe estuary nature reserve to feature on the BBC Countryfile programme this Sunday (March 17)

The Axe Estuary Wetlands are set to feature on the popular BBC One programme Countryfile this weekend.

East Devon District Council’s Countryside team recently welcomed presenters Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury to the reserve as they filmed a series of stories about the area.

The programme is set to be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday (March 17) at 6.30pm.

During their visit to East Devon on March 1, cameras caught up with the Axe Estuary Ringing Group, who were ringing birds following cannon netting at dawn; looked at salinity monitoring and control of the Black Hole Marsh lagoon; and explored the construction of a combined Sand Martin cliff and bat hibernaculum by local volunteers, creating a brand new joint habitat for wildlife.

The three stories were thematically linked by presence of non-biting midges which breed in the lagoon and are a food source for the wildlife on the site. The story features filming of hibernating bats at Beer Quarry Caves, along with background shots of the wildlife and landscapes at the Wetlands.

Countryfile presenters Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury met with volunteers, EDDC Countryside staff and year 6 children from Exmouth’s Exeter Road Primary School who were attending the Wetlands on an educational visit.

Doug Rudge, from EDDC Countryside team, worked alongside the presenters for the day.

He said: “The Countryfile team seemed to thoroughly enjoy their visit to these very special Wetlands, and we were very pleased to show them the good work that’s being done on the site.

“It’s not every day we get a visit from such a well known television show, and we’re all really looking forward to seeing their final piece this weekend.

“With Easter on the way and spring in the – admittedly chilly – air, it’s set to be a great few months for nature lovers, walkers and families to come and discover this natural East Devon gem.”

Cllr Phil Twiss, East Devon District Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment added:

“We’re rightly proud of all the hard work put in by the staff and volunteers at the Wetlands, including the special £12k project to create the unusual joint habitat for Sand Martins and bats.

“This will be fascinating for countryside fans and casual viewers alike, and I for one will be tuning in on Sunday.”

* Some £6,000 of funding for the joint habitat was provided by East Devon District Council, with the other £6,000 provided by Axe Vale and District Conservation Society.

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