Matt Baker and Anita Rani are on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent, and Tom Heap looks at what leaving the EU could mean for the UK's agricultural migrant labour force.
Browse content similar to Hoo Peninsula. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
A sliver of land, cutting through mudflats and marsh.
This is the Hoo Peninsula on the North Kent coast.
It may look isolated but this landscape is full of life
and I'm going to be finding out
how it's shaped the working lives of people
from salt shepherds to muddies.
How are we doing, all right?
-You can get aboard here.
-But you can only come aboard if you're coming to help.
And I'll be seeing how fleece and feather can work together
to help preserve some of the huge numbers of birds that flock here.
I describe myself as a commercial farmer that farms nature reserves.
-A wildlife farmer.
Tom's looking into migrant labour on our farms
and asking could we get by without a foreign workforce?
Is it simply the case that
vets from Europe are filling the jobs
that British vets don't want to do?
Exactly, that is what happens.
-Come on then, ladies.
And there is a real sense of spring down on Adam's farm.
They're nice and safe in here.
I'll just get them out in their pairs.
It really helps having these numbers on their side,
so you know who belongs to who.
The Hoo Peninsula, Kent.
Vast skies and open marshland - a paradise for birds.
A rural outpost within earshot of London.
DISTANT INDUSTRIAL HUM
Can you hear that?
That is the sound of the industry of the Thames
blowing in on the wind.
Now, this is an area you might not expect to find us on Countryfile,
but it's a place that is steeped in rural heritage.
It may only be around 30 miles from central London
but the lives lived here are worlds apart.
And a project is underway to capture those memories.
My first job was as a ladder mover's mate.
I'd get to move the ladders for the pickers
and the girls would climb up with the baskets and pick the fruit.
I was a shepherd on the marsh for a long, long time.
Yeah, all by myself, yeah. Nobody else.
And they said, "Don't never talk yourself",
they said, "cos if you do, you'll go mad!"
If you were born in town, I don't understand you!
Never milking a cow? Gracious me!
Honest and insightful,
these are just a few of the voices
of those who have lived and worked on the Hoo.
The aim is to document the working life of the community,
past and present.
Rachel Lichtenstein is the historian behind it all.
-Where we are now is the Hoo Peninsula...
..which is this kind of spur of land
that juts out into the Thames Estuary.
This particular landscape looks quite desolate
but I've started spending a lot of time here
and getting to know local people
and realising what a kind of rich and fascinating landscape it is.
'And it's a landscape that has defined
'the working lives of the people here.'
It's been agricultural land for thousands of years
and there's some amazing stories we've been gathering,
like the salt shepherds who worked out on the marshes,
as the industry developed here, particularly the cement works,
connected to the river,
lots of those shepherds started working in those industries
and in the power stations, so there's all this mix of stories.
It's a wonderful record which will be preserved for the future...
-..to really tell the story of this landscape.
One vital part of the Hoo's heritage are the bargemen,
who worked its creeks and rivers.
'Dave Brooks and his dad, Tony,
'are helping to record this part of the project.
'Tony's father was a bargeman.'
-You can only come aboard if you're going to help us, though.
-No problem. No problem.
-Nice to meet you.
So, I understand that this barge has quite a claim to fame,
so, what is so special about it?
Well, this barge is the last British-registered sailing vessel
to trade under sail alone.
-She is really a unique piece of British maritime history.
Built in 1906,
the Cambria was used to heave coal from Lincolnshire to Kent.
Being one of the biggest barges to plough the rivers,
she could hold 170 tonnes
and carried 5,000 square feet of sails.
Well, there's plenty of room down here!
Yes, this is the main cargo hold.
But after her trading days were done,
she fell into disrepair -
that was, until 1996,
when the Cambria Trust bought her for the bargain price of £1.
So, now it's all hands on deck to keep her shipshape.
-What is the job here, then?
-What we're doing, mate,
is we're going to scrape the tops of these seams off.
-And we want that cleared out,
so we can get to the pitch.
We're going to basically scrape the whole pitch out.
We're getting a lot of rain
going down in through into the barge,
so we want to reseal this.
And what you actually do with her these days?
I mean, is she sailable, still?
Oh, yeah, very much so, yeah, she's sailable.
We use her quite extensively for young carers at weekends.
It gives them a chance to get away from their everyday life
and just come and relax aboard the barge.
You've done a really good job there, mate. I'm really impressed.
Really impressed. Are you available next weekend?
Dave's great-grandfather, George, was what the locals call a muddy -
a tough breed, who literally transformed the shoreline.
It's a history Dave's dad, Tony, has recorded for the project.
He went out onto the mud,
digging clay for the cement trade,
and the clay was dug out by hand
with this sort of tool, similar to this, the fly tool.
