10/07/2011 Countryfile


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10/07/2011

John Craven heads to the Cairngorms in Scotland to look back at some of the team's most memorable visits to the jewels of the British landscape - its rivers and mountains.


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Mountains, foreboding, rocky peaks towering dramatically over lush green valleys.

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Britain's highest peaks may have been conquered long ago,

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but many are the last remaining pieces of true wilderness.

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And rivers, the watery veins and arteries flowing through our countryside.

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Whether river deep or mountain high,

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these are the jewels of our countryside

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and for this special edition of Countryfile,

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I've come to somewhere which has them in great abundance -

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the Cairngorms in Scotland.

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The 25,000 acres of the Rothiemurchus estate

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stretch from the River Spey to the summit of Braeriach,

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Britain's third highest mountain at over 4,000 feet.

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As well as meeting the Laird of this vast estate and discovering just how it's managed,

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I'll be revisiting some of our favourite Countryfile moments

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that have taken the team up hill and down stream.

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Here's just a taste of what's to come.

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It's downhill all the way for Matt in North Wales.

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Oh, look at that view!

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Julia takes a swim on the wild side in Oxfordshire.

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I'm just desperately staying afloat

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cos I don't want to put my foot in anything slippery.

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And Adam helps herd sheep down the slopes off the Lake District.

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Hey, hey, hey. Come on, sheep.

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At the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in the eastern Highlands

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is the Rothiemurchus estate.

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More than ten million trees in a natural forest,

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and the fastest flowing river in Scotland.

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But facts and figures only hint at its beauty.

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This is the place to get away from it all,

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to hear the sound of silence,

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and even on a summer's day like this, when it's raining

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and the clouds are crashing into the mountains,

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it's quite magnificent.

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And hardly surprising that one of the most iconic images of Scotland

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the Monarch Of The Glen, was painted only a couple of miles from here,

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by Sir Edwin Landseer exactly 160 years ago.

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And things have hardly changed.

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Since the 16th century, the estate has been in passed down

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through the Grant family.

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The 17th laird of Rothiemurchus is Johnnie Grant.

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This is a fantastic skyline. Are you laird of all you survey here?

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I'm not so much laird over it,

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I'm responsible for most of what you see here, yes.

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Presumably, over the centuries,

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the responsibilities changed, really, for a place like this?

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Hugely.

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Back in the 16th century, the laird was kind of next to king, really,

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was responsible for everything, up until the 19th century.

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If people starved, it was the laird's fault.

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So, you know, big responsibilities in the old days.

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Now what we're interested in here at Rothiemurchus is biodiversity.

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In terms of wildlife and nature,

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we are signed up to international agreements

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by which we actually have to keep this place in improving condition.

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And that is a major responsibility,

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especially when you have large numbers of people

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who want to come and enjoy it.

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It may be in private hands,

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but much of the land is accessible to the public.

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Later, I'll be heading down the mountain

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to see what's happening on the rivers

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that criss-cross the estate.

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As you've heard, this part of Scotland

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has the UK's third highest mountain, Braeriach, over there.

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But in the shadow of the highest peak in Wales,

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Matt rode a train that lets gravity take the strain.

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The summit of Mount Snowdon marks the highest point in England and Wales.

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It stands 3,560 feet above sea level

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and sits within the Snowdonia National Park

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in the north-west of Wales.

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It's a breathtaking, mountainous landscape

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and holds a special place the nation's heart.

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But, here in Blaenau Ffestiniog

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a new landscape has been formed,

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not by ice, but by centuries of heavy industry.

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These hills are formed by slate.

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Slate has been mined in North Wales for hundreds of years,

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and in the 19th century, over half the world's slate was Welsh.

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Today, with open cast mining, slate production continues,

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albeit on a much smaller scale.

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These days, the slate produced is transported by lorries throughout Britain.

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But back in the 19th century,

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they had to solve the problem of transporting the slate from here,

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13 miles to the ships which were waiting to transport them worldwide.

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The solution was to build a railway,

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but it was before the days of oil or steam, so they relied on gravity.

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This engine is part of the Ffestiniog Railway,

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hauling tourists through the breathtaking scenery of Snowdonia.

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Originally, the railway was built to carry slate

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from the quarries in Blaenau Ffestiniog to the port of Porthmadog.

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And today we're going to recreate that very journey.

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And while we can rely on gravity to take us down the mountain,

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we need this beautiful steam engine to get us up there first.

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None of this would be possible without a group of enthusiasts

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who've spent months restoring the wagons.

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-Is it full?

-It is.

-How are you?

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-Hello, welcome.

-Very impressive indeed.

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Lovely little wagons these, aren't they?

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Yes, these are the old wagons the railway used to ship the slate

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from the quarries down to the port.

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When the train is running down the hill by gravity

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these guys have to work the brakes

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and make sure the thing doesn't go zooming off.

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-And that's what these levers are?

-This is the very basic brakes.

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And very effective they are, too.

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Where's the best place for me, then?

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I think the best place for you today, Matt,

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is with our head brakes man, Iain,

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who will be at the top end of the train.

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Iain, how are you? What's the idea? Where shall I sit?

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Because there isn't any seats.

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There are no seats.

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You sit on the side of the wagon, so get yourself up there.

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And we can get off.

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-We're off.

-Yes.

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Brake's off.

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'150 years ago, horses would have taken the empty wagons up the hill

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'where they would be loaded with slate from the quarry.

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'Today, we're steaming along nicely,

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'but soon, we'll be unhitched from the engine

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'and gravity will take over.'

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The steam engine has now decoupled so all of these 30 wagons

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with us at the front are about to free-wheel down the hill.

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Right, brakes off.

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HORN

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'I'm the privileged passenger on this 13-mile coast down to the sea,

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'and while these seating is hardly first class,

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'riding the gravity train is by invitation only.'

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It is quite an odd feeling as you feel it getting faster and faster.

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It feels like a roller-coaster.

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You want to put your hands up in the air.

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HORN

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That was a lovely little tinkle, that one.

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Oh, yes. We were saving that one.

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Oh, we're moving now, we're moving now!

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Porthmadog, here we come!

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Oh, look at that view!

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Oh, there's something wonderful about this kind of travel, you know.

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Everybody's on the side, waving away,

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-we're just zipping through the countryside.

-All aboard?

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-Is that Snowdon over there?

-Yeah, the peak up there, that's Snowdon.

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Right, so, here we are, then. Our destination, the end of the line.

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We can put the brakes on fully, come to a grinding halt.

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We've dropped about 200 metres from the very top, gradual gradient,

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all the way down here to Porthmadog.

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The destination...of the slate.

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And... that... is it.

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-Lovely. Iain, thanks ever so much.

-Thank you.

-Super braking.

