The Wild Gardener episode 1: After 30 years of filming the world’s most iconic creatures, Colin heads back to Ireland and a garden he spent his childhood summers mowing and spraying. In this series, filmed over the course of two years, he wants to transform this old orchard into a celebration of the native plants and animals struggling to survive on these islands, while inspiring viewers to do the same.
The first episode sees Colin get down and dirty. He digs ponds, clears brambles, plants woodland and sews meadows as he tries to figure out how best to lure the wild creatures back. Along the way, Colin travels across Britain and Ireland to meet other enthusiasts on their own wild crusades, and he makes a pilgrimage to Gravetye Manor in Sussex, the former home of William Robinson, the original wild gardener.
But as his own patch transforms, Colin meets with some unexpected obstacles. With trees planted and seed sown, he faces an extraordinary weeks-long drought that threatens his whole project. With the climate changing and our natural world under siege, Colin believes that if you have a garden, you can make a difference, and after just a few short months working on his own patch, he begins to witness it for himself. His new ponds become a magnet for mating damselflies and dragonflies, his freshly sown meadows burst with wildflowers, attracting countless bees and butterflies, and as autumn rolls in, some native mammals begin to prospect for a new winter home.
The Wild Gardener episode 1
Stafford-Johnson has worked on filming several productions for RTÉ and the BBC, winning several awards for his work. He specialised in filming big cats and worked as a cameraman on the landmark BBC series Planet Earth.
He has filmed and presented several episodes of BBC’s long running Natural World series. In 2011 he presented the episode “A Tiger Called Broken Tail”, and the following year he presented “Queen of the Tigers.” 2013 saw him present “Meet the Monkeys.” In 2015 he narrated “Ireland’s Wild River: The Mighty Shannon” about the River Shannon.
In 2020 he presented a two-part wildlife programme titled “Wild Cuba: A Caribbean Journey”.
Along with his work on Natural World, Stafford-Johnson has co-presented Wild UK and presented “Wild Ireland: Edge of the World” in 2017. In 2019 he presented “Animal Babies: First year on Earth”.