Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison explore the Wolds of East Yorkshire. Matt takes to the Wolds Way national trail to unveil a new land art installation.
Browse content similar to 08/01/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
The Wolds of East Yorkshire.
A truly rural county.
Rich pasture, undulating hills
and pretty villages make up this untouched landscape,
its beauty known only by the lucky few.
Those in the know have been able to enjoy its quiet splendour
along this -
the Wolds Way.
And I'm following in their footsteps
to the heart of this glorious county.
The Wolds are a place you can escape the crowds and the traffic,
where you can walk for hours without seeing a soul.
That is, until you turn down a quiet country lane
and bump into the world's greatest living artist, David Hockney.
I'll be finding out what he's doing here.
And I'll be talking to the Prime Minister David Cameron
about the issues facing our countryside and the environment in the year ahead.
And down on the farm, Adam's got his hands full training a new sheepdog.
This is Fly. She's a very sweet four-year-old border collie -
good girl - and I've got her on loan
with the idea that if I get on with her, I'll be able to buy her.
I've been looking for a new sheepdog for some time,
so I've really got my fingers crossed.
but there is one problem - there's something on the farm
that she really doesn't like.
For nearly 80 miles, the Wolds Way winds its way
through some of Yorkshire's most spectacular countryside.
It stretches from the banks of the River Humber
to the chalk cliffs of Filey on the east coast.
This trail is said to be one of Yorkshire's best-kept secrets
and although it's 30 years old this year,
it's one of the least walked of all the national trails,
so I'm in for a treat.
I'm exploring a small part of it - the five miles between
the village of Thixendale and Wharram Percy,
a deserted medieval village.
Bar what's left of St Martin's Church,
not much remains of the village of Wharram Percy,
but this was once a thriving place with 150 people
and 30 houses.
So where did everybody go?
Well, it wasn't flooding, famine or even disease
that emptied Wharram Percy. It was sheep.
By the 15th century, sheep farming
was a lot more profitable than arable,
so the lord of the manor did the ultimate "get off me land" -
he turfed out the villagers and replaced them with woolly grazers.
The site was excavated from the 1950s up until the 1990s
and what's been unearthed here has given us
a significant insight into the lives of our countryside ancestors.
I'm meeting Dr Simon Mays, who has spent the past 20 years
analysing the bones of those buried in the village.
Simon. How are you doing? All right?
-Hi, good to see you.
-Nice to see you too.
Please introduce me to your friends. Who are these?
These are some bones from the churchyard at Wharram Percy.
OK. Well, the sizes are very different.
The skeleton we have on this side is a medieval ten-year-old.
And the skeleton here is to represent the size of a modern ten-year-old,
so you can see there's a really big difference.
Right. And what do you put that down to?
It's probably due to the poor nutrition that they would have had
and also the diseases that they suffered from.
Were a lot of children excavated?
Slightly under half of all the burials that were found up there
were of children, and that's kind of what we expect
in a pre-modern population.
About one in five children died before they reach two years.
That sounds horrendous by modern standards,
but in fact, it isn't too bad.
I was interested in comparing what life was like
in this rural settlement, what life was like in a medieval city
so I compared arm bones of men and women from York
with those from Wharram Percy.
It was really the women's bones that were the surprise.
They're about the same length,
but this bone, which is from Wharram Percy,
is much thicker than this bone here, which is a bone from medieval York.
That is quite a large difference
considering that York isn't too far away
as far as evolving is concerned.
-That's right. I'd put this down to...
-It's to do with what these people were doing, I think.
A medieval woman would have done work around the house,
but she would also have helped in the fields
and done a lot of heavy labour,
whereas this bone here comes from middle-class people.
Women there would have had all their heavy labour
done by servants and people like that.
Rural life was clearly tough
for both men and women working on the land,
but I'm sure they must've appreciated
this wonderful landscape.
Back on track, and I'm heading towards Thixendale,
the highest point on the trail at 705 feet.
If the hills and valleys of this walk
aren't enough to tempt you here, then maybe art will.
The area has been the source of renewed inspiration
for one of our most influential artists, David Hockney.
He's painting bigger and bolder pictures,
as Ellie will be discovering later.
But there's an artist here who is quite literally
leaving his mark in the landscape, and I'm getting a sneak preview.
There are plans for ten sculptures and artworks along this route.
This is the first to be finished, created by land artist Chris Drury.
-Chris, how you doing?
-Congratulations on your spectacular creation.
-It's a great view today with the sun.
-It looks good from up here.
It's a very intriguing piece, isn't it?
Did you have a brief?
There's a valley that comes into this one from the right,
and if you look where the sculpture is,
there's a bit scooped out of that hill -
well, that's where the glacier met the main one coming down here
and it does a kind of vortex at that point,
and I thought, well,
"I'm just going to draw the pattern of what happened here."
It's one thing drawing it on a piece of paper,
but it's another creating it there in the valley.
Did you just use manpower, loads of spades...?
No, no, we had one digger and a dog.
He was a remarkable man and the dog sat in the digger most of the day.
