The BBC’s Springwatch is a cultural institution in the UK, showcasing the extraordinary but often overlooked wildlife of these crumbling isles with warts ‘n all realism (i.e. lots of baby Blue Tits getting munched).

Biologist Gillian Burke has for three years been at the heart of the show’s presenting team, earning the nation’s affection for her passion and powers of communication as much as for her unblinking resolve in the face of uncooperative protagonists and innuendo-tastic co-presenters.

Gillian is also a Black woman in an industry – conservation, nature TV and the environment movement as a whole – notable for its woeful lack of representation of people of colour.

In a longer-than-usual episode, we hear Gillian’s reflections on why those banging on about the planet – the Babble very much included – present so little ethnic diversity, and on the extraordinary Spring of 2020, a period that will surely be remembered for the elevation of racial injustice laid bare by George Floyd’s killing and the Black Lives Matter protests, and when millions took solace in the natural world as the global pandemic raged.

Sustainababble is your friendly environment podcast, out weekly. Theme music by the legendary Dicky Moore – @dickymoo. Sustainababble logo by the splendid Arthur Stovell. Ecoguff read out by Arabella.

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