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BBC Autumnwatch Live makes Westonbirt its October home

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Autumwatch presenters

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, which is managed by the Forestry Commission, will host BBC Two’s Autumnwatch Live and Autumnwatch Unsprung for four weeks of this year’s series.

From the launch programme on Friday 7 October to the Cotswolds episode on 28 October, Autumnwatch Live will broadcast live from the arboretum’s Great Oak Hall. This year Michaela Strachan will join Chris Packham and Martin Hughes-Games to present the shows. The three will also be joined by a host of roving reporters from around the country.

From exploring autumn colour to taking a closer look at traditional woodland coppicing and the work of The National Arboretum’s tree team, Autumnwatch will delve into one of the country’s most famous autumn locations.

Simon Toomer, Arboretum Director commented:

“Having the chance to host Autumnwatch Live in October is a fantastic opportunity for Westonbirt Arboretum. We will be able to share the excitement of autumn at the arboretum with many new people.

“Our team have been busy working with the producers to help take a closer look at how we manage the tree collection and explore the array of wildlife, trees and grassland we have here.”

From their Westonbirt base, the Autumnwatch team of presenters will feature wildlife from across the UK and will also catch up with some of the stories featured on Springwatch.

In every programme, there'll be special features happening live, from science experiments to demonstrations of wild foraging cookery and countryside crafts. There'll be live quizzes the audience can take part in and live special guests adding depth and context to our stories.

Autumnwatch Unsprung will also be broadcast from Westonbirt. Chris, Michaela, Martin and special guests will discuss the big events and talking points of the week, as well as tackling viewer questions and solving wildlife mysteries.

The series will move on to its next Gloucestershire location, WWT Slimbridge, from 4 November.

More information on autumn at Westonbirt can be found at and more details on this year’s BBC Autumnwatch Live can be found at


Notes to Editor

  1. Images: Image attached, Westonbirt Arboretum in autumn. Please visit to download official photography of the Autumnwatch Live presenters.

  2. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is managed by the Forestry Commission and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. Home to the National Japanese Maple Collection, the arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains 16,000 specimens. Visitor numbers are 350,000 a year, with a membership of 26,000. Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy landowner Robert Holford, and later developed by his son George Holford.  Unlike many arboretums, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria. Visit

  3. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit

  4. The Forestry Commission supports the 2011 UN International Year of Forests – find out more at

  5. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum was formed in 1985. The charity’s objects are to support the National Arboretum in promoting public understanding of the crucial role of trees to the environment and society. It is funded by membership receipts from 26,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities. More information at

  6. Media contact: Katrina Podlewska, Communications Manager, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, on 01666 881 207 or email: