Mark Beaumont discovers the hidden beauty of the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, uncovering the mysteries of Stonyhurst College along the way.
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Today, I'm on a journey through Lancashire,
starting here in the wilds of the Forest of Bowland.
And then heading south, to the county's more industrial heart.
My journey begins high up on Lancashire's Longridge Fell.
After a visit to nearby Stonyhurst College,
I'll travel north to Chipping to meet some wild boar.
Look at the size of him. He's about twice the size of any in here.
I'll also be seeking out
Lancashire's modern art in and around Burnley...
before testing my biking skills in Bacup.
Finally, I'll end my journey in Rawtenstall,
where I'll be stopping for a well-earned drink.
And we'll look back at some of the best of BBC's rural archive
from this part of the world.
Welcome to Country Tracks.
Famed for its woollen mills and hotpot,
Lancashire may not be the first place you'd think of for a country escape.
But its barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland
won't disappoint anyone wanting to venture off the beaten track.
The Forest of Bowland covers 312 square miles.
But it's not all covered in trees.
The title actually dates back to medieval times,
when a forest was a term used for the right of royalty to hunt in specific locations.
Where I'm sitting is right in the heart of Lancashire.
And it certainly is beautiful countryside.
But it's also something else, it's also Middle Earth.
During the early 1940s, JRR Tolkien regularly visited this part of Lancashire
as his son John was studying for the priesthood nearby.
There are local place names that may have been any inspiration to him,
like Shire Lane.
The area has also long been connected with black magic and witches.
Tolkien was renowned for his love of nature and woodland landscapes
and so it seems quite possible that this particular vista may have inspired him.
The Hobbit and the Lord Of The Rings were some of my favourite books when I was younger.
I loved the descriptions of the landscape and the places
the hobbits and elves and other characters were going through.
And I can certainly see how Tolkien drew inspiration from this wild landscape.
I'm heading for the building that brought Tolkien here in the first place -
the college where his son studied, in the midst of Middle Earth.
The impressive Stonyhurst College is a Roman Catholic school
and is one of the largest buildings in the North West.
It has educated the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
and, more recently, rugby stars Kyran Bracken and Will Greenwood.
The college's history dates back to 1593,
when it was founded in Northern France.
With the Reformation in full swing in England, to be a Catholic was dangerous,
so families sent their children abroad to be educated.
The college only arrived here, in this impressive building in Lancashire,
200 years later, when it was safe to return to England.
Before then, this building was a Catholic family home belonging to the Shireburns,
a wealthy family in the area.
David Knight is an ex-teacher and now the archivist here.
As it was a Catholic house,
and although Lancashire was fairly remote and relatively safe,
it wasn't completely safe
and so they had to build into it
safeguards to preserve the life of the priests living on site.
And so we have priest holes. We have a priest hole up a window up there,
we have escape tunnels from the old chapel, the grating in the corner isn't actually a drain,
it's the route by which you could escape from the building.
How has the building been used over the centuries?
Well, until 1754, the family lived here. Then the family died out.
It passed through marriage to a family on the South Coast
who didn't want a mansion in the North of England, and so it was empty for 40 years.
So, the design of the original building lent itself particularly well to what it's now become?
It didn't at all, because it was built as a private house, so when they came,
they got grand, huge rooms on the first floor
and they got little lock-up rooms with all these doorways, which are in and out.
You couldn't get around on the ground floor, so it out to be adapted.
But at first they had no money,
so it took a long time before they got going.
But, of course, it's been completely adapted, so the old building is part of the school.
I can imagine it's still one of the region's main stately buildings?
Well, this would have been, had it been completed,
the finest mansion north probably of Watford, I would have thought.
But it wasn't completed, not until the Jesuits came.
So now you can see it's complete, how it would have been built originally.
And it's been extended vastly,
so now the old mansion forms perhaps only about an eighth
of the whole size of the building.
The ancient bricks and mortar of Stonyhurst are truly stunning.
But it's inside that holds all the mystery and treasures.
Some of the most interesting old boys are not necessarily famous.
Here's a good example of that. This is George Lambert Clifford,
the first student at Stonyhurst, August 29th 1794.
They had just arrived here after six weeks' journey from the continent.
And two boys got ahead of the rest of the party,
trying to be the first to reach the school.
One stopped at the gateway and rang the bell,
not realising the mansion was derelict and there was no-one here.
The other one, this one, ran into the courtyard,
climbed the steps, tried to open the door and it was locked.
But lying on the ground was an iron bar.
He picked up the iron bar and prised the door open.
So the very first Stonyhurst boy broke into the school.
There can't be many schools where the first student had to break in to get inside.
George Clifford. He looks cheeky, like somebody who'd break in.
The sort who would break into a school.
What is the significance of the old desks?
This is one of the old study place desks, as we call it.
This was built in 1809 and in use until 1883.
As you can see, the boys who sat here presumably weren't fully occupied
and they carved their names and initials on the top of it.
And one of these names has become particularly famous.
