RSPB Arne is a special place. The landscape is as wild as it is beautiful and the wildlife as abundant as it is extraordinary. For these reasons alone it’s the perfect place to inspire and engage the nation with wildlife, but when coupled with the fact that Arne is one of the most bio-diverse sites in the UK you realise there’s truly no better place for the public to experience the glory of autumn on the natural world. The BBC clearly knew this too.
Arriving in mid-October, the first clue that something new was in town came from a few solitary vehicles parked casually around the farm. This quiet presence wasn’t to last long though. Within a few days the farm was unrecognisable. A mass of cables, scaffolding, lighting and rigging, the central barn had turned like Cinderella from a working cattle shed into a shabby chic, rustic upcycled, open-plan dream. The stage was set. Over the subsequent days leading to broadcast this flurry of change expanded across the wider reserve, although not to as dramatic an extent. Temporary hides and remote cameras were erected across Arne with the aim of capturing unique and special footage of the vast array of wildlife residing on the reserve. From the largest residency of avocet in the country to a small family of badgers, no highlight was left out of the spotlight.
This collective dedication and effort towards showcasing the thrilling wildlife of Arne, shown by both the Autumnwatch crew, RSPB staff and RSPB volunteers, transpired into fantastic television viewing. The authenticity of this statement being found in the viewing figures themselves. Across the four nights of broadcasting the average number of viewers was around three million, a truly astonishing figure.
Three million homes around the country had the magic of Arne and the magic of autumn transported into their living room due to the efforts of a comparatively few number. The reserve is even seeing the benefits of Autumnwatch long after the last BBC vehicle has left the site, with visitors continuing to flock to Arne looking to have their own connection with nature and see the stars of the show. With these increased visitors also comes increased support and Arne recently made its 1000th RSPB membership of the year, ensuring this freshly inspired passion for nature grows, develops and hopefully resides for years to come.
Roll on Winterwatch 2017!
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
Accepting all non-essential cookies helps us to personalise your experience
These cookies are required for basic web functions
Allow us to collect anonymised performance data
Allow us to personalise your experience