That really took a day and a half.
You're quite keen for people to use it and explore it.
Yeah, I think you could have a picnic right in the middle, out of the wind.
It has to sit within the landscape, that's the main criteria,
that it mustn't jump out, it's got to sit within it.
Later, I'll be meeting two men who reckon you can see
the whole 79 miles by foot in just one day.
But first, our current government promises to be the greenest ever.
But is that a promise it can keep?
John has been to meet the Prime Minister, David Cameron,
to find out.
When it comes to safeguarding the British environment,
some people have big ambitions.
I want us to be the greenest government ever.
A very simple ambition
and one that I'm absolutely committed to achieving.
But with worries about the economy
and competing pressures on the way we use our land,
can the Prime Minister bring about positive change to rural Britain?
I care deeply about our countryside and environment.
I would no more put that at risk
than I would put at risk my own family.
'In an exclusive interview, David Cameron talks to Countryfile about
'some of the biggest issues facing the countryside, like planning.'
Under our plans, villages, towns will be able to designate
new green spaces in their local plans that they want to keep.
'The welfare of farm animals.'
With other European countries, what we ought to do is take them
to court if they don't put in place
the changes they've signed up to.
'And plans to support businesses
'while still looking after our climate.'
There's no point in just taxing them
to a position where they just move to Poland and carry on polluting.
'So in this programme and the next one, we'll be challenging
'the Prime Minister on key rural issues during the coming year.'
When you list what it is we've got that's great in this country,
to me, our countryside comes right up the top.
Let's start with his aim to create the greenest government ever.
But let me tell you this,
there is a fourth minister in this department who cares passionately
about your agenda, and that is me, the Prime Minister, right?
I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
From the outset,
the environment seemed high on David Cameron's agenda. But last year,
the Chancellor's autumn statement left environmentalists
concerned that the Government isn't putting its money where its mouth is.
I am worried about the combined impact the green policies
adopted, not just in Britain but also by the European Union,
on some of our heavy energy intensive industries.
If we burden them with endless social and environmental goals,
however worthy in their own right, then not only will we not achieve
those goals, but the businesses will fail, jobs will be lost
and our country will be poorer.
So where does the Government really stand on its green commitments?
Who better to ask than the Prime Minister himself?
I met Mr Cameron at Cogges Farm,
a rural heritage museum in his Oxfordshire constituency.
-Welcome to Countryfile, Prime Minister.
-It's great to be here.
When you came to power, you pledged to be the greenest government ever.
But quite a few people that we talk to on the programme seem to
think that you're getting way off course.
I don't think that's fair.
The first thing we did was, we said you've got to start with yourself
and let's cut Government carbon emissions by 10% inside a year.
We set that target and we've delivered that target
and now set another target to do even better.
So I would say we are cracking through the key green issues,
putting our money where the commitment and the mouth is,
and I think we can hold our heads up.
But what about George Osborne saying, in the autumn statement, that he
is concerned that green policies might impact on British industry?
I think he's making a good point which is,
we're trying to de-carbonise our economy.
But as we take the carbon out of the economy,
there's no point taking the industry out of the economy as well.
So if you look specifically at this issue of heavy industries,
where there's no point in just taxing them
to a position where they just move to Poland and carry on polluting,
when actually we ought to keep them in Britain
and make sure that they are acting in an environmentally friendly way.
I don't believe that the environment on the one hand
and growth on the other are alternatives.
What the autumn statement did pledge was a vast building programme.
And that was on top of proposals to speed up
and simplify the planning process.
One concern is that could lead to large housing estates being
built on rural land, like the one I heard about near Yeovil.
Where exactly is this proposed development going to be?
You see the brown field straight ahead of us, John?
It will span across there, to the left, behind this tree...
-On the outskirts of Yeovil?
It'll join onto the outskirts of Yeovil there
and go right across to the houses on the horizon.
So it'll look like, essentially,
gravy pouring down from Yeovil into the vale of East Coker.
If we can't make our case stick,
then frankly we think nowhere in the country is going to be safe,
particularly under the new planning framework.
So, will the reforms of the planning system open up the countryside
to more large developments like this?
A lot of people are concerned now about your proposals for relaxing the planning laws,
they think that might ride roughshod over the green acres.
Obviously, this country needs more housing,
especially affordable housing, but where are you going to put it?
Here we are in West Oxfordshire, my constituency,
one of the most beautiful parts of our country,
set in some of England's finest countryside.
I would no more put that at risk
than I would put at risk my own family.
I care deeply about our countryside and our environment. Our vision
is one where we give communities much more say, much more control.
The fear people have in villages is the great big housing estate
being plonked down from above...
Which is exactly what they worry about in Yeovil at the moment,
where there's almost a new town arriving
on the doorstep of a couple of small villages.
But I think our reforms will make it easier for communities to say,
"We're not going to have the big plonking housing estate
"landing next to the village, but we would like, 10, 20, 30
"extra houses and we'd like them built in this way.
"We'd like them to be for local people."
