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Win a BBC Atlas of the Natural World DVD set!

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

The Ranger isn’t a great watcher of the television. But one of the very few programmes in the last few years that persuaded him to join the rest of the country in gawping at was the David Attenborough masterpiece Life in the Undergrowth. Since those early days of Life on Earth in 1979 no television viewer who really enjoys the natural world can have willingly missed any of the BBC Natural History Unit studies of our planet and the life upon it.

BBC Atlas of the Natural World

Now Naturenet is offering you the chance to win a six-DVD set of some of the finest that the BBC’s Natural History Unit can offer, with four full series including every episode of Attenborough’s sublime Life in The Freezer. The Ranger has two copies of the first BBC Atlas of the Natural World, a six-DVD set not yet on release in the UK. How to enter There are two ways to win, because The Ranger has got two lovely shiny copies of this marvellous DVD to hand out. Sorry, the competition is closed, you’re too late!

Your natural world story Yes, your tale of the natural world could win you a DVD worth

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

11 thoughts on “Win a BBC Atlas of the Natural World DVD set!

  • Donthaveone

    i cnt find anything on this website it is rubbish

  • Oi Got Me Comeuppance…

    When I was eight or so I went on holiday with my family to the Wye valley. I was exactly the type of obnoxious pain in the arse I now find so annoying and one day as we were cycling along the top of the valley I kept rushing forwards, barging past people and being loud and annoying. It was extremely hot, and so I was only wearing a very small pair of typically 1970’s shorts with a union jack on them. I think that combination explained the reaction of my beloved family when the skinny little union-jacked arse bobbing up and down as I pedalled ahead suddenly vanished, as I hit a root, or rock or something. They didn’t see me as I plunged down the valley sides, mainly naked remember, getting thrashed all over by the freakishly large stinging nettles which grew there, before landing in a heap at the bottom. As I looked up all I could see was a row of 7 faces looking down laughing hysterically. Bizarrely enough after this event I became fascinated by botany. And sado-masochism of course…

  • Bugger me! I’m new to all this blogmalarky. My one’s rubbish! But this one is very good indeed.

  • Heather Crombie


    During my lunchbreak I left the stuffiness of the office and went to the park for a sandwich. I bought some groceries on the way, and settled on a bench under a beech tree to enjoy some fresh air and tranquility. I noticed a grey squirrel staring up at me, and greeted him with a friendly “hello”. He jumped up onto the bench next to me, fixed me with a meaningful stare and leapt into my shopping bag. He then proceeded to fling out pieces of my shopping he deemed unworthy, batting away my hands irritably when I tried to intervene. He would not listen to reason. All my “steady on, now” and “there’s no need for this” fell on deaf ears. Actually, it fell on the uncomprehending ears of several passers-by who seemed intrigued enough but did not stop to assist me in my plight. Eventually I hit on a cunning plan. I waved my sandwich bag at the diminutive artful dodger, and, thus distracted, he abandoned my shopping for a moment. In that time, quick as a flash, I ripped open a packet of high-baked water biscuits. When my assailant returned his attentions to my shopping, I offered him half a biscuit. He took it, snatched the other half from my limp hand and ran off into the bushes with his loot.

    I don’t think I could identify him in a line-up but perhaps a reconstruction of this event would jog peoples’ memories.

  • Flower shop delivery

    It’s a very enlightening comptetion. I’m sure the farmers or archeologist or environmentialist will win and take the prize. Hehehe. They really deserve it. A good opportunity for them. But not for an indoor person like me. I can only dream about relishing myself in nature’s lap.

  • The Virtual Ranger

    That’s a little bit over your 250 word limit, Dave, but what a great story. If you want it to count for the competition you’ll have to edit it down, sorry!