-Let's have a look.
Yeah, these spades were made of beech or apple.
Yeah, I was going to say, it's very light.
Yeah, cos these guys would load 100 tonnes of clay in a tide.
-So, you'd have a gang of...
-100 tonnes in a tide?
Yeah, you'd have a gang of about eight,
normally eight to ten,
and they would load one of these barges in the tide,
so you've got about four, four-and-a-half, five hours
and they'd load 100 tonnes of clay.
The speed they must have been working at and digging at!
They worked very, very fast.
A good muddy would have...would dig in a spit,
a spit would be in the air and another spit would be landing.
In just over 20 years, more than half a million tonnes of clay
were dug out of this creek alone,
turning dry land into saltings, at the mercy of the tide.
We always say London was built from bricks and clay from this area.
I think we sometimes forget just how hard our ancestors worked
to earn their living.
The muddies have long since laid down their spades
but thanks to this project,
the way they and so many others worked this landscape
will always be remembered.
Now, agriculture is an industry that relies on migrant workers
but with Brexit on the horizon,
there are worries that we could be facing a severe labour shortage.
Growing, harvesting and processing our food is a big job.
And even at this time of year, there is plenty to do.
A small army are preparing for the summer strawberry harvest.
The fruit may be quintessentially British,
but most of the workers are not home-grown.
And on farms across the UK,
the changing seasons will bring thousands more European workers.
Well, we're a sort of medium-sized soft fruit business.
We grow about 1,000 tonnes of strawberries
and about 300 tonnes of raspberries.
At this time of the year,
we have about 50 to 60 workers
and they start arriving here in early February
and then once we start picking, in early May,
we'll boost up the workforce up to 300
and then it gradually reduces during the autumn time.
Herefordshire soft fruit grower Anthony Snell
says it's a British success story,
which could be derailed if migration restrictions are introduced.
This isn't anything to do with migration or immigration -
this is just seasonal workers coming over here, working hard,
benefitting our economy and then going home.
Put simply, would this farm, on anything like this scale, exist
if you didn't have these workers?
No, there's absolutely no doubt we'd be in serious trouble
if we didn't have our seasonal workers coming here.
We would be out of business.
It would be absolutely catastrophic to our industry.
Could we not go back to the way it used to be,
when students and others used to work seasonally,
you know, summer jobs in the fields?
No - the horticulture industry is a very specialised industry.
We can't just have people just turning up and picking.
You know, we have to train our workforce,
these are skilled seasonal workers
and there just isn't the British people who want to do this work,
although we'd love to employ all British people.
His concerns about recruitment
are backed up by a recent National Farmers' Union survey -
it showed that this time last year, before the Brexit vote,
about a quarter of farmers had problems filling seasonal vacancies.
But by September, the ready supply of workers was drying up
and all growers had recruitment problems.
High numbers of overseas workers are present across farming
and not just picking and harvesting.
Highly qualified jobs like vets are affected too.
At this Cotswold dairy farm,
two vets are being trained to carry out TB tests -
a vital part of modern cattle farming.
-One, two, zero, one.
-13 and 13.
The trainees are Cristina from Spain and Olivio from Romania.
Their tutor, Ana, is Spanish too.
We have vets coming from Portugal, vets coming from Greece,
vets coming from Czech Republic...
In fact, nearly a third of all vets in the UK
were trained overseas.
And in public health work,
like food safety and abattoir inspections,
almost all the vets are from outside the UK.
So, is it simply the case that vets from Europe
are filling the jobs that British vets don't want to do?
Exactly, that is what happens.
The British vets don't want to work in those fields.
For you personally, you've spent 17 years here,
what do you feel about it?
-Do you feel worried?
-I am, yes,
because I have a partner here with me
and we are looking for a home to buy.
And at the moment, we don't know if we can afford to have
a mortgage for 20 years because we don't know
if I can stay in this country for that long.
Others we spoke to say the fall in the pound since the Brexit vote
has put some people off coming to Britain.
The poor exchange rate means the most skilled pickers
will earn around 75 euros less each week than a year ago.
According to the National Farmers' Union,
the migrant worker situation is a crisis in waiting,
so what's being done?
Well, that's what I'll be finding out later.
There are some parts of the British Isles that,
unless you've got a really good reason to visit,
might just pass you by altogether.
Now, it does feel very isolated here,
but there's also huge number of birds that flock to this area
and that is largely down to a rather unusual way of farming.
Here on the Hoo, some clever farming techniques are being used to help
some of our most precious bird species to thrive.
Keith Loveridge has been farming here for 20 years
and is currently helping his herd through calving season.
-What a spot!