What about your idea of the planners having a presumption to
approve of planning applications, building applications?
It's a presumption in favour of sustainable development,
and all those words, as it were, are equally important.
I think that is the key point I'd make.
Let me be clear, cos there's been quite
a lot of scaremongering about this planning issue.
We're not changing green belt,
we're not changing areas of outstanding natural beauty,
we're not changing SSSIs, all those protections that are there.
But at the heart of it is, and I think this is what people
haven't yet grasped in a way, at the heart of it is more local control.
The neighbourhood plan, you decide in your community,
rather than the man in Whitehall knows best.
So you can guarantee that there won't be, sort of,
vast areas of housing marching across the green acres?
Under our plans, villages, towns will be able to designate
new green spaces in their local plans that they want to keep,
that's a protection they don't necessarily have now.
But how do the plans to protect the environment at home
fit with the Government's global green promises?
The UK is legally obliged
to generate 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
That's going to mean amongst other things
lots and lots of new wind farms.
At the moment we're just scratching the surface.
We have 1,500 megawatts of offshore capacity installed.
That's enough to generate the electrical energy
of three quarters of a million homes, pretty impressive.
But we're looking to go about 12 times that amount by 2020.
But those plans need money and that could be down to you and me.
What's your prediction about how much fuel bills
are going to rise for everyone because of green power?
Fuel bills up until 2030 could well double.
The Government acknowledges there will be an increase and a decrease.
But for every 1% increase in fuel bills,
44,000 households slide into fuel poverty, which is a social crisis.
Arguments over the cost of wind energy sharply divide opinion,
so does the Prime Minister still believe he's getting it right?
I think we want a competitive market so that we keep prices down.
But I think there's more to be done to make sure
consumers get the lowest bills they can,
to make sure they're told about the cheapest tariffs.
I think it's not a market that's yet functioning as well as I would like.
We keep a pretty eagle eye on the big six energy companies
to make sure they're behaving in a proper way.
We'll do all those things to keep bills down.
You are very much in favour of wind farms.
Many people aren't.
That's true. We need a balance of energy in this country.
It's a great mistake to have all your energy coming from
one source or from one often dangerous part of the world.
I think it's right we invest in renewables.
It's right we show some flexibility.
I think offshore wind is going to be a big fixture.
In terms of onshore wind, I know communities feel concerned about this.
-Again, in the planning reforms...
-A lot of people hate them.
-Some do, I accept that.
When they go ahead, one of the reasons people don't like them
is they don't see any connection between the windmill that's erected
and their local community.
If there were more schemes that were supplying
renewable electricity to local people,
they were feeling the benefit of that,
then people would take a different view.
The Germans are way ahead of us when it comes to renewables.
They were doing this for longer. That was their key.
-Are we going to reach the targets?
-I believe that we will.
I think the last government was a bit slow off the mark.
When they did get off the mark it wasn't priced properly.
In the long term we've now got a well-priced scheme,
so it is worthwhile people investing in renewables.
There's no doubt that in aiming to be the greenest government ever
David Cameron has set himself an almighty challenge.
But there are other pressing issues affecting our countryside that need to be addressed.
Next week I'll be asking the Prime Minister
how he sees the future of British farming.
I think we can push for real changes where we reduce these production subsidies
that have done so much damage in Europe
and focus the effort instead on rewarding good environmental practice.
And tackling the difficult subject of the badger culls.
-It's going to be controversial, difficult to do...
-Difficult to police.
Difficult to police, but there's no end of difficulties
but we've taken a difficult decision and it's the right thing to do.
Winter has stripped the East Yorkshire landscape bare.
The trees are stark, the hedgerows without colour.
The fields lie dormant under a thin sun.
The Wolds in winter has a pared-down beauty -
muted, quiet and understated,
but how many of us really notice
as we whizz by on our way to somewhere else?
If we just slowed down a bit,
took time to look around,
would we see the land we live in differently?
One man really thinks so.
And he's David Hockney, our greatest living artist.
He's based in LA, but has a home in East Yorkshire.
It's here he's found renewed inspiration
in its fields and trees.
It's very, very lovely, subtle landscape here.
Not too many people,
very quiet roads that you could work on.
It's turned out to be the perfect place for me in the last few years.
You know, I come from West Yorkshire.
Wharfedale, everybody knows it's rather beautiful and so on.
But people who just drive from West Yorkshire into Bridlington
just think, "There's one big hill and it's just little hills
"and it looks like a load of fields."
Nobody really looks at it much.
But if you know how to look, the landscape is alive with colour.
In David's eyes, trees can be purple, fields sometimes blue,
stone is often red.
The same subject never looks the same way twice.
He's painted the tree he calls "the totem" many, many times.
Right now you're seeing it in reds and greens.
Er...on a different day, you might see it differently.
Right now, the dominant colours are red and green, essentially.
OK, the red is brown, oranges and brown.
If it had been raining very heavily,
you get like you see there on that side of the tree, it goes dark.
-The rain will make it dark.