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The railway remains a testament to the generations of people

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who dedicated their lives to exporting Welsh slate all over the world.

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Rothiemurchus in the Cairngorms may be a private estate,

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but it welcomes up to 400,000 visitors a year.

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Most are attracted by the tranquil wilderness of the mountains,

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lochs and rivers.

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But it's a difficult balance between catering for tourists

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and preserving the special landscape.

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Everything we do

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is to enable people to enjoy Rothiemurchus

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in a way which helps us look after it.

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-So, opening up the estate to visitors creates jobs for people.

-Yes.

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Presumably, this is all very useful

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when it comes to raising money to keep the estate going?

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That's a huge struggle. It's how do you look after,

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and pay for conservation? You can't have environmental sustainability

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unless you have economic and social sustainability.

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But I think that if we can go on enabling people to enjoy the right thing here

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in the right way, it'll be something which actually, hopefully, will be the answer

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to how you keep it looking really special.

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Well, a more traditional way of having fun in a river,

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especially on a hot day, which this one isn't, is to go for a dip.

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And Matt and Julia went wild swimming in Oxfordshire.

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I'm going to find out what attracts people to wild swimming for fun

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while Matt takes to the water with the river swimming convert, Karen Pickering

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who's best known for winning medals in indoor pools.

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So, Robert, what is the difference between wild swimming

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and gentle, family river swimming?

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Well, I think gentle, family river swimming is wild swimming.

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I mean, there's all kinds of wild swimming you could do.

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Very hardy swimming in the winter,

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but basically, wild swimming is not concrete, not chlorine.

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And what is it about swimming in a river that's so intoxicating?

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Well, just look here. You've got sunshine, you've got trees,

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you've got live water coming down.

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But before you take the plunge, you want to make sure the water's clean.

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The Environment Agency grade rivers for cleanliness. A is the best.

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This is probably B.

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-Pretty clean.

-For a lowland river, pretty good.

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You also need to check that it's safe.

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The easiest thing to do is to find a local swimmer

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who will tell you what the hazards are,

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and preferably go in front of you.

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I'm not going to be taking any risks so I've enlisted the help of Karen Pickering,

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four-times world swimming champion,

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who, today, has swapped the pool for the river.

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-Well, Karen, we are fully suited up here, aren't we?

-Yeah.

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I'm sure people watching this at home are thinking,

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"What does it matter? I used to jump in there in my pants."

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But we're fully suited, and you always wear this when you wild swim.

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When kids come into the water, and on a beautiful day like this,

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they don't feel the cold and they're out on the side, drying off, and it's fine.

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But if you're in the water for any length of time,

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even when it feels comfortable like this,

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you'll be grateful you've got a wetsuit on

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as it's surprising how quickly you can lose heat and that's when you can get into difficulty.

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So, Robert's leading the way.

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'I'm only going in for a short splash around, so no wet suit for me.'

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SHOUTING

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Way!

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The only thing is, you don't quite know what's under your feet

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so I'm just desperately staying afloat

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because I don't want to put my foot in anything slippery.

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Is the visibility sometimes a problem?

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That was probably one of the biggest shocks I had

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when I first swam in a river because I couldn't see my hand,

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I'm used to seeing the bottom of the pool.

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For you, then, you know, looking at this seriously,

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do you just get your head down, just swim for miles?

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You've just got to be careful

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because the river changes every day, so you don't know which bits are deep,

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you're not sure what's underneath. There might be swans,

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they can get a bit angry. You've got to look out for fishermen, boats.

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So you have to be really aware and be sensible.

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We're swimming breaststroke because were talking,

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-but would you have your head down doing front crawls for a couple of miles?

-Absolutely.

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The fastest stroke is front crawl so if you're racing, it's the best stroke to do.

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If you're having fun and enjoying yourself, then it doesn't matter.

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It's lovely. And it helps with the wetsuit,

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-doesn't half keep you afloat.

-Absolutely.

-I'm not even kicking.

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It keeps you warm and it's added safety because they're so buoyant.

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As well as safety, there are also some legal considerations.

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In Scotland, you can swim in any river as long as you behave responsibly.

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Elsewhere, you mustn't trespass on private land,

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and in only 4% of rivers,

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is the right to swim undisputed.

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So, if in any doubt, check with the landowner.

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The water is so invigorating, really fresh. It feels lovely and clear.

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Silky smooth and cold on the body. Really makes you feel alive.

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I'm swimming against the tide now. Good exercise, too.

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I wonder how Matt's getting on.

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Seems he's got a bit of a race on his hands.

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I've got a challenge on here. Karen's not using her arms.

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He still loses.

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Well, come on, she is four-times world champion.

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Oh, well!

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Coming up on Countryfile, Julia has designs on an Italian classic.

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Tasty.

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James discovers a new treatment, made from an age-old Welsh symbol.

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And we'll have the weather forecast for the week ahead.

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From beautiful rivers to our highest mountains,

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we're revisiting some Countryfile highlights.

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-'Trying to find a woman missing...'

-Both can be dangerous places to be,

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especially in cold weather, as Ellie discovered

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in the Lake District back in the winter.

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I'm here to find out how visitors to this landscape are kept safe.

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I'll be spending the day

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with one of the region's 12 mountain rescue teams,

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who between them, respond to more than 600 emergencies every year.

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What kind of incidents do you get, Mike?

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There's a huge variety of incidents.

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You might just think it's climbers and mountaineers,

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but the most frequent accidents are walkers,

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twisted ankles and lower leg injuries.

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There's a wide range of incidents happening in the mountains

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because people are doing so many different things now.

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-Can it be a case of life or death?

-Absolutely, every team...

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You join a mountain rescue team

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because you think you're going to help and make a difference,

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that's why people join mountain rescue teams.

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I think it was 26 deaths in the Lake District mountains last year.

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That's got to get into perspective to the thousands of people

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actually out in the mountains.

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One man who was lucky to escape with his life is Al.

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Two years ago, he was at the centre of his own rescue drama,

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after a climbing accident.

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Today he's returning to the scene for the first time.

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-This is the spot then.

-Yes, I was climbing up there.

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I was very close to the top when apparently I fell off

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and I landed amongst the boulders just here.

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-That's not a soft landing. Solid rocks.

-Absolutely.

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-That's an enormous height.

-Probably about ten metres.

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It's far enough to hurt.

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That's an understatement.

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Al was in a bad way with serious injuries.

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Duddon and Furness mountain rescue gave him urgent medical attention

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and organised an airlift.

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Today, I'm going to find out first-hand what it's like to be rescued.

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We're at Stickle Pike, one of the many peaks that tower above the valley,

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to take part in a training exercise.

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I'm going to put myself in the shoes of an injured walker who's fallen down a steep hill.

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-OK?

-Yes. I just have to lay out awkwardly.

