What is an osprey? Also called a sea hawk, river hawk or fish hawk – this bird is more than just a pretty face. Found on all continents except Antarctica, this gangly-eyed raptor has a penchant for surviving. But what does it have to do with reality TV?

The Bridge marks James McAvoy’s first foray into unscripted TV voice work. During five episodes, viewers will watch 12 contestants compete to build a path across a Welsh lake in 20 days. The prize money? £100,000.

The reality competition show, commissioned for Channel 4 by Handley and Harris, won’t reach our screens for some months – but it has already ruffled a few feathers.

Allegedly, while filming in Llyn Brenig reservoir, near Snowdonia in northern Wales, a noisy drone and the use of flares frightened three resident ospreys. The birds – two adults and their chick – fled the scene, with only two of them seen since.

As there are only five breeding pairs of ospreys in Wales, this came as a scare to locals. It is a criminal offence to disturb ospreys as they are a protected species in the UK. They went extinct in England in 1840 and in Scotland in 1916 but remain in Wales.

The North Wales Rural Crime Unit opened an investigation in August but the initial ruling was no crime had been committed.

However, the North Wales Wildlife Trust recently submitted new evidence, causing the investigation to be reopened. A spokesman at the reserve suggested one of the adults had migrated.

There are 250 lakes in Snowdonia. Ospreys, which are exclusively fish-eaters, nest at five of them. Were the necessary wildlife safety checks carried out before filming began?

Is it time to get the X-Men on the case?

Related Topics