And this is here, A Doyle.
That's Arthur Doyle - Arthur Conan Doyle.
And he must have sat at this desk.
You will notice it's quite a small name compared to some of the others.
You have got to bear in mind that he didn't sit here until 1870,
so there was over 60 years of graffiti here by the time he arrived.
It was probably the only space he could find.
It was well-spotted, because it is tiny compared to some of these incredible big inscriptions.
The ones who started it probably wrote
the biggest names, and the later ones had to fit in wherever they could.
But there's something even more remarkable about this place than its size or former students.
It's home to some of the most fabulous and breathtaking remnants of history
collected from the four corners of the world.
And I'll soon be able to see some of them first hand.
But before that, Julia Bradbury explored a different part of the Forest of Bowland,
and revealed more about its ancient past.
The exposed and rugged gritstone fells of North Lancashire.
This heath and heather moorland and the deep valleys that fall gently into the distance,
are all part of the Forest of Bowland.
Today, it's grouse shooting that dominates.
Although it isn't to everyone's taste, managing the landscape for game birds has had an impact.
And it's not the only way man has influenced the way this countryside looks.
Later, I'll find out how traditional coppicing and hedge laying have left their mark.
I'm meeting gamekeeper Keith Scott, who rears partridge and pheasant for the shoots.
Hello there. Oh good, breakfast - just in time!
-So what have we got here then?
-This is what we call a hopper.
It feeds the lowland birds,
pheasants and partridges.
We feed them this stuff. This is feed quality wheat.
-What else would they feed on at this time of year?
There is nothing much here for them other than what we give them.
-This is their main food supply, so vital you get that right.
As you can see with this feeder here,
the pheasants and partridges come along, tap that and it dispenses this wheat.
And while this is available for the pheasants and the partridges, it's also available for the robins,
-the blackbirds, chaffinches, the blue tits.
-So they all have a little nibble?
This will see small songbirds through the winter, through the hardest, leanest parts of the year.
As well as grain, estates like this plant trees
to protect their birds from predators and provide extra food.
-Honestly, it's like a banqueting table!
We're heading further into the estate to find out more
about how Keith manages the native red grouse that run wild here.
These birds eat heather shoots,
but digesting such a tough diet isn't easy.
So Keith has a special supplement to help the food go down.
-What is this cat litter down here?
-This cat litter, as you call it, is grouse grit.
This is what grouse eat, the green, fresh shoots of heather.
It is very nutritionally poor, so grouse take on grit
and it goes into a compartment in the bird's neck called a gizzard.
And it's very muscular, so the grouse will take that on, take a few bits of grit.
It'll mush and pulverise that bit of heather there.
It'll then be taken through the gizzard, ingested by the bird,
so he gets every bit of nutritional value from that.
That's 90% of what he lives on, heather.
If there wasn't any grit, what would happen to the grouse?
They would disappear and die. This is as vital as food to a grouse.
If the land wasn't managed for game birds, it would look very different.
I'm meeting Christopher Mason-Hornby, the landowner here,
to find out why he thinks shooting is good for conservation.
People find it hard in their mind to balance shooting with wildlife conservation, don't they?
They sound like two opposing forces.
But the benefit we see by managing the land for shooting
is that we have a wider variety of wildlife,
and by reducing the grazing pressure to keep the sheep off the bottoms of the valleys,
we see a lot of natural regeneration of the native species in the woodland.
So it becomes a much more rich environment
for the wildlife to succeed.
This countryside doesn't look like this by accident.
Gamekeeping's had a huge influence. But it isn't the only thing that's shaped the Lancashire landscape.
Coppicing and hedge laying have played their part, too.
Next, I'm catching up with traditional coppicer Rebecca Oaks,
to find out how she's helping to manage the ancient woodlands here.
Like generations before her, Rebecca maintains the area by clearing and felling trees.
It helps create new open spaces where our wildlife can thrive,
and generates timber for all kinds of uses.
-Nice fire going.
-It's very cosy in here, isn't it?
-What we need on a day like today.
-It certainly is.
-The outdoor life, living the dream!
-Working with wood and open fires!
-This is a good time to coppice,
because you have no leaves on the trees.
We wait until the sap's gone down and the leaves are off the trees.
The whole point of coppicing is to try and use everything for something, you know, and waste nothing.
And with that in mind, Rebecca cut me something that would come in handy at my next stop.
I'm off to find out more about the distinctive hedges that criss-cross this countryside.
Around here field boundaries are marked with complex layered hedges.
Not a bit of barbed wire or mass-produced fence post in sight.
Andrew Kirkwood holds the Lancashire crown for the tradition of hedge laying.
-Hi there, Andrew.
-I brought you a few extra.
I thought they might be handy for a champion.
A Lancashire hedge needs to be thick and bushy.
At 3'6" high, it's the perfect barrier for sheep and cattle.
The added bonus, it's a wonderful haven for wildlife.
What makes a champion hedge layer?
A bit of good luck at times. You need a fair good bit of skill.