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Mike sends out an alert and the mountain rescue is scrambled.

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At base, the team are gathering,

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but all they've been given is a rough location for the injured walker.

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Their job is to find me and get me off the mountain safely.

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We've got a young lady fallen, near Stickle Pike,

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on the side of the hill.

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They're on their way, but the clock is ticking.

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In cold weather, an injured person can develop signs

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of hypothermia in less than an hour.

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Not been here all that long and already I can feel the chill.

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It's about four degrees today and not that windy,

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but by sitting here and not moving,

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the cold has started to seep into my bones.

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Further down the valley and the rescue team are getting closer. Their vehicles can only get so far.

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OK, have we got everything? Let's go.

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The team are now on foot

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and they don't have any detailed information about my location.

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All they know is that I'm up here somewhere and they better start looking.

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They're relying on just their eyes and ears,

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but they know these mountains well

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and it's not long before I'm spotted.

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-I'm Ellie.

-Hi.

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Precise position of casualty is 100 metres west of summit cairn, over.

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'Now the real work starts.

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'My injured leg has to be made as secure as possible

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'before I'm moved.'

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Just so everybody knows, we've got a lower leg injury.

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On the left, left leg,

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so can we be as careful as we can to not make it any worse? Thank you.

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'To make it as realistic as possible,

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'I'm going to be lowered down on a stretcher.'

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Ready? One, two, three, lift.

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'But the rough terrain is going to make it tricky.'

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Ready, steady... lift! Take it steady!

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'It's a case of one step at a time.'

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Stop, stop, get out the way.

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Please get out of the way.

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Just one more metre.

0:20:250:20:27

'And although there's nothing wrong with me,

0:20:330:20:35

'being cocooned like this makes me feel strangely vulnerable.

0:20:350:20:39

'But the team's hard graft pays off.

0:20:390:20:42

'After half an hour, we've made it back to the road.

0:20:420:20:45

'It's mission accomplished.'

0:20:450:20:47

That was an extraordinary journey. It's a real strange mix of emotions.

0:20:470:20:51

Feeling daft with people helping you, and then the journey itself.

0:20:510:20:55

You're really locked into a position, and you have to go to your happy place a bit.

0:20:550:20:59

Now, I just feel grateful that I've been in these

0:20:590:21:02

incredibly safe hands and I've been saved.

0:21:020:21:04

And I'm not even injured! It's amazing!

0:21:040:21:07

Well, if you don't want to brave the mountains like Ellie,

0:21:070:21:12

maybe fishing on Scotland's freshwater lochs and rivers is an easier bet.

0:21:120:21:18

It's worth 130 million a year to the economy,

0:21:180:21:21

and the Rothiemurchus Estate is a big draw for anglers.

0:21:210:21:25

Alf, one of the countryside rangers here is releasing

0:21:250:21:29

rainbow trout into one of the lochs.

0:21:290:21:32

There's around 100,000 of them swimming wild, here.

0:21:320:21:35

Some will be taken by anglers,

0:21:350:21:38

but others will be caught by another regular visitor here, the osprey.

0:21:380:21:42

The osprey is also known as the fish eagle,

0:21:420:21:46

and that's why it is doing well here

0:21:460:21:47

because of the abundance of food in the rivers and lochs.

0:21:470:21:51

Roy Dennis from the Highland Foundation For Wildlife

0:21:530:21:56

has been studying ospreys in this area for 50 years.

0:21:560:21:59

I've been following the populations

0:21:590:22:02

right from when we had one pair in 1960,

0:22:020:22:04

until now, we have about 240 pairs in Scotland.

0:22:040:22:08

They've re-colonised England and Wales.

0:22:080:22:10

But the other amazing thing is, in 1960,

0:22:100:22:13

we didn't even ring the chicks,

0:22:130:22:15

we were so worried, and they were so precious.

0:22:150:22:18

Nowadays, we have birds with satellite trackers that can

0:22:180:22:21

tell us where they are, anywhere in the world, every hour of the day.

0:22:210:22:25

So where do they go to when they leave the UK?

0:22:250:22:29

Well, this bird is almost certainly going to be one of the ones

0:22:290:22:32

who fish here this morning, is Red 80,

0:22:320:22:36

and he winters on the Casamance river in Southern Senegal.

0:22:360:22:40

And nowadays, we can tell the hour that he sets off to come over

0:22:400:22:44

the Sahara, back home.

0:22:440:22:46

But the really exciting thing, this spring,

0:22:460:22:49

is that for the very first time,

0:22:490:22:51

we have tracked a bird back at two years old.

0:22:510:22:54

So it came from Rothiemurchus, this estate,

0:22:540:22:57

went and lived in Senegal all last summer, grew up in Africa,

0:22:570:23:02

and then this late-spring it headed back.

0:23:020:23:07

And it should be here,

0:23:070:23:08

because male ospreys come back to where they were born.

0:23:080:23:11

As well as being havens for wildlife and anglers, some of our rivers -

0:23:210:23:26

like the Thames - are also favourite spots for sailors and boaters.

0:23:260:23:30

When Julia went to Windsor, she met a dynasty of boat-builders

0:23:300:23:34

who use the wood from the great oaks of the great park.

0:23:340:23:38

For centuries, wooden boat builders have lived and worked along the Thames,

0:23:420:23:46

catering for local gentry

0:23:460:23:47

and big events like the Henley Regatta.

0:23:470:23:50

In the 19th century, there would have been

0:23:500:23:52

about 600-boat builders in this vicinity.

0:23:520:23:54

Today, there's just a handful left,

0:23:540:23:57

but the enthusiasm for wooden boats is very much alive.

0:23:570:24:00

I'm meeting Robin Ford to find out more.

0:24:000:24:03

-Hi, Robin.

-Hi, Julia.

0:24:030:24:04

We've lost the sun for a moment.

0:24:040:24:08

-Now, you're a boat enthusiast.

-I am.

0:24:080:24:10

What's the big event for you guys? Is it the regatta?

0:24:100:24:14

It's not the regatta. I think the regatta is a fantastic event,

0:24:140:24:18

but the real event is the Thames Traditional Boat Rally,

0:24:180:24:21

which started about 34 years ago.

0:24:210:24:23

A group were worried about the craft disappearing.

0:24:230:24:27

The first rally was really just a barbecue and a party, 27 boats.

0:24:270:24:31

The next year they had 80. Now, we have 200.

0:24:310:24:35

One of the major supporters of that boat rally was Peter Freebody,

0:24:350:24:40

a prolific boat builder and a philanthropist.

0:24:400:24:43

He bought his boatyard in the early '60s at a time

0:24:430:24:46

when wooden boat building was declining completely,

0:24:460:24:50

and he hung on there and built a complete market for traditional craft.

0:24:500:24:55

-For storing them, maintaining them and building them.

