During research for 2018's Autumnwatch, BBC producer Lucy Bowden visited the Squam Lakes Natural Science Centre.

Squam Lake is a beautiful spot in New Hampshire, flanked by woodland, ponds and meadows, but it also has serious scientific credentials and staff with a deep knowledge of local wildlife.

The centre's team is led by a Scot, Ian Macleod, who has lived in the region for over 30 years and is even a 'Watches' fan.

The centre is also an education institute; as part of this work it takes in an rehabilitates native animals, working with them to educate visitors about the wonderful creatures that live in the woods.

One such temporary resident was a porcupine - and it stole Lucy's heart.

One lunchtime she had the pleasure of feeding him his daily banana - and the video of that moment has become legendary in the 'Watches' office, the soft nasal bleats he emits as he tucks in softening the hardest of scientific hearts.

Find out more about this year's Autumnwatch in our feature by series producer Chris Howard, in our October 2018 issue (on sale from 26 September).


Megan ShersbyNaturalist, writer and content creator