THE spotlight will turn on 63,000 hectares of English woodland tonight as a new four-part television series begins.

The Secret Life of the Forest airs on Channel 5 at 7pm today and will tell the story of the people, wildlife, and nature of Kielder Forest, in Northumberland. 

Filmed over the course of a year, producers were given behind the scenes access to one of the largest man-made forests in Northern Europe after Forestry England, which manages Kielder, celebrated its centenary year in 2019.

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Tonight's episode, which is narrated by Hugh Bonneville, explores the greenspace in spring and promises to take viewers inside a 'stunning' and 'underappreciated' part of the British countryside, revealing the secrets of the forest.

Alex Maclennan, recreation and public affairs manager at Forestry England, said: “It’s the first time we’ve worked with a production company on this kind of multi-episode in-depth series. 

Forestry Journal: Hugh Bonneville will narrate the series Hugh Bonneville will narrate the series

"We were able to capture all aspects of Kielder over a full year as it changes through the seasons, with forest wildlife awakening in spring, through high summer and autumn and into the grip of winter. 


"Some of the footage is absolutely incredible. All of us who work here are incredibly proud of what’s been achieved since the first trees were planted almost 100 years ago. It’s been a privilege conveying some of this passion on the small screen.”