  • David Larkin

    When I visited Slovenia on a course organised jointly between Birkbeck University and Ljubljana University I got to discussing what dreams we would like to fulfil with the Sovenian Professor. I mentioned that I would like to see a bear in the wild, and he said that he couldn’t arrange it as part of the course, but if I came back to Slovenia, he could arrange it.
    A few months later my wife (then to be) and I arrived at the petrol station on the outskirts of a small town in the south of the country where we had arranged to meet our contact. Before long a pickup drew up driven by a man in his fifties, dressed in dull greens and brown. He indicated that we should follow him and drove off. We followed, leaving the main road before long on a dirt track into the forest, where we were able to see little other than the dust of the pickup in front. After a long drive we pulled up outside an isolated hunting lodge. A woman met us and showed us our room where we dropped off our stuff before joining her and the man downstairs where after trying to ascertain when the hunter would meet us and failing we lapsed into silence and sat waiting, our Slovenian and German being as non existent as their English.
    Around six o’clock the man suddenly lept into activity ushering us into the pickup, as it turned out he was the hunter we had come to meet. He drove us deeper into the forest, eventually pulling up at the side of the track and taking us to a high seat (a sort of viewing platform in a tree used by hunters to watch their quarry without giving their presence away). He climbed the ladder and unlocked the door to let us in. Once we were settled on the padded seat he opened the window to let in the sounds of the night. We dared not speak for fear of alerting any animals to our presence. Around six hours later we had seen a fox and a wild boar (just about visible in the gloom) when our guide decided we should call it a day (or night).
    The next morning we were exhausted and were thinking of abandoning our mission, but the hunter assured us that if we stayed another night he would take to a different site where we would be sure to see a bear, so we set of to explore the local cave system (a world heritage site) returning in the evening ready to try again. This time the hunter took us to a different part of the forest, and as we were walking towards the high seat told us that as this one was not large enough for all of us he would be back to collect us around midnight! When we got to the high seat it was a primitive affair, built out of split logs with a bit of corrugated iron for a roof. No door and no windows and you could see between the logs making up the floor to the ground about 30ft below!
    We settled in (unable to hear any sound of human activity only the sounds of the forest) and watched the jays coming down for the maize the hunter had left in the open patch in front of the hide. After a while a red squirrel came as well, followed by a wild boar, and it wasn’t even dark yet! After a while the boar seemed a bit nervous, the reason being that a bear had entered the clearing. Although a two or three year old rather than a full grown bear he was still big enough to make the boar wary. For a while they both eat the maize, about 15ft from each other, occasionally spooking each other, before wandering off when they had had enough. This was in full daylight, and as dusk fell we were treated to a view of a family of wild boar complete with piglets. Things then quietened down a bit until we heard something crashing through the forest behind us coming directly towards the ladder at the bottom of the hide. Luckily the hunter had leant us his night vision binoculars and we were able to see that it was a pair of badgers, not another bear come looking for a meat dish. Shortly before midnight we agian heard something coming our way, this time though we could tell it was the return of the hunter by the accompanying light weaving its way through the trees.
    Watching the bear only about 100ft from us was a thrilling experience, especially being on our own in the forest. I do think the first night was a test though, to see if we could hack it up a tree for six hours, before he took us to the area where he knew the bears was. Why? well the hunter had his gun when he came to collect us the second night!

  • Jan Phillips

    For years I had been set on developing my large rural garden to attract wildlife. One day while sitting at a picnic bench, I could see a commotion at the end of the garden under a roll of old carpet I was throwing out. It was a female stoat and her brood, playing, fighting, running rings around each other. I froze – they made their way, rolling and tumbling, towards the young hedge opposite me where they rang rings around the top of the flower pots stored there-and then it happened, one young stoat left the rest, lolloped towards me, put it’s feet on my shoes, took hold of my jeans— and ran up my leg!Something , perhaps my human scent, made it think twice, turn, and without panic, run back to the family.
    Another young un went up the back door steps to the house, looked in the kitchen, sniffed the air and left. Mother then gathered them all up and they made their way down the lane on their big adventure. I breathed at last— I’ve arrived! My garden works!

  • oldmanrich

    Its dark. I peer out of my tent. The strange cries of the hyenas have been sending shivers up my spine. The fire burns low. The boys who are meant to be stoking it have withdrawn to the roof of the truck to smoke weed. Occasional hyenas run between the tents, casting strange shadows in the dying firelight. And I need to pee. Real Bad.
    It has been 10 minutes since anything moved. The darkness is silent. I slowly unzip my tent. I walk through the strange quiet, just a few foot out of the camp, and aim into the night. A torch blazes out from the truck roof. There in front of me, just a few yards away, is a line of eyes. Ten, maybe twenty pairs of eyes. Reflecting fluorescent green in the torchlight. Glowing. Staring at me. And I cannot pee. And I cannot move. And a stoned voice calls out from the truck roof’hey, Rich, your gonna die’.
    It seems like a lifetime. I stand there, vulnerable parts in hand. Frozen. The torch plays back and forth along the line of green eyes. Suspended in the inky night. Unblinking. Its deadly still. Just some strange giggling from the truck roof. And my deafening heartbeat. Then their is a distant roar. And something dies noisily in the night. As one the eyes turn away. I back slowly to my tent and edge in. Feeling somehow safe inside the thin canvas shell. And strangely elated.

  • oldmanrich

    Old man rich has a blog that links to the ranger. Its mainly stuff & nonsense. odd rants. gardening tips. whatever takes my fancy. And I have no idea why I like the rangers blog. But I do.


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