BBC One's Countryfile comes to Bristol!

Bristol’s otters and Avon Gorge goats set to be stars on BBC One’s Countryfile! Viewers of the BBC One’s hugely popular Countryfile programme will be treated to some local Bristol stars when they tune in at 7pm on Sunday, February 24, including Bristol’s urban otters and the Avon Gorge’s goats.

The programme will feature a number of Bristol’s conservation projects, with presenter, Julia Bradbury exploring how otters are making a comeback in Bristol’s Floating Harbour. And presenter, Matt Baker can be seen in the Avon Gorge where he discovers why it is such a special place for rare plants and how they’re being protected by conservationists, including a herd of Kashmir goats.

Julia Bradbury talks to council officer, Becky Coffin to find out how a city council wildlife survey – set up to provide a picture of the nature conservation value of the harbour – led to the discovery of urban otters. Thanks to improvements in the water quality in the harbour there are plenty of fish for otters to eat and natural environmental setting of the harbour provides hidden places for the otters to rest.

Meanwhile, Matt Baker learns why the Avon Gorge is regarded as one of the top three botanical sites in England, and home to over 30 nationally rare plants. Mandy Leivers of the Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project explains that the gorge is well known for its whitebeam trees, some of which – like the Bristol whitebeam – are unique to the gorge. And other rare wildflowers such as the Bristol onion and the Bristol rock-cress don’t grow anywhere else in the UK.

The Countryfile team also meet up with Christ Westcott of Natural England and city council officer, Ben Skuse to discover how Kashmir goats are helping to protect the gorge’s rare plants.

‘I hope Countryfile viewers will enjoy seeing what an exceptional city Bristol is,” says Councillor Gus Hoyt, Bristol’s cabinet member for environment and neighbourhoods. “Right in the heart of the city we have an amazing range of wildlife habitats and outstanding beautiful natural settings. We aim to work with many partners and experts including Natural England, Bristol Zoo Gardens and the University of Bristol on the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project to ensure these natural environments are protected. We must care for these areas so that our wildlife and plant life can thrive and continue to enrich our city.’

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