Hare raising drama as Brockholes nature reserve features on TV’s “Countryfile”

Staff and volunteers who helped out at Brockholes when BBC 's "Countryfile" came to visit
Staff and volunteers who helped out at Brockholes when BBC 's "Countryfile" came to visit

Brockholes, Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s popular nature reserve on the outskirts of Preston, is to feature on TV’s Countryfile on Easter Sunday.

But staff are keeping quiet about whether it will be a hare today, gone tomorrow appearance on the BBC show.

The elusive brown hare?

The elusive brown hare?

Events and Communications Manager Sarah Leach explained: “When our staff or volunteers arrive at Brockholes in the morning we often see brown hares running around the site. We have even seen them boxing from the office window in spring.

“Countryfile got to hear about this and asked if they could come down to film this. Of course we were delighted to host them.”

Despite spotting only one hare during a recce of the site the Countryfile team asked the Trust if it could still film the reserve which is sited off Preston New Road at Samlesbury.

It will be the first time Brockholes, which opened in 2011, has featured on the TV show.

Brockholes Visitor Centre

Brockholes Visitor Centre

The Trust’s Head of Marketing, Lindsey Poole, said: “I think they fell in love with the reserve and said they would come along to film wildlife at Brockholes. If we saw the brown hares it would be a huge bonus.

“We met them at 6am on the morning and spent a day getting some wonderful wildlife on film. They have displaying kestrels and lapwings, flying swans, 20 snipe feeding on an island and a camera-friendly little ringed plover.”

And what about the hares? Sarah said: “It was a bit like a TV drama with unexpected twists and turns – like the workmen delivering hardcore just as Countryfile were about to start filming. Oh no!

“It was quite tense and we were just hoping and hoping that some brown hares would appear to put the icing on the cake of a really great day for Brockholes.”

The Wildlife Trust is also waiting to see who will appear – the team filmed Head of Conservation Tim Mitcham, Campaigns Officer Alan Wright and the volunteers involved in “hare spotting”.

Lindsey added: “People who know the reserve will be delighted to see the wonderful wildlife we have here. People who haven’t been will want to come. As for brown hares on Countryfile? You will have to wait to see the show on Easter Sunday.”

• The Lancashire tradition of pace egging, Pendle Hill, egg decorating and delivery, coppicing and broom making will also feature in the show, which broadcasts at 7pm.