South Downs Country Tracks


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South Downs

On a journey through the South Downs, Ellie Harrison drives a classic car in Bexhill-on-Sea and visits a mixed farm which thrives on the chalky soil.


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Today I'm on a classic British journey

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through the countryside of Sussex.

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From here, near Bexhill-on-Sea

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to the racetrack at Goodwood.

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My route takes me from Bexhill-on-Sea

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west to the Seven Sisters...

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..on to Lancing,

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and then to the village of High Salvington.

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I'll head north to Ebernoe Common

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before picking up some serious speed

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on the track at Goodwood.

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And along the way, I'll be looking back

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at the best of the BBC's rural programmes

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from this part of the world.

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This is Country Tracks.

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I'm behind the wheel of a real blast from the past.

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This is a 1959 Armstrong-Siddeley Star Sapphire.

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MUSIC: "Let's Misbehave" by Cole Porter

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And it's no coincidence either,

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because Sussex is the birthplace of British motor racing.

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I'm going to be finding out more about that once I've picked up

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my passenger for the first leg of my journey.

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'Keith Robinson is the owner and restorer of this fabulous car,

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'and he's very kindly let me into the driving seat.

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'I'm heading a convoy of classic cars,

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'enjoying the coastal roads just outside Bexhill-on-Sea.'

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-Morning, Keith, thank you for letting me drive this.

-My pleasure.

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It's an absolute beauty.

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Why was it you even got this fabulous car in the first place?

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It was actually thrown at me by a...

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Someone kept saying that this car was parked on a driveway in the way.

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I went round, we agreed a price and I bought it.

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It was very sorry for itself and...

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-I thought it would be a long term project.

-Yeah.

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I stripped it down, put it in boxes like you do.

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My daughter came over from work one day and she said,

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"You know we're getting married, Dad, I want the Armstrong."

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She wanted this car for her wedding day?

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-Yeah.

-Oh!

-And it was in boxes.

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So, consequently, we had six weeks to put it back together,

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spray i, and literally, we finished it on the day of her wedding.

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We got it MOT'd on the day of the wedding.

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-My goodness!

-Yeah.

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That must have been so much work to get it done.

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It was a lot of pressure.

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We've got all these beautiful classic cars behind us.

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Are you part of a classic car group?

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Yeah, we're the Bexhill Classic Car Association.

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We started three years ago, and it's purely to...

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just raise the profile of projects

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within Bexhill.

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We've got the East Sussex Transport Heritage and the Bexhill Museum,

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that's just had a major re-fit.

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Probably half the people of Bexhill

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-have never been along to see these exhibits.

-Yeah?

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So, if we can raise the profile of those things - fantastic.

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It was back in 1902

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that wealthy car owners first raced their automobiles on British soil

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in Bexhill-on-Sea.

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Thousands flocked here to witness the spectacle.

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It was the most original sporting idea in years.

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Just imagine the smell of paraffin

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and the thunder of those early motors.

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How does it feel, driving along this road,

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which is of course so famous for British motor racing?

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-It's wonderful.

-Yeah.

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This section of the road would have been the racetrack,

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if they hadn't built Brooklands.

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But it is still a fantastic road to drive. It's iconic.

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-Thank goodness they didn't do a race track.

-Yeah.

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Beautiful with the sea and the sun shining. It's a real gem of a day.

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We're now arriving at Galley Hill,

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the starting line of the first ever motor race.

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It was such a success that its organiser, the 8th Earl De La Warr,

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whose family had moulded Bexhill into a fashionable seaside resort,

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decided to make Bexhill the centre

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for this crazy new sport of motor racing.

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Plans were drawn up for a circuit almost reaching Beachy Head.

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Unfortunately, his grand plan never saw the light of day.

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But the campaign to promote Bexhill-on-Sea

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as the fashionable new resort did have an impact on its skyline.

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The De La Warr Pavilion was built in 1935

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after a campaign to develop the site by the mayor of the day,

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the 9th Earl De La Warr, son of the famous racing enthusiast.

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Built in 1935,

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the pavilion was the brainchild

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of Bexhill's first socialist mayor -

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the 9th Earl De La Warr.

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He wanted to build an entertainment space,

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a restaurant and a theatre for both the locals and for visitors.

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Earl De La Warr launched a competition

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to find the designers of the building.

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And the winners were Serge Chermayeff and Erich Mendelsohn,

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a Jew who'd escaped Nazi Germany.

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They were leading figures in the international modernist movement.

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International modernism was a school of architecture

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that Erich Mendelsohn brought to this country with him.

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It was all about simplicity of design,

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there are no added fiddly bits to the building.

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It's very straightforward, it's all about function.

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So was this the first of its kind on the south coast?

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It's certainly the first major international modernist building

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in this country, and it's also the first large structure

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with an entirely welded steel frame.

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So how did a building like this go down in conservative Bexhill?

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-It must have been pretty strange for the locals.

-It was a shock.

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Some say a shock the town's never really got over,

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but people have always been very proud of this building

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because we got it and nobody else did.

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Would thins have been a terribly expensive building?

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They actually had to get a loan from the Ministry of Health,

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which at that time was providing money for public buildings such as this.

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It was considered a building that was good for you.

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People could get the sun, take the air.

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It also included a library as well, so it was really about self-improvement.

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People could come along and read,

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as well as sitting in a deckchair and playing sports up here.

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De La Warr wanted to reinvigorate the town's economy, the tourist economy,

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and try to get people to have their holidays here rather than going elsewhere.

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The Pavilion was opened on 12th December 1935,

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and thousands of people turned out to admire the gleaming new building.

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Thelma Hunter was one of those in the crowd,

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and she made full use of the new facilities the Pavilion offered.

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It was a very, very good theatre.

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And there were dances and, er...

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Out on the lawn, there were several things happening all the time.

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People in deckchairs. It was a bit new for Bexhill, you see.

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And did you come dancing in the Pavilion?

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Yes, I came dancing quite a lot.

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There was a big hotel, next door, the Metropole.

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The RAF were training there, so they all came and...

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Plenty of men to dance with.

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THEY LAUGH

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The De La Warr Pavilion was a huge influence on the design of other seaside buildings,

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like Saltdean Lido along the coast, near Brighton.

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Shining, streamlined, modernist buildings like ocean liners

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sprang up all along the coast.

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The promise of entertainment, clean beaches and bracing sea air

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meant that Bexhill and the De La Warr Pavilion became a major tourist attraction.

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And the easy access by train meant that in the summertime, people came in their thousands.

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Yes, for sunshine and health, it's Bexhill-on-Sea,

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the town on the Sussex coast that lives up to its motto.

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A sunshine record invariably high, and bracing air that's a real tonic.

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Here's our first glimpse of the famous De La Warr Pavilion,

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the pride of Bexhill and envy of many other seaside resorts.

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Sadly, Dr Beeching's closure of the railway branch lines in the 1960s

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heralded hard times for Bexhill,

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and the De La Warr Pavilion fell into disrepair.

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By the 1970s, it was in a rather sorry state.

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And it wasn't until the late 1980s that a group of locals formed the Friends of the De La Warr Pavilion,

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dedicated to the protection of the building.

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My son was a student of architecture,

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and he said it is one of the major buildings in England.

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And what about the De La Warr family?

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Presumably the remaining members... Were they keen to preserve it?

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Oh, yes, very, very, very keen.

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When I came on the scene, it was the 11th Earl,

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and he immediately agreed to be a patron,

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and he was very, very helpful with fundraising through his connections.

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Work began on restoring the pavilion in 2004,

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and in 2005, it was re-opened as a contemporary arts centre

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run by the charitable De La Warr Pavilion Trust.

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Its purpose is very similar to its original purpose in 1935.

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Originally it was built as a cultural centre,

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a place that everybody could come to completely free of charge to enjoy,

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and to bring people into Bexhill and onto the south-east coast.

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And that's what we're trying to do today.

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We're offering two fantastic art galleries,

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a cafe and restaurant,

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and this wonderful roof space and balconies that people can just sit and enjoy the fantastic view.

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So has it been important for Bexhill?

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I think it's incredibly important for Bexhill because it brings so many people into the town,

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and therefore other businesses in the town can rise to the occasion and reap the benefits.

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-And the future, are you hoping this will be around for another 70 years?

-For a lot longer than that, yes.

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MUSIC: "Ain't Misbehavin'" by Fats Waller

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# Ain't misbehavin'

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# I'm saving my love for you. #

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Moving on from the 1930s architecture of Bexhill-on-Sea,

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we're edging west along the coast towards the Seven Sisters.

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It's a journey through the most recent addition to our national parks -

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the South Downs.

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Thanks, Keith. See you again.

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Keith has very kindly given me a lift to the Seven Sisters on the South Downs Way.

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And what a place for a pit-stop.

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It's got beautiful views

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and a refreshing, cooling breeze.

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In March this year, it was announced that the South Downs was to be designated national park status,

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the ninth national park in England.

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The decision came 60 years after it was first recommended,

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and the South Downs National Park Authority

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will officially come into being on 1st April this year.

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It's outstandingly beautiful,

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but it takes more than just beauty to become a national park.

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I'm joining someone who knows the South Downs very well,

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the area's project manager for Natural England.

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So the South Downs has some pretty unique habitats, doesn't it?

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It does. One of the most unique of those is chalk grassland.

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We only have a relatively small area left on the downs now.

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In fact, only around 4% of the chalk is chalk grassland.

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So what distinguishes chalk grassland?

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Well, chalk grassland is a very, very species-rich habitat.

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And we've actually recorded up to 56 species of plant per square metre...

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-Goodness.

-..on the very, very best bits.

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So this is an example of chalk grassland plants here.

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What have we got?

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-We've got a Pyramidal orchid.

-That's a stunner.

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An orchid species that flowers late on in the year,

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-sort of late June and into July.

-That's beautiful.

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Here we've got kidney vetch.

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Kidney vetch?

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And that's unique in chalk grassland?

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Yeah, that's a species that's typical of chalk grassland.

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And you've got bird's-foot trefoil, another species that's closely related to kidney vetch.

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Yeah. What is about chalk grassland that gives us 50 species per square metre?

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Chalk grassland is a very, very harsh environment.

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The soils are really, really thin and nutrient-poor.

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And on top of that,

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you quite often find the best chalk grassland on steep slopes.

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So most of the nutrients are running down the slope to the bottom.

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Together with that, they're often baked by the sun.

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So it's very, very harsh.

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All those things together favour small low-growing herbs,

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and prevent any one species from dominating.

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And now that the South Downs has become a national park,

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will it benefit these plants because they're protected?

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The national park status will give a much greater emphasis

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on managing the landscape in the right way,

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and restoring it where appropriate.

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The important thing is that these areas of chalk grassland

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are not only important for bio-diversity, but they're also important for access.

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So Seven Sisters Country Park... This park gets in excess of 250,000 visitors a year.

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So it's a very, very important site.

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But also managing for chalk grassland, recreating chalk grassland

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actually protects the aquifer,

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and almost 100% of the water that's drunk in all the coastal communities,

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Brighton, Littlehampton, Worthing,

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comes from the chalk.

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So there's all these things come together, making the management really important here.

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Keep heading west from here through the South Downs, and you'll reach the beauty spot at Devil's Dyke.

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You can walk it, but if you're starting from a well-known coastal resort, there is an alternative.

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Brighton's been the first choice for a day out for centuries.

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It's got beaches, shops, funfairs, of course, it's got the pier.

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It's pretty much got something for everybody.

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But if you've had enough of the waves and enough of the funfairs,

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you can catch one of these out to the country.

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The Victorians were perhaps the forerunners of the Countryfile viewer.

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They loved to get out of town, into the country.

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Route 77 leaves the pier every half hour for the seven-mile trip to the Downs.

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But first, it runs along the seafront to Saltdean.

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On a sunny day, life takes on a new dimension

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from the top deck of an open-top bus.

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Even naked bathing's OK.

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They call this "the bus to freedom."

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And, after all, this is Brighton.

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Now, that just behind me is Brighton's famous Palace Pier,

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and just over that way is the rather decrepit-looking West Pier that recently burnt down.

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Now, it's set to be refurbished, but by the looks of things, they could have a pretty big job on their hands.

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Another open-top bus?!

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Bus rides have never been so much fun!

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Hello! PASSENGERS SHOUT

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This is the first time I've ever been on the 77 route.

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But it's pretty good at the moment, yeah.

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I'm taking my niece's children to Devil's Dyke,

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which, normally I'd go by car, but the children love it on an open-top bus.

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So we thought we'd do that today.

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The shops, the Georgian and Victorian villas,

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they're all part of Brighton.

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But I wanted to get out of the city, and it doesn't take long.

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We've found that through having such an interesting type of bus, an open-top bus,

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45% of our passengers actually do have access to a car.

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So we're even helping to reduce congestion and pollution

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by getting people out of their cars and onto the bus,

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because we're providing the sort of bus that even car drivers

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will happily use to go for trips to the countryside.

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They will put themselves out to get on this bus.

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-So it's not only a great day out, but it's environmentally friendly, too.

-Absolutely.

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People come up here for all sorts of reasons. Some come for the bus ride.

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Others come to do a long walk and then catch another bus

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from somewhere else along the Downs back to Brighton.

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We've had people come up here for teddy bears' picnics, blackberrying,

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collecting wood for their fire - it's amazing.

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Somebody actually had a apiary, they said, and they came up here to collect wood

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so that they could use it for smoking the bees.

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-They just came on the 77...

-Yes.

-..to collect the wood and then go home?

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That's right. The most amazing one I came across was actually somebody who had hang-glided all the way

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from Devil's Dyke down to the sea front, and got on the bus to come back with his hang-gliding pack.

