Hedgehog Noises

As Zoe the hedgehog has been using the hedgehog box I took the opportunity to sneak a microphone in there to see what noises she made. Apart from the expected munching, scratching and generally fidgeting she seems to make little snoring noises when she is asleep. This was recorded at  about midnight. Click and you should hear it.

Hedgehog Noises

Is it snoring I wonder? Also near the end is what sound like birds but I’m pretty certain it’s not, could it be Zoe? The experiment has raised more questions than answers so I think some more recording is required.

A Trip To Unsprung

We were lucky enough to be invited to the audience of Unsprung after Autumnwatch. The problem, it’s at Aigas Field Centre near Inverness! Never mind, haven’t had a break since June last year so a good excuse for a long weekend. A day there and a day back, but absolutely stunning  and totally worth it.

We assumed we would just turn up and be in the audience, but they sorted out an itinerary for our visit!

We were given a tour of Aigas and of the BBC set up, the production suites and the studio. As we walked up to the studio we saw our first Red Squirrel, but it was too dark for a photo.

View from the studio in the light

The Studio

It was very small and compact with a lot of kit. How would they get any audience in?

The Settee!

There were miles and miles of cables. I thought mine were bad, but this is on a whole new level

These are the Live Cameras with the teams monitoring them, what a set up!

We then went back to the production suite to watch the rehearsals. Even though everyone was very busy, they were all really friendly making sure we were ok. They are under a lot of pressure, they were still editing the show with 5 minutes to go. Even though it looked like chaos they all knew what they had to do and did it. Not a raise voice was heard (very different from offices I’ve worked in!). People were checking the website, making boards for Unsprung, changing running order, editing, it was all going on! Then it was back to the main house at Aigas for a meal with the production team.

Lovely food in a stunning location.

After that it was back to the production suite to wait for the live show. Anyone remember this?

Before the main show started we were given a briefing on what to do for Unsprung. Basically smile and do what Royston says! We watched the live show from the production suite, and there I was on telly. Everyone cheered, much to my embarassment! They all seemed to enjoy it, so did I, even if my heart was racing!

Ten minutes before the show ended we moved to just outside the studio, being very quiet of course. The credits rolled, Royston shouted GO! There was one and a half minutes between the end of the show and the start of Unsprung. In that time the audience has to get in and the set changed! It was chaos! As Martin started talking to camera, things were still being sorted! We were positioned right behind Martin so knew we were on screen most of the time. It was chaotic but great, really enjoyed the show. After the show ended we left, the BBC were then basically packing up to leave as soon as they could.

The Loch with the lights on

We went back to the production suite and met everyone, Chris, Michaela and of course Martin, he really is a lovely bloke. Chris appreciated the nail varnish marking, top bloke!

Then it was all over and we went back to the hotel, exhausted and elated, plus a full twitter timeline 🙂

I would like to thank all the staff of BBC Autumnwatch for such a great day and being so nice. Special thanks go to Victoria Bromley, for organising the day, Anna Place for doing all the website stuff and Natasha Hayes for doing my bit! Also to Martin Hughes-Games for making it so easy.

Introducing Little Chris – The Little Autumnwatch Hedgehog

Whilst we were filming for BBC Autumnwatch we discovered a little Autumn Juvenile.

Although it wasn’t mentioned on the show Martin Hughes-Games had the honour of naming him – Little Chris!

He is progressing quite nicely but will be spending the winter in the spare room (along with the other hoglets) as he won’t be heavy enough to survive hibernation. It is important that autumn juveniles are given correct care so please contact a carer if you find one.

I will be keeping you all up to date on his progress throughout the winter and if you go to the live cams page you can watch him!

Meet The Hedgehogs Of BBC Autumnwatch

Meet all the hogs we've had in the garden this year – An amazing total of 25!!!

Sweetpea – Hoglet


Jocelyn – Hoglet


Natasha – HogletLittle MissySidneyZoeLittle Chris – HogletHarriettHector – HogletThe BeastCecil – 1st of the years hogletsCecilia – 2nd of the years hogletsHoglet – no photo

SammiGeldofGeronimoChurchGodzillaGrouchoGwendolineHamptonHenry – The hog that started it all, an autumn juvenile that has returnedHoratio – Last years autumn juvenile who has returned

Usain – no photo



Filming For BBC Autumnwatch

On Sunday the next phase of the BBC Autumnwatch shoot took place. The crew came down first to set up and do some preliminary shots around the garden. I must admit I was feeling quite nervous, but that soon disappeared after it all got underway.

The garden was a tad muddy after all the rain, hope he managed to make it look good!

He had a very nice camera!

Then after that the excitement really began. Martin Hughes-Games came a bit later. He introduced himself, didn't really need to 🙂 What a really lovely bloke! Even nicer than he appears on TV. We started chatting straight away and I immediately felt comfortable and all the nerves had gone. He explained what we were going to do and really couldn't believe we had so many hedgehogs, he was very excited. I showed him round the garden, the crew had to stop us so they could do some intro bits with Martin first and also to save some of the showing around for on film.

They went off to the side garden to do the bits to camera. To my surprise a small crowd gathered to see what was happening. I met some neighbours who I had never spoken to before, so that was really nice. They had to stop quite often for passing cars so it took a while.

Martin Hughes-Games is outside my house!

The crew, Shaun, Paul and the producer Natasha

Then it was my turn! First to get miked up, this is the radio mike I had on

I then took Martin on a tour of the garden and showed him all the different things I do for the hogs. We discussed how I mark and weigh them and how it all came about, you'll just have to watch to find out! This being a housing estate we had to have a few retakes for passing cars and general noise, the best interruption was an ice-cream van, a first for Martin!

Martin then did a few more bits to camera about what to look for before it became dark

Then into the house to wait for hedgehogs. I showed him all the cameras I have and we sat by the monitors and waited! A little wood mouse kept popping out to keep us entertained.

This is one of the lights in the front room

Then the hedgehogs started to arrive (thankfully), now to get one and move to the kitchen.

We had some fun trying to catch them at first, but Martin soon got the hang of it.

Here's one of the hogs (who wouldn't play ball)

I marked them and showed them what I did, it got quite busy for a while. Martin did a closing piece to camera and then it was time to pack up. Some more surprises and funnies happened along the way but I don't want to give too much away as I don't know what they will use. You'll have to watch and also check back here to find out!

It was a fantastic day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would like to thank the whole team for making it so much fun. I just can't wait to see it now. The show airs at the end of October but I don't know which show it will be on yet. I will let you all know, and then check back after the show for some more stuff!