I usually then wait and come out immediately
because then you get... It's the only time the tree trunks are very dark,
when it's rained.
'David is able to respond quickly to changing conditions
'by using the very latest in high-tech gadgets.
'Out goes the sketchbook, in comes the iPad.'
Some people might be quite surprised to see technology rather than paintbrushes.
Well, paintbrushes are technology.
I suppose so, yeah.
A pencil is technology, isn't it?
For me on this road, the great advantage is
you can quickly establish
a range of colour faster than any medium I've come across.
There's no mixing, it's just all there.
Yeah, because you're doing it all here...
Um, with one instrument.
I don't have to change it.
So, um, it's an absolutely new medium really.
'And the results are terrific.
'All these pictures of East Yorkshire were made using the iPad.'
You've painted this structure quite a few times. Why so many times?
Is it about getting it in different lights?
Well, because once you've done it once in January,
I then realised I'll keep doing it every few days for a while.
And right now it's very winter.
It sure is.
You're getting the reflections in the puddles as well.
It's very nice in the rain because the road gets shiny
and it's lighter than the sky, the light is right at the end.
I wouldn't have seen that had you not pointed it out.
To me it looks a bit drab, but there's lots of light.
Well, people don't look hard enough often.
I used to ask friends if I drove along here, I'd say to them,
"What colour is the road?"
And, er, one friend just didn't say anything for a while.
Then I asked him again he said, "I see what you mean, David."
If you don't ask the question, you don't even bother.
But if you ask the question and you look rather hard,
well, it's violet, its blue, it's all kind of things.
But you have to ask the question first.
That's what Monet would have done, what anybody would have done, that's what I do.
Seeing all the colours that you can see in the landscape
has suddenly made me seem very garish - I must seem offensive to you.
-I am a bit bright.
David Hockney has been blazing a trail through the art world
since the 1960s.
He's internationally famous
and was recently voted our most influential artist...ever.
A new show at London's Royal Academy looks set to cement that reputation.
Back at his studio I'm getting a sneak preview.
So this is a miniature version of the Royal Academy, is it?
Yes, we make the models
so we calculate where everything will fit and go.
'Featuring prominently will be the computer drawings of Yorkshire,
'printed up large size.'
'The effect of seeing them all together in one place is stunning.'
-This is where we were this morning.
-Oh, yes. The big puddles.
-That's where we were as well with the totem.
There's the totem again.
-And again and again.
-Vivid colours, it's amazing.
How important are the seasons and the weather to you
when you're going out and deciding?
Well, it's about every time we went on that road it was different, that's what I'm saying.
Because this is England, the light will be different,
the weather, the foliage.
It's just showing you the enormous amount of variety there is
and as it changes throughout the year.
And even within a day sometimes, doesn't it?
Oh, yeah, I mean we call sometime in late April
we call it kind of action week where it's very, very active,
when the Queen Anne lace seems to grow two foot in a week.
So the subject can't be done in one picture.
It has to be done in many
-because the arrival of spring is an event over time.
And you'll notice perhaps all of this in your garden.
You'll notice the little changes, what comes first.
I'm assuming that people who go to it,
when they leave the exhibition,
will be looking forward to the spring themselves.
And keeping an eye on it and perhaps watch it a little more intensely.
'The Yorkshire pictures will be shown for the first time
'at the upcoming exhibition.
'But it's something quite different that David hopes will wow the crowds.'
Imagine if instead of just one viewpoint like you have now,
you could see up there, and there and down there,
a massive field of view and all in incredible detail.
It would be really impressive.
'Well, David and his team have done it
'and they've made a film like no other.
'It'll be shown at the Royal Academy, but we've been granted an exclusive preview.'
The picture builds up in front of your eyes. That's amazing.
'This brand-new film will be getting its first ever broadcast
'anywhere in the world a little later right here on Countryfile.'
Also on tonight's programme:
Who's got what it takes to make the perfect Yorkshire pudding?
Ellie and I go head to head.
Matt, I think a little less talking and a little more doing is required.
And there's the Countryfile five-day forecast.
First light marks the start of Adam's day
and as the sun rises there's no time to waste.
Even in the midst of winter there's always plenty to do.
He's busy sorting out his field boundaries,
which means getting to grips with the art of hedge laying.
Before that, a new addition to the farm
is proving to be a bit of a handful.
My working border collies are an invaluable part of the farm team moving sheep and cattle.
Here, come, come. Good, girl.
This is Pearl, who's a lovely little dog,
but she got run over when she was a puppy and smashed her leg up
and I never really trained her properly.
So she's very below average, really.
That's her mum Maude in the kennel, who's 13 years old,
been a great working dog, but now she's old and deaf and a bit slow
and enjoying retirement.
Good girl. Go on, in.
'For the past few months I've been on the hunt for a new sheepdog
'that can do all the running around these old girls struggle with.
'I've had little luck in finding one.
'Well, that's until now.'
This is Fly. Here, Fly.
She's a four-year-old border collie who's fully trained.
She's very, very sweet. Here, Fly. Come on, then.