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Everybody thought he'd been rambling but when we asked where he'd been,

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-he said, "Oh, I just hang-glided down from the Dyke and caught the bus back again."

-How amazing!

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The change from town to country is almost instant.

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Quite suddenly, Brighton is left far behind, and we're on the top of the South Downs.

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It's an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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We're currently at one of the highest points in this area,

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and, as you can see, there's a mix of arable fields and grass and chalk grassland.

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It's changed a lot in the last 20 or 30 years,

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and part of our job is to try and develop new ways

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to manage the landscape with landowners and farmers and the Government

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to try and enhance its ecology and its landscape quality, basically.

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Thank you.

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And this is Devil's Dyke, with plenty to explore.

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From sea level, the bus has climbed up nearly 700 feet.

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On a clear day, so they say,

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you can see the Isle of Wight and Windsor Castle.

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And even if you can't,

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the views are certainly worth the price of a bus fare.

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Devil's Dyke is strictly the name of the hillfort.

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The whole area's been owned by the National Trust since 1995,

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and I'm on my way to meet one of the wardens.

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So tell me about what Devil's Dyke would have been like in its heyday.

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Well, in Victorian and in Edwardian times,

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it was basically a theme park, so there were up to 30,000 people

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-in a bank holiday weekend.

-What? Up all around here?

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-All around the top.

-And what sort of infrastructure would they have had?

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Well, loads of public transport -

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trains, wagonettes.

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The 19th century landowners provided more than just fresh air and a pub to attract visitors.

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In those days, Dyke Park had its own railway station,

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and the crowds could come by horse-drawn bus to the top of the hill.

0:19:200:19:24

There was an amusement park with an aerial railway across the Devil's Punchbowl,

0:19:240:19:29

and all kinds of other attractions, but virtually nothing remains today.

0:19:290:19:33

Well, Ben, believe it or not, this is actually the platform and engine house of a steep grade,

0:19:350:19:40

narrow-gauge railway that went straight down the hill there,

0:19:400:19:43

down those steep slopes, to the village of Poynings below.

0:19:430:19:46

And what sort of period was that in?

0:19:460:19:48

We're talking about 1897 - a great Victorian bit of engineering.

0:19:480:19:52

Alas, by 1907, it had closed down.

0:19:520:19:56

-And why was that?

-Unfortunately, people used it to bypass the attractions at the top of the hill,

0:19:560:20:00

because there were cheaper tea rooms down in the beautiful village of Poynings.

0:20:000:20:04

So the landlord of the hotel shot himself in the foot a bit there, and went out of business.

0:20:040:20:09

'Today, Devil's Dyke is a wonderful natural feature, but how was it formed?'

0:20:090:20:14

Well, back at the end of the Ice Age,

0:20:140:20:16

all this chalkland, which is normally permeable,

0:20:160:20:21

was actually frozen solid.

0:20:210:20:23

Then in the summers, which were quite short, it would start to melt,

0:20:230:20:27

and then you'd get the rivers and the erosion.

0:20:270:20:30

So then it would get worn away. It could even happen literally in a matter of days -

0:20:300:20:34

a great big slump causing this huge valley you see in front of you.

0:20:340:20:38

It's difficult to get perspective. How deep and how long is it?

0:20:380:20:42

It's the longest valley of its type in England.

0:20:420:20:45

It's almost a kilometre long and about 100 metres deep.

0:20:450:20:49

How has the land use changed throughout the years?

0:20:490:20:53

Quite a great deal.

0:20:530:20:55

It was stable for about 3,000 years.

0:20:550:20:57

Farms such as Saddlescombe, in the distance there,

0:20:570:21:00

the home of shepherding, which kept the grass grazed short,

0:21:000:21:03

and made it the fantastic habitat it was.

0:21:030:21:06

But after the Second World War,

0:21:060:21:07

when that all changed, the scrub around us started to encroach,

0:21:070:21:11

and that's changing the ecology, so we need to manage that.

0:21:110:21:15

So there's obviously a fine balance between protecting the environment and allowing people to visit.

0:21:150:21:20

So what sort of effect does the number 77 bus,

0:21:200:21:23

bringing people from Brighton straight up here, have on the land?

0:21:230:21:27

It's making a big difference.

0:21:270:21:29

A positive one or a negative one?

0:21:290:21:31

A positive one, definitely. With so many people coming up -

0:21:310:21:34

cos it's still very popular, it's the big site for people in Brighton -

0:21:340:21:37

obviously that's a lot of cars, so the more people

0:21:370:21:41

we can get out of their cars and onto the bus the better.

0:21:410:21:46

Who could fail to be inspired by countryside like this?

0:21:460:21:50

Constable called it "the most marvellous views in the world,"

0:21:500:21:54

Kipling described "those whale-backed Downs

0:21:540:21:59

"and the blue goodness of the wooded Weald below."

0:21:590:22:02

-So it certainly has inspired a good number of people. It inspires me.

-It's absolutely stunning.

0:22:020:22:08

Ben enjoying some of the best scenery the South Downs has to offer.

0:22:270:22:31

I'm lucky enough to be enjoying some of the same wonderful Sussex scenery

0:22:340:22:38

on a similarly stunning day.

0:22:380:22:40

I'm travelling west

0:22:440:22:45

into the agricultural fields of Lancing.

0:22:450:22:47

I've come to visit Applesham Farm -

0:22:470:22:50

850 acres of land nestled in the heart

0:22:500:22:52

of the new South Downs National Park.

0:22:520:22:56

SHEEP BLEAT

0:23:080:23:12

Drawing over a million visitors a year,

0:23:120:23:15

the South Downs is popular with holidaymakers, nature enthusiasts

0:23:150:23:19

and ramblers, but it's also a working environment

0:23:190:23:22

that's been shaped by an ancient way of life -

0:23:220:23:25

farming.

0:23:250:23:27

Hugh, what are you doing here?

0:23:290:23:31

I'm basically weighing and handling lambs

0:23:310:23:33

to select lambs for sale next week.

0:23:330:23:36

-How are they coming up? So the heavier ones will go, will they?

-Yes. Anything over 33 kilos...

0:23:360:23:41

-Yup.

-..will go next week, and obviously, they'll keep growing,

0:23:410:23:45

and every week, we'll be drawing the next heaviest.

0:23:450:23:48

Fantastic. Don't let me stop you. You're obviously very busy.

0:23:480:23:53

So what kind of farm do you have here?

0:23:530:23:55

We're a traditional mixed farm - arable, sheep and beef.

0:23:550:23:59

We're running about 350 ewes and...

0:23:590:24:03

-Calving just over 70 suckler cows.

-So what are the main challenges of farming on the South Downs?

0:24:030:24:10

The weather's quite important to us, and you can see from today that we're quite exposed up here.

0:24:100:24:15

-It's windy.

-Even in the summer, it's always a degree or two colder up here with the wind.