Yeah, it is a bit unusual out here, isn't it?
Yeah, I don't think I've ever been to a farm quite like this.
You've got, well, you've got your sheep grazing here
and then the odd ship sailing past!
Yeah! And we're just so close, 20 miles away from London as well.
It's just a bit of an unusual landscape out here.
And it feels quite exposed. Can it get quite harsh?
Extremely harsh, yeah.
The east wind's the worst thing here.
We get that blowing straight up the river.
So, you need the right sort of livestock
and it is very cold and bleak out here, yeah, without a doubt.
So, what type of sheep can withstand this sort of place?
Romney sheep - they are all basically the traditional breed
for this area in Romney Marsh.
They've been bred to survive on this sort of grazing
and they do it very, very well.
And Keith's cattle don't fare too badly either.
They graze out on the marsh in spring
but spend the winter months on the farm,
sheltered from the cold east winds beneath these nifty bale enclosures.
And then they gradually go back out through the spring,
we reintroduce them back to the reserves again.
Well, this all seems pretty traditional so far.
But here's the unusual bit.
The fields that provide grazing for Keith's cattle in spring
spend winter as wetland habitats for birds.
Normally, all these low-lying spots would be full of water
and then that's when we get all the wading birds that come in to nest.
Obviously, we've had massively dry...
The ditches are at summer level now,
so, it's a pretty unusual year, really.
So, how would you describe yourself?
I describe myself as a commercial farmer that farms nature reserves.
-A wildlife farmer!
Our area that we farm is quite a large area
with quite a low density of livestock,
all aimed at trying to increase the wildlife.
This area's probably one of the most important areas
for breeding waders and wildfowl in the south-east of England,
really, so it's important that it's maintained.
The whole thing's interlinked.
Obviously, the birds come because the grazing is right for the cattle
and it's all part of the environment as a whole.
Was it difficult to adapt to this landscape and farm the way you do?
We spread the animals out and don't farm them too densely,
so that they don't trample nests and so on.
I have to say, it's a really beautiful spot you've got here.
Well, I quite like it!
-Yeah, it has a really strange beauty about it, doesn't it?
Keith farms inside some of the eight protected conservation areas
on this small but productive peninsula,
working closely with the RSPB
to help restore the balance of wetland and wildlife.
'Julian Nash manages the Northward Hill reserve.'
Another great spot.
-It's lovely here, isn't it?
-It really is.
So, what are the RSPB doing here, Julian?
So, what we're doing is maintaining a habitat
for some of our rarest birds,
species such as lapwing and redshank,
and they have a particular habitat requirement, which,
in the most simplest form, to call it, is a marsh.
-So has this always been marshland?
-In essence, yes.
However, back in the '40s,
it changed very, very dramatically due to our human activity.
And that was based on the need for more and more agriculture,
more and more food, for our population.
So, how do you go from taking arable land
and turning it back into a marsh?
What we're doing is isolating ourselves
from the main landscape drainage system,
so that we can hold water higher
and not see it disappear out to the sea.
Because if there's one thing that wetland birds want, it's water.
Is it working? Are birds flocking back to the area?
We have lots and lots of duck, widgeon, teal, but also,
this is a fantastic place for marsh harriers.
We also have one of the biggest heronries in the country,
which is not just a heronry now, it's an egretry as well.
And how does it work with Keith? Because of course,
he has to farm the land around what you are doing
and you both have to be sensitive to each other's needs.
So, Keith is vital, absolutely vital.
To deliver what we need to deliver, we need water control,
but we also need grass control.
Now, grass is controlled very simply by our living lawnmowers,
cattle and sheep.
You could call Keith a farmer
but he's just as much a conservationist as I am a farmer.
That's fantastic to think that conservation and farming
are working side-by-side.
-So, how does the water pump work?
It's the flick of a switch.
-So, if you go to that box behind you...
'The fish-friendly pump keeps the marshes topped up
'through the all-important winter breeding season.'
-Look at that! It works, Julian.
-Fantastic, isn't it?
'Both flock and feather are thriving here.
'I'm joining local birder Terry Paternoster
'for a closer look at the star attraction.'
-What have you spotted?
-Looking at the herons on the nests,
sitting up there.
-Can I have a look?
Oh, yes! There's so many.
Oh, something's happened, they're off.
I've never seen that many heron before.
The wetlands encourage the birds to feed locally
and nest locally as well.
Right, come on, one on one, heron-spotting lesson!
It's not just the herons that are breeding.
There's also a new arrival for Keith down on the farm.
This cycle, turning spring grazing into winter wetlands,
gives the Hoo the helping hand it needs
to keep both the cattle fed and the wildlife flocking.