-He rebuilt the industry?

0:24:550:24:59

He rebuilt the industry pretty single-handedly.

0:24:590:25:02

Sadly, Peter passed away recently.

0:25:040:25:07

But examples of his excellent workmanship live on in his boatyard in Hurley.

0:25:090:25:15

This is Peter's legacy, and today it's his children

0:25:190:25:22

who are keeping the 300-year-old family tradition alive.

0:25:220:25:26

Richard and his sisters, along with a team of seven,

0:25:290:25:32

make and restore wooden boats just like their dad used to.

0:25:320:25:35

This is actually one of Dad's last completed dinghies that he built.

0:25:380:25:44

-Aw.

-My dad's nickname for my mother was Duckie.

0:25:440:25:48

But this isn't his boat?

0:25:480:25:49

It wasn't his, it was for a customer, exactly.

0:25:490:25:51

That's lovely. She is beautiful.

0:25:510:25:55

So, Julia, here we've got basically the last boat

0:25:580:26:01

that Dad hadn't quite finished,

0:26:010:26:04

and I was working alongside him in the build of this.

0:26:040:26:08

You can see, he hasn't quite finished what we call riveting up the nails.

0:26:080:26:12

These are the timbers, and they would be steamed

0:26:120:26:17

and then moulded into position.

0:26:170:26:20

-What would this boat look like, in the end?

-Identical to Duckie.

0:26:200:26:24

And you didn't go to engineering college, or university.

0:26:240:26:27

-You've done no formal course?

-No, not at all.

0:26:270:26:30

Your dad passed it all down?

0:26:300:26:32

Absolutely. It's in the blood, and a lovely thing to be involved with.

0:26:320:26:35

You're probably not going to sell this boat.

0:26:350:26:38

But a boat like this, like Duckie, what sort of price are we talking?

0:26:380:26:41

12-foot dinghies go for around £12,000.

0:26:410:26:44

-£1,000 a foot?

-That's it!

0:26:440:26:46

For wooden boat lovers, this place is like a sweetie shop.

0:26:510:26:55

There's something to suit every taste.

0:26:550:26:57

I've just spotted an Italian beauty that's in for restoration.

0:26:570:27:03

Ah. I'm not going to call you Richard, now.

0:27:030:27:06

I'm going to call you Ricardo.

0:27:060:27:08

Of all the boats, this would be the one for me.

0:27:080:27:10

They're something special. This is a 1965 Riva Ariston.

0:27:100:27:14

The fittings, everything about them is just spot on.

0:27:140:27:20

How much is this going to cost me, Ricardo?

0:27:200:27:24

Riva Ariston, in this condition, roundabout £130,000.

0:27:240:27:28

-Try it for size, Julia! Hop in.

-OK.

0:27:280:27:31

Ah, tasty. Very tasty.

0:27:350:27:38

Now if I were to buy a boat, like businessman Lawrence Green has,

0:27:390:27:43

I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to take this on.

0:27:430:27:46

-So, Lawrence, you haven't owned a boat before?

-Never, no.

0:27:460:27:50

-This is our first foray into boating.

-This is your first boat?

0:27:500:27:53

Absolute first boat, yes.

0:27:530:27:55

-It's a Venetian water taxi.

-Mm-hmm.

0:27:550:27:57

Richard tells me, the only one on the Thames.

0:27:570:28:00

I can understand, I can believe that!

0:28:000:28:02

What did it look like when you first laid eyes on it?

0:28:020:28:05

What made you fall in love with it?

0:28:050:28:07

It was in a warehouse

0:28:070:28:09

covered in at least an inch-and-a-half of dust.

0:28:090:28:13

But it needed saving, frankly.

0:28:130:28:14

-Can you drive a boat?

-No. Not as yet.

0:28:140:28:19

Right. When's the first lesson?

0:28:190:28:22

Two weeks before this is launched.

0:28:220:28:24

THEY LAUGH

0:28:240:28:27

-So the L plates will be firmly on for a while!

-Absolutely!

0:28:270:28:30

We're back to Wales now, to the Brecon Beacons,

0:28:370:28:41

where James Wong saw how hill farmers are growing, at altitude,

0:28:410:28:45

something that couldn't be more Welsh

0:28:450:28:47

to help combat the effects of Alzheimer's.

0:28:470:28:51

What you do think of when you think of Wales? It might be dragons.

0:28:520:28:56

It could be male voice choirs.

0:28:560:29:00

It might be rugby, which I was always a little bit rubbish at.

0:29:000:29:03

And of course, there's always the sheep.

0:29:030:29:07

But to me, as a confirmed plant geek,

0:29:070:29:10

the one thing I think of is the humble daffodil.

0:29:100:29:14

But there is more to this Welsh icon than meets the eye -

0:29:150:29:20

or in this case, the mind.

0:29:200:29:22

The daffodil produces many chemicals, one of which is galantamine.

0:29:220:29:27

The drug, originally found in wild snowdrops, combats Alzheimer's,

0:29:270:29:32

the most common cause of dementia.

0:29:320:29:35

But it's expensive, and difficult to make.

0:29:350:29:39

The Stephens family farmed predominantly sheep until 2004,

0:29:400:29:45

when they decided to try growing daffs

0:29:450:29:47

as an alternative source of the drug.

0:29:470:29:50

My son decided he wanted to be a farmer when he grew up,

0:29:500:29:53

and hill farming is not a really commercial,

0:29:530:29:57

viable alternative going forward,

0:29:570:30:01

so I was looking for diversification opportunities for a Welsh hill farm.

0:30:010:30:04

We're off the beaten track, there's no passing trade, a farm shop wouldn't work,

0:30:040:30:10

we needed a crop that had an industrial application.

0:30:100:30:14

Presumably, the conditions here mean the things you can grow are limited.

0:30:140:30:18

It's full of stones, high altitude,

0:30:180:30:20

so it's cold, not the easiest place to plough and cultivate.

0:30:200:30:24

You're right. Some daffodil-growing experts

0:30:240:30:26

have considered me to be mad, but I'm not growing daffodils, I'm growing galanthamine.

0:30:260:30:33

What's the market like for the product?

0:30:330:30:35

Currently, the market is worth about 8 billion.

0:30:350:30:39

The problem with Alzheimer's disease is it's increasing at a terrific rate.

0:30:390:30:45

That's set to double in the next 20 years, then again the following 20 years.

0:30:450:30:48

Anything that can tackle those numbers has to be a good thing.

0:30:480:30:53

Galanthamine is only found in a few varieties of daffodil,

0:30:570:31:01

and only in significant quantities when it's grown at altitude.

0:31:010:31:05

This stresses the plant and causes it to produce the chemical.

0:31:050:31:08

The smell of some of these varieties is really intoxicating.

