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Drilline on BBC Springwatch Programme

For many years now Drilline Products has supported the activities and the visions of the UKSTT, many leads that come into the Society are for project related ventures.  With this in mind I was a little surprised when I received a call from the Chair of the Membership Committee staying that the production editor from the BBC Springwatch programme had been in touch.  Apparently Chris Packham, honorary patron of the UKSTT, had contacted the Springwatch editor and requested that they try and use one of our trenchless technologies, ground penetrating radar, to locate and map badger tunnels and chambers during one of the episodes in this year’s schedule.


We immediately took up the challenge and decided to try out our new Opera DUO GPR system and put it through its paces. As the results were being broadcast on national television in front of around 10 million viewers, we decided to do a test run.  With the authority of the RSPB Minsmere head warden we turned up one lovely sunny morning to assess, plot out and finally map the area in which the badgers were located.  The surface ground was awful however the below surface was sand which is particularly favourable for GPR.  


Drilline together with the new IDS Opera DUO was invited to appear on the BBC Springwatch Programme.  Through an enquiry from the UKSTT and a personal invitation from the host presenter Chris Packham Drilline was asked to locate and map a set of badger tunnels and chambers at the RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk.


After a hard day collecting data and filming with the BBC outside broadcast team, we returned with the raw data back to the office.  The confidence was high for some excellent results because the ground was predominantly sand although the actual surface was poor to acquire the data.  After running it through the IDS post-processing software we can up with some incredible results.  We located several tunnels that linked to sleeping/living chambers with one chamber located underneath another.


The BBC took our findings from the software and created a fantastic 3D rotation image of the subsurface which the badgers were living in.


Follow the link below to watch the episode on You Tube, starts around 4.30 mins into the clip: