EP: 21 Night patrol – sensing nature’s secrets

Rhoda and Jay discuss searching for wildlife, people and big cats, by using tracking skills and senses, and thermal drones.

Jay describes a black panther seen against the bright landscape of China clay in Cornwall, and Rhoda reflects on skills learnt from her time with Kalahari bushmen.

You can also watch a shorter version of this episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=bxcSVqSI65Y&feature=emb_logo

Word of the week:   ecotone 

3 April 2020

EP20 Jupiter rising – jungle cat prowling

Craig recounts his time as a countryside ranger at Forfar Loch in Angus when he twice encountered a jungle cat. Several visitors also glimpsed the cat(s) and were more fascinated than fearful.

Rick the podcast host compares his experience seeing and hearing a jungle cat in Gloucestershire.

Word of the week:   meso predator 

22 March 2020

EP:19 Forest beasts and boar slayers

We join Alyn and Neil as they stake out the Forest of Dean and find a large wild boar carcass, eaten-out and despatched by a wild predator. They explain a recent big cat sighting through their thermal camera, describe cub sightings (check photo on the BCC web site), and discuss how tracking gets you closer to nature. 

Words of the week: diagonal walking

March 5  2020

EP:18 Panther chat in the pub – scary stories?

From a Forest of Dean pub four guests discuss their big cat encounters.

We hear from local residents Meri and Walter, Tim from Gloucester and James from Shropshire. They compare their different panther sightings and consider whether we should be fearful of these alpha predators in our woods… 

Word of the week:  Topography

21 February 2020

EP17: Bodmin Beasts – farming alongside the legends

John our first guest farms in Wiltshire where he lives alongside black panthers – they’ve been resting in his barn and strolling across pastures… 

Neil our second guest farms in Cornwall amongst local reports of big cats. He describes two past attacks on his ewes which show the hallmarks of a large cat. 

He now has trail cameras on his land and is alert to the prospect of a silent Bodmin Beast passing by. 

7 February 2020

Words of the week:  prey switching

EP:16 Scottish landmarks – big cat hideouts

Our guest Paul recounts his big cat encounters at Glenfinnan and then at Arthur’s Seat near the heart of Edinburgh, where the police also documented a big cat. Paul also re-lives his experience confronting a mountain lion in the Canadian Rockies.

Paul now investigates reports of big cats in the Scottish Borders and networks with local people to understand the nature of the cats.                                  

Word of the week:   naturalise

24 January 2020 

EP:15 Southern Spain’s stranded panther

Peter our guest explains the challenge of living with a freshly released black panther around his property in southern Spain. (An area which is not part of the Iberian lynx’s range).

As he realised a panther was making regular visits close to his home, Peter had to adapt to the animal itself, and the different views of his guests, local people, hunters and the police… 

Words of the week:   Xeric,  Xerocole

13 January 2020

EP:14 The mystique of the panther – sculptural connections

Cumbrian sculptor Shawn Williamson recounts his view of a panther spooking deer in the back lanes of the Lake District. He explains how panthers and big cats inspire some of his sculpture making.

Rick and Shawn also discuss people’s elemental connections with wildlife including big cats and even the Tasmanian wolf or Thylacine, which itself has a historical link with Cumbria, as Shawn explains.

Words of the week: General Impression of Size and Shape (GISS)

28 December 2019

EP:13 Lincolnshire – Cats of all sizes

Lincolnshire witnesses Wendy and Angela discuss the quandary of spreading the word about local big cats amongst sceptical neighbours.  

Wendy was growled at by a puma when she disturbed it stalking feral cats. Her friend Angela is 12 miles away and has encountered black big cats, seeing a mother and young one night. 

Word of the week:   Feral

15 December 2019

EP:12 Secret lynx & soft rewilding

Our guest Peter Taylor suggests that rewilding helps nature and the human soul. He meets Rick at Wild Place, a new outpost of Bristol Zoo. Here brown bears, wolves and lynx can be viewed in a British woodland setting. 

Peter considers how Eurasian lynx could be re-introduced in Britain but only with support from local communities. Rick and Peter note that spontaneous rewilding has already happened in parts of Britain where large cats are a hidden part of the ecosystem.     

Watch the video version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qseZzVejfyM

Words of the week:   Intra-guild predation 

1 December 2019