0:31:100:31:14

The thing is, I wouldn't be tempted to start knocking up a home remedy out of these,

0:31:140:31:20

because they are extremely toxic.

0:31:200:31:24

Armed with my daffodils, I'm off to a trial site

0:31:240:31:28

high in the Brecon Beacons to meet Professor Trevor Walker.

0:31:280:31:32

His research has gone a long way

0:31:320:31:34

in treating some of the 465,000 people affected by Alzheimer's in the UK.

0:31:340:31:41

It looks like we've got a picnic set up here, Trevor.

0:31:440:31:46

What are we going to do?

0:31:460:31:49

We're going to see if there's any galanthamine in these varieties you've picked for us.

0:31:490:31:53

OK.

0:31:530:31:55

We'll cut these bulbs off.

0:31:550:31:57

We'll squeeze some juice out of them

0:31:570:31:59

and take that juice back for filtration.

0:31:590:32:04

So you're already looking for the presence of galanthamine in different plants.

0:32:040:32:09

What sparked off that hunch?

0:32:090:32:12

We had a eureka moment when the wife of a colleague was diagnosed

0:32:120:32:17

with Alzheimer's at the age of 58,

0:32:170:32:19

and we decided we'd do something about it,

0:32:190:32:21

we'd make galanthamine available as an anti-Alzheimer's drug,

0:32:210:32:26

to do something about the extortionate costs

0:32:260:32:30

and the tremendous cost of care.

0:32:300:32:32

If you could delay someone going into a home for a few years,

0:32:320:32:36

you've made a great saving.

0:32:360:32:39

-Look at that! Look at that!

-That's absolutely perfect.

0:32:390:32:42

-We'll take that back to the girls at the labs.

-That's enough?

-Plenty.

0:32:420:32:45

You'd never think that bit of plant juice would contain such an important drug that can change lives.

0:32:450:32:51

Now, for the first time, the daffodil fields are able to commercially supply galanthamine.

0:32:520:32:59

Currently, people like Keith Worwood get the drug elsewhere.

0:32:590:33:01

He was diagnosed two years ago.

0:33:010:33:03

So how do you take galanthamine? Is it a pill or an injection?

0:33:030:33:07

It's a pill. It's a little thing, about that big.

0:33:070:33:09

Right. So a single pill day has this huge impact on your life?

0:33:090:33:13

It's unbelievable! Unbelievable.

0:33:130:33:16

The work these guys are doing here, growing these daffodils,

0:33:160:33:19

you think they just look pretty, but it's so important to so many people.

0:33:190:33:23

It is. Especially me!

0:33:230:33:26

You might think you'd need to trek into the Amazon

0:33:350:33:38

or into the heart of Siberia to find botanical cures for major diseases,

0:33:380:33:42

but who'd've thought the humble daff would be such a giant

0:33:420:33:46

at treating a debilitating disease that affects so many people?

0:33:460:33:51

Still to come, Matt and Julia explore the Fens by paddle board.

0:33:560:33:59

-Look at you!

-It's all coming back to me now.

0:34:010:34:03

And we'll have the Countryfile weather forecast.

0:34:030:34:07

Here in Scotland, cool, clear water filters through the rocky Cairngorms.

0:34:130:34:19

But across the countryside, waterways have not always been so clean.

0:34:190:34:23

To Hampshire now, where Matt helped to put the finishing touches to a successful river restoration.

0:34:230:34:29

The River Itchen flows through the heart of historic Winchester

0:34:300:34:34

and on into the Hampshire countryside.

0:34:340:34:37

At 28 miles, it's much, much shorter than the Severn,

0:34:390:34:42

and it's nowhere near as famous as the Thames.

0:34:420:34:45

The river wasn't always this peaceful.

0:34:450:34:49

Centuries ago, a channel was opened up so ships could carry coal

0:34:490:34:52

and wool to and from Winchester.

0:34:520:34:56

Nature has since reclaimed these man-made sections of the river,

0:34:560:34:59

but at a price.

0:34:590:35:01

Large chunks of the banking have given way, and big stretches have become choked with weeds.

0:35:010:35:06

When Hampshire Wildlife Trust were looking for a special project to mark their 50th anniversary,

0:35:060:35:11

they thought what could be better than restoring this section of the river back to its former glory?

0:35:110:35:16

But it's certainly come with its challenges.

0:35:160:35:19

The project's costing around £2.5 million

0:35:190:35:23

and will take five years to complete.

0:35:230:35:26

Already, it's breathing new life into the river.

0:35:260:35:29

-Hi, how are you doing?

-Hi.

-So what's going on here, then?

0:35:290:35:34

Today, we're harvesting some plants from the opposite bank,

0:35:340:35:37

the section that gets overgrown.

0:35:370:35:39

We're taking them upstream and planting them

0:35:390:35:41

along some banks which we've recently repaired.

0:35:410:35:45

'And I'm here to do my bit.'

0:35:450:35:47

So it's on with the waders, a life-jacket, just in case, and off we go.

0:35:470:35:52

So what is so special about these reeds?

0:35:520:35:55

These plants are called sweetgrass.

0:35:550:35:59

They're going to be really good for binding the banks together

0:35:590:36:03

and preventing erosion in the future.

0:36:030:36:05

Yeah. And how much of this are you taking out?

0:36:050:36:08

From this section, we've got two or three truckloads, but lots of plants from elsewhere as well,

0:36:080:36:13

and we've got about a kilometre of bank upstream that we need to plant up, so we do need a lot of plants.

0:36:130:36:18

Yeah.

0:36:180:36:19

And that's where I'm off to with my basket-load right now.

0:36:190:36:22

John, how're you doing? This is a lovely little site. It's like a floating wheelbarrow.

0:36:220:36:29

'John Millican's an engineer who's bringing his skills to the restoration project.'

0:36:290:36:33

This is great!

0:36:330:36:36

'This bit of the river is teeming with wildlife,

0:36:360:36:40

'thanks to the army of volunteers helping make the difference.'

0:36:400:36:43

OK, so to plant this down, we just make a little...

0:36:430:36:47

It's like putting plants in your own garden.

0:36:470:36:51

Just make sure it's nice and secure.

0:36:510:36:54

-OK. This is some of the stuff that...

-The Glyceria that you took earlier.

0:36:540:36:59

Looks quite messy, but believe me, this will do very well.

0:36:590:37:02

These plants tie the whole bank together.

0:37:020:37:05

They're almost nature's glue.

0:37:050:37:08

They'll stop the bank from becoming eroded

0:37:080:37:10

and produce a fantastic habitat for plants and lots of animals and birds.

0:37:100:37:15

-We had a poke around earlier before you turned up.

-Oh, right.

0:37:150:37:19

-We've had some fish in these trays.

-Oh, right!

0:37:190:37:23

-Oh, yeah, look at these!

