Well it’s back on our screens once more, and it has to be said it’s been a long time coming. Autumnwatch hits the TV once again this week with presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games. Autumnwatch’s brief is to showcase the beauty of the UK’s wild places, reveal new science and never filmed before behaviour, and give fresh insight into some of the nation’s best loved animals. We’re also hoping that it will once again showcase the lovely leather chesterfield sofa that we last saw in Springwatch. Granted, the traditional chesterfield sofa isn’t exactly what you’d call an endangered species, far from it as there are more of them about than ever before, but, like the stunning highland scenery, it, too, is a thing of beauty.
Autumnwatch has a beautiful new home this year: Aigas Field Centre in the breath-taking Scottish Highlands, one of the finest areas in the country to experience autumn wildlife. Nestled in a wooded glen and surrounded by dramatic mountains, Aigas is home to some of the UK’s most iconic animals, from highland specialists to familiar garden birds. So what can we look forward to this time? Well, there’s an intimate encounter with a family of beavers, a brush with a pine marten and dramatic footage of a day in the life of a buzzard. All of which sounds exciting, but we have to confess that our eyes will be drawn to the lovely old leather chesterfield sofa that Chris Packham guards so protectively. It’s a comfortable looking piece of kit, so we guess you can’t really blame him.
Will the beavers outstay their Highland welcome? Will the buzzards and the red squirrels manage to scavenge enough food to survive the winter? Will the pine marten overcome its shyness and make an appearance on camera? Will Chris Packham ever let anybody else sit on chesterfield settee? Questions – questions, but very few answers, at the moment at least. That’s the problem with nature: it’s all very exciting, but it’s just too unpredictable. We’d prefer more certainty ourselves, but we guess, like everybody else, we’ll just have to wait and see. The only thing that we can predict with any degree of certainty is that whenever the camera pans into the Aigas studio, it will be the chesterfield sofa that grabs the attention, and not Chris Packham’s presentational skills.