0:24:150:24:19

And also the soil type up here. You can see behind you, the ploughed field

0:24:190:24:24

is a very white chalky soil - very thin, poor soils in places, so we're not on the best of ground

0:24:240:24:30

up here, but we do have some good ground in amongst it.

0:24:300:24:33

They're quite vocal, aren't they? That one was really shouting about it.

0:24:330:24:36

-Yeah, I think they want to go back to Mum.

-Oh, I see!

0:24:360:24:38

Making a right old racket.

0:24:380:24:40

Now that the South Downs has been awarded national park status,

0:24:400:24:43

do you know how that might affect the farm here?

0:24:430:24:46

It's difficult to know really until it happens. They're still in the process of setting it up.

0:24:460:24:51

-I don't think it'll affect us too much.

-Farming's been going on in the South Downs

0:24:510:24:55

-for hundreds of years, hasn't it?

-It has, yeah. Our family's been here over 100 years now.

0:24:550:25:00

So, yeah, it's an integral part of the Downs, really. It's our factory floor.

0:25:000:25:05

It's where we're producing our living from so, yes, it's obviously very important to us.

0:25:050:25:10

So how was lambing this year?

0:25:100:25:12

Very good. We lamb outside in April

0:25:120:25:14

and obviously, we had some very good weather in April

0:25:140:25:18

which helped survival rates greatly.

0:25:180:25:21

So, yeah, we had a good lambing and the lambs have grown well

0:25:210:25:25

and, at the moment, the prices are very good.

0:25:250:25:27

So, yeah, it's been very good.

0:25:270:25:30

Did you have many orphans?

0:25:300:25:32

No, we managed to foster everything off this year.

0:25:320:25:37

We fostered triplet lambs onto singles.

0:25:370:25:41

So why can't a mother have all three lambs?

0:25:410:25:44

Basically, a ewe has only got two teats

0:25:440:25:47

so if you've got three lambs,

0:25:470:25:49

three are fighting over the two teats all the time.

0:25:490:25:52

It's unusual to be able to foster them all. We did it two years ago.

0:25:520:25:55

Last year, we ended up with about five that we couldn't foster.

0:25:550:25:59

-So this year was a successful year, then?

-Very.

-Great.

0:25:590:26:02

Yeah, it was good.

0:26:020:26:03

Ooh, calmed down.

0:26:030:26:06

And how do you get a mother to take on a lamb that isn't hers?

0:26:060:26:09

Basically, we do it during lambing.

0:26:090:26:12

When we see a single ewe lambing, we grab a triplet lamb

0:26:120:26:15

and then you cover the lamb that you want to foster in the ewe's birth fluids

0:26:150:26:20

-and they pretty well take them straight away.

-Wow.

0:26:200:26:23

-It sort of fools them into thinking it's their own lamb.

-Fantastic.

0:26:230:26:27

-It's been very successful doing it that way.

-And it's good for you not having to hand rear.

-Definitely.

0:26:270:26:32

There's a lot of work to it and it costs a lot of money to do it

0:26:320:26:35

and the lambs are much better on a ewe than being fed off a bottle.

0:26:350:26:39

-So...

-Last one, then?

-Yep.

0:26:390:26:41

Right...

0:26:410:26:43

-And that can wait for another week.

-Bye.

0:26:450:26:48

It's great to see a thriving mixed farm at work.

0:26:520:26:55

The chalky Sussex soil is also being used in less traditional ways

0:26:570:27:01

but always subject to the weather.

0:27:010:27:04

Unlike over in France, vineyards in the South Downs

0:27:060:27:09

in the past have had to put up with unpredictable, ever-changing weather

0:27:090:27:12

rather than a stable climate.

0:27:120:27:14

Since the Ice Age, which ended 10,000 years ago,

0:27:140:27:18

lasting changes in average temperature and rainfall

0:27:180:27:21

haven't really been noticeable in anyone's lifetime.

0:27:210:27:24

But now that could all change.

0:27:240:27:26

So the south of England could be as warm as the Champagne region

0:27:260:27:29

in France with the ideal conditions to make fine wine.

0:27:290:27:33

It seems that grapes are particularly sensitive to climatic variation.

0:27:330:27:37

Richard, is the idea that grape vines are a good indicator of climate a new idea?

0:27:380:27:43

No, it's not.

0:27:430:27:44

Some 2,000 years ago, in Roman times,

0:27:440:27:46

someone was writing about how they could use vines

0:27:460:27:50

to map changing climate. in my own research

0:27:500:27:52

I've been able to confirm this because I've mapped the ebb and flow of vineyards

0:27:520:27:56

across the British countryside, showing a correlation

0:27:560:27:59

with temperature change for some 2,000 years.

0:27:590:28:01

You mentioned the Romans. They had a lot of settlements around here.

0:28:010:28:05

There was a villa at Bignor.

0:28:050:28:07

Would they have had vineyards?

0:28:070:28:09

I think one could speculate that almost every Roman villa

0:28:090:28:12

would have had a vineyard for nostalgic reasons

0:28:120:28:14

for the early Roman settlers.

0:28:140:28:16

There's very good evidence that there were commercial vineyards

0:28:160:28:20

of the Roman period, right up as far as Lincoln.

0:28:200:28:22

Some were producing up to 10,000 bottles,

0:28:220:28:25

in modern size, of wine a year.

0:28:250:28:27

So what climatic stage are we at now?

0:28:270:28:29

Well, we've come out of the little Ice Age,

0:28:290:28:33

and the temperature has almost got back to what it was in Roman times.

0:28:330:28:37

Remember that the ice sheets of 10,000 years ago had long gone,

0:28:390:28:43

when grapes only survived right down in the South East of England.

0:28:430:28:47

Then, by the time the Romans left,

0:28:470:28:49

the vines had advanced right up to the north,

0:28:490:28:51

to the Humber in the north and the Severn in the west.

0:28:510:28:55

Then in the colder centuries of the Middle Ages

0:28:550:28:57

grape vines were squeezed south once more.

0:28:570:29:00

Until the weather warmed up a bit more, and they went north again,

0:29:000:29:03

during the Industrial Revolution, about 200 years ago.

0:29:030:29:07

In this vineyard, in the South Downs, not very far from Nyetimber,

0:29:070:29:11

they're growing a wide range of grape varieties.

0:29:110:29:14

And how well do vines grow in the UK?

0:29:140:29:16

Very well. Some varieties are very well adapted.

0:29:160:29:20

And then others struggle a bit.

0:29:200:29:22

If you like at, say, we've got some Pinot Noir here.

0:29:220:29:25

That does very, very well for sparkling wine in the UK.

0:29:250:29:29

But only one year in three here can we produce good red wine with it.

0:29:290:29:33

Whereas on this side here, we've got Riesling,

0:29:330:29:36

a German variety. Again, last year, it ripened really well.

0:29:360:29:40

But it was the first time I've ever seen it really ripen.

0:29:400:29:43

Have you noticed varieties changing as the climate changes?