-There's several species here.

0:37:260:37:32

These really are terribly common.

0:37:320:37:35

-We've also got these.

-Are those bottom feeders?

-Those sit on the bottom, yeah.

0:37:360:37:41

Fantastic to see, to get this diversity of fish.

0:37:410:37:45

There's also trout and salmon and a host of coarse fish.

0:37:450:37:49

-Yeah.

-In these chug streams.

0:37:490:37:51

But what is it like to own a piece of the queen of rivers?

0:37:550:37:58

I'm off to find out.

0:37:580:38:02

Anthony, how are you?

0:38:020:38:03

Very well. Very well.

0:38:030:38:06

I'm just trying out my rod.

0:38:060:38:08

It's an almost-new rod and a new line, and it's marvellous.

0:38:080:38:11

I've done a quick up and down the river to check how things are ready for the season.

0:38:110:38:16

-How did you come to own this stretch of river?

-My father bought it at auction in 1970.

0:38:160:38:21

We did a lot of work when we took it over.

0:38:210:38:24

-It was all but full of shopping trolleys and prams, that sort of thing.

-Was it really?

-Yeah.

0:38:240:38:29

All but choked with weeds, but we did a lot of work,

0:38:290:38:33

and now for the last 40 years, the association has been maintaining it

0:38:330:38:37

and doing all the work in the river and on the banks.

0:38:370:38:41

What's the biggest fish you've caught in here?

0:38:410:38:44

-I guess that's what everyone asks!

-Yeah, absolutely!

0:38:440:38:47

The biggest fish that's been caught by a family member or friend

0:38:470:38:50

was six and a half pounds, caught further down the river there,

0:38:500:38:54

-and I'm very envious.

-Blimey!

0:38:540:38:55

'Thanks to the ongoing restoration,

0:38:550:38:59

'the Itchen will truly live up to its claim to be the queen of rivers.'

0:38:590:39:03

The Cairngorms National Park in the Eastern Scottish Highlands

0:39:070:39:11

is the biggest in Britain, twice the size of that in the Lake District.

0:39:110:39:14

With about a third of the park getting on for 3,000 feet above sea level,

0:39:140:39:18

its peaks have an arctic quality. Perfect for an animal we associate with Lapland and Christmas.

0:39:180:39:25

Reindeer lived in the Highlands up until around 8,000 years ago, when,

0:39:250:39:30

because of climate change or hunting or both, they became extinct.

0:39:300:39:36

Now, they're back again.

0:39:360:39:37

It's the only place in Britain where you can see them in their natural habitat.

0:39:370:39:42

They were reintroduced in the 1950s by a Swedish reindeer expert

0:39:420:39:47

who brought them here to the Rothiemurchus estate.

0:39:470:39:50

-So reindeers aren't just for Christmas?

-They certainly aren't!

0:39:500:39:54

We have them all year round.

0:39:540:39:56

They look a bit scruffy at the moment, if I may say so.

0:39:560:40:00

They do, and you know why that is,

0:40:000:40:02

they've got such a big, thick winter coat, and that's got to come off to reveal a dark summer coat underneath.

0:40:020:40:08

Their antlers are getting furry.

0:40:080:40:09

They are, they've got their velvet antlers that've grown from nothing.

0:40:090:40:13

Nothing to this height in a couple of months.

0:40:130:40:15

They'll be fully grown in a couple of months.

0:40:150:40:18

So, these are...

0:40:180:40:20

Everybody gets covered in reindeer hair this time of year!

0:40:200:40:24

-Are these males?

-Yes, they are. These are all males.

0:40:240:40:28

Some are young, like a year old, and some are mature males

0:40:280:40:31

we have trained to harness and can pull sleighs and do Christmas for us.

0:40:310:40:34

So where are the girls, then?

0:40:340:40:36

The girls are up on the high tops, in the mist with their young calves.

0:40:360:40:39

They seem to do better on the higher ground at this time of year.

0:40:390:40:43

They're suckling their calves. The calves are getting the good, natural vegetation.

0:40:430:40:47

At Christmas, they're used as Santa's reindeer around the country.

0:40:470:40:51

They are. These big guys here with their lovely antlers,

0:40:510:40:55

beautiful in their red harness.

0:40:550:40:57

Harness them up and off we go.

0:40:570:40:58

You'll have to feed one. They've got really soft noses. I'll give you a bit of food.

0:40:580:41:03

Thank you very much. There you are.

0:41:030:41:04

-And I'll see you next Christmas with Santa!

-That's right!

0:41:040:41:10

And how about this for a set of antlers?

0:41:240:41:27

It's great to see reindeer back again in the Scottish Highlands.

0:41:270:41:31

For centuries, Herdwick sheep have grazed the slopes of the Lake District,

0:41:310:41:36

and Adam went to help one farmer

0:41:360:41:38

bring his herd down for their annual shearing.

0:41:380:41:42

Lying in the south of the Lake District,

0:41:430:41:45

Coniston Water is flanked by dramatic fells and countryside

0:41:450:41:50

and it's home to a rather woolly character.

0:41:500:41:52

Herdwick sheep are an icon of the Lake District,

0:41:520:41:55

and are vital in helping shape this landscape.

0:41:550:41:58

The Fells rise up to 2,500 feet, and the Herdwicks can roam across

0:41:580:42:02

thousands of acres, so rounding them up is different to working on

0:42:020:42:06

my farm in the Cotswolds,

0:42:060:42:07

where the fields are relatively flat and small.

0:42:070:42:10

Anthony Hartley is the fourth generation of his family to run this Herdwick flock.

0:42:160:42:21

95% of all Herdwick sheep are found around the Coniston Fells.

0:42:210:42:25

So these sheep have a huge responsibility for the way this place looks.

0:42:290:42:32

They do, yeah. They keep it looking like it is.

0:42:320:42:35

-Keeping it grazed.

-All those little grazing mouths.

-That's right.

0:42:350:42:40

How many sheep have you got?

0:42:400:42:42

Um, well, about 1,200 ewes.

0:42:420:42:45

Crikey, it's quite a flock.

0:42:450:42:48

So when you're gathering the Fell, you do a little at a time, really.

0:42:500:42:54

We do. Two of us gather together, and we just gather a section we can manage between us

0:42:540:43:00

to gather the sheep off that area.

0:43:000:43:02

-What have we got here today? Couple of hundred?

-About 200, yeah.

0:43:020:43:07

And their hardiness, a lot of it is to do with the fleece.

0:43:070:43:10

It is, yeah. It keeps them warm. It's like got two layers on.

0:43:100:43:13

When you open into it, you can't see through to the skin.

0:43:130:43:16

A jacket and a waistcoat, we call it! That keeps the weather out.

