Chris and Meg’s Wild Summer Episode 2

Chris and Meg's Wild Summer Episode 2

Chris and Meg’s Wild Summer Episode 2 – Chris Packham and his stepdaughter Meg McCubbin set out on an unforgettable expedition through the captivating terrains of North Wales. The adventure is rich with close-up experiences of the local wildlife, including the regal red kites that glide effortlessly in the sky, painting a picture of pure freedom. Alongside them, the duo come across feral goats, which roam freely on the rocky slopes, adding a touch of wild authenticity to the stunning natural backdrop.



They also have the rare opportunity to spot sand lizards, a species that enjoys the sun’s warmth on the open heathlands, a spectacle that is both beautiful and intriguing. In addition to these awe-inspiring wildlife encounters, Chris and Meg rise to the physical and mental challenge of conquering Snowdon, the towering peak that stands as the highest in Wales. Ascending its craggy trails, they find themselves humbled by the sweeping vistas that stretch out beneath them, a sight that makes every step of the grueling climb worth the effort.




The adventure reaches its peak—quite literally—with a surge of adrenaline as they take on the world’s fastest zip wire. This electrifying experience hurtles them across breathtaking scenery, adding an exhilarating crescendo to an already unforgettable journey through one of the UK’s most scenic regions. With hearts pounding and spirits high, the experience leaves them both eager to discover what other adventures lie ahead.


Chris and Meg’s Wild Summer Episode 2


The summer sun peaked over the craggy peaks of Snowdonia National Park, casting its warm glow on the rugged cliffs and cascading waterfalls that characterize this iconic Welsh landscape. Adventure was in the air as Chris Packham and his stepdaughter Meg McCubbin eagerly set out to explore the captivating trails and abundant wildlife of North Wales. This expedition promised to deliver breathtaking vistas, adrenaline-pumping activities, and rare glimpses of fascinating species that call this diverse region home.

## Scaling New Heights on Snowdon, the Rooftop of Wales

The journey began with a challenge, both mental and physical, to ascend Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales standing imperiously at 3,560 feet. As Chris and Meg navigated the rocky zig-zagging trails leading upwards, the sweeping views became increasingly dramatic with each step. Eventually, they reached the knife-edge arête that delivered them to Snowdon’s summit, where they found themselves humbled by the panoramic vistas stretching out in every direction. From this rooftop perch, they could see all the way to the isle of Anglesey and the Irish Sea. The sense of accomplishment at conquering Wales’ highest peak was their reward for persevering through this grueling climb.

After soaking in Snowdon’s far-reaching views, Chris and Meg began their careful descent. The craggy trails leading down the mountain were just as demanding as the upward climb. But despite the physical intensity, descending Snowdon’s slopes opened their eyes to the biodiversity sustained by these variable mountainous habitats. Along the way, they spotted resilient mountain sheep that blend into the rocky cliffs and tiny spring wildflowers bursting with color. These sights reinforced the natural beauty encapsulated by Snowdonia National Park.


Gliding With the Graceful Red Kites of North Wales

At the foot of Snowdon, a welcome sight lifted Chris and Meg’s spirits – the elegant silhouettes of red kites gliding overhead. With wingspans stretching over 5 feet, these majestic raptors paint a picture of avian grace as they patrol the skies for prey. Their distinctive rust-colored plumage and deeply forked tails make them easy to identify, even from far below.

In fact, the red kite was saved from the brink of extinction in Wales thanks to conservation efforts beginning in the 1980s. Their reintroduction and protection in North Wales allowed the species to recover after their numbers diminished due to extensive persecution. Today, the red kite population has rebounded successfully, and they are now a common sight drifting on thermal air currents across Welsh skies.

As Chris and Meg tracked the red kites’ effortless flight patterns, they felt privileged to witness one of conservation’s great success stories playing out before their eyes. It was profoundly moving to observe these once critically endangered birds freely roaming the Welsh landscapes where they belong. The red kite’s revival is a testament to the positive impacts possible when humans respect nature and mitigate the harms previously inflicted.


Roaming With the Elusive Feral Goats of Snowdonia

Leaving the red kites to their aerial acrobatics, Chris and Meg continued their journey through Eryri, the Welsh name for Snowdonia meaning “the abode of eagles.” They meandered through grassy valleys and onto the slopes of the Glyder mountain range, keeping their eyes peeled for wildlife. There, they stumbled upon a small herd of feral goats picking their way up a rocky cliffside. Immediately, Chris and Meg were transfixed by these shaggy creatures perfectly adapted to extreme mountain environments.

Feral goats can be elusive, since their camouflaged coats allow them to blend into the rugged Welsh terrain. These surefooted ungulates likely descended from domestic goats brought to Britain by Neolithic farmers thousands of years ago. Over generations, the goats developed hardy traits enabling them to roam independently across precarious habitats. Their specialized hooves and muscular build equip them to clamber up steep, rocky slopes that would stop most other animals in their tracks. Unfazed by cold winds and freezing winters, they’re able to endure the harsh conditions.

Chris and Meg were awestruck observing the feral goats navigate tricky cliffs and overhangs. The goats moved gracefully, completely at home in their vertical world of cliffs and crags. Witnessing these tough animals apparently defying gravity was a highlight of their Welsh adventure. It demonstrated the impressive resilience and adaptability of an oft-overlooked species.


