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BBC One’s Countryfile presented by Sean Fletcher and Margherita Taylor features Rutland Water including osprey Maya





A nature reserve impressed presenters and viewers on a popular BBC television programme.

Rutland Water featured on Sunday’s episode of Countryfile which followed presenters Sean Fletcher and Margherita Taylor as they explored the reservoir.

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.

Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust

Joe Davis, head of reserve management, said: “I’m sure I can speak on behalf of the whole team here at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust when I say that we were bursting with pride to see Rutland Water Nature Reserve on BBC Countryfile.”

He added: “We have received some really amazing feedback from the show and the interest in our work and people wanting to visit has been phenomenal.

“We’re all so very proud of the work we do for nature and wildlife and this show has epitomised that.

Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust

“We are extremely grateful for Countryfile and the whole team for everything they put into the show.

“A real triumph for nature showing what can be achieved when you work towards the benefits for wildlife.”

In the episode Sean joins nine-year-old Ronny Brazel, member of Osprey Leaders, 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, and her mate 33.

Ronny said: “I was excited and proud to see myself on the TV.

Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust

“I hope some of my friends want to join Osprey Leaders now.

“Checking on Maya and 33 is my favourite thing to do and the nature reserve is my favourite place to visit.”

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.

Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust

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: “It was really exciting to be invited to be a part of the Countryfile episode.

Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Behind the scene of Countryfile filming at Rutland Water. Photo: Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust

“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.

“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.”

As well as ospreys, there have been record counts for egrets, teal, pintail and shoveler and more otter sightings.

Last year 124,000 birds were counted with 5,500 of 51 species ringed and 572 recorded species of beetle on the site.

While Sean watched for ospreys, Margherita took to the water to learn about the history of the submerged landscape which was flooded when the reservoir was built.

When the reservoir was being built in the 1970s some of the small villages, including Nether Hambleton and Middle Hambleton, were cleared of people and flooded.

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.

Did you watch the episode? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.




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