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February 2016




The BBC One-Show crew film at Woodberry Wetlands



The BBC One-Show film crew came to Woodberry Wetlands in Hackney for 2 days.  I had the great pleasure of working alongside them and helping to introduce them to our very special patch of inner-city London.

Despite days and days of gloomy weather, the first morning was cold, frosty and clear.  The reservoir and reedbeds looked stunningly beautiful as the sun rose, creating a wonderful golden backlight. The Woodberry Wetlands team were out in force spotting for the film crew. I set out to document the story of the filming.. the BBC crew filming, the local birders, the London Wildlife Trust Team and then later, the amazing Woodberry Wetlands volunteers.

As the film crew and local team stood on the boardwalk, the sun rose in the sky warming us all.  The Tufted Duck population were very obliging, as was the Great Crested Grebe and the numerous reedbed and woodland birds sang their little hearts out.  

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It was perfect weather for flying a drone above the reservoir and showing its proximity to the city.  You can see the Shard, Canary Wharf and numerous other London landmarks from the north bank of the reservoir so the view from the drone must be astonishing.  I can't wait to see the film!  Watching Richard flying the drone was fascinating.  

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MIke Dilger was a superstar. I don't just mean a star/celebrity/presenter. He was funny, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and incredibly generous spirited.  Large canoes on open water aren't easy for the single paddler and I won't easily forget the good-natured exchanges between Richard, Sophia and MIke as he paddled the canoe back into position only for the wind to blow it away from the sweet spot once again! I really felt for him. Then there's that awful thing of actually paddling to the sweet spot finally, only to fluff your lines!  It's hard work presenting!!  We also had MIke up to his chest in water amongst the reed bed, and putting nervous interviewees at ease.  What a legend.  Thanks MIke.

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Mike interviewed several of the Woodberry Wetlands team.  David & Fran (local stars in the Woodberry Wetlands London Wildlife Trust team, Nathan, (conservation intern) and lots of young volunteers.  The volunteers are amazing.  Every Saturday, come rain or shine, they turn up and work to develop and maintain the habitat.  I enjoyed listening to Fran explain to Mike why they use scythes to cut the reeds, "It brings everyone closer to nature. You can't hear the birds singing or the wind moving through the reeds if you have ear defenders on and use heavy machinery.  It's about connection.  About being a bit wild."  

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East Reservoir hasn't been open to the public since it was built about 200 years ago.  Thames Water, Berkeley Homes and the Heritage Lottery Fund are joint funding this incredible initiative and London Wildlife Trust are leading the transformation of East Reservoir into Woodberry Wetlands.  It's a helluva story.  I've had privileged access to the developing wetlands for the last year and have been watching this process.  It's been an extraordinary opportunity to photograph on my local patch.  It's giving me an opportunity to once again contribute to the local community.  Woodberry Wetlands is my 'happy place'.

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Thank you Richard (camera), Danny (sound), MIke (presenter) and Sophia (director) for such a fabulous experience.  I don't really watch the TV but I'll make an exception for this episode of the BBC One-Show.  I can't wait to see the outcome of all our hard work and to show off Woodberry Wetlands to a wider audience.  


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The wait was worthwhile!  Click on this link to take you to the BBC One-Show's website and to the clip from the programme featuring Woodberry Wetlands