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BBC One’s Countryfile to feature Rutland Water including osprey Maya





Rutland will take centre stage on a popular BBC television programme.

The next episode of Countryfile, which airs on Sunday at 6pm on BBC One, will follow presenters Sean Fletcher and Margherita Taylor as they explore Rutland Water.

The nature reserve at the reservoir, which is managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, caught the attention of producers for being ‘a wildlife haven’ and home to a number of migratory birds, including ospreys.

Countryfile presenters Joe Crowley, Charlotte Smith, Steve Brown, Sean Fletcher, John Craven, Anita Rani, Tom Heap, Matt Baker, Helen Skelton, Margherita Taylor, Ellie Harrison, Adam Henson. Photo: BBC Studios/Pete Dadds
Countryfile presenters Joe Crowley, Charlotte Smith, Steve Brown, Sean Fletcher, John Craven, Anita Rani, Tom Heap, Matt Baker, Helen Skelton, Margherita Taylor, Ellie Harrison, Adam Henson. Photo: BBC Studios/Pete Dadds

Laura Brady, engagement manager, said: “We were thrilled to be asked to feature on BBC Countryfile, not only as it is a great programme dedicated to nature and the countryside, it gave us the opportunity to showcase our nature reserve at Rutland Water on a national level.

“To share the amazing successes of our Rutland ospreys and the work of our team, volunteers, friends and partners who work with us to protect, preserve and enhance nature.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved here since the construction of the reservoir and hope that we can inspire others to get involved with nature and wildlife.”

In the episode Sean joins an 11-year-old osprey enthusiast in a nearby hide in the hopes of seeing the return of star-breeding female Maya, who has occupied a nest in Rutland Water since 2009.

Ospreys nesting in Manton Bay at Rutland Water. Photo: David Tipling
Ospreys nesting in Manton Bay at Rutland Water. Photo: David Tipling

Maya, who has had 37 chicks to date, returned to her nest in Manton Bay on March 12 and laid her third egg of the year on April 5.

Ospreys, once a common site across the country, were driven to extinction in England in the 19th Century, but after a successful breeding programme, more than 250 have fledged from nests in Rutland Water.

Updates on the birds are shared on the Rutland Osprey Project Facebook page which has more than 59,000 followers

George Smith, information officer, said: “We typically talk to thousands of people each year about the ospreys, but to have the opportunity to present a piece to a massive audience such as BBC Countryfile is a huge privilege and a wonderful opportunity for us to talk about the work which we as a trust are so proud of.

A bird hide near the Manton Bay osprey nest. Photo: LRWT
A bird hide near the Manton Bay osprey nest. Photo: LRWT

“We hope that we can inspire a brand new group of people to get involved and learn more about fantastic conservation work including the continued work with our ospreys.”

While Sean watched for ospreys, Margherita took to the water to learn about the history of the submerged villages, Nether Hambleton and Middle Hambleton, which were flooded when the reservoir was built in the 1970s.

Maya with three eggs. Photo: LRWT
Maya with three eggs. Photo: LRWT

It is the largest man-made body of water in the country, covering more than four square miles and containing 110 billion litres of water.

Will you be watching this episode? Let us know in the comments.




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