Best of Natural History Radio-logo

Best of Natural History Radio

Science Podcasts >

The BBC Natural History Unit produces a wide range of programmes that aim to immerse a listener in the wonder, surprise and importance that nature has to offer.

The BBC Natural History Unit produces a wide range of programmes that aim to immerse a listener in the wonder, surprise and importance that nature has to offer.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

The BBC Natural History Unit produces a wide range of programmes that aim to immerse a listener in the wonder, surprise and importance that nature has to offer.

Language:

English


Episodes

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Wild Boar

12/30/2018
More
The wild boar has had a checkered history in the British countryside. This once native species was hunted out of existence in the 13th Century and despite a number of reintroductions finally disappeared from our fauna in the 17th Century. And for the next 300 years the sound of boar, the onomatopoeia collective term for boar is , sound, lay silent across the landscape. Until around 20 years ago, when wild boar once again roamed some areas of the British countryside. But how did they get...

Duration:00:22:24

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Winter Ravens

12/23/2018
More
The raven is both agile and majestic in flight but shrouded in mystery, superstition and folk law. How was it that our biggest member of the crow family, a bird once protected as an important scavenger in ancient times, was then persecuted almost to extinction in the British Isles, with less that 1000 pairs clinging onto a precarious future in few remote hills in upland Britain? In this Living World from 2010, Lionel Kelleway travels to the syperstones in Shropshire where thankfully the...

Duration:00:22:29

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Caledonian Pine forest

12/16/2018
More
Standing next to a tree which was likely a sapling when wolves roamed freely in Scotland is a humbling experience. And so it was that Lionel Kelleway began this Living world from 2002. Joining Lionel next to a venerable 'granny tree' is renowned naturalist Roy Dennis MBE who explains that today just 1% of the original 1.5 million hectares survives. Unraveling the complexities of what happened to this huge tract of the Caledonian Forest which the Romans called 'silva caledonia' is revealed as...

Duration:00:22:24

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Avocet

12/9/2018
More
As the logo of the RSPB, the slender black and white avocet is a familiar bird in winter on the river Exe in Devon, but not in the summer. By the mid Victorian era the avocet had all but stopped breeding in Britain and it was not until 1947 that the first avocet bred again in Suffolk. Since then the breeding population has increased dramatically with over 1000 breeding pairs as their range has expanded out of the South East corner of Britain. To discover more in this episode from 2001,...

Duration:00:22:30

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Dungeness

10/21/2018
More
The shifting shingle world of Dungeness is a remarkable place. There are four internationally important shingle peninsulas in the world. Two in Germany, one in America, (Cape Canaveral) and yes you've guessed it, Dungeness in Kent. The unique landscape of Dungeness has been studied since Medieval times giving scientists such as Erica Towner and David Harper from Sussex University a wealth of historical data to work from. Which is why Peter France joined Erica and David on a timeline walk...

Duration:00:22:55

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - The Oak Tree Planters

10/14/2018
More
The jay is one of Britain’s most colourful birds. A kaleidoscope of fawns, pinks, greys, black and white, alongside striking blue wing patches which, if you’re lucky enough to get close to see, alter in graduated shades of blue and prove unmistakable in a discarded feather. Colourful they may be, for many of us though the normal view of a jay is as it disappears into woodland raucously screeching and alerting us to its presence. In autumn however, jays have other things on their mind, like...

Duration:00:22:47

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Underwater Architects

10/7/2018
More
Today’s fashion for self-built homes may have started a few decades ago, but for nearly 200 million years, a family of insects have been quietly developing their own, des res. Depending on where you come from, they are sometimes known as ‘straw worms’, or ‘case worms’, but for most they are simply called ‘caddis’. The origin of the word "caddis" is unclear, but it seems to date back as far as Izaak Walton's 1653 book The Complete Angler, where the angling hero notes how to fish for roach or...

Duration:00:23:00

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - The World's Largest Slug

9/30/2018
More
In this episode, Lindsey Chapman will bring this story up to date since this episode was first broadcast in 2008, offering some up to date thoughts on all things molluscan. It is not often on the Living World that the largest or biggest of any species is discovered. Yet in this episode Lionel Kelleway is in search of a large slimy creature. Though locally common across Britain's ancient woodlands, this slug is very much at home in the warm damp woodlands of Dartmoor and is the world’s...

Duration:00:22:50

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Hen Harrier

9/23/2018
More
Ghosts of the Moor are how the pale grey male hen harrier is sometimes referred to as it glides seemingly without effort across an upland landscape. To find out more and to revel in actually seeing a hen harrier on the wing, in this episode Brett Westwood & lolo Williams are on the Berwyn Moors in Wales in search of this enigmatic bird of prey. lolo has brought Brett to this particular spot as since seeing his first hen harrier here as a young boy, lolo has returned every year to study their...

Duration:00:22:56

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Blackbirds

7/1/2018
More
Possibly our most familiar songster,a blackbird singing high up on a rooftop is one of the real pleasures of living cheek by jowl with the natural world. These woodland edge members of the thrush family have over centuries become a garden specialist, enriching a morning walk or evening spent after work listening to the mellifluous tunes of the male blackbird. For this Living World nature presenter Lindsey Chapman relives the magic Lionel Kelleway discovered in the Hopetoun Estate near...

