The BBC’s Natural History Unit in Bristol has been at the forefront of bringing the Natural world to our homes for 63 years. The story of the Unit begins in the late 1940’s when an enthusiastic younger producer Desmond Hawkins was thinking about how he could translate his love of wildlife and birds to the general public via radio. He was based in the West, so he had more access to sites than another. The Naturalist was his first creation and it set about the formation of a lifelong work dedicated to bringing the natural world and awareness of it to a wider audience. It was an intimate programme that proved instantly popular.
When established as head of the West region Hawkins set about creating a specialist unit to create nature programmed. One of the first was a broadcast from Slimbridge in Gloucestershire just up the road from Broadcasting house in Bristol. Soon after the programme Look was developed and hosted by Slimbridges’ founder Peter Scott.
Frank Gillard and Tony Soper soon followed as the Unit took over all of the major natural history work. Initially they struggled for stock footage as most of it was only recorded by amateurs with less than adequate equipment. This soon changed as a team of professional cameramen and photographers were employed to get out there and start filming. This has created a wealth of film footage that it is considered one of the foremost producers of nature programmes on the planet.
People travel from all over the Country to visit Bristol for its tourist attractions and businesses like this Bristol Garage Door Company, and the surrounding areas and as such the house prices have increased significantly since the 1940’s perhaps somewhat thanks to the clever and imaginative people of Bristol. .