Secret Life of the Forest: Yorkshire's only beavers to feature in new Channel 5 series filmed at Dalby and Cropton

Yorkshire’s only beaver colony will feature in a new Channel 5 series filmed in their forest home.

Secret Life of the Forest, which first aired in 2020 set in Kielder in Northumberland, returns this month for a second series filmed at Dalby, Cropton and Langdale forests in Yorkshire – all Forestry England sites in the North York Moors National Park.

The eight episodes feature the wildlife living in each plantation – including the beaver family established when a breeding pair were relocated from Scotland to Cropton, near Pickering, in 2019. They live in a special enclosure with no public access on the former shooting estate.

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Filming took place in the summer of 2022 and the eight episodes are narrated by actor Robert Lindsay. Turtle doves, Exmoor ponies and rare species of insect all feature.

Staindale Lake at Dalby ForestStaindale Lake at Dalby Forest
Staindale Lake at Dalby Forest

Dalby is an ancient hunting forest purchased for the nation in 1921, and it now has a stargazing reserve and visitor trails as well as a commercial timber operation.

Cropton and Langdale are smaller sites, with Cropton previously part of the Keldy Castle estate once owned by Hull manufacturing dynasty the Reckitts.

Forestry England’s Yorkshire district management director Gareth Parry said: “Secret Life of the Forest will show that Dalby and our surrounding forests are full

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of life – and no longer a secret! We’re delighted to tell our story to wider audiences, deepening the public’s understanding of the work we do and supporting

the regional visitor economy.

“This series has only been possible through hard work and participation by our staff and volunteers. They built a collaborative relationship with the ITN Productions

team to ensure they worked safely and seamlessly alongside our busy forest operations, giving an immersive viewing experience in the programmes.”

Secret Life of the Forest series two launches at 8pm on Wednesday 15 February.