From the Hoo Peninsula, we're heading west, where,
in a special film for Comic Relief,
comedian Jennifer Saunders shows us just what Devon means to her
and how a charity there is making a real difference to people's lives.
I think I first came to Dartmoor as a kid, actually.
I think we probably did a family holiday
in a hut somewhere on Dartmoor.
All I remember is my mother standing every leg of the bed in paraffin
so the cockroaches couldn't climb up into our beds.
And, after that, we filmed all the Comic Strip series
in the '80s in Devon and we filmed French And Saunders down here.
Because the countryside is spectacular.
You get these great, huge, massive views,
which are very filmic.
And then we just fell in love with it
and we used to come down here at weekends.
You weren't even born, you don't even know.
Come down here at weekends
and eventually bought we a house down here and lived down here.
People treat the countryside like an extension to the gym
and I sort of don't.
Go and find a squirrel.
I'm trying to sleep.
It's just a great place to sit and do nothing, actually.
I can sit for hours, especially in the countryside,
because you can poke about things, you can, with your stick.
You know, you can have a look at how leaves grow
and how the grass is growing and sometimes I just do nothing.
Come on, Olive.
Can't do nothing all day. Got to get on. Go to get on.
I had a kind of idea that I'd quite like to present Countryfile
but, to be honest, it's too cold.
I don't know how Ellie does it.
I mean, she does look cold, sometimes.
I'm wearing so many layers I can't do my coat up.
Look at my dog.
She wants to go back to Hyde Park, she's got so many layers on.
Oh, right! This is Kes Tor and...
-Oops, sorry, Olive.
Just trod on my dog.
And this is the tor just up from our house,
but it's quite a steep climb and, um...
Uh, we used to do it mainly after Sunday lunches, to walk them off.
Um, and it's always windy on top
but, I swear to God, it's going to blow your head off.
It's the best view from here.
I mean, it's incredible because you can see right over to Exmoor
and right across the moor that way.
You can actually just see for miles
and there's something quite nice about that.
But the reason I've come to Devon today
isn't to admire the beauty of the landscape.
I've come to find out about a subject that,
not matter how much we think about it, we rarely voice.
Suicide is actually the biggest killer of young men in the UK.
And the families left behind can often be desperate for help.
I've come to meet young mother-of-two Zara Whig.
She was married to her husband Leigh for four years.
I met Leigh at work.
He was a zookeeper and a musician,
so he played in several bands down in Ilfracombe.
When things were really good, we had the kids
and things were really happy.
-And he was a great dad?
-Yes. Yeah, he was a very hands-on dad.
Loved his girls.
He had a child before,
so Leigh showed me how to change nappies.
Had you got any inkling that something was up, or...?
Yeah, he'd had a mental health breakdown
and things had got really difficult between us
-so we actually separated for a while.
He was under a therapist,
-through Devon Depression Anxiety Service.
So he was reaching out
but it just wasn't enough for Leigh, in the end.
On Father's Day last year, Leigh took his own life.
I just felt like I'd been crushed.
The shock was just...
-It takes the breath out of you.
I felt incredibly guilty because we had separated
-just before he committed suicide.
-Of course, yeah.
And I felt like, "This is all my fault."
And then I felt angry with him. I was just, absolutely,
-"How could you do this to me and the kids?"
They'd made him Father's Day cards and those cards...had to go...
You know... I had to put them in his coffin with him.
And I just shouldn't have had to do that.
I mean, it's an awful situation. How did you cope with the girls?
They were going from being OK one minute
to screaming for him the next minute,
which is just heartbreaking.
You know, it gets to the point where you're like,
"I can't do this. I can't..." You know?
It was just so impossibly difficult.
I just didn't see a way out of it.
Fortunately, in Devon, there is a project,
that Comic Relief help fund, that supports families
who are living through the suicide of a loved one.
Come on, Ol.
'I've come to Exmouth, to Pete's Dragons,
'a UK charity that provides comfort to families after suicide loss.'
-Hi, Jennifer! Welcome to Pete's Dragons.
'It was set up by Alison Hill.'
Well, it's so lovely to meet you.
Now, tell me why is it called Pete's Dragons?
It's called Pete's Dragons because my brother was called Pete
and he took his life seven years ago.
And he loved dragons, so it was...
It had to be, really, Pete's Dragons.
What particularly inspired you to set this up,
because there was nothing else to help people who were left behind?
No, my family were in Devon and Cornwall, and at that point,
there was no specific suicide bereavement support available
and there are some complicated emotions
that go with losing a loved on to suicide.
-And this has just grown out of that, really.
'The charity helps families
'with both practical and emotional support,
'some in rural communities, where help is hard to find.'
We do mindfulness classes, we have a counsellor,
we have bereavement counsellors and I'm a grief recovery specialist.
And how has the support you get from Comic Relief helped this happen?
That's been crucial.
We needed a very flexible and adaptable space
so that we could cater for the very unique impact
that suicide will have on each individual family member.
And that's what it has enabled us to be,
by furnishing and providing all the equipment for these rooms.
Cos it's all ages, isn't it?
-Suicide doesn't discriminate.
It can be anyone. Could be you or me.
-It was me.
Since the charity started,
they've helped more than 70 families
come to terms with losing a loved one to suicide.
And one of those families is Zara's.
THEY LAUGH AND CLAP
-When they got involved, it was just like, "There's some hope."
"There's some hope. There are people here to help."
They offered us mindfulness through play,
which was amazing for the girls
cos their emotions were running high.
They'd never experienced death before.
It has made a world of difference to us,
having that support, Alison is always at the end of the phone.
-The grief recovery has really helped me come to terms with it.
-I don't think you ever get over suicide of a loved one.
-You can come to terms with it?
Yes, you can come to terms with it and make your peace with it.
-Your girls seem amazing. Well done.
Oh, you've made me cry now.
And it's the great outdoors that the charity turns to,
helping create new memories for all these families
who've lost a loved one to suicide.
So what is it about this madness, these kids going crazy in mud,
and being outdoors that's important, do you think?
First of all, it's important to bring the families out.
This might be the first time they've come out on their own -
and you can see there's some really small children here -
to have fun, build new memories,
but meet other people in a similar situation to themselves
so they've got an extended network of support on top of Pete's Dragons.
-This is Toby.
We do say to our families early on, eating, sleeping,
getting out in nature, they are such simple things
but when we're in distress, we forget about them.
What do you like doing here?
-What's your favourite thing?
-Is it just being out...?
-Eating hot dogs.
-Eating hot dogs?!
That's my favourite thing too.
You just want to get wet.
To be around people that you know have been through the same thing
without ever having to talk about it,
it means so much, it's really invaluable.
Days like this just make a massive difference,
to Dawson especially,
he just gets to have fun and play without
having to explain himself, which is really nice.
-Are you going help me with this one?
But these are fun.
On average in the UK,
there are 17 deaths a day from suicide
and it's the families left behind that need your help
and here's how you can make a real difference.
By donating to Comic Relief, you can help support the vital work
of projects like Pete's Dragons all across the UK.
To donate £5...
We really appreciate your help. Thank you.
Agriculture in the UK employs large numbers of overseas workers
and with Brexit on the horizon,
there are warnings of a severe labour shortage.
But is it really as bad as some seem to think? Here's Tom.
Every year, the UK horticulture industry employs
around 75,000 seasonal workers, half of them coming from abroad.
We're so reliant on workers from overseas to pick and process
our produce that it's claimed that, without them,
the horticulture business could collapse.
And it's not just seasonal workers -
farming employs plenty of foreign people
who live here all year round, including many of our vets.
The concern is that Brexit could mean restrictions
on the number of foreign workers coming into the UK,
so what can be done?
Well, the minister responsible for farming, Andrea Leadsom,
recently told farmers that technology has the answers.
And for some labour-intensive fruit and veg jobs,
we've already made great strides,
from GPS-controlled tractors to robot weeders.
But could machines replace thousands of seasonal workers?
We're a medium-sized...
'Earlier I met Herefordshire soft fruit grower Anthony Snell.'
This production line is processing frozen blackcurrants
and, like his pickers,
most of the workers are from across the European Union.
-What's going on here?
What we're doing now is sorting all the organic blackcurrants
and they're going through their final process.
They're picking out the duff ones?
They're picking out all the bad ones.
The whole horticultural industry is spending a lot of time
looking at mechanisation and robotics and everything
but there's only a certain amount we can do.
You saw us processing organic blackcurrants
through a stringing processing line.
"Stringing", that's a good word.
-Is that the machine that was shaking them all?
It's rapidly vibrating the frozen berries
and knocking off the little bits of stalks and everything,
clean and ready for your yoghurt.
Yeah. Is there any more you could do in this packing side?
Well, there is, we're looking all the time
because we are very worried about the future
with the availability of labour.
But basically, for the main tasks in horticulture,
for picking and in strawberry crops,
we need seasonal workers to pick our crops
and we can't just replace them all with robots
because it's a very specialised job.
It would be a pretty clever robot
to really replicate all the skills that our staff have.
So what is the solution for the fruit and veg industry?
I've come to Barfoots in West Sussex,
a huge UK-based international vegetable grower.
Three-quarters of their workers are from overseas.
OK, Ewa, what are we doing here?
