Rating 7.5
Streamer BBC iPlayer
Seasons 16
Episodes 182 x 60 mins

The consistently comforting Springwatch crew are guaranteed to have you donning your finest pair of wellies, grabbing the binoculars and heading off into the great outdoors.

Springwatch has been around since 2005 – for context, it’s two years older than the first iPhone, and the same age as YouTube. But despite its long run, watching the series is still as refreshing as a cool breeze and as calming as birdsong. And luckily, we don’t have to wait for the first blossom to bloom to get our dose of wildlife watching, as the show is multi-seasonal, with autumn and winter iterations too. Summer must be feeling a bit left out…

The presenters have changed a few times over the years, and we’re currently in the cosy – and sometimes controversial – company of Chris Packham, accompanied by marvellous Michaela Strachan, Gillian Burke and Iolo Williams. The four treat us to brilliantly shot footage of local wildlife and nuggets of info on mating seasons and native populations, all perfectly complemented by a few outrageous shirts worn by Chris, and more than a handful of dad jokes.

“What happens to a frog’s car when it breaks down? It gets toad away”… See what we mean?

Sounds like the perfect antidote to the last year, doesn’t it? The Guardian’s Stephen Moss agrees, saying: “Springwatch is the ultimate reality TV show for our times…three weeks of live wildlife is just what we need.” In the Independent, Lucy Jones calls the series “a green jewel in the BBC’s crown,” agreeing that the show might be just the ticket for those feeling blue, saying: “the more we know about the psychology of connection to nature, the more it becomes clear that feeling a kinship to the living world can improve mental health.”

And it’s not just the spring version that has seen praise from critics – The Telegraph’s Charlotte Runcie says Winterwatch is full of “breathtaking beauty,” and like its warmer seasoned sibling shows, is a programme that will “inspire us to go out into the garden or to the park and see what life is there, and to be inspired to protect the creatures living alongside us.”

First shown May 2005.

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