0:43:160:43:20

It's amazing. Anthony's like a mountain goat, the way he runs around,

0:43:250:43:29

and sheep know all the nooks and crannies to hide in!

0:43:290:43:32

I'm going to whiz over here and get these.

0:43:320:43:34

Hey, hey!

0:43:390:43:40

HE WHISTLES Come on, sheep!

0:43:400:43:41

Anthony has called in freelance shearers

0:43:500:43:52

to give his sheep their annual buzz cut.

0:43:520:43:55

It's incredible watching these guys shearing. They're so fast.

0:43:580:44:01

I always struggle with shearing, so this is my chance

0:44:030:44:07

to improve my technique with advice from an English champion.

0:44:070:44:10

Pop that leg there like that. Just hold that one.

0:44:110:44:14

-Then straight down there like this?

-Down the left side.

0:44:140:44:17

The Herdwicks are quite woolly, aren't they?

0:44:170:44:22

-OK. All right?

-Yeah.

0:44:220:44:25

You'd've thought that coarse wool, you know,

0:44:400:44:44

that they'd be more difficult to shear,

0:44:440:44:47

-but it glides easily, doesn't it?

-Yeah, they do, yeah.

0:44:470:44:50

I might give you a job!

0:44:540:44:56

Oh, there. Lucky sheep.

0:45:010:45:03

-This is really rough.

-You'd've thought it'd be silky, but it's not.

0:45:030:45:06

It's like a scouring pad.

0:45:060:45:09

Does he go down that? Yeah.

0:45:090:45:12

What's this worth to you, then, this wool?

0:45:210:45:24

Um...they're paying us seven pence for the dark wool

0:45:240:45:29

and eight pence for the light fleeces.

0:45:290:45:31

-Goodness me. A kilo?

-A kilo, yes.

-And how heavy is a fleece?

0:45:310:45:35

Well, um, kilo, kilo and a half. Not much more than that.

0:45:350:45:38

-You're not getting much more than ten pence a fleece.

-No.

-Goodness me!

0:45:380:45:42

What do you pay the guys to shear them?

0:45:420:45:45

Um, around 80 pence to £1 a sheep.

0:45:460:45:49

-Crikey! So you're losing 70, 80 pence a sheep!

-Yes, we are, yeah.

0:45:490:45:54

We shear them for the welfare of the sheep.

0:45:540:45:58

So what's the loss? If you've got a few thousand sheep and are losing, what, 70p a sheep...

0:45:580:46:03

-That's right, 70p a sheep.

-£1,400.

-That's right. It's a lot of money.

0:46:030:46:07

Amazing!

0:46:070:46:08

Why can't anything be done with it, just because it's so coarse?

0:46:100:46:14

Yeah, it's very coarse fibre and very difficult to dye,

0:46:140:46:18

so it's just carpet wool, really.

0:46:180:46:21

They use it for insulation as well.

0:46:210:46:25

As a way of farming, this all seems pretty unsustainable.

0:46:260:46:30

We need to find more ways of using British wool.

0:46:300:46:33

Right now, the very survival of the Herdwick sheep as a breed

0:46:330:46:37

relies on the dedication of hill farmers like Anthony.

0:46:370:46:40

The mountains of Scotland might be having their fair share

0:46:420:46:45

of rain this year, but elsewhere, we've had prolonged dry spells.

0:46:450:46:49

Parts of the country are still experiencing drought conditions.

0:46:490:46:52

It's leaving farmers praying for more rain. Whatever the weather, we're fascinated by it.

0:46:520:46:58

It's a national obsession.

0:46:580:47:00

Here, we like to think our forecast for the week ahead is one of the best on television.

0:47:000:47:04

It helps us decide whether to take a brolly or sun cream, or both.

0:47:040:47:08

Although we all talk a lot about the weather, how much do we understand?

0:47:080:47:13

Where do clouds come from?

0:47:130:47:15

Do we really get tornadoes in this country?

0:47:150:47:19

Where's the wettest spot, and where can we go for the most sunshine?

0:47:190:47:22

A brand new show to BBC One called The Great British Weather will reveal all.

0:47:220:47:28

It goes out this Wednesday at 7.30pm,

0:47:280:47:30

and I've been learning about it from three people in the know.

0:47:300:47:34

BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood,

0:47:340:47:37

BBC Breakfast's Chris Hollins

0:47:370:47:40

and comedian Alexander Armstrong.

0:47:400:47:43

So, a new weather show on BBC One instead of just a forecast.

0:47:430:47:46

That's right. It's a live show. We'll do it every week from a different location,

0:47:460:47:50

talking about a different weather topic as well in front of a live audience.

0:47:500:47:54

-A live audience?

-Yes!

-They kept that quiet!

0:47:540:47:58

It's a fascinating subject. We're all obsessed with weather.

0:47:580:48:02

All of us. We talk about it every day, don't we? None of us know what it holds.

0:48:020:48:06

-Steady on, Xander!

-Oh, sorry!

0:48:060:48:09

But yeah, we're obsessed with it.

0:48:090:48:13

It's shaped our character, shaped our history.

0:48:130:48:16

It plays a massive part in our lives.

0:48:160:48:18

Stepping out of the safety of the BBC studio, Carol heads for the clouds.

0:48:180:48:23

Here we go! Ooh! Yee-ha!

0:48:230:48:26

It's just great!

0:48:260:48:28

Oh, I love this!

0:48:280:48:30

It's beautiful and cold and it's very windy.

0:48:300:48:35

-What were you doing that for?!

-To collect one. If you watch the show, you'll find out how to make a cloud.

0:48:350:48:42

-We will help you.

-Did you have a bottle to collect a cloud in?

-Yes!

0:48:420:48:46

We scooped up that cloud.

0:48:460:48:47

Chris dons his walking boots to trek up Lake District Fells

0:48:470:48:52

in search of a good drenching in England's wettest place.

0:48:520:48:55

-When does it rain? 211 days every year.

-Where's this?

0:48:550:49:00

In the Lake District, and we had a scorcher!

0:49:000:49:03

It was like, oh, no!

0:49:030:49:04

What about all these myths about the weather, Alexander?

0:49:040:49:07

We're going to try to uncover these myths.

0:49:070:49:10

How delightful for shepherds are red skies at night? Really?

0:49:100:49:14

What's the other one? Cows, do they sit down when it's about to rain?

0:49:140:49:18

-I think they're lazy.

-They are! Lazy cows. It's a massive problem.

0:49:180:49:22

You missed out on a few adventures. Swimming with sharks.

0:49:230:49:27

-You've been swimming with basking sharks.

-Yes.

0:49:270:49:30

Did you see any basking sharks?

0:49:300:49:32

Well... I can't tell you, John.

0:49:320:49:34

I can't tell you. You'll have to watch. We haven't given up yet, let's put it that way.