0:29:430:29:47

Oh yeah, certainly. I've been here since '88 in the UK.

0:29:470:29:51

I was trained in Bordeaux.

0:29:510:29:53

And over the years I've definitely seen an improvement in climate.

0:29:530:29:57

Better vintages and good ripening.

0:29:570:30:00

What about the theory that if the climate warms up,

0:30:000:30:02

the French will get worse at wine production

0:30:020:30:05

and it's going to get better here?

0:30:050:30:07

I think there's definitely going to be a shift

0:30:070:30:10

in the northern-most reaches of wine production, if you like.

0:30:100:30:14

That's where we are at present.

0:30:140:30:16

But that's going to change.

0:30:160:30:18

We'll definitely be able to grow more adventurous classic varieties here

0:30:180:30:23

and I hope produce even better wine.

0:30:230:30:25

Of course, it's not just the weather that governs how well grapes grow.

0:30:260:30:30

The soil is crucial too.

0:30:300:30:32

So how important is geology to wine production?

0:30:320:30:36

Very important. When you look at it, vines grow on rocks of every type

0:30:360:30:40

and every age, so superficially you'd think it's not important at all.

0:30:400:30:44

But in fact, geology together with climate

0:30:440:30:47

control the soil in which the vines grow

0:30:470:30:49

and the landscape in which they stand.

0:30:490:30:51

And what have we got here?

0:30:510:30:54

Well, this rock is a bit of greensand.

0:30:540:30:56

That might surprise you as it doesn't look very green

0:30:560:30:59

either at the outcrop or hand specimen

0:30:590:31:02

but it's got the green mineral in it when it's fresh, called glauconite

0:31:020:31:06

which has got a lot of iron, potassium, nutrients in it like that.

0:31:060:31:09

And a lot of vineyards flourish on this greensand rock.

0:31:090:31:12

Not just here in England but also in France.

0:31:120:31:15

And the advantage of it is that it's quite well drained.

0:31:150:31:19

It's got good permeability, so the vines can not have water-logged roots

0:31:190:31:23

as they don't like that.

0:31:230:31:24

So as well as the geology and the soils,

0:31:240:31:26

the whole aspect is very important to growing wine, isn't it?

0:31:260:31:30

That's right. And it's that dreaded word the French use,

0:31:300:31:33

"terroir", if one's allowed to say that on English television.

0:31:330:31:37

But it's the integration of geology, climate

0:31:370:31:40

and local micro-climatic controls.

0:31:400:31:42

So what we need is "terroir." That's the care and expertise

0:31:420:31:46

that gives fine French wines their character

0:31:460:31:49

and maybe the French will come down to the South Downs and help,

0:31:490:31:53

because there will be ideal sites here.

0:31:530:31:55

Could we soon be tasting wine from all parts of the UK?

0:31:550:31:58

I expect my children will be drinking Manchester Merlot

0:31:580:32:01

and Sheffield Shiraz and my grandchildren will probably drink

0:32:010:32:05

Glasgow Gewurztraminer, with Icelandic whisky to follow.

0:32:050:32:08

In the last five years, the acreage of vineyards in the UK

0:32:080:32:12

has grown by 45%.

0:32:120:32:13

With its reputation on the up, the future for British wine production

0:32:130:32:18

looks healthy.

0:32:180:32:19

I'm on a journey through the countryside of Sussex.

0:32:250:32:29

I've reached the very edge of the national park

0:32:290:32:31

and the village of High Salvington.

0:32:310:32:35

I'm on my way to meet a quartet of men, who've dedicated

0:32:410:32:44

part of their lives to restoring a local landmark

0:32:440:32:47

from a crumbling facade to a working piece of history.

0:32:470:32:51

By 1976, after 226 years on the skyline,

0:33:020:33:07

High Salvington Mill had become a relic. Unloved and derelict.

0:33:070:33:11

Then a band of men came together to rescue it.

0:33:110:33:16

And so began a continuing love affair with this old building.

0:33:160:33:21

Roger came in, you came in right in the early days, didn't you?

0:33:210:33:24

-At one time, it was just you and I.

-It was, yes.

0:33:240:33:27

It was heavy going at times.

0:33:270:33:29

Then Bob came and sort of made Three Musketeers or whatever.

0:33:290:33:34

We did have just a framework for a long time.

0:33:340:33:38

Because the floors were taken up.

0:33:380:33:41

Health and Safety wouldn't have liked what we did!

0:33:410:33:44

Wow! This is beautiful in here!

0:33:490:33:51

-Oh, hello.

-Hi there. Can you show me around? This is amazing.

-Sure thing.

0:33:510:33:56

I'll just pop this in there.

0:33:560:33:58

-Fine, well this is the spout floor of the mill.

-Yeah.

0:33:580:34:01

This is a post mill. That means the whole mill is balanced on a post.

0:34:010:34:06

-One post?

-One post. And this is the post.

0:34:060:34:09

It goes down to the floor, almost.

0:34:090:34:11

And the whole weight of the mill is taken on that one piece of wood

0:34:110:34:16

-going across there.

-Goodness!

0:34:160:34:18

And we are hanging on this floor from the corner posts

0:34:180:34:21

-and these tie bars that you can see around us.

-And yet it's as sturdy as anything.

0:34:210:34:26

And if I lift up that, we might have a bit of flour coming out.

0:34:310:34:35

-So this is a working mill? It's not just for show?

-Yes.

0:34:350:34:38

-Yes, we tended to use, up until now, all our own stuff, didn't we?

-Yeah.

0:34:440:34:49

Yes, bring your own toolbox.

0:34:490:34:51

With everything in it.

0:34:510:34:53

-Right, OK.

-That's a trapdoor.

0:35:050:35:07

There's one up there as well.

0:35:070:35:09

-If you drop a rope down through there...

-Through the holes?

0:35:090:35:12

Right, and get your sack of grain on the bottom,

0:35:120:35:16

you can actually use the wind to bring it upstairs

0:35:160:35:19

-but in order to do that we've got to go upstairs.

-Lead the way.

0:35:190:35:23

I've got a background in engineering. Marine engineering.

0:35:260:35:29

And fitting.

0:35:290:35:31

And I tended to gravitate to saying, "Well, why don't we do it this way?"

0:35:310:35:36

And that's what's happened.

0:35:360:35:39

Basically, they've gone along with me without getting too frustrated.

0:35:390:35:44

So that's it. And it's gone on like that.

0:35:440:35:51

This is the other end, or other side of the trapdoor there.

0:35:550:35:59

We can imagine that going down through the floor there.

0:35:590:36:02

Going down through the next floor.

0:36:020:36:04

-Down to...

-The ground?

-The ground, in effect.

0:36:040:36:07

Tying a bag of grain on, and then you bring it up

0:36:070:36:10

by turning this thing round,

0:36:100:36:12

and as it comes up, it lifts the trapdoors open.

0:36:120:36:18

You can imagine your bag of grain coming up.