When you look at a branch, when you cut into it,
you know when it's going to bend, which way.
-Shall we get this one in then?
-Shall I have a go?
-I'll hold it.
-All right, mind your thumb! Mind everything. Here we go.
'The hazel stake gives strength and support to the new boundary.'
-How far down are we going?
-Quite a way.
-There we go. I'll let you finish it.
-I'll just finish it off.
And after some careful considered hammering, it's really looking the part.
Excellent. Very good work.
It is great to see the good old traditions still being used today.
I'm at Stonyhurst College, which has a surprise around every corner.
And the best is still to come.
This is the Arundell Library, one of three libraries on this side of the building.
And it's one of the most attractive rooms in the college.
It is. It is exactly what you imagine would be in a building like this.
I mean, it's not just the... huge amount of books,
but it's the smell of the place, the history.
Unfortunately, you'll never capture that on TV, but it has got this wonderful smell.
-It is fantastic.
-You should bottle it.
The collections held at Stonyhurst are quite incredible.
Much of it has been donated to the college by ex-pupils and Jesuit missionaries.
In the early Reformation years, precious items were sent to the college for safekeeping,
as having them at home would reveal their Catholic beliefs.
Many of these curious items are priceless for their part in history.
The contents of this case are all connected in some way
with the Royal Family of England, but always the Catholic ones,
which means they're obviously all going to be very old.
I'd like to show you this, particularly.
This is a book of hours, prayer book,
that belonged to Mary Queen of Scots for much of her life.
It is written in French, in the style of writing
that she actually herself used in her handwriting.
Caracteres de civilite. And it's made of paper.
The paper, the pages are quite worn. Her fingers will have used this many times each day of her life,
especially during the imprisonment, she'd resort to this frequently.
And she's worn it away, so we had to have it repaired.
But paper, generally, from those days made of rag,
doesn't wear easily, so you can see how much it would have been used.
It is fondly, strongly believed, to be the one she took with her
to the block in 1587 before her head was cut off.
So it's believed she might have been holding that as she was beheaded?
It is almost certain, as certain as anything can be from this period.
Has everything in here got some significance to Mary Queen of Scots?
Not everything in here to her. This is Bonnie Prince Charlie,
the tartan that he wore when he was escaping from Culloden.
And is that an original?
That is an original piece of a tartan that he wore for four days
when he crossed from the mainland to the Outer Hebrides.
And it was soaked by the sea, because they were caught in a storm, and he had to leave it behind.
Just three fragments have been preserved, and we've got one.
Well, I do know a little bit about kilts and tartan, and that's a very fine tartan.
You'd think from that era it would be a much heavier kilt.
Would you? I don't know much about tartan. This one is the Borrowdale Tartan.
-Borrowdale House on the mainland was where we obtained it.
-It has been made today into the...
-Yeah, you can see the backing.
It has been reproduced so that today the girls in the school,
the ones up to the age of 16, wear tartan skirts
using the same tartan that Charlie wore all those years ago.
-Explorer and naturalist Charles Waterton was a pupil of the school in the late 1700s.
He donated part of his lifelong collection to the school when he died.
This ancient mummy is just one of his curious items.
It dates from around 2000 BC.
A young boy from the Valley of the Kings.
This is the first folio of Shakespeare,
which has been in the school for 150 odd years, since this library was opened.
It came with the rest of the books here from Lord Arundell,
an old boy of the school who left us his collection.
What might this book fetch if it were to go to auction?
Well, it's very hard to say. The imperfections affect the price.
But I would guess a couple of million, something of that order.
I am absolutely amazed that you can happily finger a book which is worth so much.
There can't be many pupils who would be able to read off an original Shakespeare during their studies.
Well, that must be true. There are very few of these in schools.
There may be one or two others, but very, very few indeed.
But we do let the pupils come and look at it.
We give them gloves. We don't know how clean their hands are.
And they can turn the pages of whatever play they're studying,
and derive inspiration, I would have thought,
from looking at the first folio version of that play.
What a wonderful piece of history.
It is a remarkable collection. And we've only scratched the surface.
What a privilege for the students to have these treasures right at their fingertips.
Leaving Stonyhurst College, I'm heading north through Lancashire.
Adam Henson was a little further west when he came to this area for an encounter with wildlife.
I've travelled down to near the border with Merseyside,
to meet up with Robert Webster, a farmer who I've been told
does something quite interesting with his leftover potatoes.
-Good morning, Adam.
-Goodness me, you've got plenty of machinery.
-We have, yeah. A yardful!
-How big is the farm?
-About 400 acres altogether.
We grow potatoes for processing. They are the main veg crops.
And once they're lifted then, what do you do with them?
All our potatoes go for processing to a chip manufacturer for frozen chips.
So we lift them, fetch them to the farm, we run them over the grader.
-Any with blemishes are selected out.
-What do you do with waste ones - plough them back in?
No. They're a tuber and will start to grow again the following spring,
so they are a problem to us.
We really like to get them off the farm if we can.
-What happens to them?