She's a really lovely-natured little dog
and she was trained by someone else so now I've got to try
and switch her loyalties from the person who trained her to me
and John, my assistant stockman.
We're going to share her working on the farm.
Now I'm just going to put you through your paces. What a good girl.
Come on, then.
'While Fly is good around the sheep,
'she's not so good when it comes to my buggy.'
One of the problems is she's frightened of getting in the back of this vehicle
and this is John's main way of getting around the farm.
How are you getting her to overcome it?
We've been trying to get her in the back.
-Is she like it all the time?
-It's mostly I think in the morning.
We try and get her in the back.
When you're out in a field, she's got other things on her mind.
She sees the sheep and it takes her mind off things.
-Let's try her now, shall we?
Let's try her in the back, see how she goes.
Oh, no, she's run off already. You've only just opened it.
Here, Fly, here, Fly. Good girl, good girl.
Here. Good girl. See if she'll come to you.
-Come on, Fly. Good girl.
-There's a good girl.
She's not very interested in the food.
-Let's see if she'll jump up in there now.
-Here, Fly, up!
-There we go. Good girl.
-She just didn't want to know.
If you need her in the back and she runs off like that, that's going to be a right pain.
-What do you think has happened to her?
-Maybe she's had an accident.
Maybe another dog beat her up. Who knows?
She's very nervous of it. I think you just keep working on her
-and getting her to go in the back. Be quite firm.
Have a go round the sheep with her. I'll catch up with you later and see if she'll work for me.
-Yeah, we'll see how we get on.
-See you in a bit.
There's always work to be done on the farm.
I've got 1,600 acres with hundreds of miles of field boundaries,
which are either dry-stone walls,
fences or hedges,
and it's during the winter months, when the birds aren't nesting, that our hedges get a bit of TLC.
Hedges are a very important boundary.
They provide shelter for farm animals, for crops,
and of course, for wildlife.
Birds nest in them in the spring, they eat the berries in the winter, and I've heard it said
that there's about 100,000 miles of hedges in the UK.
They're described as the stitchwork that makes up the patchwork quilt
that is the British countryside - a very lovely way of thinking of them.
But they do need maintaining - either trimming or laying.
And hedge laying takes a lot of skill, something I'm keen to learn more about.
so I'm meeting up with Robin Dale,
who's working on a hedge at a neighbouring farm.
-How are you?
-Isn't it beautiful for hedge laying?
-A super day today - cold.
I've been told if there's any man in the country who can tell me about hedge laying, you're the one.
I don't know about that! But yes, I'm chairman of the National Hedge Laying Society.
-I've been hedge laying for 47 years.
How did you get into it, then?
One of the key factors is, the first competition I went in, I was second,
and I earnt £6.
My father was paying me £5 a week! So you can see that...
-That's when the temptation took over!
-..I got into it pretty quickly.
So, not understanding hedges fully, you've got all the brush on this side,
but this side's smooth. What's going on there?
It stops the animals from that side, especially cattle, from leaning over
to eat the young shoots from this side, and it keeps them away from the hedge.
When people look at a hedge, they see the bushes growing up,
and they think, "Oh, that looks lovely," and then the next day they see it all chopped down,
-but there's a reason, isn't there?
-Well, if the hedges carried on
growing up all the time, it would get very gappy in the bottom. That's a problem.
-The animals won't get through there.
-There's no way a sheep would get through.
-No. That's the whole idea.
-Go on, teach me how to do some hedging.
-Right. Here we go. Gloves.
Lovely. Is that very sharp?
You could shave with that!
I'm going to do this one cos it's a bit stronger, you see?
-So you're chopping in?
So you're not cutting right through, so that it stays alive,
keeps attached to the root.
It wants to fall down itself.
-Can I give it a go?
-Try on this one?
-You've cleared it round at the top.
-I don't want to get it wrong
cos if I chop it right through, this thing's dead. So just down there somewhere?
You've got to cut into it quite strongly.
Yeah, go on. Just keep...
It's hand-eye coordination.
That's it. Absolutely brilliant.
Whoa! HE LAUGHS
-You've done it, boy.
'Next, we knock in some stakes at elbow's-width apart.
'We then finish off the top with some binders.'
Remember, use one binder per stake.
You go over...and back this side, like that.
-Over and down.
-Well, that is very impressive.
I can see why they think you're an expert.
-You're really keen on teaching young people, too?
-We've got to introduce young people
because they're the future, and Howard's been working with me.
-How are you doing?
-Yeah, good. How did you get into it?
I was in my mum's shed and I came across my grandfather's billhook,
which I didn't know it was at the time, and I've been doing some hedge laying with Robin ever since.
Is it a good living? What do you charge per metre?
You can charge anywhere between £7 and £15 per metre,
depending on the density of the hedge,
and obviously that includes your stakes and your binders as well,
-so that's all included.
Well, I'll come back in six months' time and see how my bit's getting on.
-And I think you owe me seven quid!
Thanks very much. See you.
With miles of hedging on my farm,
maintaining them is a mammoth task, so I called in a contractor to help.
