One night in the Derbyshire Peak District, Billy our guest had some unexpected company as he did his rail-line inspection.
Billy also explains why big cats might find railway lines convenient for food supply and for travel routes.
Word of the week: ABCs
19 December 2020
Annie re-lives several close encounters with a panther in Somerset in a nearby quarry in 1993 – a reminder that big cats were experienced many years past, and close to where similar reports happen now.
Annie now lives in southern Ireland and briefly considers big cat reports across the republic and Northern Ireland.
Word of the week: chatoyant
5 December 2020
Tim was amazed to see a black panther in fields neighbouring his house in Berkshire in 2020 – he’d previously seen one on Salisbury Plain in 2004, while our second guest Maria watched a tan coloured puma carrying a rabbit in its mouth in Gloucestershire, then sensed it lurking in the dark and spooking her dogs, in July 2020.
Both guests explain setting up trail cameras in the hope of filming the cats they encountered.
Words of the week: green bridges
21 November 2020
David Hetherington, author of The Lynx and Us, re-lives the moment he was watched by a lynx in Switzerland and explains how the vivid wildlife and lynx photographs for his book were captured by Laurent Geslin. He considers when the lynx died out in the past in Britain and discusses how lynx reintroduction projects have been carried out in parts of Europe.
7 November 2020
Word of the week: lucerve
Maria in Cornwall saw a lynx leap away in her woodland, while Rob in Gloucestershire drove past a lynx walking along a roadside ditch – both our guests explain how these encounters changed their view of the British countryside.
30 October 2020
Word of the week: stochastic
Matt Jones explains the challenge of filming large cats in Devon and Cornwall with trail cameras – one of his photos is discussed in the coming documentary Britain’s Big Cat Mystery, and we also hear of his sighting of a panther-like cat in October 2020.
17 October 2020
Word of the week: pardus
We hear from Amy-Louise who did an emergency stop to avoid hitting a large unusual puma when driving in Hampshire, and then from Joel who was shocked to see a tall black cat in reed beds near Hastings – Joel contrasts his sighting with a wild puma he witnessed in Texas.
Words of the week: landscape connectivity
2 October 2020
Our first guest Paul watched a black panther in Essex for 15 minutes in August, struggling to take photos at dusk – we then visit Exmoor Zoo’s black leopards, and hear why local police sometimes ask if they’ve escaped.
Words of the week: chuffing and prusten
18 September 2020
In our first half David Anthony Starkey explains how glimpsing a big cat in south Wales led to his new novel about British black panthers – in the second half we feature Red in Tooth and Claw, a play about big cats in Britain by Simon Bovey, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Words of the week: art represents reality
2 September 2020
We speak to Lord Tyler who called for the 1995 government study on potential big cats in the Bodmin area, and to Eric Ley about sheep predation on his Exmoor farm in 1983 and the community’s response, which started the Exmoor Beast legend.
Word of the week: cat nip
20 August 2020