0:36:180:36:21

And it automatically closes afterwards.

0:36:210:36:24

-Making light work of those heavy bags?

-Well yes, quite.

0:36:240:36:28

Mind you, we don't often use it.

0:36:280:36:29

So just on the other side of this is where the sails are?

0:36:290:36:33

Right, the sails will be on the front there.

0:36:330:36:35

The sails turn this big shaft, these wheels as well.

0:36:350:36:39

This wheel, we built ourselves. It's an exact copy of the original.

0:36:390:36:44

The new brake wheel built by the volunteers

0:36:490:36:53

had to be brought up the mill steps in two halves

0:36:530:36:56

and through two floors before being fitted around the wind shaft.

0:36:560:37:00

It then had to be accurately positioned and the cogs finely shaped

0:37:000:37:04

to fit the stone nut pinion.

0:37:040:37:07

Quite an interesting story behind that, because the chap at the time

0:37:070:37:11

said to me, "Oh, you're a teacher of craft. Can you build a wheel?"

0:37:110:37:15

And I said, "Hmm, never tried a wheel, but perhaps."

0:37:150:37:18

And then I said, "Yes, I think I can build a wheel."

0:37:180:37:21

And he said, "It's going to be ten foot in diameter."

0:37:210:37:24

And I said, "Well, you didn't say that to start with!"

0:37:240:37:28

I said, "I'm sure we can manage, even if it is ten foot in diameter."

0:37:280:37:31

And he said, "Come along and have a look at it.

0:37:310:37:34

So we saw the old wheel and I said, "You didn't tell me it had cogs too!"

0:37:340:37:38

And so anyhow, it had 138 cogs in it.

0:37:380:37:41

And we took it on and it took us three years to build

0:37:410:37:43

and I think you've seen how we humped that thing up the steps of the mill

0:37:430:37:47

-and got it into place, but it was quite a job.

-It was a job! Yeah.

0:37:470:37:52

But it was a further five years before it could be installed

0:37:520:37:56

and finished, as the wind shaft had to be repaired

0:37:560:37:59

using outside contractors.

0:37:590:38:02

And this is where the flour actually gets ground?

0:38:020:38:05

Yes, this is the hopper. You put your grain in there.

0:38:050:38:08

There's your stone and that's after the last grind we did, in there.

0:38:080:38:13

And if I wanted to set the stones ready for grinding...

0:38:130:38:18

Ooh, that's heavy!

0:38:180:38:22

Bung it into the sprattle, tighten it up like that.

0:38:220:38:25

And I'll get it right tight. Then you're ready for the wind

0:38:250:38:30

to drive the wind shaft and turn this.

0:38:300:38:34

We all look at it and quite seriously we are proud of it.

0:38:430:38:48

-Yeah.

-And although we've worked our insides out at times...

0:38:480:38:52

And the other thing is, it's very nice on a Sunday morning

0:38:520:38:56

when we're working out here, we sit down, we all have an allotment,

0:38:560:39:00

and people say like Last Of The Summer Wine, you know?

0:39:000:39:03

And we sit down, and look at the mill and it's ticking over. And you think,

0:39:030:39:07

"Gosh, it does look nice." It's that sort of thing.

0:39:070:39:10

-It's our train set.

-Yes. Big boys' toys.

0:39:100:39:14

Thanks to the hard work and devotion of these men

0:39:200:39:23

High Salvington Mill looks like it will be lighting up the horizon

0:39:230:39:26

for generations to come.

0:39:260:39:28

Restoration is not only limited to buildings. Just north of here,

0:39:280:39:32

work has been going on to restore a rare population of bats.

0:39:320:39:36

With natural habitat increasingly under threat

0:39:370:39:40

the search is constantly on to find new alternative safe refuges

0:39:400:39:45

for Britain's wildlife.

0:39:450:39:46

And sometimes, they can be in the strangest places.

0:39:460:39:49

Like this, a relic from World War II.

0:39:490:39:53

EXPLOSION

0:39:530:39:54

It's a pillbox, built to withstand all kinds of bombardment.

0:40:030:40:06

The walls are more than a metre thick.

0:40:060:40:09

So not surprisingly, there are still quite a few of these things

0:40:090:40:12

scattered around the countryside. But this was the first

0:40:120:40:16

to be specially adapted to welcome an airborne invader.

0:40:160:40:19

We're talking bats.

0:40:190:40:21

So many of their traditional roosting places, like barns and lofts,

0:40:210:40:25

have been converted into homes for humans

0:40:250:40:27

that they're fast running out of places to stay.

0:40:270:40:30

Frank, what gave the idea of using a pillbox as a refuge for bats?

0:40:300:40:35

Looking around, following the bats, looking at what they were doing

0:40:350:40:39

and where they were going, and this pillbox was being used

0:40:390:40:42

a small amount, but not really the intensive use that you find in winter hibernation sites.

0:40:420:40:48

Conditions, it turned out, were just not quite right.

0:40:480:40:51

So Frank decided a makeover was needed to turn it into a place

0:40:510:40:56

that bats could happily call home.

0:40:560:40:58

Those were open firing slates and the wind could blow straight through

0:40:580:41:02

and that was taking all the humidity out of the building

0:41:020:41:05

so it was very dry inside. So closing those slits off

0:41:050:41:08

slowed the air flow through the building.

0:41:080:41:11

-So it was too dry and too draught?

-Exactly.

0:41:110:41:13

Everything that's been done has been done to try and compensate for that

0:41:130:41:17

and close the air in, slow the temperature change

0:41:170:41:20

and keep the humidity high. And that's what bats like.

0:41:200:41:23

-That's what they've taken to.

-What do you do inside?

0:41:230:41:26

There's lots of things done inside. Come and have a look.

0:41:260:41:30

This is a bit of a challenge, Frank!

0:41:330:41:35

It's actually very useful. It deters an awful lot of intrusion

0:41:350:41:41

during the winter when the bats don't really want to be disturbed.

0:41:410:41:45

So it lets bats in but stops any unwanted people getting in?

0:41:450:41:49

Exactly. JOHN LAUGHS

0:41:490:41:50

-Not the easiest place to get into, Frank, is it?

-No, no.

0:41:550:41:58

-Where are the bats?

-Well, it is in the middle of summer now,

0:41:580:42:02

and we wouldn't expect bats to be in here apart from the occasional visit.

0:42:020:42:06

Winter is the time for bats in here.

0:42:060:42:08

-So we can come in here safely and not disturb anything.

-That's right.

0:42:080:42:12

-We're not disturbing anything.

-How many would be in here in winter?

-At peak coldness,

0:42:120:42:16

-in, say, January, you might have a dozen bats in here.

-And you've built this for them.

0:42:160:42:21

-Yeah, yeah.

-Sort of bedrooms!

-Yes, they've each got their individual little holes.

0:42:210:42:26

And the bats crawl up into those,

0:42:260:42:29

and that actually stabilises the humidity even more than in the body of the pillbox.

