Winterwatch 2021 episode 1: Winterwatch is back for two weeks! The days are short and the nights are long, but there is magic to be found in winter. The team invite you to wrap up warm and join them for an exploration of wonderful wildlife, seasonal beauty and natural wonder. Chris Packham is in the New Forest watching winter transform his home in Winterwatch 2021 episode 1.
Iolo Williams is at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, hoping to see some amazing murmurations. Gillian Burke is at RPSB Old Moor in South Yorkshire, seeing how a joined-up wildlife project has revitalised the area. Michaela Strachan is back at Tentsmuir in Fife, finding out what happened to our seal pups from Autumnwatch. And young naturalist Indy Green takes us deep into Sherwood Forest on the hunt for one of our most elusive birds of prey – the goshawk.
Winterwatch 2021 episode 1
Rannoch Moor is an expanse of around 50 square miles (130 km2) of boggy moorland to the west of Loch Rannoch in Scotland, where it extends from and into westerly Perth and Kinross, northerly Lochaber (in Highland), and the area of Highland Scotland toward its south-west, northern Argyll and Bute. The area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation. Much of the western part of the moor lies within the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area, one of 40 such areas in Scotland.
It is notable for its wildlife, and is particularly famous as being the sole British location for the Rannoch-rush, named after the moor. It was frequently visited by Horace Donisthorpe who collected many unusual species of ants on the moor and surrounding hilly ground. Today it is still one of the few remaining habitats for Formica exsecta, the “narrow-headed ant”, although recent surveys have failed to produce any sign of Formica pratensis, which Donisthorpe recorded in the area in the early part of the 20th century.
Peat deposits pose major difficulties to builders of roads and railways. When the West Highland Line was built across Rannoch Moor, its builders had to float the tracks on a mattress of tree roots, brushwood and thousands of tons of earth and ashes. Corrour railway station, the UK’s highest, and one of its most remote being 10 miles (16 km) from the nearest public road, is located on this section of the line at 1,339 feet (408 m). The line takes gentle curves totalling 23 miles (37 km) across the moorland. The A82 road crosses western Rannoch Moor on its way to Glen Coe and Fort William.
Sherwood Forest – Winterwatch 2021 episode 1
Sherwood Forest is a royal forest in Nottinghamshire, England, famous by its historic association with the legend of Robin Hood.
The area has been wooded since the end of the Last Glacial Period (as attested by pollen sampling cores). Today, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve encompasses 423.2 hectares (1,046 acres), surrounding the village of Edwinstowe, the site of Thoresby Hall. It is a remnant of an older, much larger, royal hunting forest, which derived its name from its status as the shire (or sher) wood of Nottinghamshire, which extended into several neighbouring counties (shires), bordered on the west along the River Erewash and the Forest of East Derbyshire. When the Domesday Book was compiled in 1086, the forest covered perhaps a quarter of Nottinghamshire (approximately 19,000 acres or 7,800 hectares) in woodland and heath subject to the forest laws.
The forest gives its name to the Sherwood Parliamentary constituency.
The northern goshawk is a medium-large raptor in the family Accipitridae, which also includes other extant diurnal raptors, such as eagles, buzzards and harriers. As a species in the genus Accipiter, the goshawk is often considered a “true hawk” The scientific name is Latin; Accipiter is “hawk”, from accipere, “to grasp”, and gentilis is “noble” or “gentle” because in the Middle Ages only the nobility were permitted to fly goshawks for falconry.
This species was first described under its current scientific name by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758.
It is a widespread species that inhabits many of the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere. The northern goshawk is the only species in the genus Accipiter found in both Eurasia and North America. It may have the second widest distribution of any true member of the family Accipitridae, behind arguably only the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), which has a broader range to the south of Asia than the goshawk.
The only other acciptrid species to also range in both North America and Eurasia according to current opinion, is the more Arctic-restricted rough-legged buzzard (Buteo lagopus). Except in a small portion of southern Asia, it is the only species of “goshawk” in its range and it is thus often referred to, both officially and unofficially, as simply the “goshawk”. It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions migrate south for the winter. In North America, migratory goshawks are often seen migrating south along mountain ridge tops at nearly any time of the fall depending on latitude.