A new BBC documentary will show extraordinary footage of Britain’s butterflies.
Footage allows viewers to get up-close-and-personal with a chrysalis that resembles an alien spaceship and a peacock butterfly hissing like a snake at a predator mouse.
Butterflies: A Very British Obsession was shot over an 18 month period and will show butterflies in a new light which is likely to surprise many viewers. It documents a number of eccentric British collectors, conservationists and artists who have taken inspiration from Britain’s 59 different species of butterfly. Time lapse photography shows the transformation from caterpillars which can be as small as a pin head to garish and at times aggressive butterflies.
The documentary was a project by Mark Payne-Gill who has been interested in butterflies since he collected caterpillars as a child. He has worked as a wildlife cameraman for the last 20 years and finally returned to his love last summer when he spend month travelling through mountains and meadows seeking out the rarest of butterflies.
Payne enlisted the help of Matthew Oates, an advisor for the National Trust to help with the difficult task of getting close to the butterflies. He had to abandon his HD camera because it was unable to shoot slowly enough and instead shot the documentary using his old film camera which could shoot 150 frames per second, slowing the speed down by 6 times.