0:42:290:42:35

Dozens of pillboxes have now been converted into shelters

0:42:350:42:39

as part of the nationwide campaign

0:42:390:42:41

to give Britain's bats a more secure future.

0:42:410:42:44

All 16 species are threatened, and though manmade structures are one solution,

0:42:440:42:49

there are still problems to be solved all the year round

0:42:490:42:53

in their natural habitat.

0:42:530:42:55

Although there are no bats in the pillboxes right now,

0:42:560:42:59

in this ancient woodland a few miles away,

0:42:590:43:02

as dusk begins to fall, they're all around,

0:43:020:43:05

including three very rare species.

0:43:050:43:07

And ironically, although this land is owned by the Sussex Wildlife Trust,

0:43:070:43:11

their future here is by no means certain.

0:43:110:43:14

The great hurricane of 1987 brought destruction at Ebernoe Common, and now there's a storm

0:43:140:43:21

between bat-lovers and the Trust over plans to cut back the holly

0:43:210:43:24

that's grown there ever since.

0:43:240:43:26

Holly is good news for bats,

0:43:260:43:28

but bad news for the wood's important collection of lichens.

0:43:280:43:31

The holly seems to be out of control.

0:43:310:43:33

It looks as though it really needs to be cut back.

0:43:330:43:36

There is an awful lot of it, but in actual fact,

0:43:360:43:39

this is of direct benefit to very, very rare bats.

0:43:390:43:43

They use the forest in different ways,

0:43:430:43:45

but that really dense cover is what they need.

0:43:450:43:47

The problem with the holly is it's relatively new here.

0:43:470:43:50

Ebernoe's a "wood pasture" -

0:43:500:43:52

it's been grazed for thousands of years.

0:43:520:43:55

The holly's only come about since it stopped being grazed, about 1950,

0:43:550:43:58

and particularly since the '87 storm,

0:43:580:44:00

and it's making the habitat change quite rapidly.

0:44:000:44:03

Ebernoe is really important for lichens.

0:44:030:44:05

It's got over 270 species, and the holly is shading them out.

0:44:050:44:09

It's a real dilemma. Which come first? The lichens are threatened,

0:44:090:44:13

but so are rare species of bat,

0:44:130:44:15

like this barbastelle, which Frank is very carefully handling.

0:44:150:44:19

We know five colonies in the British Isles - five breeding colonies -

0:44:190:44:23

so that's probably around 500 bats.

0:44:230:44:26

A guesstimate of the population for the whole of the British Isles

0:44:260:44:29

is between five and ten thousand.

0:44:290:44:31

Part of the problem is that our nature reserves

0:44:310:44:34

are lifeboats in a sea of land that is no longer any good for wildlife.

0:44:340:44:38

That really puts the pressure on them in a way that simply wouldn't have happened 100 years ago.

0:44:380:44:43

Finding another site like this these days is almost an impossibility.

0:44:430:44:48

-So it could be the end, really, for it.

-Well, it could well, yes.

0:44:480:44:52

The final decision about the bats, the lichen and the holly

0:44:520:44:55

rests with the Government's conservation advisors, English Nature.

0:44:550:44:59

But just a couple of days ago, Ebernoe was named

0:44:590:45:02

as one of Britain's most important wildlife sites.

0:45:020:45:04

Let's hope that's a good omen all round.

0:45:040:45:07

My journey has now brought me

0:45:140:45:16

to the ancient woodlands of Ebernoe Common.

0:45:160:45:19

I've followed in John's footsteps to Ebernoe Common,

0:45:220:45:25

an area just inside the new national park boundary.

0:45:250:45:29

The cutting of holly here stopped over nine years ago, allowing the understorey to re-establish

0:45:290:45:35

and offer better cover for the bats.

0:45:350:45:37

I'm catching up with Frank to see what his research over the last ten years has shown.

0:45:370:45:42

-Hi, Frank. Good to meet you.

-And you.

0:45:420:45:46

So how have barbastelle numbers been doing since John was here last?

0:45:460:45:51

It's been a long, nice story of success, actually, really.

0:45:510:45:54

-Do you have any clue as to the actual numbers?

-Yeah.

0:45:540:45:58

We count these things in breeding females. Bat biology is complicated.

0:45:580:46:03

The males and females don't live together at all. So all the females live together.

0:46:030:46:09

And, er...as a way of coping

0:46:090:46:12

with the available space - in holes in trees and things like that -

0:46:120:46:16

they limit their little groupings to about 25 animals,

0:46:160:46:20

and you have several groupings of these 25-odd animals scattered around the woodland.

0:46:200:46:25

-I call them subgroups, but they're all part of the same colony, really.

-So how many in the colony?

0:46:250:46:30

-I think there's about 80 breeding females.

-So numbers have really gone up.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:46:300:46:35

-They have.

-And what work have you been doing to study the bats?

0:46:350:46:39

Um...well, we put on radio tags.

0:46:390:46:42

Most of the work that's been done in here

0:46:420:46:46

has been based on these tiny radio tags glued on the back of the bat.

0:46:460:46:50

-And you've been filming them, as well.

-Yeah.

0:46:500:46:54

How we get to know how many bats there are in a roost

0:46:540:46:57

is by following the radio tag back,

0:46:570:47:00

and that tells us there's a hole in a tree there - the bats are in there.

0:47:000:47:04

And then the following night, you go along with an infrared camcorder, set it all up,

0:47:040:47:10

with an infrared floodlight,

0:47:100:47:12

and you can then film the colony, and by doing it with a camera like this,

0:47:120:47:17

you can, um... CAMERA BEEPS

0:47:170:47:19

-You can see what's going on in the roost.

-It'll come up in a tick.

0:47:190:47:24

-There we go.

-Oh, yes!

0:47:240:47:25

And you can see

0:47:250:47:27

that's a fissure in a big oak tree.

0:47:270:47:29

-The bats are all tucked up in that fissure.

-There's one.

0:47:290:47:33

Yeah. Yeah, they will come flipping out of there,

0:47:330:47:36

one after the other, very rapidly, actually.

0:47:360:47:40

What has your study taught you more about the bats, and also about how to study bats in the future?

0:47:400:47:45

One of the great things which has come out of this study

0:47:450:47:49

has been the fact that these bats

0:47:490:47:51

are not only relying on these nice, sheltered woods to spend their days during the summer,

0:47:510:47:56

but they're going and feeding in very different habitats elsewhere, and they need to get from A to B.

0:47:560:48:02

One of the insights Frank gained through his research

0:48:020:48:06

was that the bats used the same flight lines each day,

0:48:060:48:10

travelling up to 20km in search of food.

0:48:100:48:12

Bats need cover to make their flights safe from predators.

0:48:120:48:16

As the countryside has been farmed,

0:48:160:48:18

hedgerows and trees have become more scarce,

0:48:180:48:21

meaning much of this essential cover has been lost.

