OU on the BBC: I Bought a Rainforest

From poisonous snakes to flesh eating diseases, these are only part of the problems Charlie encounters during his jungle adventure. Explore more about the series and challenges facing the Amazon.

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

  • Updated Thursday 22nd May 2014
  • Posted under TV
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Copyrighted image Copyright: Charlie Hamilton James Wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton James has just bought 100 acres of the Peruvian Amazon … without even looking at it first. He plans to spend a year photographing the animals on his land, before launching a campaign to protect more of the forest. But it turns out buying a piece of land over the phone isn’t such a great idea.

Over three programmes Charlie discovers that the problems facing the Amazon are now all on his doorstep - the drug trade, illegal gold mining, logging and poverty.  In order to make the right decisions about his land he needs to understand these problems. He sets out to learn more by living and working with the local people and begins to realise that the way to help preserve the rainforest is not to buy it up, but to engage with the people, and to work with them rather than against them.

Intercut with Charlie’s photographs of wildlife and the people he meets during his stay, this is a jungle adventure that takes in everything from poisonous snakes and hallucinogenic shamanic brews to flesh eating diseases. Along the way, Charlie's wife Philippa Forrester comes out to check on his progress. The question is, what will Charlie decide to do with his land.

Watch the series on BBC Two

I Bought a Rainforest is on Sunday evening at 8pm, starting on 1 June 2014. To revisit the topics and issues covered in the series, you can explore the digital forest specifically produced for the TV series. For more information about the series and full broadcast schedule please visit the BBC website. Information on each episode will appear below.