The Essex Herald

Home of Pop Quiz and Essex News and now incorporating The Landfill Tawny Echo

BBC Springwatch comes to Essex

The Springwatch team are setting up camp at the landfill tip in Pitsea. Presenters Kate Humble and Chris Packham will be staying nearby at The Roast Swan (the UK’s oldest public house) in the picturesque Essex village of Landfill Tawny. (Pictured Below) 

We asked Kate why she chose Pitsea as a location for Springwatch. “Well”, she said “the BBC is running out of money and nice places cost a lot of money. Besides, I have always wanted to taste the food at The Roast Swan; it has an international reputation for serving the best wild animal dishes in the world”. We also asked her how filming was going. “Not very well”, she said “on the first day all our camera equipment was stolen, we had to go to the Sunday boot sale at Landfill Tawny to buy it back again”.

What kinds of wildlife were the team hoping to find at the landfill tip? Kate told us that apart from the normal everyday types of wildlife, Pitsea is one of the few places in Europe that you can still find vultures living in the wild. The species found at the landfill site is called the Colorado High Altitude Vulture or (CHAV). It’s quite surprising just how many chav’s can be seen in and around the Pitsea area.  Kate was also very excited about reported sightings of a beaver in nearby Wat Tyler Country Park. “The beaver is one of my favourite animals”, she said, “This one has managed to build a dam out of old rusty supermarket trolleys”. Finally we asked Kate if it was hard work filming wildlife documentaries. She told The Herald, “It is jolly hard. I have to carry around several cameras plus specialist recording equipment and various backpacks loaded with backup batteries and so forth. By the end of the day I’m knackered”. I offered to take Kate back to the pub and help her take her kit off but she declined.

In next week’s issue we hope to catch a glimpse of Kate’s beaver.

New species found

Among other new species found is a variant of the goldcrest called the moody goldcrest. It looks very much like a standard goldcrest. Unless you’re an expert the only sure way to tell if it’s a moody goldcrest is to take one along to the experts at Cash Converters. The team also found several new species of hare, the ponytail hare, the tieback hare and the Essex blond hare (much slower than a standard hare). Also found is a new nocturnal little bustard called the Pitsea bustard, at night you can see and hear plenty of little bustards in the area.

Nature pictures from Pitsea Springwatch



Pictured right is the apparently rare Pitsea or (CHAV) vulture. Often seen by locals in and around the landfill tip


Pictured left is the ingenious beaver dam built in Wat Tyler Park. Special thanks go to Tesco, Aldi and Lidl for making this possible

Out next summer