0:48:210:48:24

Part of Frank's work is to restore these flight lines

0:48:240:48:27

by replanting trees and expanding existing hedgerows.

0:48:270:48:32

As soon as you get these connecting features between bits of woodland,

0:48:320:48:36

and other areas of meadow and swamp and things like that,

0:48:360:48:41

it means things can move about in a way that they were restricted from doing before.

0:48:410:48:46

My journey began behind the wheel of a car,

0:49:100:49:13

and fittingly, it'll end behind the wheel of a car.

0:49:130:49:16

Only this time, it'll be slightly more hair-raising.

0:49:180:49:21

MUSIC: BBC Formula One theme

0:49:210:49:25

My journey has taken me from the birthplace of motor racing,

0:49:250:49:28

Bexhill-on-Sea,

0:49:280:49:30

west to the Seven Sisters,

0:49:300:49:32

across the South Downs to Lancing,

0:49:320:49:34

and then to the village of High Salvington.

0:49:340:49:37

Heading north, I visited Ebernoe Common,

0:49:370:49:41

before arriving at my final destination - Goodwood.

0:49:410:49:45

Goodwood opened in the summer of 1948,

0:49:450:49:48

hosting Britain's first post-war motor-race meeting at a permanent venue.

0:49:480:49:54

motor racing legends such as Stirling Moss immortalised the track here.

0:49:540:50:00

But in August 1966, Goodwood closed its doors to contemporary motor racing.

0:50:000:50:06

It was the end of a remarkable chapter, but not the end of the story.

0:50:060:50:10

Sometimes, the smell of petrol

0:50:100:50:13

and the sound of engines still fill the air.

0:50:130:50:16

I've never really considered myself a petrol-headed speed demon,

0:50:210:50:25

but maybe I've got latent talents that I can unleash on the track.

0:50:250:50:29

And the best of it is, I get to choose my weapon.

0:50:290:50:32

Goodwood holds special track days

0:50:320:50:35

when anyone who fancies taking on the famous 2.4-mile motor circuit

0:50:350:50:39

can live out their high-octane fantasies.

0:50:390:50:42

There's a selection of dream machines,

0:50:420:50:45

from classics to the latest supercar.

0:50:450:50:48

As for me, well, I've always fancied driving a Ferrari.

0:50:480:50:52

Gavin, I've never, ever raced before.

0:50:520:50:55

-Is it just pretty straightforward - get in and drive around?

-It's exactly that.

0:50:550:51:00

We've got a one-way system. There's nothing coming the other way.

0:51:000:51:04

There's no T-junctions, anything like that.

0:51:040:51:06

The great news is we can drive on the left, on the right, down the middle.

0:51:060:51:10

So provided you don't try and go too fast, we'll be absolutely fine.

0:51:100:51:14

-That's an amazing sound coming from that car!

-It is brilliant.

0:51:140:51:18

These cars have got V8 engines, 400 horsepower,

0:51:180:51:21

so they're fantastic cars.

0:51:210:51:24

-Listen to that roar!

-Up to 8,000 revs.

0:51:240:51:26

That's a Lamborghini going past. That's a V12.

0:51:260:51:29

-A six-litre, V12 engine in there.

-It is safe, though, isn't it?

0:51:290:51:32

-It's a very fast car.

-It's very safe.

0:51:320:51:34

I'm going to keep you under control, basically.

0:51:340:51:37

-As long as you don't go absolutely mental, we'll be fine.

-I will drive like I'm driving Miss Daisy.

0:51:370:51:42

-Excellent! There are the keys.

-Wonderful. Thank you.

-Down here.

-OK.

0:51:420:51:46

Keep to the right, just like driving on a motorway.

0:51:560:51:59

Have a look in the mirrors. If it's clear, which it is, move out to the outside.

0:51:590:52:04

Wow! It's got such power!

0:52:040:52:06

It's got lots of power - 400 horsepower.

0:52:060:52:09

-Gosh! Sorry, I'm being a bit puny.

-What we're trying to do is join these cones together. OK?

0:52:090:52:14

-OK.

-The real key is to look as far ahead as you can.

0:52:140:52:18

-Shall I go into fourth?

-Er...yeah.

0:52:180:52:20

We'll just get through this corner, then put it into fourth gear.

0:52:200:52:24

'I'm driving a Ferrari 360

0:52:240:52:26

'with a 3.6-litre, V8 engine screaming behind me.'

0:52:260:52:30

ENGINE ROARS

0:52:300:52:33

'It does 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds,

0:52:330:52:37

'and can hit speeds of up to 180mph.'

0:52:370:52:41

Let's go. Hard down. SHE LAUGHS

0:52:410:52:43

Oh, no! Oh, my goodness! No!

0:52:430:52:46

-On the brakes now.

-OK.

0:52:460:52:48

-Brakes again. Brake, brake, brake. Bit harder.

-Bit harder?

-Bit harder.

0:52:480:52:52

Steady.

0:52:520:52:53

It's a bit obvious, but the faster you go, the harder you have to brake.

0:52:530:52:56

That's true. I'm not used to that much braking.

0:52:560:53:00

-OK. Out here.

-(That's amazing!)

0:53:000:53:02

-Phew!

-So drop it into four...

0:53:020:53:06

..and then perhaps into three, in fact.

0:53:060:53:08

-I think we'll go into the pits this time.

-I'm sweating buckets here!

0:53:080:53:13

-THEY LAUGH

-I've never known anything like it!

0:53:130:53:15

-So perhaps if you want to put it into second, actually.

-Second.

0:53:150:53:19

-That's very good.

-So nice and slow.

-Really slow it through the pits.

0:53:190:53:22

-Careful we don't take any doors off.

-I'm in a left-hand, so I keep erring onto the wrong side.

-That's perfect.

0:53:220:53:28

Wow! That was great!

0:53:350:53:37

-I'll show you how it's really done now, Ellie!

-Oh, OK.

0:53:370:53:40

These speeds are SO exhilarating!

0:54:000:54:03

Wow!

0:54:040:54:05

It's very balky on fifth gear, sixth gear.

0:54:100:54:13

It won't go into sixth.

0:54:130:54:15

I started my journey through the South Downs

0:54:220:54:24

in a very different kind of car.

0:54:240:54:26

Travelling through its rolling hills, I met its working people,

0:54:260:54:31

discovered its fragile ecosystems and its hidden treasures.

0:54:310:54:35

Finally,

0:54:350:54:36

the road led here, to the famous track at Goodwood,

0:54:360:54:39

where the pace of things suddenly increased.

0:54:390:54:42

What a way to end the journey!

0:54:420:54:44

SHE LAUGHS

0:54:440:54:46

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:54:560:55:00

On a journey through the South Downs Ellie Harrison drives a classic car in Bexhill-on-Sea, visits a mixed farm which thrives on the chalky soil, and finds out if a rare group of bats have thrived in the ancient woodland of Ebernoe Common. Finally, Ellie picks up some serious speed racing around the track at Goodwood.