Hedge trimming's an incredibly skilful job.
This is a powerful machine.
It'll cut through branches about the thickness of your wrist,
and what Reggie's doing here is levelling off the top
and he'll cut the sides, and then he'll trim it off again, just to smooth it off.
We rotationally cut our hedges every three years,
apart from the roadside hedges that need trimming every year.
A hedge trimmer like this is quite an expensive bit of kit. It's worth £20,000-£25,000.
And that doesn't include the tractor, which is worth another 40 or 50,000.
Some people get very frustrated with the hedge trimmers cutting the roadsides,
but actually, they're keeping the roads safe, so you have to bear with them.
A little bit of patience goes a long way.
Back out in the fields, I'm keen to find out how Fly's getting on.
I just hope she'll work for me.
-Fly, here. Fly, here.
-How are you getting on with her? She's looking good.
-She's very keen.
-See if you can get her to stop now.
-That's it. Nice and firm.
Well, if we're going to share her, I'll see if I can work her, too.
It's a big ask for a dog to work for a number of people.
But I'll see how I go and see if she'll work for me.
There's a good girl.
Right, I'll give her the right-hand command.
HE WHISTLES Stand! Stand!
She's not stopping.
She's got a lovely wide cast on her,
when she goes round the outside of the sheep to get up behind them.
Really wide, which is lovely, and she's a fast little dog.
She could easily gather a whole field full of sheep. Steady!
If only I could get her to stop a little bit easier, that would be better.
But I'd much prefer to try to slow a dog down than try and speed it up.
That'll do, Fly. Good girl, good girl.
She's such a sweet little dog. What a good girl!
She's got so many good things going for her -
she's really good with the other dogs, she doesn't fight, she's great with the children,
she's lovely round the farmyard. It's just a pity she doesn't like the buggy. Apart from that,
you're a little superstar, aren't you?
What a good girl!
Next time, I'll be finding out how fresh, green animal feed
can be grown 365 days of the year, whatever the weather.
I've been spending time in the Wolds of East Yorkshire
with our greatest living artist, David Hockney.
He's spent the last few years painting the countryside near his home in Bridlington.
David calls this track The Tunnel.
He's painted it many times, in different weathers and at different times of the year,
and his paintings of it have left a lasting impression on one man.
Farmer Andrew Barton.
He owns the track that David calls The Tunnel.
Andrew, how did you first come across David Hockney on your land?
Well, it was very strange.
The first time, I actually was just driving past the lane and I saw a car parked up here,
and a lot of people about and somebody painting,
and it was very strange.
I didn't know who it was at the time, but I found out by word of mouth that it was David Hockney
who was painting, obviously one of the world's most famous living artists, if not THE most famous.
What did you think of the pictures that you saw?
When you see the finished pictures, the colours, and what he sees in the vista
is just incredible, absolutely incredible,
to what I see it as, which is just a green lane
with a few trees at the side of it.
So now you've seen the pictures, do you see this lane,
The Tunnel, differently?
Yeah, I do see it differently, obviously,
but at the end of the day, it is just access to my fields.
But I do see it differently. I find myself, when I drive past,
I find myself looking up it more and seeing different colours,
and at different times of the year, seeing different things in it. Yeah, definitely.
-Fantastic. And now you've got a famous view, here on your land.
-I'm actually thinking of setting up a tea shop at the end of the lane!
-I like it.
Paintings of The Tunnel will be on show
at David's forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy.
But it's not just the paintings
that he hopes will wow the crowds.
It's a film. A new direction for the artist.
This is a short version, edited especially for Countryfile.
OK. Well, this is what we did on Woldgate.
Here's the spring. It's slowly changing into the summer.
Now, there's three months between each one, of course.
We made this for the TV screen itself.
We edited these for this programme, for you to see it.
You can see incredible detail in the foreground
because our cameras focus on that,
focus on the middle-ground, focus on the far-ground.
This is at about seven o'clock in the evening,
so you get a very low sun lighting up all of the variety of grass.
Here we are at our Tunnel in the spring,
and we change to the summer, just perhaps two months later.
You can see how luscious it becomes in the summer.
As we change to autumn, you're getting all the marvellous changes,
and now you come into the winter.
With one camera, you wouldn't be looking up as much as you are here.
Here, this is on Woldgate on a very windy day.
Our subject, in one way, is movement, and here, with the nine cameras,
you're picking up nine areas of movement,
and it makes you look at it a little more carefully.
Each frame you see was filmed by a separate camera.
There were nine cameras filming at the same time, each with a slightly different viewpoint.
The cameras were attached to a rig on top of a 4x4.
The team filmed the same roads many, many times.
The result is a mesmerising journey through the seasons.
Here, we're coming up Woldgate again.
You're getting into the spring,
which will change, through two years, into the summer.
The summer is the darkest, in a way, round here,
simply because it's blocking out most light.
It changes again back into the autumn,
and slowly, as we turn the corner,
it changes again into the winter.
And as we turn again, we'll move into the spring.