Tracking the Elusive Sand Lizards on Welsh Heathlands

After bidding the feral goats farewell, Chris and Meg wandered through pockets of open heathland bursting with pink heather and yellow gorse. This habitat provided the perfect setting to spot one of Britain’s rarest and most protected reptiles – the sand lizard. These small, slender lizards blend masterfully into their surroundings with their mottled brown patterns. But with some luck and patience, Chris and Meg pinpointed a few basking motionlessly atop rocks absorbing the sun’s warmth.

Sand lizards thrive in lowland heaths, dunes, and grasslands, where they spend their days darting through scrubby vegetation. Like all reptiles, they rely on outside sources of heat to raise their body temperatures. The sand lizards Chris and Meg observed seemed relaxed and content, but remained alert and ready to scurry out of sight if disturbed. They were likely enjoying the height of summer when temperatures reach their peak.

These sightings were exceptionally meaningful for Chris and Meg, since sand lizards have become increasingly scarce across Britain. Habitat loss has primarily driven their decline. But now they are legally protected under UK law, and conservation programs aim to reestablish populations across Wales and England. Any opportunity to observe these uncommon lizards up-close in their natural habitat is special indeed. It served as another reminder of the fragile beauty found in the Welsh countryside.


An Electrifying Finale at the World’s Fastest Zipline

After days spent immersed in Welsh nature, Chris and Meg were ready for an adrenaline rush to conclude their action-packed adventure. Penrhyn Quarry, nestled on the dramatic northern peaks of Snowdonia, offered the perfect activity to get their hearts pumping – the fastest zipline in the world.

Strapped into harnesses, they stepped off the precipice and instantly accelerated to over 100 mph. The exhilarating ride offered a unique bird’s-eye perspective of the magnificent Snowdonia scenery. As they raced over jagged cliffs and lush valleys, Chris and Meg felt an energizing rush. The wind whipped wildly through their hair as they seemed to practically fly through the air at record speeds. It was a fittingly electrifying finale after an incredible week of exploring the diversity of North Wales’ landscapes and wildlife.

This action-packed zipline ride evoked the sense of freedom they felt all week in the presence of magnificent, wide-open Welsh vistas. The soaring heights provided a new vantage point to appreciate the splendor of the wild places they explored up close and on foot. As Chris and Meg skimmed over the quarry lake below in a thrilling blur, they absorbed those fleeting seconds feeling fully alive, present, and connected to the natural world. It was the perfect summation of an experience they would carry with them forever.


Key Takeaways from an Unforgettable Welsh Adventure

Chris and Meg’s week-long foray into the Welsh wilderness exceeded their expectations at every turn. They will cherish memories of conquering Snowdon, observing acrobatic red kites, encountering surefooted feral goats, catching glimpses of rare sand lizards, and rocketing through the mountains on the world’s fastest zipline. Most importantly, this adventure served as a reminder of nature’s power not only to thrill and surprise, but also to restore our sense of wonder about the living world. Here are some of the top takeaways that will stick with them:

  • Appreciating nature requires an adventurous spirit – some of their most meaningful experiences, like spotting sand lizards, only happened by wandering off the beaten path.
  • Wales contains impressive biodiversity if you take the time to search for it. Even a small region can be home to diverse ecosystems.
  • Conservation efforts can make a real difference, as seen in the recovery of once rare red kites across North Wales.
  • When you slow down and observe with patience, nature will reward you by revealing its secrets, like the way feral goats navigate vertical cliffs.
  • There are adventures to suit all tastes. Nature can provide both peaceful introspection and adrenaline-pumping excitement.
  • Stepping outside your comfort zone leads to tremendous growth, whether climbing a mountain or zooming down a zip line.
  • Exploring nature is best when shared, allowing you to revel in awe and joy together.

This action-packed yet introspective journey through the splendor of North Wales left an indelible impact on Chris and Meg. They created lifelong memories and strengthened their connection to each other as well as the natural world. Most importantly, it fueled their sense of adventure and left them keen to discover what the next chapter will hold.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is Chris Packham famous for?

Chris Packham is a well-known English naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author. He is best known for hosting the popular BBC nature program Springwatch and related shows. His passion for conservation and extensive knowledge of British wildlife have made him a recognizable figure in the UK.

What is Meg McCubbin doing now?

In recent years, Chris Packham’s stepdaughter Meg McCubbin has been forging her own path in wildlife conservation and broadcasting. She often co-hosts Springwatch and Autumnwatch with Chris, bringing her own expertise in rewilding, beekeeping, and conservation. Meg also manages the Isle of Mull Wildlife Tours and has authored books on wildlife and the outdoors.

How tall is Snowdon?

At 3,560 feet, Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales. On a clear day, stunning views stretch out for miles from its summit. Its Welsh name “Yr Wyddfa” means “the tumulus”, referring to the tomb of a mythical giant king said to be buried within.

What do red kites eat?

Red kites are opportunistic scavengers and hunters. Their diet mainly consists of carrion and worms, but they will also prey on small mammals, birds, amphibians, scraps, and garbage. They use their sharply hooked beaks and talons to tear meat from carcasses and bone.

How do feral goats survive?

Feral goats are able to thrive independently in the wild using adaptions like surefootedness, sturdy builds, and thick coats. They graze on sparse vegetation and can even climb trees to reach leaves. Their social structures, hiding instincts, and ability to breed rapidly also help them flourish in harsh environments.

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