I need 24 strings to have for one plant, yeah?
These are the strings for the chillies to grow up.
Yes, it's for the chillies to grow up and I put the thing in the up...
'Ewa is from Poland. She's been here six years.'
You're very quick.
Can I have a go?
Yes. You can.
Once round... Oops.
-Then where next?
-I'm getting the hang of this.
-Yes. Very good.
-It'll be done by Christmas if I carry on like that.
Given the choice, she'd like to stay.
It's a nice job and no stress.
-Yes, for me, it's better money
than I was in Poland. Yes, yes.
Are you worried about anything in the future?
Sometimes I worry about Brexit, yes, because I stay here.
-You want to stay here?
There is hope for permanent workers like Ewa,
but at the moment, their future here still remains uncertain.
There's also a sense that the penny is starting to drop in government
regarding seasonal workers too.
Brexit Minister David Davis recently said...
And the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond,
said just last week...
'Ewa's boss is Barfoot's MD Julian Marks.
'He says growers and all their workers need a solution
'and they need it soon.'
How worried is the whole horticulture industry about labour?
I think the industry is worried in the short term -
for 2017 and in general, there is some uncertainty
as to whether we'll be able to source enough people
to meet the requirements for the 2017 harvest.
Really? Even for this year, there's already a worry?
Even for this year, we're seeing
the number of applications from individuals falling,
and falling rapidly, as they make choices
about where they go to work.
The industry is suggesting its own solution -
a new visa system to allow seasonal workers
to come to the UK in a controlled way.
But again, it's needed quickly.
A seasonal permit system is absolutely critical.
We need, in 2017,
a trial of the scheme which could be applied in 2018.
That would then, at least, create certainty for returners
and for individuals coming in 2019.
Do you think government get the urgency?
I think they're constantly battling
the political requirements of immigration
and the issues surrounding that
and often, perhaps, the economic importance falls away.
It sounds like they don't get it. You're being too polite to say so.
Am I being too polite?
Well, they need to get on and do something in 2017.
2018 will be too late.
Despite Julian's concerns, the government this week said
there will be no workers' scheme in 2017
as employers still have access to EU labour,
though it will keep the situation under review.
But as for when we leave the European Union,
the future still remains uncertain.
In a few moments,
I'll be meeting world-famous photographer Nadav Kander,
whose seriously impressive portfolio includes royalty,
presidents and A-list celebrities, but for his latest project,
he's swapping Hollywood for the Hoo.
But first, Adam is on the farm
and he's got his hands full with plenty of new arrivals.
It only seems like yesterday I was getting the ewes into the shed
for the start of lambing.
Now we've had about 150 give birth, we've got another 400 to go.
I'm just bringing the latest batch out into the field here
to make the most of this lovely grass.
Turning out ewes and lambs onto pasture
is one of my favourite jobs -
A real sign that spring is truly on its way.
I put the lambs in the front part of the trailer
so that they don't get trampled on by the ewes as we're driving along.
They're nice and safe in here.
I'll just get them out in their pairs.
I don't bring too many out at once,
in case of mismothering,
which means the lambs get lost in the crowd
and then don't get a feed and get hungry.
Lambs with an empty belly will die.
So it's really important they stay together.
I'll just let the ewes out now.
Come on, ladies.
Come on, then.
Right, there we go, the 25s have got sorted straight away.
'You'd have thought twins would stick close together
'but with all this new space to play in,
'they have a habit of going walkabout.'
That's it. It really helps having these numbers on their sides,
so you know who belongs to who.
Out here now, these ewes will start to graze on the grass,
which they're doing already,
and it's full of sugars and proteins and will produce lots of rich milk.
It's essential these lambs get plenty of it.
You can see that little lamb suckling away now.
As long as they've got a full tummy,
it doesn't matter whether we get snow or rain,
they're tough little creatures.
They'll survive out here. They can get under the wall.
We've got a shelter there for them to get into if it gets really bad.
It's not just the ewes and lambs
that benefit from all this new spring grass -
I'll be turning out some of my young cattle too.
Just wait till you see what happens when I do.
This is one of my Gloucester cows, her name is Illy.
She gave birth back in October to twins
and usually, cattle only have one calf,
but she's got the two.
They're two boys, so we called them Billy and Willy.
She gave birth in here.
We kept them in during the winter months,
when it's cold and wet and horrible.
Now I'm going to turn out onto the grass.
Of course, Illy hasn't seen grass for six or eight months,
but the calves have never been out, so they could get quite excited.
Right, come on then, lovely.
Don't get left behind, come on. Go on. Follow your mum.
Away she goes - it's great watching cattle
when you turn them out for the first time in the spring.