So we're really getting almost two years, turning this small corner.
Again, it'll change to the summer,
and in the summer, again, it's the darkest of all.
The shadows become dark on the road.
Here, just to show you again the whole year,
this is the identical place. Spring, summer,
autumn and winter.
That's showing you the whole year in the top of what we call The Tunnel.
David's team edited this version to work on television.
At the Royal Academy, the seasons will be shown side by side,
but on a whopping 18 screens, just like this.
The whole picture builds up in front of your eyes.
Nine cameras on that side of the road,
and then nine on that side of the road,
and we joined them together.
Incredible clarity. I can see really clear blades of grass.
Because you're putting cameras together,
you're putting one on top of another,
it means you can get much closer to the tree and still see the whole tree.
With one camera, you'd have to be further back, actually.
So, why did you decide to do something that was going away from just a single-camera view?
Well, partly because the technology was there, the cameras are smaller,
and I knew if you did that you'd make a more interesting picture, anyway.
-Next, this is where we were, just further on this morning.
-That's autumn and that's winter.
And that's exactly the same place, the same tree you're seeing.
That's wild garlic.
Like I've never seen it before.
It's really crystal clear and sharp colours.
What are you hoping people are going to experience when they come and see this?
Well, I think it will make you look a little more,
be conscious that looking is a more positive act than you think.
It's something you've to decide to do,
otherwise you just scan it.
It's like walking down the road, but really turning your head all the time,
trying to soak up everything. It's amazing. Wow!
New technology has enabled Hockney to push into new realms -
new ways of seeing and looking.
And for David, that's something we ought to do more of.
After all, there's so much in our countryside to see. You just have to look.
The Yorkshire Wolds are a forgotten gem.
I've been taking in the splendour of the Wolds Way.
I've seen skeletons at Wharram Percy and I've visited
one of the first pieces of art created especially for the route.
It is a lovely walk.
Not too taxing, no major mountains to climb,
but enough undulations to keep you nice and warm on a nippy day.
Allegedly you can't get lost along here,
but this high spot here is the mid-point of the trail.
And if you wanted to walk the whole 79 miles,
it would probably take you the best part of a week,
but I'm about to meet a couple of lads who've done the whole trail in just one day.
Jim Rogers and Neil Ridsdale hold the fastest official time.
How long did it take you?
It took us 13 hours, 23 minutes.
-Some other lads have done it before, haven't they?
We did it ourselves, years ago, in about 16 hours, and then some guys
we know did it and we gave them the official record, and that sort
of spurted us on to have another go and try to wrest that from them.
We surprised even ourselves with how fast we went
but we were lucky with the weather. It was a perfect day and we got a northerly wind,
-which kind of blew us north to south.
Yeah, it went like clockwork, really.
-Do you get a chance to take in the scenery?
-To some degree, yeah.
You sort of switch in and out.
There's times where you're just in your thoughts,
and times when you try not to focus on what's going on in your body
and the aches and pains, and try to enjoy the scenery.
Jim, you do a lot of track racing as well.
What's it like for you to get out and do cross-country running?
I much prefer being out in the country.
My philosophy is, "A day in the hills can cure most ills."
Thanks ever so much for stopping off.
I wish I could join you but I didn't bring any trainers or shorts.
-Come on, Matt!
-See you later!
Enjoy your run.
I'll go this way. It's downhill.
In a moment, Ellie is on a mission to make the perfect Yorkshire pud,
and I'll be seeing if science can guarantee pudding success,
but first, if you're planning to head out in the countryside in the week ahead,
let's find out what the weather's got in store.
East Yorkshire's a real gem.
Unspoilt, uncrowded, and unexpectedly pretty.
I've been discovering some of it with David Hockney,
our greatest living artist,
while Matt's been exploring the beautiful Wolds Way.
Matt will get here soon, and when he does, he's in for a bit
of a challenge, because we're going to go head to head in the kitchen.
And since we're in Yorkshire, it's got a bit of a Yorkshire flavour.
I'm talking Yorkshire puddings, and who makes the best.
I'll be finding out later.
First, though, I'm going to try something a little different.
I'm going to see if it's possible to make them the old-fashioned way, like in the days before
they had highly-refined plain flour, like people would have done
when this place first started milling.
Skidby Mill is the last working windmill in Yorkshire.
Back in the 1800s, it's where locals came for the wholemeal flour
to make their puds.
Which is exactly what I'm about to do.
First, though, we need to see those sails turning.
Over to you, Neil.
Neil Johnson is the resident miller here at Skidby.
Recently qualified, he's a new hand at an old trade.
-All right there, Neil.
-How are you?
That looked quite hairy getting those sails turning there.
Yeah, it's quite a job in this weather.
Usually we don't run the mill in winds of more than 25 knots,
-Fortunately today it's about 20, so we're all right.
-We got lucky today.
-We did, definitely.
So here it is.
-Yep, this is wholemeal flour.
-Historically, it would have been used for all baking,
-including Yorkshire puddings.
