WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre in Co. Down has been selected as one of three live locations across the UK to host BBC Two’s popular wildlife programme Springwatch.
Over the course of three weeks, starting on 25th May, Gillian Burke, one of four presenters on the show, will shine a spotlight on this area of international wildlife importance here in Northern Ireland.
Located on the shores of Strangford Lough, a designated coastal Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), Special Protection area (SPA), Ramsar site, Marine Nature Reserve (MNR), National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Castle Espie Wetland Centre, managed by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), the UK’s leading wetland conservation charity, is home to over 60 acres of pristine wetland habitat filled with a range of wildlife including rare and under threat species.
A mixture of tidal lagoon, eel-grass mats, woodland, salt marshes and reed beds offer the perfect habitat for all sorts of wildlife to thrive including a wide variety of water birds such as shelduck and shoveler and waders such as redshank, godwit and plover.
Speaking about the arrival of BBC Springwatch, Paul Stewart, Centre Manager at Castle Espie Wetland Centre said;
“We’re very excited to host the latest series of BBC Springwatch live from WWT Castle Espie.
From the return of migrating birds full of birdsong and the arrival of ducklings in our ponds and lakes, to the emergence of butterflies and wildflowers across the reserve, spring is a very colourful and noisy time around the nature reserve.
As a wetland conservation charity, we work hard to protect, preserve and promote the importance of wetlands and their wildlife in this part of Northern Ireland, so that they can continue to be enjoyed by many in the years to come.
Nature-rich wetlands like the ones at Castle Espie can help combat today’s nature, climate, and mental health crises, through their ability to boost biodiversity, store carbon, prevent flooding, clean water and improve people’s wellbeing.
We look forward to bringing the sights and sounds of the wetlands and spectacular views across Strangford Lough to viewers’ right across the UK.”
BBC Springwatch 2021 will be live on BBC 2 for three weeks from Tuesday 25th May to Friday 11th June. It will be filmed live from Castle Espie each Tuesday and Friday.
For further information, please contact Sarah Fisher; Sarah.Fisher@wwt.org.uk or Melissa McGovern; Melissa.McGovern@wwt.org.uk (Marketing and Communications Department)