-We use them for stock feed or take them to feed the birds.
-Feed the birds?
-What sort of birds?
-We feed the swans and the geese,
and other types of birds at the wildfowl Martin Mere.
This is Robert's local nature reserve.
Farmers have been feeding potatoes to the swans for nearly 30 years.
And in weather like this, they certainly seem glad of them.
-Have you got some today?
-We have. We've got some on the yard to load up onto a trailer.
Great. I'll give you a hand. I've never fed swans before.
There you are. You'll learn something new!
I'll drive the loading shovel. I'm afraid you'll have to work the hand tube.
There are nearly 10 tonnes of potatoes here.
Could be here all day. Just as well we've got the machine.
A good job, Adam. At least we're putting them to good use.
Great. Right, now this lot is off to Martin Mere wildlife reserve.
When this reserve opened in the 1970s,
there were only a handful of Hooper swans.
But numbers are on the up. Now around 2,000 swans
will travel here from Iceland to make the most of this secure roost
with its plentiful supply of food.
Feeding the birds potatoes is a great way of recycling them.
Otherwise, they would be buried as waste.
It makes sense to the farmers, too, because the swans don't target the potato plants in their fields.
-Hi, Tom, how are you?
-Hi, Adam. Very well, thank you.
Tom Clare is the assistant reserve manager.
Potatoes are a funny thing to feed them. What does it do for them then?
It fattens the swans up a bit more, gives them more bang for the bucks.
So during the winter when it's really harsh conditions,
they need that extra energy which they get out on the fields.
But feeding them on site is really beneficial for us.
-And they seem to love them?
-Yeah, they absolutely love the potatoes.
They feed on them no matter what, even if we feed them grain, there's always a few hundred on potatoes.
And how does a swan eat a potato? It can't be easy for them.
It doesn't look particularly easy, but they have a good go at it.
They peck at it as much as possible, then when they get bits
they just snap the bits up and mulch it all up.
It gets easier as the potatoes get older and get more rotten.
How long will the swans stay here for now?
They'll stay here until around March
and around that time the urge to migrate back up to Iceland
gets stronger and stronger,
they know they have to get there for breeding.
And how far have they flown, then?
Well, it is 800 kilometres or so.
And 500 of that is over open water.
So, it's a fairly massive migration, especially for the cygnets.
When they come here, they're only a few months old
to make that migration, so it's a really arduous journey for them.
What a great way to give these beautiful birds a helping hand.
And use spuds that would otherwise be wasted.
But it isn't just potatoes they feed the birds here.
I have got a little job to do before I leave.
As well as potatoes, at 3 o'clock every day, all the birds get wheat.
And the idea is that it brings the swans nice and close
to the public, so they can see them.
But more importantly, so that the rings on their legs can be read
so that they can understand all about their migration.
My journey through Lancashire continues.
I've cycled north to the town of Chipping in search of some very different creatures.
Here at Bowland Wild Boar Park,
they introduced a herd of boar about ten years ago.
They live in an enclosed area of countryside and I've been given special access to go and feed them.
When the Forest of Bowland got its name, wild boar were part
of the native fauna of Britain.
They were popular game species and kept in large enclosed
hunting grounds until they gradually died out in the 13th century.
In recent years, they've made a return to the British landscape
and even new wild populations have formed
by escapees of private collections.
Chris Bailey is a second generation pig farmer
who has diversified his animal stock to house these beasts.
He has to have a zoo licence to keep them
as they're classed as a dangerous animal.
I'll be right in the middle of them.
He's getting quite close. Do you need to be wary of them?
Yeah, this one here's a bit wilder.
As you can see, she's a bit frightened of us.
These aren't too bad because we feed them every day
so they're not hungry, not looking for food.
If you come across them in the wild and they were hungry,
you got them cornered, they would probably attack you.
This is feeding time, they'll be hungry.
Yep, they come running to the fence.
You can put one foot over if you want.
-Just throw it as far as we can.
-What is that? Mixed veg...
-Mixed vegetables from the local supplier.
Potatoes, cabbage leaves, broccoli.
-All the off cuts, it looks like.
-All the off cuts, yeah.
What are they here for? Are you trying to reintroduce them or do you breed them for meat?
My dad got them for a hobby about 15 years ago
and we decided to open the place up to the public.
So, basically, they're for public show.
But the public like to see babies and then when the babies grow up
you've got to do something with them.
-We sell them for meat then.
-What would you compare boar meat to?
It's similar to pork but a lot more gamey.
It's certainly interesting to see them amongst hill land,
with forestry, as opposed to a big wide open farm.
They almost look like they're native. If you got rid of the fences they'd look...
Yeah, it's their natural habitat - as you can see they're fit, healthy and they love it.
-What's the right name for...
-We call them boarlets.
And they've got stripes on them.
The stripes are for camouflage when they're first-born, in the natural environment they hide from predators.
-And they are very camouflaged.
As they get a bit older, even at this age,
these are eight to ten weeks old, they start to fade.
