Wild Britain with Ray Mears

River Wye

Series 3 - Episode 5 River Wye

Friday 6:30pm - 7pm Travel Channel
See Repeats
Saturday, 12:30am - 1am Travel Channel


Wildlife and survival expert Ray Mears always paddles his own canoe. This time he’s taking it down the River Wye in Wales, marvelling at the plethora of wildlife in and around it. Some are hardly exciting – ancient depressed river mussels have a brilliant name but frankly could be mistaken for pebbles. Others are extraordinary.

The eel-like sea lamprey, for instance, has an odd, sucker-like mouth that makes it look like an alien. “But they’ve been here since before the dinosaurs – so actually we’re the new kids on the block,” chuckles Ray. Also observed through the drizzle are water voles, sand martins and ringed plovers.


The survival expert takes a trip down the Wye, beginning in the Cambrian Mountains. He observes the mating behaviour of the sea lamprey and spots the varied birdlife along the river, including a colony of sand martins tending their young and all three species of British wagtail. He also meets Richard Davies, who has boosted water vole numbers in the area, and learns about Environment Agency scientist John Taylor's efforts to save the freshwater pearl mussel.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Ray Mears
Director Phil Coles
Executive Producer Petra Regent
Series Producer Hayley Smith