DORSET’S wildlife will once again star on national TV as acclaimed film-maker Simon King returns with his cameras.

The wildlife cameraman has announced he will be based in the county to film for the BBC’s popular Springwatch, starting on May 31.

Known for his Big Cat Diary and the recent A Year in Shetland as well as his Autumnwatch and Springwatch films, he and the outside broadcast unit will be highlighting the county’s reptiles, birds and beasts.

Location details are not being released as the crew wants to minimise disturbance for filming in the wild, but the BBC is promising to get close to a wide range of Dorset habitats and wildlife.

“We’re delighted to welcome Simon and Springwatch to Dorset and to have the chance to show off some of the secrets of this beautiful and exceptionally diverse county,” said Nicky Hoar, communications officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Around four million viewers a night are likely to thrill to the sights and sounds of the likes of Poole Harbour’s wildlife and the reserves maintained by the trust and the RSPB.

“The RSPB are looking forward to working with the Springwatch team when they visit Dorset for this year’s series,” said spokesman Tony Whitehead.

“They will be making the most of RSPB reserves in the county and hopefully getting some excellent footage of some of Dorset’s unique wildlife.

“It’s particularly pleasing they’ve chosen Dorset in this, the International Year of Biodiversity, because the county is one of the most bio-diverse in the UK, and we hope the programmes really help reflect this.”

Two years ago Autumnwatch was presented from the National Trust’s Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, by Bill Oddie and Kate Humble, with Simon King touring around in search of seahorses, deer and the red squirrels who stole the show.

While Simon tours the estuaries, heaths and woodland, presenters Kate Humble and Chris Packham will be hosting the third season from the Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Norfolk.

Springwatch starts on Monday, May 31, at 8pm on BBC2 and will be broadcast Monday to Thursday each week until June 17.