Next Episode of Countryfile is
Season 28 / Episode 50 and airs on 11 December 2016 18:20
The people, places and stories making news in the British countryside.
Helen Skelton is on a cycle ride across northern France to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of the Somme. She finds out about the brave cycling battalions that travelled from many parts of rural Britain, to fight there. Helen also meets fellow riders to hear their personal reasons for taking on the cycling challenge. Plus a look back through the Countryfile archives to the times Britain's countryside connections to war and the role of nature in remembrance and rehabilitation were explored. John Craven reveals the role of the humble tractor in the development of the tank, Ellie Harrison experiences the tranquillity of the National Memorial Arboretum and Jules Hudson witnesses the impact of the outdoors on one soldier's recovery from war.
Countryfile visits West Yorkshire, where Matt Baker meets the youngsters who have become RSPB rangers. Anita Rani explores Bronte country and meets an author who literally immerses himself in the landscape. Anita also finds out about an award-winning halloumi cheese producer from Syria. Naomi Wilkinson discovers the challenges facing the fire brigade at Ogden Water, and Adam raises a glass to English wine. Tom Heap investigates claims that sheep farming could become impossible in some parts of Britain within just a few years.
The Countryfile team explores the Brecon Beacons. Matt Baker discovers geocaching, a treasure hunt with a modern twist, and meets an artist whose canvas is the night sky. Helen Skelton is sheep trekking across the landscape and taking part in a rather muddy fish rescue. Sean Fletcher jumps on his bike to meet the farmers who have taken diversification to the extreme, and Adam Henson finds out about a cancer cure for man's best friend. Tom Heap asks how safe horses and riders really are on country roads and if more should be done to protect them.
John, Anita and Ellie are in Lincolnshire, where it's all go in the vast fields of winter veg. John visits a farm where they are harvesting tonnes of caulis and sprouts in readiness for Christmas, and he visits the trial plots where new types of vegetable are being developed, including the kalette, a cross between kale and a brussels sprout. Anita sees how robot technology designed to pull up weeds could cut down on herbicides and even cut down on human labour. Ellie visits the ancient woodland at the edge of an old RAF base where bats have set up home in old wartime buildings, and she discovers that it's not just bats hibernating there - butterflies do it too. Adam talks about his lifelong passion for ducks - one of his favourite farmyard animals. Tom Heap finds out why many of our rivers and waterways are suffering and what farmers can do to help bring them back to life.
Helen, Joe and Sean explore the varied landscapes of Aberdeenshire. From the solitude of the rugged north coast to the deep dark forests where wildcats dwell, it's a surprising county. Helen discovers the only village on mainland Britain where cars can't go. She also visits an open-air aquarium where they hand feed the fish, and she makes lino prints with an artist who takes inspiration from this remote coastline. Joe looks at a project mapping the diminishing wildcat population. Sean visits a turkey farm where the guard dogs are alpacas, and Adam catches up with One Man and His Dog winner Dick Roper. Tom Heap investigates why so many council farms are disappearing from the landscape.
Countryfile celebrates Christmas in style at Bamburgh Castle on the wild and beautiful Northumbrian coast. Anita goes on a festive forage with the jewellery maker who turns natural materials into stunning decorations. Anita also sees what it takes to make an award-winning Christmas pudding. John is on Lindisfarne discovering what the first Christmases in these islands would have been like, before meeting the makers of mead. Ellie gives some hints and tips on how to look after wildlife when the temperature drops. Adam is with the hill shepherd watching her flocks, and Tom wonders if a lack of bell ringers could cause some churches to fall silent this Christmas.
Ellie Harrison visits Thirsk in Yorkshire to celebrate the centenary of vet Alf White, known to the world as James Herriot. Ellie meets his daughter and his son, as well as the vets running his practice today. She learns of the landscapes and people that inspired James Herriot's books and finds out what life was really like for a rural vet. She also meets up with actor Christopher Timothy, who portrayed James Herriot in the television series All Creatures Great and Small. Plus a look back through the Countryfile archive to rediscover the people who dedicate their time and efforts to helping animals, including the time when John met the team giving hedgehogs a helping hand through Christmas and the winter months, the dramatic moment when Joe assisted a stag caught up in fencing, and when Ellie met the woman who paints horses to help others understand them.
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