“Wild Things”, a programme new to Channel 4 examining Britain’s drastically changing wildlife and its habitats, will feature a very special Ribble Valley home-grown specimen in the form of former Cow Ark resident, Sally Eaton.
Sally (32), described in the programme biography as a “microscope wielding Lichenologist”, was chosen to co-present the programme after Channel 4 producers visited her at work in her day job at the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens. She explained: “We were asked if we’d like to share some of our research for a programme they were working on and as part of that, we had to speak into the camera. I was contacted not long after by Channel 4 and asked if I would be interested in co-presenting a new show about visiting very normal places and finding out what grows there and why. There are great programmes like Springwatch, which look at wildlife in general, but this was a great opportunity to look at something very different, but in places that we’re all familiar with on a day-to-day basis.”
The first episode of the six-part series airs on Monday at 8-30 p.m. and features Britain’s road network, which may seem an unlikely starting point but as the presenters explain, the last 50 years have seen the roadsides become our latest nature reserve.
Presenters Chris, Trevor and Sally explore Birmingham’s motorway hard shoulders and soft verges and discover how Danish scurvy-grass has become the fastest moving plant in Britain, using a fast car, a slow-motion camera and polystyrene balls. They also reveal how a very familiar British flower has come under threat from a roadside imposter, and find the world’s smallest ‘bear’ living in the least likely place imaginable.
Sally, who lives in Edinburgh with her fiancé and is a former CRGS pupil, is pleased to be associated with the programme makers new approach.
She continued: “It’s a really fantastic opportunity for me both personally and as a scientist. It was great fun making the series and it’s good to be getting science across to the viewers in such an easily digestible way. I’m excited to see what the viewers think and if they like it, hopefully it will be followed up with a second series.”