The Great British Year


Series 1 - Episode 1 Winter



Narrator Joseph Fiennes tells us: “We are an island nation…an extraordinary land” at the start of this pretty documentary about Britain in winter. He even claims: “We are all in this together” as the chilly season clasps the nation’s humans and animals in its grip. Or “as the giant white duvet covers the landscape.” He means snow.

It’s packed with some breathtaking time-lapse photography – my favourite is the plough turning over a field in record time – as we see a watchful barn owl pinpointing them grabbing a vole hidden beneath the snow. Really, though The Great British Year is little more than a series of moving postcards setting out the picturesque glories of a British winter. It’s all rather sweet and restful, and there’s a mini Making of documentary at the end.


Documentary following British wildlife through the seasons, beginning on New Year's Day, with the landscape in the grip of winter. Time-lapse photography shows a magical country shrouded in frost and swirling mist, while water becomes the enemy as the creatures must cope with ice. Red squirrels resort to subterfuge, kites track a farmer's plough to get at the worms beneath the frost, and as winter fades adders bask in the sun and the woodland floor erupts with snowdrops.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Joseph Fiennes
Executive Producer Mike Gunton
Series Producer James Brickell