This coming week Ray Mears, the famous woodsman, instructor, businessman and author will be presenting the first in a new series of seven half-hour programmes.
It will be called Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears. In Scotland, ITV will be screening it at half past nine on a Sunday morning whereas most of the country will be seeing it in the slot sandwiched between the two Friday night episodes of Coronation Street.
This series features Ray going into the Australia outback to see the people and animals who live in one of our planet’s last great areas of wilderness. During the course of the series Ray learns how they have learned to survive there.
Across the series he will be going to various regions of Australia and spending his time going underwater, going up mountains and visiting pre-historic forests.
In the first programme Ray gets to dive into the longest fringing coral reef in the world. While he is there he meets a massive white shark which is the world’s biggest fish. This shark is not quite as large as a megalodon, which was an ancient shark which was the size of a double decker bus. In the cliffs near the reef Ray uncovers the fossilized teeth of a megalodon.
Throughout the series Ray will be encountering strange and unusual sights. These will include an encounter with 50,000 flying fox bats; various giant lizards and crocodiles; the quokka, a giant oyster and an echidna - an ancient species which seems to be a bridge between a reptile and a mammal.
As well as all the interesting animals Ray also encounters some fascinating groups of people including one who have an important lesson for us all about how it is possible for human beings to live in partnership with the land, rather than just exploiting it.