When they get a few month old
they're the same colour as their parents.
-Look at the size of him!
-You can tell he's a male one, yeah.
-He's about twice the size of any of them in here.
As you can see, he's got the tusks.
He's got two at the top and the bottom.
And as he eats and open and closes his mouth,
they actually rub together, the tusks, and they're very sharp.
Chris also has many other animals at the farm who have made
the Forest of Bowland their home.
Well, it's obviously not just wild boar.
How did you end up with meerkats?
Well, we like to have a different range of animals on the park.
You know, the people like the meerkats, they love them.
It's not always, as we've seen - sunny and nice and warm.
So, do all these animals like living here?
They seem to get on very well here.
As long as they've got lots of food and they've got a nice, warm hut
with lots of straw bedding in the huts,
these actually have got wool in the hut,
they roll up in the wool and keep nice and warm.
So, as long as they've got lots of food, lots of bedding and keep dry,
they seem absolutely fine.
You've come a long way from being a pig farmer?
A very long way, yeah.
I never expected to meet such exotic beasts in the heart of Lancashire.
When Matt Baker visited this part of the world,
he was concerned with a much more traditional animal.
Sitting up on the western side of the Pennines
and close to the Lancashire coast,
the Forest of Bowland gets more rainfall than most places in the UK.
It's a perfect climate for lush grassland, so there's no surprise
that Lancashire's cheese-making history is very mature indeed,
dating back to the 12th century. But not all of the milk
that goes into some of this traditional cheese
comes from the animal that you might expect.
On this farm in Chipping, Simon Scott milks 450 Friesland sheep
11 months of the year.
Originally from Holland, they're the best breed for milking.
Well, what a lovely parlour, this is, Simon, isn't it?
It looks like a miniature version of a cow dairy, basically.
It is, it's just exactly the same as a cow parlour, just a smaller version
and two clusters, really. It's the same layout, completely.
Here they come, here are the girls. They don't know me, so I'll look away.
-They usually come in order, anyway.
An incredible system you've got here, these little boards.
When we first designed it, we didn't know how it would work
and straight off, it worked tremendously well.
Put some units on.
There now, darling. How about that? Good girl.
How much milk do they produce then, Simon?
We're averaging 2.5 litres a day.
It must be quite a quick process then?
Yeah, it's a quick process. We're putting, at peak time,
400 through in about two-and-a-half hours.
You'll get the hang of it when you've done 400.
-Is that all right? Is that on?
-There we go, you're on, you're away.
Compared to a cow, Simon gets a fraction of milk per animal.
But sells it at a much higher price per litre.
Trying to compare with a dairy cow, you do have to milk the numbers.
But you are looking at 97-8 pence a litre for sheep's milk
compared to in the twenties...
-Low twenties these days.
-Pull it up or down?
The door opens, next one through.
So, how do you think it compares to milking cows, then?
It's certainly a lot cleaner. And, I have to say, from a sheep farmer's
point of view, it feels a bit odd, but it's great. Very quirky.
My father, at the beginning when we first started milking sheep,
wondered what we were doing. He really did.
And the first ten sheep that we had through the parlour,
ten or 11 years ago,
I always remember him saying to me,
what on earth have we let ourselves in for?
-Ever since then, it seems to have taken off.
Demand for Simon's milk is up 10% year-on-year.
It contains more zinc and calcium than cow's milk
and it's easy to digest. Just down the road from here is Leagram's Dairy,
where I'm going to help turn Simon's milk into cheese.
-Hello, how you doing?
And you bought some milk with you. Are we going to make some cheese together?
Well, I hope so, yes. Do you want to grab that side? There we are.
First, Bob adds a starter culture to the milk. This helps the cheese
to form. Then he adds an enzyme called rennet to set it.
One hour later, it's time to separate the curds from the whey.
And I want you to pull it across towards the other side. All right?
-It's quite tough.
-Can you see?
-Is it very different making
sheep's cheese like this as opposed to cow's cheese?
There's a lot more solids in sheep's cheese. The cow's milk, you'd whip that cutter through no problem.
It would be a lot softer. You are having difficulty - you are forcing the curds up at the other end.
Now, put your hand in
and just gently move the curds. Can you see all the liquid coming
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-It's extremely good for your skin,
-sheep's milk. So you're getting it from the outside as well as the inside.
How many other cheesemakers make sheep's cheese?
In this area, we've probably got another five cheese producers, producing fantastic sheep's cheese.
So it's very popular then?
Very popular. We're getting more adventurous though, cheesemakers.
I think we'll be rivalling the French.
Once separated, it's put into small sieves so the remaining whey can drain out.
It's then left for 24 hours to reduce and become cheese. Like all Bob's cheese,
it's finished with a coat of wax to keep it fresh and free from germs.
For you, then, as a cheese maker, do you prefer sheep's cheese,
cow's cheese, goat's cheese?
Sheep's cheese is fantastic.
Sheep's cheese is easy to digest, the fat globules are very small,
so they're a lot easier to digest.
And especially for people with eczema and skin problems,
sheep's milk is absolutely wonderful. We just break it open.
-Look at that.
-It's lovely and white, isn't it?
So we'll just try a little piece, cut a wedge off for you. Look at that, it's lovely and soft.
-Well, it looks delicious.
-Melts in your mouth.
-It does melt in your mouth. Do you know,
I didn't really know what to expect but it's very, um...
There's a little bit of a tang with it.
-It's very creamy, isn't it?
-Very creamy, yeah.
Back on my bike, my journey continues. I am en route to Burnley.
Along the way, I have been distracted by some striking
structures dotted about the county. Mainly on the hilltops.
These modern art installations are a series of 21st century landmarks known as the panopticons.
Constructed over a six-year period as symbols of the renaissance of the area.
This one, called Atom, is above the town of Colne.
Its striking shape gives stunning windows onto the countryside below.
And the next one is on my route,
so I get to stop and see it up close.
It watches over the town of Burnley.
This is called the Singing Ringing Tree.
And, as well as looking amazing up on the hilltop,
it makes a really interesting sound.
It's designed so that, on a windy day,
and it is really, really windy today,
the wind whistles through it.
It's designed to look like a hawthorn tree
And, from a distance, does exactly that.
Out here, the only thing the noise will be bothering is the sheep.
The Panopticons have led me through Lancashire to my next stop in Bacup.
This is Lee Quarry, a mountain biker's paradise
set in a disused quarry full of jumps and drop-offs
and some of the biggest berms in the UK.
I might well be known for cycling but this is going to be a real challenge.
I've cycled around the world. I know my way around a bike.
But these guys really are incredibly skilled.
It's so technically difficult.
They just make it look easy.
Alastair Clarkson is a world-class trial biker.
He helped to create some of these crazy tracks and jumps.
-How are you doing?
-I'll need to borrow that.
-Help yourself. Help yourself.
What's the history of this place
and what makes it good for mountain biking?
I've been coming here for years.
It's just fantastic for natural competition practice.
The rocks lend themselves really well for the type of riding I do. A bit of trials riding.
Has it become a bit of a Mecca in Lancashire for mountain biking?
I'd say more than Lancashire.
It's become a Mecca in the whole of the UK.
It's one of the top places in the UK
for trials riding, cross-country riding, everything.
So is there anything I should know
before risking life and limb on these things?
-Rule number one, don't try to sit down.
-That will hurt.
The brakes are very powerful, so you want to be careful of those.
And watch out for the pedals. You're not clipped in and they are sharp.
So be careful.
Right, one of the most vital things to learn for trials
and general mountain-biking is balance.
Track stand, which is learning how to balance the bike without moving,
without putting your feet on the floor.
So I reckon that's the best place to start.
Basically, brakes are quite important for this.
You want to turn your handlebars slightly, brakes on.
Keep your upper body level with the handlebars.
It's a case of just standing on the bike and using your hips and knees
to correct the bike.
-Basically, easy as that.
-Easy as that.
Starting on a track stand is harder than coming into a track stand.
-You're a natural.
-Not quite as smooth as yours, but...
That's pretty good, though. That's pretty good.
Now, it's getting a bit more technical now.
If we try and get you to move the back wheel around,
which means using the front brake, lifting up the back wheel and putting it where you want.
And, again, that all in your upper body and your hips.
It's best if you can do it from rolling.
Roll along, turn into it, then look with your head where you want to be,
twist your hips, front brake on,
and then put the back wheel where you want it.
It should look a little something...
It's a case of eyeing up where you want it to go and putting it there.
Hmm, if I could do that, what would you learn next?
I'd say the bunny hop.
Should end up looking...
Wheel that. That's it.
It's both at the same time, though, isn't it?
There are around eight kilometres of mountain-bike trails here.
Many of these are black and red coded, which means they are tough.
But there is something for all levels here.
You just need to be a massive bike fan.
Soon, I'll be back on my own bike and heading for my final destination.
But first, here's Adam Henson trying a local delicacy.
The Moon Valley, in the heart of rural Lancashire,
has a long tradition of farming livestock.
It's famous for its lamb and beef cattle.
I'm here to meet a couple who want us to serve up a different kind of Sunday roast.
But there's no lamb or beef here, only goats.
You might be used to the idea of goat's cheese,
but these animals are bred for their meat, not their milk.
This is one of only a handful of farms that do this in the UK,
and the business is a runaway success.
It's all the idea of Sharon Peacock, who runs the farm with her husband, Chris.
Goats aren't everyone's choice of animal. How did you get into them?
Almost by accident.
We got four goats originally. We tried the meat ourselves.
Friends and family took a lot off us,
so we increased in size, and we've kept doing that to supply demand.
Demand's massive. The last few years, it's gone out the window. We can't supply the demand out there.
In just a few years, the herd's grown to 400.
But goat meat is still an unusual thing to see on a British menu.
Why do you think it hasn't been so popular over here?