She's got her tail in the air, she's kicking out.
The calves are in hot pursuit. They're not sure what's going on.
Lovely to watch.
She seems very content. If the weather does turn nasty,
she's next to the shed, so we can always get them back in.
She's looking at Dougie there,
he's the bull, the father of these calves.
First time he's ever seen his sons.
The Gloucester is known as being a dual-purpose breed
so both for beef and milk,
producing single and double Gloucester cheese.
She's got double trouble there with Billy and Willy.
Anyway, I'll leave them to it.
As well as all the lambs and calves, we've also had some new piglets.
There's a lot of farmers around the country
that are very fond of the breed that come from their district.
We've got the Gloucester cattle, but our other county breed
is, of course, the Gloucestershire Old Spot pig.
They're similar to cattle in a way
because they'll give birth all year round,
but pigs, because they've got a shorter gestation period,
can have two litters.
This one has had ten here in this litter
and she'll give birth in another six or so months' time
and could have another ten, so that's 20 young in one year,
whereas a cow will just have one or two.
So she's doing really well, a lovely sow.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot are such a beautiful, docile breed,
I love working with them.
Right, come on then, missus, have your breakfast.
With all the new arrivals to look after,
we really do need all the help we can get.
So it's good to be able to call on
a young farmer like Richard Strudwick.
It's a great way for youngsters like him to get paid experience
and a valuable extra pair of hands for us, just when we need it.
And whilst Rich is bedding up,
I can get the next batch of twins ready to take out into the field.
It's such a busy time of year and it's great having some help about.
Rich has been really useful.
It's so important to encourage young people into farming
for the future of agriculture, the countryside and rural life,
which is why I'm in search
of Countryfile's Young Farmer of the Year.
Right, you two can stay in the warm.
Countryfile's Young Farmer of the Year is a brand-new award,
celebrating the best young British farmers
and the deserving winner will receive their prize
at the glittering BBC Food and Farming Awards in June.
Over the years, I've met some brilliant individuals,
young farmers who really stand out from the crowd.
Every single house was flooded
and every piece of furniture had to be taken out
and the young farmers came in to help the council.
Well done, you. Well done, young farmers.
So we need your nominations.
Maybe you know a young farmer
dedicated to preserving our countryside -
perhaps a great livestock breeder
or an agricultural innovator.
But whoever you choose,
they should have a real passion for farming.
After all, the future of our farming industry depends on them.
-You're very good at this.
They are the lifeblood of our rural landscape,
It's great to hear young farmers like yourselves
being so passionate and open-minded about the industry.
We've featured many inspirational young farmers here on Countryfile...
..and it's surprising just how young some of those farmers have been.
Now then, Lily, I was about eight when I lambed my first sheep,
but you were only three - what was it like?
Slimy and hot.
What position is it born in?
That's it. Forward. Wonderful. That's very clever.
So please get in touch and let us know about young farmers
who are passionate about the countryside,
and you can go to our website after the programme for all the details.
Come on, missus.
But you'll have to be quick.
Nominations close at midnight on 26 March.
Please don't e-mail or send postal nominations after that date
as they will not be considered.
Remember, if you're watching us on demand,
nominations may already have closed.
All the details are on our website,
along with full terms and conditions.
We're on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent,
where I've been finding out how our feathered friends are being
helped to thrive in this wild landscape.
But it's not just farmers and birders who appreciate
the strange beauty that this place offers.
Photographer Nadav Kander has captured some of the biggest names
of the world stage.
His work takes him all over the globe,
but this is one place he returns to time and time again.
And his latest project is based right here,
on the easternmost point of the Hoo Peninsula.
Why choose to photograph the Hoo Peninsula?
It's the ending of the river,
it's the beauty in the contemplation of a journey ending,
being absorbed into a bigger whole
that attracts me here to the estuary.
And the Hoo Peninsula has just been richest for me
in the landscapes that I've found,
the man-made influence on landscape and on water.
You could have picked any glamorous location.
You've shot in China,
all the photographs of the Yangtze River.
Why the Thames?
It's my local river.
The Thames is my local river.
The Yangtze... The Yangtze was a big endeavour of wanting to know
how it felt to be in China at a time of such...what seemed to me
to be the most unnatural, fast pace of change.
And I suppose I'm trying to show much more what is inside me.
What is the poetry of the river?
So I'm trying to work, really, with states of mind rather than,
"This is the river and on that bank is so-and-so crane."
I'm not that interested in it.
It's a idea of what is known being in front of you
and the immensity of the universe and how small we are,
what pinpricks we are and the short lives we have,
that always recurs in my work, and nothing...nothing sums that up
as beautifully as an estuary.
I find that always alluring and that's the reason that I'm here.