So, I could take this and make some Yorkshires?
The best tasting Yorkshires you'll have had.
What I need now is some expert help.
'Ben Cox is a top chef who was recently voted the county's best Yorkshire pudding maker.'
What are the chances of you making Yorkshires with wholemeal?
-Oh, I'm sure I can.
-Here you are. Let's see the master at work.
'Ben's using stock, his secret ingredient, then milk, then whisk.'
How long did it take you to perfect your recipe?
I've been making Yorkshire puddings since I left school.
'Because we've used wholemeal, Ben sieves the batter to remove husks.'
-Some pepper. Plenty of salt in there. Sage in there.
A nice hot oven, perfect.
Let's have a look at these.
'So you can make Yorkshire puds using wholemeal flour if you're
'a top chef, but for our challenge,
Matt and I will be sticking with plain.
But there's a twist. Matt's going all scientific.
Here's Jonathan Edwards from the Royal Society of Chemistry
with the exact formula for perfect Yorkshire puds.
What the blazes is this, Jonathan?
-Lactose solution? I'm guessing milk?
-Ovoids of the protein variety?
A reaction vessel?
My reaction vessel.
Will this help you win the Yorkshire pudding challenge?
This is tested scientifically. It is going to lead to a perfect Yorkshire pudding.
Not a hope.
I'm sticking to traditional methods
so I've called in the help of farmer's wife Mary Rook.
-'Right on cue...'
-Sorry I'm late. I've had to walk here.
-What time do you call this?
-This is all very scientific, isn't it?
-Look at your lab coat there.
Yeah, that looks very homely and this looks a little bit clinical.
'We've got our full complement of presenters. All we need now is a judge.'
Enter Mandy Wragg - food writer and Good Food Guide advisor.
OK, teams, you have half an hour to complete your task.
In five, four, three, two, one...
Just double check...
-..Close as you can get it.
-You've got more in that we have.
Ah, don't you question your formula!
'Keep your nose out, Baker.'
Mary seems to be tutoring Ellie quite well.
You need to get it like a double cream consistency.
Eggs are made of protein and water.
Too much talking going on with the scientists and not enough doing.
Matt, excuse me, I think a little less talking
and a little more doing is required.
'First warning from the referee.'
You've had five minutes teams, please.
-How many eggs have you got in there?
Two eggs with 100 grams.
Eggs, sorry, what are they? We're using ovoids.
I'd like to see these going into the oven very soon, please, teams.
-Here's one lot going in now.
You were stalling on purpose! You were!
The old classic, "What temperature's it at...?"
We're looking for a nicely risen pudding, aren't we?
Yorkshire pudding's got to have a very nice height to it,
nice crispiness to the outside, inside a bit of softness and stodginess to it.
-Not quite a recipe book, is it, the whiteboard?
-Not really, no.
But if it works...
Oh, we'll see.
'You wanted risen, look at that.'
I tell you what, if that arrived with my Sunday dinner,
I would be absolutely delighted.
That is not Yorkshire pudding. That is a shed.
If you went to a restaurant and it claimed it made the best Yorkshire puddings in the world,
and that arrived, you'd go, "Ho, ho! I'm eating in the right place."
'Joking aside, it now gets serious. Over to our expert judges.'
And I would like to introduce you to the Yorkshire pudding adventure.
Please don't eat it all at once.
I think I might start with the small one.
Mmm. This has got that sort of slightly squidgy bottom
that you were talking about.
Do you think we should have some mountaineering equipment for this?
-Let's tear this baby apart.
Yes, a bit of burning on the outside.
It tastes a lot better than it looks, I have to say.
It smells better than it looks.
-The base is very good.
-Full marks for creating a monster.
I have to say, it's a very close-run thing.
Despite this looking quite ugly, actually, it tastes pretty good.
-But I prefer this one.
-Yes! Mary, put it there.
Commiserations, boys. Back to the kitchen and get washing up.
Do you know what, John, I'm proud of what we did. It was an adventure.
-Well done, Ellie.
-Thank you. That's just about all we've got time for.
If you haven't got your Countryfile calendar, this is your last chance.
-Details on our website.
-Next week, I'll be doing some maintenance
on the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal chain
which involves a bit of abseiling.
And I shall be hunting down
the elusive otter that makes the canal its home. See you then.
-Washing up for you.
-Not for me. Mandy and Ben have already offered.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison explore the Wolds of East Yorkshire. Matt takes to the Wolds Way national trail to unveil a new land art installation, while Ellie gets an insight into the workings of one of the UK's greatest living artists. For the last few years, David Hockney has painted the Wolds near his East Yorkshire home. Now, ahead of a major new exhibition, he invites Countryfile into his home and his studio for a sneak preview. And he has granted the programme a world exclusive: the first broadcast of a brand new film that forms the centrepiece of his Royal Academy show.
Elsewhere, John Craven talks to the prime minister, David Cameron, about some of the biggest issues facing the countryside and the environment in the year ahead. Down his Cotswold farm, Adam has got his work cut out trying out a new sheepdog.