Winterwatch 2021 - Start date, guests and everything you need to know

Chris Packham Winterwatch 2021
(Image credit: BBC/Jo Charlesworth)

Winterwatch is coming back!

Winterwatch 2021 is back this month, to give us a glimpse into the lives of animals who survive in cold, wintry conditions. There's lots of lovely nature footage to look forward to this time featuring animals like badgers and red squirrels to tawny owls and brittlestars.

So get ready to cosy up, and watch some fascinating footage of wild animals in their natural habitat. Here's everything you need to know about Winterwatch 2021...

When is Winterwatch 2021 on TV?

The new series of Winterwatch kicks off on BBC Two at 8pm on Tuesday 19th January. There'll be eight episodes in total, and they'll air over a fortnight so you can get your weekly dose of animals, nature, and those who are passionate about it. We can't wait to tune in!

Who is presenting Winterwatch 2021?

This series, Chris Packham will be joined by his stepdaughter, zoologist Megan McCubbin, along with Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke. However, South Africa-based Michaela Strachan isn’t presenting this series but she will be dialling in via video call instead.

Chris and Megan will be based at their New Forest home. Megan said: "Seeing the sunrise across the heather is one of the most beautiful things; everything’s covered in frost, glistening, and you’ve got the birds singing in the trees. It’s a magical time of year, but there’s still a lot of activity going on despite the fact wildlife is sleepier after Christmas – a bit like us!"

Gillian Burke

Gillian Burke will be presenting from Cornwall. (Credit: BBC)

Where is Winterwatch 2021 filmed?

This year, we'll be exploring all over the UK with presenters abiding by social distancing guidelines. Each presenter is filming in their local areas. As mentioned above, Chris and Megan will be based in New Forest.

Meanwhile, Gillian Burke will be based in Cornwall, and she'll be looking at a variety of wildlife, including beavers. And Iolo Williams will be in mid Wales, back at the Centre for Alternative Technology.

They'll be using live cameras to capture exclusive footage, and Megan explains which animals she always associates with the winter period.

She says: "I’m a fan of starling murmurations. Just seeing that spectacle is one of the best wildlife highlights that we have in the UK, where all these starlings just dance together as the sun’s going down.

"Tawny owls are really active right now, too. I love walking through woodlands and hearing their trademark ‘twit-twoo’ call. Last year, I had a male tawny owl that would sit above my bedroom window at night and call. I tried to call back on occasion but it wasn’t reciprocated!"

Winterwatch 2021 kicks off on Tuesday 19th January (see our TV Guide for more shows to enjoy).

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress