Naturalist Iolo Williams will present the new series of BBC Autumnwatch from Mid Wales from tonight (Tuesday 27 October).
The programme will be broadcast from four different UK locations, including with Iolo at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Machynlleth.
“I’m so excited to be returning to CAT in the beautiful UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere to present this year’s Autumnwatch. There is such an abundance of wildlife in Mid Wales and it’s great to see it flourishing at a site that was once an industrial slate quarry.
“Welsh wildlife we’re hoping to see include pine martens, hawfinches, Greenland white-fronted geese, hen harriers, woodcock and many more waders and waterfowl.
“But even where wildlife is thriving, we know that the effects of climate change are already having an effect on biodiversity in the UK. We need to take action now, as a nation, or some of our wildlife could be lost forever.”
With nearly 50 years’ experience of living and working with nature, and a decade of thought leadership in how the UK can reach zero carbon emissions, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a world-leading environmental education centre providing skills and knowledge to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.
Staff at the site, which is currently closed to the public, have been busily making preparations and working hard within guidelines to support the BBC TV crew, who arrived over the weekend.
Rob Bullen, visitor centre marketing manager at CAT, says: “Although we have closed CAT to the public in line with lockdown guidelines, we are thankfully still able to welcome Iolo and a small BBC crew. It’s so important for people to be able to connect to nature, and as the dark nights approach we hope that the beauty of our site and its amazing wildlife will help lift people’s spirits.”
One of the themes of this year’s series is around the benefits of nature for mental health and wellbeing – something CAT provides to visitors and students in its beautiful surroundings in the foothills of southern Snowdonia.
“In addition to the Autumnwatch series, people can see even more of CAT online,” Rob says. “We have been capturing some great wildlife on our own camera traps, including badgers, dormice and tawny owls. We also have live webcams which include oak woodlands turning into their autumn colours for a very mindful moment, and the possibility of glimpsing a dormouse at its feeding station.
People can also join our free online webinars, and they can support us by becoming a member.”
“Spending time in nature makes us happier and healthier. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to CAT once it is safe and advisable to do so.”