It's got a reputation for being on the dry and tough side,
which was once probably the case.
These days, with Boer goat meat, we don't find that any longer.
This is not dry or tough,
and it's not overly strong in flavour.
It's got a reputation for being "goaty". Boer goat meat shouldn't taste like that.
Boer goats were brought here from South Africa, where they were farmed
especially for their meat.
I'm keen to get a good look at them.
These goats are very different to dairy goats. What have we got here?
We've got two goats. You've got a pure-bred Boer, 100%, female.
And this is Smashie. She's a first cross dairy cross.
You can see obvious differences between them.
But if you look at the coverage on the back,
you've got more meat on this animal. You can feel meat down the back,
that muscle down the side of the spine is where you get the meat from.
So this more dairy type is just slightly more angular,
less meat on the bone and a bit taller?
That's the main difference.
I've got some goats on my farm, but they're more to sell as breeding animals than for meat.
Way to a goat's heart, a bit of food.
-Let me have a bit.
But they can be very smelly.
You stinky billy.
-Go away, you smell!
-No, he doesn't!
Well, this certainly seems to be working for Sharon,
but I'm off to meet her husband Chris to get a bit more hands-on.
Goats are fairly high-maintenance, and there's one job going on that I can lend a hand with.
It's a job that requires a lot of patience and a steady hand.
Hi, Chris, hard at work?
-Do you have to trim the feet a lot?
We tend to find we trim them about every three months.
Because they run outside on the soft ground and don't run across concrete a lot,
they do grow fast. It's a bit back-aching when you've done 100.
There's a set of foot trimmers behind you. Have a go.
Right then, Mrs Goat. Now, when I trim my goats at home, I sit them down, but you're standing up.
With the goats, because there's not a cushion of wool on them,
they stand better and are more comfortable stood up.
-And how do you go about selling it?
-We sell it from the farm gate here.
And we also send it out through the post.
-We're selling as much as we can produce, and not struggling to do it.
If you like, yeah.
Sharon and Chris really think that goat meat is brilliant,
and worthy of much more than just a curry.
But can it ever compete with our traditional Sunday roast of beef or lamb?
I'm off to meet an expert to find out.
Goat meat is low in fat,
low in cholesterol and low in calories, but how does it taste?
Nigel Howarth is a Michelin-starred chef.
He runs a couple of award-winning restaurants in Lancashire.
Today, he's cooking up a goat shoulder to prove that it can replace the traditional roast.
-How are you?
-Very well indeed.
So are you sold on the idea of serving goat in your restaurants?
Yeah, I really like goat.
-I've got some shoulder of goat to show you.
-What do your customers think?
They love it. It's a beautiful piece of meat.
It looks lovely and tender, but we're going to slow-cook this.
Nigel coats the goat in garlic and a good sprinkling of salt.
Here's one I prepared earlier.
-Beautiful. Look at that.
-Slow-cooked shoulder of goat.
-Yeah. I'm going to prepare that for you right now.
-I'll get a seat in the restaurant, shall I?
-Absolutely. Be quick!
Now, this is the life. Roast dinner with all the trimmings on the way.
That looks magnificent. Wonderful.
Now, you marinated this overnight in quite a long process. Could you do it for an afternoon or Sunday roast?
Yeah, you can. You could do it like you would roast any shoulder of lamb
or pork, just pop it in the oven and roast it for three or four hours,
and it will still drop off the bone.
It's like a very flavoursome lamb, isn't it? Delicious.
I would definitely serve this in my house for Sunday roast.
From the quarry in Bacup,
I've headed west to the pretty town of Rawtenstall, and to Mr Fitzpatrick's,
where I'll hopefully get a real flavour of the people here.
This is Britain's last original Temperance Bar,
and if you're not sure what a Temperance Bar is,
I'll be heading in to try a drink with a difference,
straight after the Country Tracks weather for the week ahead.
I've been on a journey through Lancashire,
starting in the Forest of Bowland.
I witnessed the amazing collections at Stonyhurst College.
I fed the wild boars in Chipping
and I visited the panopticon art near Burnley,
before testing my bike skills in Bacup.
Now I'm spending the final part of my journey
here in Rawtenstall. I've stepped back in time
into Mr Fitzpatrick's Temperance Bar,
the last remaining bar of its type in the UK.
It has been serving non-alcoholic drinks to the local people
for well over 100 years. But the Temperance movement has been around
in this country for almost 200 years, a social movement
encouraging reduced use of alcohol.
In 1832, a Lancashire chap, Joseph Livesey, introduced a more hardline attitude,
requiring members of the Temperance movement to sign a pledge
to abstain from alcohol completely.
He blamed alcohol for many social problems, including poverty and unemployment
amongst the working classes,
during a time when Lancashire was an important industrial county,
particularly in cotton production.
Roll on 60 years, and Mr Fitzpatrick arrived in Lancashire.
Chris Law is the current owner of this quirky little bar.
Stepping in felt like stepping into another world,
or maybe another time,
not just because the products on the shelves look different to most shops,
but the smell. It's amazing. What is it that creates that?
