Jimmy Doherty Jimmy's Forest Credit: Steve Meddle/Shutterstock

Jimmy’s Forest viewers divided over farmer’s new nature programme

Some called it 'unecessary' and 'brutal'

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Jimmy’s Forest saw farmer Jimmy Doherty explore Britain’s woods throughout the course of a year.

The series, shot in 2012, sees the country boy and farmer, who admits he’s “passionate about natural history”, head to a pristine Norfolk wood to chart its seasonal transformation. The show began with spring.

He explores the pleasures and the challenges of the forest all from high up in a tree house, equipped with its own suspended walkways, zip wire, and science lab.

Jimmy Doherty on Jimmy's Forest Channel 4
Jimmy’s Forest investigated what goes on in spring (Credit: Channel 4)

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The presenter is joined by friends and experts to make new discoveries and create experiments to understand the inner workings of a British forest.

Last night’s spring episode (Sunday, July 6) saw him learn how to get a drink straight from a tree, get to grips with a woodpecker, squabble with squirrels and make roadkill badger ham.

It all sounds very lovely, but in fact there were some gruesome scenes that left viewers rather upset.

The first gruesome moment in Jimmy’s Forest

Jimmy's Forest woodpecker Channel 4
The woodpecker segment didn’t impress many (Credit: Channel 4)

The first upsetting segment came when Jimmy was investigating woodpeckers and their brains. He revealed he’d managed to get his hands on a dead one and was going to dissect it, even admitting himself he had to do something “a little bit gruesome”.

He cut open the woodpecker’s head and started tapping on its skull. Jimmy then boiled the skull to make it easier to crack open, which is exactly what he did to expose the brain.

Viewers were also upset over the huge tags clipped into the ears of deer by a research team, as well as Jimmy’s cooked badger roadkill. He also squashed some catepillars.

What did fans say?

Many were really unhappy with the viewing, having tuned in thinking it was a normal nature documentary.

They accused him of being a ‘brute’ and said it was ‘cruel and unnecessary murder’.

Some loved Jimmy’s Forest

However, not everyone found the scenes upsetting.

Some said it was very insightful and ‘we need more’ of the ‘mesmerising’ show.

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The next episode, set to air on Sunday, July 12, will focus on summertime.

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