In the most trying of years, Springwatch 2020, the OU / BBC co-production produced with academic expertise from Geography’s Dr Andy Morris, has won a BAFTA.
Winning Best Live Event 2020 against a prestigious line-up that included other BBC productions such as ‘Life Drawing Live!’ and ‘The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance’; the award recognises the difficulties faced by the producers in bringing Springwatch to our screens under pandemic conditions.
Dr Andy Morris, Senior lecturer in Geography says: “When I heard about the BAFTA nomination I got back in touch with the series producer and we reflected on how demanding, but also how inspiring, it had been to make the series, and obviously I was delighted for everyone on the team when such a special project was recognised with the award.”
Andy, along with colleague Clare Lawson, Lecturer in Ecology, in the School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences (EEE), part of the Faculty of STEM worked as Academic Consultant on the series, sharing the same knowledge on the relationship between humans and wildlife that he brings to modules he writes for Geography.
Andy describes how the production process was impacted by COVID and the changes required to bring Springwatch 2020 to the screen: “Having worked on Autumnwatch 2019 I was delighted to have the chance to work with the team again on Springwatch 2020. Springwatch is a much bigger project than Autumnwatch and there are considerably more screen hours to fill so it was great to work alongside Clare Lawson from STEM too.
“We started working with the production team in mid-March 2020 and almost instantly the pandemic created significant doubts as to whether the series could go ahead. Obviously it did, and became all the more special for it. The pandemic really shaped the content of the series and allowed us to focus on how people valued wildlife and their connections to it at such a difficult time. People had more time to stop and look at the wildlife around them, in their gardens or during their daily exercise, and we ran a very successful garden wildlife survey with viewers to allow them to share their observations.
“Ultimately, I think the series captured something really special, and quite affecting, about our relationship with wildlife and how valuable that relationship can be during dark times.”
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