It's a combination of the herbs and spices in the drinks we sell.
And it's embedded into the walls over so many years.
But luckily, it's still there lingering around.
People do mention that a lot. Some come just for the smell.
What would you say is your most popular drink?
I'd like to say they're all popular.
Everybody has a popular drink. We have seven flavours at the moment.
The most recognisable one would be the black beer and raisin.
-Blackberry and raisin?
-Black beer and raisin.
-It has a malty taste, with a touch of raisin to it.
-So it's got the word "beer" in there, but it's non-alcoholic?
-No, it's all boiled off.
I quite fancy trying one.
-Is that possible?
-Of course you can.
-A black beer and raisin.
So what do you need to do to make the drinks?
Well, we put in the flavoured drink itself, OK?
Then we add...the secret ingredient,
which you won't get to know what it is.
-And then sparkling water.
It's called black beer because it has a head on like that.
-It looks like a glass of beer.
-It kind of does look like a beer.
-It's a malty taste.
It's pretty good, that. Yeah, it's quite fruity, quite thick.
It's not what you would normally expect with a cordial
or anything like that. It's a lot thicker. It's a stronger flavour.
How did you personally get involved in making non-alcoholic drinks?
Well, the Temperance Bar came up for sale.
I've had it 11 years now. I knew the gentleman who had it previous.
I also knew Malachi Fitzpatrick.
He was a great friend of the family. And when it came up for sale,
I thought that it would be like a relaxation up to my retirement,
because I used to be a welder.
-But then I realised it was a lot harder than that,
and I'll probably be here till 95, not 65. I wouldn't like anybody else
to take it over if they were not going to keep it like it is, like it should be.
Keeping the tradition.
-How is it seen in the community, in the town?
-It's a landmark.
-People are proud of it?
-If you were to walk up the street now
and ask anybody where Fitzpatrick's is -
"Here, lad. Go down the road a bit there. Get in there for a warmer."
The British Temperance movement, although becoming very popular,
never actually achieved prohibition as in America,
and it gradually lost support as its followers dwindled.
However, there still are members today, like the Hindley family,
who are passionate about their cause.
A lot of Temperance people did wonderful things.
They used to have Temperance days and get on trains and go to the seaside.
That's probably the only way the child would have a holiday,
one day at the seaside with the Temperance people.
So they had a big influence on the Lancashire people.
They loved the Temperance movement, because they went out and did things.
Have you never drunk alcohol?
-You've never drunk alcohol?
-So did you personally not want to drink alcohol?
Yes. The family drank, and I saw what happened. Then I found out
the harmful effects, and I didn't really want to have these things
happen to me, health-wise.
And I saw the people and what happened to the people,
-so that made my mind up.
-And this is your family now?
-This is my family.
My daughter and granddaughter. My beautiful granddaughter.
What's it like now, three generations?
Do you both follow the Temperance movement? Do you have your own opinions on alcohol?
And I enjoy the health benefits that come with being teetotal.
And I like to be able to help my friends and neighbours out,
and let them know the harmful effects of alcohol.
But they can see them. Everybody can see them, so it's wonderful to come
to places like Fitzpatrick's, to enjoy non-alcoholic beverages
and enjoy each other's company.
How does this work in modern society? You're the granddaughter.
How do you feel it works with the way life is now?
Yes. My whole life, I've been brought up with it,
with going around telling people
and meeting people where alcohol has affected their lives.
I have learnt that... well, I obviously don't want to end up like that.
And I see some of my friends maybe going down that path.
I've tried to stop them.
I've got a wonderful thing here about alcohol, the great remover.
-Would you like me to read it?
-What is it?
"Alcohol, the great remover." What's this talking about?
This is talking about what it does. This is the gist of the story.
"Alcohol, the great remover.
"The dry cleaner says alcohol removes stains from clothing.
"This is correct. Alcohol will also remove the summer clothes,
"the winter clothes, the spring clothes,
"the autumn clothes, not only from the back of the man who drinks it,
"but from his wife and his children as well.
"Alcohol has no equal as a remover of the best things in life."
The Temperance movement is clearly alive in the Hindley family.
Not an easy commitment to make in modern society.
My journey through Lancashire honestly has surprised me,
from exploring this landscape, hearing about its history,
seeing some of the wildlife, and of course testing my skills on the bike.
The very last stop on my journey through Lancashire is a visit
to another panopticon sculpture at the top of a very steep hill.
This interesting looking structure is called Halo.
It sits on the hilltop above the village of Haslington.
What's particularly special is, at dusk, the lights come on.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Mark Beaumont discovers the hidden beauty of the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire. Mark uncovers the mysteries and treasures of Stonyhurst College, where the likes of JRR Tolkien and Arthur Conan Doyle were taught. He mixes with dangerous animals and explores the Panopticons, sculptures that adorn the landscape. Finally, Mark meets world-class trail biker Alastair Clarkson and gets a taste of Britain's last original temperance bar.