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Interview with Mike Dilger Part 1

5 Apr 2019


Nature and wildlife expert Mike Dilger is making a guest appearance at the Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2019.

The One Show wildlife reporter first became a household name on Britain’s Wild Invaders in 2000 and TV work has included Nature’s Top 40, Wild Gardens, The Nature of Britain and Nature’s Calendar. He is the author and co-author of numerous books, including Nature’s Babies, and his most recent book, Wildlife in your Garden.

We caught up with Mike for a chat ahead of his visit to Pensthorpe…

Do you know Norfolk well and have you got any connections with the area?

I volunteered as a warden at RSPB Titchwell Marsh for six months in 1990 so know the area well, and other sites like Cley and Cromer. I have also filmed at Pensthorpe for Inside Out for the Operation Turtle Dove project and have also visited as a punter too. Norfolk really is the most amazing county for birds, so I am really looking forward to my visit in May. We also have friends in Holt.

What are you most looking forward to about the Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair?

Norfolk is a great location and May is the perfect time of year to hold a Bird Fair! I am also looking forward to meeting everyone, and seeing the grounds at Pensthorpe and hearing more about its work and breeding programmes. 

What are you covering in “The Trials and Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter” talk at Pensthorpe?

Everything you have been afraid to ask a wildlife presenter in a 45 minute talk! I cover how I got into wildlife and how I got on television. There will be anecdotes from my time in the tropics, The One Show anecdotes and lots of laughs, and is a talk for the whole family.

Have you got a top tip for people who want to get more wildlife in their gardens?

The main thing is to just add water. Even if you have no pond, just put an old washing up bowl in your garden and sink it into the ground and put water in it. I have seen frogs living in kettles in gardens, and it will allow dragonflies and birds to bath, mammals to drink from it, and will help you make your own wetland.

What is your favourite bird or mammal?

My favourite bird is a bullfinch and is a bird that people can spot in their gardens. In fact in my wife’s wedding ring we have had our favourite birds names engraved with a bullfinch for me, a jay for my wife and a robin for my son. The bullfinch has the most beautiful song and is a bird that always leaves you wanting more.


The second part of Mike’s interview will be published next week.