How long does it take to get
Springwatch HQ up and running?
Not long! We start planning a few months before broadcast. The remote-camera team arrives two weeks before, and the production team a week before. We start with 15 people and finish with more than 100.
What’s the atmosphere like with one day to go?
It’s nerve-racking. There’s always a worry that there are three weeks ahead to fill with content. It often feels like there aren’t enough cameras up and running, that the final tweaks aren’t done, or that we don’t have enough stories. We just have to hold our nerve and have faith in the team.
Do you rehearse?
We used to do full rehearsals, but we stopped because it felt like we were overdoing it. Besides, the stories often change at the last minute.
When do you install the nestcams?
It varies. Barn owl cams, for instance, have to be installed out of nesting season, so we do those months in advance, in winter. Smaller nestboxes go up in January and February and we wait to see who moves in. And to locate wild nests a team goes out in early May on birdsong recces. It’s a surprisingly successful strategy.
What’s been your favourite moment of all the Watches?
I’ll never forget Spineless Si the stickleback hatching his fry on the last day of Springwatch 2015. That the nation could fall in love with a two-inch fish is just brilliant.