Hugh’s Wild West
Lifelong nature-lover Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall pursues his fascination with the wildlife of the West country as he teams up with the region’s most dedicated nature lovers.
In this 12-part series, filmed over an entire year, Hugh joins forces with the people working to celebrate and safeguard the region’s charismatic and captivating cast of creatures. For Hugh, it’s a welcome chance to raise his game as a wildlife enthusiast, learning as much as he can while sharing the joys and rich rewards that come with getting closer to nature.
His year-round adventure centres on four of the South West’s most cherished landscapes: Dartmoor, with its wooded valleys and granite tors; the unique shoreline and sea life of the Jurassic Coast; the ancient woodland and crystal streams of the Forest of Dean and the wetlands and waterways of the Somerset Levels.
Through the series there are exhilarating encounters with dolphins and with wild boar, and intimate moments such as getting hands on with a hibernating dormouse and discovering the charming family values of a tiny bird that first captivated him on his garden bird table – the long-tailed tit.
Episode 2 of 12: Cuttlefish – 13th January 2018
Enthusiastic nature lover Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall continues his wildlife adventures as he explores the Jurassic Coast to investigate the strange life of its most curious creatures and to meet the local heroes dedicated to helping them. His fascination for marine life centres on an intriguing ocean oddity – the cuttlefish. With the help of local fishermen, Hugh devises a plan to see them close up and to try to understand their otherworldly behaviour.
On the shingle expanse of Chesil Beach, a team of dedicated volunteers keep a 24-hour watch over a colony of little terns to help these rare birds raise their tiny chicks in safety. And Hugh revisits the rockpools he knew as a child in search of new finds and familiar favourites.
Episode 1 of 12: Dippers – 6th January 2018
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall explores the wildlife of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, the hideaway for some very particular creatures. He becomes captivated by the extraordinary life of the dipper, the UK’s only aquatic songbird. Hugh meets one of his wildlife heroes, the tireless Stephanie Tyler who has studied these delightful birds for 40 years. With the help of wildlife cameraman, Robin Smith, the pair get a privileged insight into the extraordinary underwater agility of these unique birds. On the river, Hugh takes the chance to re-live his childhood, catching minnows in the clear waters of the Wye. And nearby, wildlife enthusiast and IT technician, Gareth Jones, has rigged his garden with a network of mini cameras to spy on the secret lives of his animal neighbours – and his home movies are more gripping than any soap opera!
Produced by KEO West for BBC 2
Presenter: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Executive Producer: Matt Cole
Series Producer: Joanne Stevens
Producer/Director: Matt Clements and Anne Gallagher
Editor: Tom Heaney
Junior Production Manager: Ciara Spankie
Edit Assistant: Harriet Hoare
Researcher: Nalini Crack
Junior Researcher: James Cox