David Attenborough’s new show will aim to change public understanding of ecosystems

Sir David Attenborough has said he hopes his latest documentary series, The Green Planet, will “bring back” the importance of plants to the public.

The veteran broadcaster, 95, said people’s understanding of plants and their ecosystems hadn’t “keep up” and he was aiming to change that.

The new series from the BBC’s Natural History Unit uses revolutionary filming techniques to show viewers the complex life of plants and the ecosystems that thrive around them.

Sir David said: “The world has suddenly become aware of plants. There has been a revolution in global attitudes towards the natural world in my lifetime.

“An awakening awareness of the importance of the natural world to all of us.

“A realization that we would starve without plants. And we literally couldn’t breathe without plants.

“The world is green. It’s an apt name, and yet people’s understanding of plants hasn’t followed that. I think that will bring him home.

The series comes 26 years after Sir David’s The Private Life Of Plants aired on BBC One in 1995.

He said: “The thing that’s really new is that whereas in The Privacy of Plants you were stuck with all this very heavy primitive equipment to do it in one place, we’ve now grasped the issues techniques.

“You can take it anywhere.”

The series also illustrates the ways plants can be just as aggressive as animals.

Describing their behaviour, Sir David said: ‘Plants fight, plants strangle each other and you can actually see that happening.

“You suddenly see a plant coming out of a tendril. Now you know he can’t really see so you can see him trying to find his victim and when he touches the victim he quickly rolls them up and chokes them. It’s a pretty tough thing.

“The world depends on plants. Every breath of air we take and every bite of food we eat depends on plants.

“It’s about a parallel world that exists alongside us and is the basis of our own lives that we’ve paid little attention to over the years.”

The second episode of The Green Planet, Water Worlds, airs on BBC One at 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 16.