Next Episode of Countryfile is
The people, places and stories making news in the British countryside.
Matt and Ellie are in Essex where Matt jumps aboard the Pioneer, a fully restored Essex oyster boat. He learns about its maritime past whilst some rarely seen archive gives us a flavour of the county's oyster fishing heyday. Matt then meets a group of young people learning the skills to build racing gigs which are small fast rowing boats built for competition and Matt is put through his paces in one of these gigs out on the open sea. Ellie is at the country's only nature reserve managed specifically for dragonflies, where she gets up close to these highly coloured and fascinating insects. She then travels to Hamford Water, were the creeks and inlets are home to an unusual colony of common seals - they're bright red!
Ellie Harrison and Joe Crowley are in Northern Ireland, where Joe is up at the crack of dawn in woods just south of Belfast. He joins the RSPB team who are tagging swifts to find out where they feed, and he heads to the arts centre where the biggest swift colony in the city can be found to see how sensitive building benefits the birds. He also meets the locals doing their bit to help Belfast become 'swift city'. Joe then heads to the farm where you are as likely to find physalis, mustard flowers and Asian radish as you are spuds, carrots and caulis. Meanwhile, Ellie takes a canoe trip down the beautiful River Bann. It is a great place for wading birds, is steeped in history and is said to be the river St Patrick took before arriving at the island where he built a monastery. Ellie also visits Church Island and sees the sites associated with St Patrick, and she hears that it was also the poet Seamus Heaney's favourite place in the world.
Ellie Harrison and Sean Fletcher are at the Hay Festival, one of the UK's biggest literature and arts festivals.
Ellie goes behind the scenes to meet some of the writers and artists, the organisers and many of the thousands of visitors who flock here each year. She then heads out to the country for a special wildlife safari inspired by one of the books on show. She also joins the team spotting and tagging adders using radio tracking devices.
Sean is on a literary adventure of his own with a group drawing inspiration from the beautiful Wye Valley countryside. He also meets some local food producers at the festival, including one who's putting a whole new spin on ice cream.
Adam Henson looks at how new technology can help in the fight against drought, and John Craven is here with new news of this year's Countryfile Photographic Competition.
Sean Fletcher is in Carmarthenshire in west Wales taking a look at working animals. He meets Dr Nick Fox, OBE, who is one of the world's leading experts on birds of prey. Nick breeds falcons and has a very special way of training them - using robots. Sean is shown round the workshop where these 'robofalcons' are made. These are precision engineered drones built to look like falcons which are used to train real live birds to hunt. Sean takes the remote controls and sees for himself just how realistic these decoy birds are. He also visits the breeding units and gets to handle fluffy little peregrine chicks. Elsewhere on the site Sean discovers that Nick has drafted in beavers to help manage his woodland. And there's a good chance Sean will be treated to the sight of some beaver kits.
Also in this programme we'll be going back through the Countryfile archives to look again at times when we've featured working animals.
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