That's the reason I'm here at the Hoo.
What's remarkable about your photos
is that they look like oil paintings.
They are so beautiful and they really draw you in.
Particularly the portraits.
How different is it taking a photo of a person
from sitting out in the landscape on your own?
Obviously, the timescale is very different
and the energy in the room is very different.
Sometimes you don't have much time, sometimes you have a lot of time.
If the person's just got off the plane,
if they've had a terrible night,
all of those things come into a picture.
And one's research here...
I can't come and look on a fine day and think, "Oh, I'll stand here."
I just have to come on the days I come.
I arrive here in the dark and I leave in the dark.
I come in the mist, I come when it's raining,
I come when the atmosphere's already begun forming
and try and then add to that.
And I kick stones around for a while and there's nothing there
and other times I get out the car
and it's all happening and it's very fruitful.
I'm your new Countryfile presenter, Jennifer Saunders, for Comic Relief.
Now, if you're wanting to go out and about in the near future,
you'll be wanting to know what the weather's going to be like.
So let's go over now
and hear the Countryfile forecast for the week ahead.
This is Kent's Hoo Peninsula,
where I've been exploring a project to preserve and celebrate
the working lives of the people here.
Many of the stories told by the locals
are of a bygone era,
yet the modern tales of life here are also being recorded.
16 years ago, the peaceful North Kent marshes
became a battlefield for the first of several campaigns
to prevent the building of an airport on the marshes.
It was the ambition of big business
versus the passion of local community.
Gill Moore, Joan Darwell and George Crozer
may look like a friendly bunch
but when it came to protecting
the northern landscape of the peninsula,
the gloves were off.
The whole area around here
is protected under local, national and international law.
It's so important for wildlife.
We get around 300,000 overwintering and migratory birds come here.
It would've destroyed everything.
It would just have been awful, absolutely awful.
26,000 people and nine villages
-would have been gone, wouldn't it?
So we did our Vicar Of Dibley thing with all the parish councils,
got together, "How are we going to fight this?" sort of thing.
Along with many others in the community,
Gill, Joan and George picked up their banners and went to work.
I understand that you came up with some quite creative ways
of making them listen and getting your message across.
It's the Dickens country,
so George is a great one for dressing up,
-so George dressed...
-As you do.
George dressed up as Fagin
and we made this huge, great Christmas card
and we took it round to schools
and we had the children writing their name,
messages to Alistair Darling,
who was the Transport Secretary at the time, and we wrote on it,
"Merry Christmas, Darling.
"No airport at Cliffe," I think it was.
The movers and shakers behind the airport plan
even visited the village,
so the determined trio wasted no time
in getting their points across.
We gave them tea and cakes and we tried to get over
how special our communities are within the peninsula.
We did say to them,
"You may be rich but, believe me, we are far richer than you.
"You may be powerful, but what we have here is so special,
"it is just so important for wildlife and for people."
It was two years before they finally got the news
they were desperate to hear.
'I have concluded that, taking all relevant factors into account,
'that we do not support...'
-'The moment they were all waiting for.
'The relief clear to see.'
-It's not the rolling hills of Kent.
-No, it's not.
-But it's got a uniqueness.
-Like I said, it's our...
-It's our Serengeti.
-It's our Serengeti.
Their campaign has been recorded as part of the Oral History Project
to celebrate the roles of local people here,
adding to more than 100 years of history of this intriguing place.
A collection of histories worth celebrating.
Well, Rachel is here, Anita's turned up,
and basically everybody in this church
has been involved in the project in some way
and I have the honour of capturing this lovely scene
with my camera, so...
If you'll excuse me, everyone,
shall we all head outside and get a lovely photograph?
-Yes, let's do it.
-Bring coats if you need to.
Perfect. Just checking.
Yeah, your framing's right. It's all good.
Well, that is all we've got time for this week.
Next week, we're going to be in Denbighshire,
where I'll be meeting a lady with an MBE for services to agriculture.
She's very much into Welsh lamb, apparently,
a real LAMB-bassador for farming.
That was bad.
And please send us your nominations
for Countryfile's Young Farmer 2017.
All the details of how to do it are on the website.
-Yes. See you next week.
Actually, from all of us here, just say, bye-bye, everyone.
Matt Baker and Anita Rani are on the Hoo Peninsula. Matt hears how it's a landscape that's been shaped over the years by 'saltshepherds' and 'muddies', whilst Anita sees how fleece and feather work together to protect the huge numbers of birds that flock to the area. And there's a sense of spring in the air with lots of new arrivals down on Adam's Farm. Tom Heap looks at what leaving the EU could mean for the UK's agricultural migrant labour force and the farms that employ them.