Updated: 20 November 2015

As some of you may be aware WMSA member Jeremy Mitcheson, who is a very active flyer up ‘The Peak’, had been having conversations with the BBC about a project involving kestrels and our flying over the Mendip hills. From these conversations the idea was born to compare kestrels and our silent flying type of flying.  After some false starts due to weather conditions the day finally arrived for shooting, which was to be on 18th September 2015.

On that day, a few WMSA members (Peter Evans, Pat Teakle and Andrew Davey) met up with Jeremy in the car park and proceed on up to the top of the 'Razor'. A BBC crew were already there preparing for the filming of some kestrel scenes. The crew consisted of Patrick Aryee - presenter, Jo Avery - director, Mat Thomson and Mike Hutchinson - camera operators, Danny Carey - sound recordist, researcher - Billy Clarke, two kestrel handlers from North Somerset Bird of Prey Centre and a kestrel called Paris.  This part of the shooting involved Patrick Aryee introducing the kestrel and the link to our flying of gliders.

The next scenes to be shot involved flying gliders off the West slope. Much of these activities involved repeating the same things several times. For example, there would be a scene giving a distant shot of somebody flying a model and then that same person would have a close-up taken of transmitter knob twiddling. It also involved make innumerable passes with a glider in particular areas.

Unfortunately, during filming on the West slope, Jeremy was taken ill. After consulting with the emergency services, it was decided to evacuate him off the hill. This involved the Ambulance Service, Cheddar Fire Services and the Air Ambulance helicopter. Using a Land Rover, the Cheddar Fire people ferried a paramedic they had picked up on the road below to our position. This was quickly followed by the Air Ambulance helicopter, which landed on the ‘Cross Roads’. Diagnosis of Jeremy’s condition was carried and he was swiftly despatched to the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI). He is currently undergoing tests for his condition.

Update:  Great News! Jeremy was discharged from the BRI on 24th September 2015 and is now home.

Despite this setback it was decided to continue filming. Peter Evans stood in for Jeremy, informing Patrick Aryee about our club, what we do and how we use kestrels and other birds to understand where lift is. During filming on the west side there was plenty of kestrel and buzzard activity, which was filmed by the crew from the BBC.

Filming finally finished at about 17:30. This film article is due to be shown sometime in October so lookout for any information providing date and time of the product of our days’ work.

The title of the film to be shown on the One Show is 'Kestrels On The Edge', with a summary description of: 'A Somerset gliding club takes advantage of Crook Peak's strong air currents when flying their gliders. But the club's members share the airspace with a predator with unrivaled hovering skills. Patrick Aryee heads deep into the Mendips to learn more about a remarkable bird - the Kestrel.'

Update: This film was shown on BBC One Show, Thursday, 19th November and can now be viewed here.

 Photographs were taken during the day that can be viewed here.