BBC Springwatch at Porton Down
Two episodes of the current series of BBC Springwatch feature items filmed at Porton Down.
The 2017 series of BBC Springwatch features two special items about flora and fauna which were filmed at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) Porton Down site.
The first item was broadcast on Thursday 8 June and featured the flora that flourishes on the site, including the rare Lady Orchid.
The second episode to feature Porton Down was broadcast on Thursday 15 June and looked at some of the animals that make their home amongst the chalk grasslands of Porton Down’s ranges. Both episodes are currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Porton Down is one of, if not the, best-preserved chalk grasslands in Europe and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. The low level of human impact and development has enabled the man-made, semi-natural grassland to flourish and encourage a wide range of biodiversity. As a result, Porton Down boasts many rare species such as the Lady Orchid, the Duke of Burgundy butterfly and the Stone Curlew.
The programmes look at the many ways in which the wildlife flourishes and discuss the reasons for such an abundance of biodiversity. They also explore the relationships between the plants and animals, specifically insects and other invertebrates, as well as describing some of the various plant species that thrive on the plain.