Spectacular wildlife of Kielder Forest showcased in new Channel 5 Wild Animal Rescue series

Presenters Steve Backshall, Bill Oddie, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Lindsey Chapman join forces with wildlife experts as they discover the current status of our native species.
Kielder Water and Forest

Kielder Water and Forest. Image by: Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

An insight into the spectacular wildlife at Kielder Forest is to be aired on TV all this week.

Wild Animal Rescue is a brand new series for Channel 5 celebrating the incredible range of wildlife across Britain and the dedicated people fighting tirelessly around the clock to help protect it.

Britain’s’ wildlife is facing ever-increasing pressure as human activity and modern day living continue to impact the natural world.

And presenters Steve Backshall, Bill Oddie, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Lindsey Chapman join forces with wildlife experts as they discover the current status of our native species. And they show us how we can all help animals under the cosh too – in the limits of the wild and in our own back yards.

Based in Kielder Forest, the team of renowned wildlife loving presenters are kept busy helping animals that live in and around the forest, and meeting experts who spend their lives caring for wildlife and are helping to ensure they survive for future generations.

In the first episode of the new series, Bill speaks to Peter Wright from The Yorkshire Vet, who discovers why 70% of seabird populations around the work have disappeared in the last 50 years.

Steve meets conservationist Ben Jones who is fighting to save the Scottish wildcat from extinction in Britain. He then joins Joan Lockley from the West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue who is on a mission to save Britain’s favourite mammal that could disappear within the next decade.

In addition, Miranda leaps into action to help Atlantic salmon on the River Tyne.

In the second episode, Miranda discovers why pine martens may be unwitting protectors of our under threat native red squirrels while Steve journeys into the heart of the forest in search of these elusive predators once common throughout most of Britain.

The Wildlife Aid Foundation team must respond to one of their most unusual call outs in four decades when a swan is discovered stuck fifteen meters up a tree at night in driving rain only inches from an active power line.

Bill and Lindsey meet the ecologists working hard to protect the ten species of bats that call the Northumberland forest home.

Ratty - the charming riverside water vole from The Wind in the Willows makes a welcome return to Kielder and Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Restoring Ratty project is showcased.

And on the east coast of Lincolnshire, grey seals Shane, Darrell and Spencer are completing a nine-month long recovery and look forward to a return to the open ocean.

In episode three Steve joins forces with animal loving rock legend Dr Brian May as they help hand feed rescued hedgehogs, nurse convalescing bats and enjoy an encounter with a visiting fox in need of a good meal.

Julian Norton from The Yorkshire Vet discovers the incredible range of exotic animals that are managing to survive right here in Britain. 

Bill tracks a migratory master hunter - the majestic Osprey that’s attempting the 3,000 mile long journey from Kielder Forest to Gambia.

Lindsey finds out why Britain’s coastline is now a haven for an amazing number of cetaceans - dolphins, whales and porpoises - and meets Rupert Kirkwood, the lone kayaker, who has spent 30 years getting up close and personal with our marine wildlife.

They discover how nature’s great engineers, beavers, have made a surprise return to our countryside after a 400-year absence.

And, at the Wildlife Aid Foundation, the team battle to save a tawny owl hit by a car in Surrey.

In the final episode of Wild Animal Rescue, RSPB’s David Sexton keeps a vigilant eye on Britain’s biggest bird of prey - the majestic white tailed eagle - off the West Coast of Scotland.

At the Wildlife Aid Foundation animal hospital, a hedgehog needs emergency treatment after been found covered in hot tar. The poor hog’s protective spines are stuck together and there are concerns his skin is burnt.

Champions of conservation, ‘Butterfly Brothers’ Joel and Jim Ashton demonstrate how you can create a thriving wildlife haven in your back garden.

Lindsey goes in search of Britain’s only venomous snake, the adder, in the Midlands with ecologist Nigel Hand.

At Vale Wildlife Hospital in Gloucestershire, the team help a young badger found with a fractured jaw and broken pelvis after a suspected road traffic collision and fight to ready him for a release back into the wild.

Lindsey and Miranda discover why the internationally renowned dark skies of Kielder Forest help wildlife thrive.

Wild Animal Rescue airs on Channel 5 at 11:15am and 7:00pm, Monday to Thursday.