0:49:340:49:38

If someone said to me, I'd be looking for sharks in a wetsuit in the water, they'd be mad!

0:49:380:49:44

What have they got to do, basking sharks, with the weather?

0:49:440:49:49

All to do with the Gulf stream, that warms up the water

0:49:490:49:52

and that helps plankton to grow, and who feeds on plankton?

0:49:520:49:55

-Basking sharks!

-They love it.

-I got there in the end!

-Well, sort of!

0:49:550:50:01

You can watch The Great British Weather

0:50:010:50:04

this Wednesday on BBC One at 7.30.

0:50:040:50:06

It's live, so let's hope they get some good weather.

0:50:060:50:10

Here's the main man,

0:50:100:50:11

getting in a bit of practise.

0:50:110:50:12

This is a real treat for me.

0:50:120:50:14

Thank you very much, John, a phrase that has passed into legend, much like the man himself.

0:50:140:50:19

Can't believe I'm about to say this, but if you're out and about in the next few days,

0:50:190:50:23

perhaps you'd like to know what the weather has in store. Here's the forecast for the week ahead.

0:50:230:50:28

.

0:52:500:52:57

The Cairngorms. Five of the six tallest mountains in Scotland.

0:53:070:53:11

All framed by still, glass-like waters.

0:53:110:53:14

It's been the perfect setting to look back at some memorable moments

0:53:140:53:19

that have taken us up to the highest peaks and down our most beautiful rivers.

0:53:190:53:23

There are no mountains in Cambridgeshire, but they do have plenty of water on the Fens.

0:53:230:53:28

And Matt and Julia found a great way to explore these man-made waterways.

0:53:280:53:32

The lodes, which criss-cross the fens with water, were once bustling,

0:53:350:53:39

transporting goods from the fenlands out to nearby Cambridge and Ely.

0:53:390:53:43

Nowadays, though, they are peaceful backwaters, a small oasis for budding sportsmen.

0:53:430:53:50

Right, I've got my shorts on, and I'm holding this paddle

0:53:500:53:53

cos I'm off for a different view of the Fens.

0:53:530:53:56

Not from a boat, but from a board.

0:53:560:54:00

Now, the surf certainly isn't near.

0:54:000:54:03

We're nearly 40 miles inland, but apparently, this is one of the best ways to see this place.

0:54:030:54:07

-Roly, how're you doing, all right?

-Very well, thanks, Matt.

0:54:070:54:11

-Look at you, man of the reeds!

-Yep.

-Are you jumping on the side here?

-Certainly am.

0:54:110:54:15

All right.

0:54:150:54:17

-Brilliant stuff. So this is a really unusual way of getting around.

-Yeah.

0:54:170:54:22

I think when people see it for the first time, they're surprised,

0:54:220:54:25

but it's a fantastic way to see the Fen.

0:54:250:54:28

I fancy having a go.

0:54:280:54:30

I've got the board here. I want to learn how to do it.

0:54:300:54:34

Yeah, you're fine. Spread your feet out a bit now.

0:54:340:54:38

-That's pretty good, actually.

-Keep your knees bent!

0:54:380:54:43

That's your first lesson about having straight legs.

0:54:430:54:47

Keep your knees bent and look ahead, you'll be fine.

0:54:470:54:50

-Quite responsive, isn't it?

-Very much so.

0:54:550:54:59

If you keep paddling on that left-hand side as we go over those lilies,

0:54:590:55:01

just keep your knees bent, that's it, so if you look ahead,

0:55:010:55:04

you should be able to see down through the water as you go along.

0:55:040:55:08

-You should see the fish.

-Oh, we're going, we're going!

0:55:080:55:11

-It's like a fish tank.

-Yeah.

0:55:150:55:17

That's what most people say when I take them for a paddle.

0:55:170:55:20

It feels like you're floating over the top of a giant aquarium.

0:55:200:55:25

You must come across loads of wildlife as well,

0:55:280:55:31

-cos you sort of creep up, you're so silent.

-Very much.

0:55:310:55:36

I think we get to paddle from spring through to autumn,

0:55:360:55:40

so you see all the migrating nature that comes through here.

0:55:400:55:43

What kind of big fish have you got in here?

0:55:430:55:47

We've got pike and perch, a lot of roach.

0:55:470:55:52

Occasionally, there'll be tench or carp along here.

0:55:520:55:55

Hey, talking of wildlife, look what we've got here!

0:55:550:56:00

A lesser spotted Bradbury!

0:56:000:56:02

-Hello, Baker boy!

-How're you doing?

0:56:020:56:04

You're looking very good on that. He's got it all sorted out.

0:56:040:56:07

I knew he would have, a couple of hours, like a little otter!

0:56:070:56:11

I'm really enjoying it. You've had a little go.

0:56:110:56:14

I had about three minutes.

0:56:140:56:15

-It's a bit like being on a door on water.

-Very much so.

0:56:150:56:19

-I wonder if it'll come flooding back to me. Do you reckon I'll go overboard?

-Hang on. It's good.

0:56:190:56:25

-Right.

-Are you on?

-Feet wide apart, yeah?

0:56:250:56:28

-Bend the knees. There we go.

-That's good. You're there, you're doing it.

0:56:280:56:33

-Yeah.

-Hang on, I'll move back.

-There we go. Avoid the lilies! Don't get caught.

0:56:330:56:38

-Look at you!

-It's all coming back to me now.

0:56:380:56:42

-Where are we going to go?

-Where do you want to go?

0:56:420:56:45

-Let's head up there.

-Have you seen any eels?

0:56:450:56:47

I haven't, but it's like gliding along the top of an aquarium.

0:56:470:56:53

It's lovely. I could be wearing a long skirt to do this in.

0:56:530:56:57

That's about it from the special edition of Countryfile.

0:56:590:57:03

This is one of the most photographed views in Scotland.

0:57:030:57:07

Which reminds me, don't forget to enter our photographic competition with its theme of best in show.

0:57:070:57:13

You can find the details on our website.

0:57:130:57:15

Next week, we'll be in Bedfordshire,

0:57:150:57:18

exploring the landscape

0:57:180:57:19

that inspired John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.

0:57:190:57:23

Hope you can join us then. Goodbye.

0:57:230:57:25

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:360:57:39

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:390:57:42

John Craven heads to the Cairngorms in Scotland to look back at some of the team's most memorable visits to the jewels of the British landscape - its rivers and mountains.

Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury discover the delights of wild swimming in Oxfordshire, while Adam Henson helps a Cumbrian farmer bring his Herdwick sheep down from the mountain for shearing.

James Wong is on the slopes of the Brecon Beacons learning about the medicinal properties of a Welsh icon, and Ellie Harrison discovers that amid all the beauty lurks danger when she goes out with the Lake District mountain rescue team.