Wild France with Ray Mears
Wild France with Ray Mears is a six-part travel documentary hosted by Ray Mears, exploring the geography, flora and fauna of six dramatic French landscapes. The high mountain ranges of the Alps, the coastal waters of the Brittany, the chestnut forests of the Cevnnes, the caves and gorges of the Ardeche, the wetlands of Camargue and the rolling lavender plains of Provence's unique maquis landscape. Across the series Ray explores the dramatic physical geography of each region; its topography, its climate and its extreme weather conditions. He tracks down and identifies the key wildlife species that live there and how they have adapted. He introduces us to animals with an ancient history with the land such as wolves and vultures as well as more unexpected and exotic wildlife such as pink flamingos and dolphins.
Episode 1 - The Vanoise
Ray Mears visits The Vanoise National Park in the high Alps. Here he meets local goat herder Audrey who enlists his help moving her goats up to summer pastures. He explores the seasonal nature of the mountain and how humans and wildlife have adapted to the altitude and extremes of weather.
Episode 2 - The Ardeche
Ray Mears travels to the Ardeche, where miles of gorge and limestone cliffs characterise the region. He discovers a cave with a long history in the area and is given special permission to abseil in through the original sky facing entrance.
Episode 3 - The Camargue
This Camargue is a vast wetland which includes ancient salt pans, huge expanses of river delta, inland salt-water lakes, and reed beds. Ray Mears travel to meet the French cowboys the 'gardians' who've made it their home.
Episode 4 - The Cevennes
Ray Mears visits The Cevennes National Park, one of the most uninhabited regions in France. He travels deep into the Chestnut forest to meet Laurent, a local farmer whose family have grown chestnut trees for generations.
Episode 5 - Provence
The hills of Provence in Southern France are loved for their ancient olive groves and lavender fields. But this is also where a very special scrub-land known as the Maquis or the Garrigue is found.
Episode 6 - Brittany
Ray visits the rugged West Coast of Brittany. He heads out by boat to discover the nearby islands. On his journey he gets up close to bottlenose dolphins when they come swimming up to his boat.
This is a BBC nature documentary series looking at the events which have shaped the natural history and wildlife of the European continent over the past three billion years.
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