Duration:00:22:44

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Woolston Eyes

6/24/2018
More
Often we think of nature reserves are a product of preserving pristine or unique habitat for wildlife. Yet many nature reserves are products of reclaiming man made activity and letting nature take its course, with a little help. For this Living World wildlife presenter Lindsey Chapman relives the magic of a once industrial landscape which Lionel Kelleway explored in 2000. Lionel visits Woolston Eyes nature reserve near to Warrington where he meets up with Brian Martin who at the time of...

Duration:00:22:52

Chris Packham celebrates Tweet of the Day

6/17/2018
More
The thought of spring without Springwatch on the BBC would be unthinkable, and Springwatch without it's erudite host Chris Packham likewise. Chris has also been a long time supporter of another BBC institution on Radio 4, Tweet of the Day, first presenting this series in 2013. What better then than for Chris to record especially for Tweet of the Day, a loose tie in with Springwatch, celebrating the birds that may be seen in Sherborne while the team were on air. But in this episode Chris also...

Duration:00:14:05

Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Catch the Pigeon

6/17/2018
More
The humble pigeon is an often overlooked bird. We pass by it often without a second glance as we rush along our busy city streets, but if we stop and wonder, how does the pigeon know where it is and how does it get from A to B? This episode from 2008 finds Lionel Kelleway discovering the biology behind pigeon migration with Oxford University's Chris Armstrong. Starting their recording at the University's Wytham Field Station Lionel meets some of the pigeons used in the study which far from...

Duration:00:22:43

Living World From the Archives - The Machair Of The Western Isles

6/10/2018
More
The machair is a unique coastal grassland, rich in wildflowers, that form one of the rarest habitats in Europe, and for this Living World wildlife presenter Lindsay Chapman relives the magic of this man made but fragile landscape which Brett Westwood experienced on this visit to South Harris in 2004. Brett meets up with Martin Scott from the RSPB who guides him across this sea washed habitat to discuss the special nature of botanically rich grasslands. This grassland is a result of many...

Duration:00:22:55

Living World from the Archives - The Celtic Rainforest

3/25/2018
More
High in the hills of the Snowdonia National Park in Wales, can be found a rare and fascinating habitat. We all know of the importance of the Tropical Rainforests, however these Celtic Rainforests are in a way even rarer, with Britain being home to most of the best preserved examples in the World. The Valley is changing and time could possibly be running out for these remarkable and sensitive habitats, which have been suffering from pollution and climate change since the dawn of the...

Duration:00:22:56

Living World from the Archives - Celtic Rainforest

3/25/2018
More
High in the hills of the Snowdonia National Park in Wales, can be found a rare and fascinating habitat. We all know of the importance of the Tropical Rainforests, however these Celtic Rainforests are in a way even rarer, with Britain being home to most of the best preserved examples in the World. The Valley is changing and time could possibly be running out for these remarkable and sensitive habitats, which have been suffering from pollution and climate change since the dawn of the...

Duration:00:22:08

Living World from the Archives - Essex Geese

3/18/2018
More
Around 100,000 dark bellied brent geese head to Britain every winter to escape the extreme cold weather of their arctic breeding grounds in Russia. Britain is therefore an important wintering ground for these geese with many thousands heading to the Essex Marshes. But what brings them here and what are the management needs of this populated area of the South East coastal? To find out for himself, as Brett Westwood introduces in this Living World episode first broadcast in 2005, Peter France...

Duration:00:21:59

Living World from the Archives - A Starling Eruption

3/11/2018
More
The famous evening murmuration, fantastic formations of huge flocks of starlings coming in to roost, brings hundreds of visitors to the levels each winter. But far fewer people see the spectacle of the dawn eruption when the starlings take off en masse to start their day foraging in the surrounding fields. Brett Westwood relives programmes from The Living World archives. This episode from 2014 sees Trai Anfield immerses herself in a starling spectacle many people have never seen. Each year...

Duration:00:22:06

Living World from the Archives - Snowdrops

3/4/2018
More
There are 19 species of the wild snowdrop in the world, all in the genus Galanthus. Wild snowdrops are found across much of Europe from Spain to the Caucasus , with Turkey being a hot spot for these 'milk flowers', but they are not found in Britain. What we think of as British wild snowdrops which herald the beginning of spring, are an introduced species or escapees from garden collections. Over the centuries gardeners have selected over 1000 distinct cultivars and that number is increasing...

Duration:00:22:06

Living World from the Archives - Mountain Hares

1/7/2018
More
The Mountain Hare, sometimes called the Arctic or Blue Hare, is a native of Scotland but to most people's surprise a colony also live in England. Brett Westwood relives programmes from The Living World archives. This episode from 2005 Sarah Pitt heads into a wintry Peak District with the late Derek Yaldon in search of mountain hares, one of the great relics of the ice age. Nestled into the hills and as white as white during the winter these animals are very at home straddling the Pennine...

Duration:00:21:56