Wiltshire Countryfile


Wiltshire

Countryfile has been given access to an excavation at the Stonehenge World Heritage site, and Joe Crowley meets the team who have found strange items buried in the soil.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Wiltshire. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

The landscape of Britain holds many secrets and mysteries,

:00:26.:00:30.

I'll be joining the archaeologist whose extraordinary new discoveries

:00:31.:00:52.

are changing our understanding of this place.

:00:53.:00:54.

And I'll be finding out what day-to-day life was like

:00:55.:00:56.

for the people who built this mystical wonder.

:00:57.:01:03.

Also, tonight's the night we reveal the final 12

:01:04.:01:06.

in this year's Countryfile Photographic Competition.

:01:07.:01:09.

It is, but I'm not sure I would want that on my kitchen wall.

:01:10.:01:18.

And since the theme of the photographic competition

:01:19.:01:25.

Adam takes us through a whole day on the farm.

:01:26.:01:29.

This machine is certainly chewing up the acres!

:01:30.:01:34.

Talk about working from dawn till dusk!

:01:35.:01:52.

A landscape riddled with relics of a mysterious past.

:01:53.:02:08.

And surely the most cherished and impressive example of that history

:02:09.:02:12.

A staggering feat of prehistoric engineering.

:02:13.:02:23.

the stones have stood sentinel over this land.

:02:24.:02:35.

And to think they were put in place by people HERE

:02:36.:02:41.

thousands of years ago is just astonishing.

:02:42.:02:44.

And, of course, it raises so many questions,

:02:45.:02:47.

not least of which - who built this place and why?

:02:48.:02:56.

The clues may be closer to hand than we ever imagined.

:02:57.:03:04.

I'm near Amesbury in the south-eastern corner of the county,

:03:05.:03:08.

This site is called Durrington Walls,

:03:09.:03:14.

and archaeologists have made a discovery here

:03:15.:03:16.

the huge banked enclosure that circles Durrington Walls,

:03:17.:03:26.

scientists took a closer look, and this is what they saw -

:03:27.:03:34.

a series of strange oblong objects buried beneath.

:03:35.:03:39.

Could they be the remains of some sort of monument,

:03:40.:03:42.

perhaps to the site of an earlier village?

:03:43.:03:45.

I'm meeting archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall

:03:46.:03:49.

this was probably one of the largest settlements in north-west Europe,

:03:50.:03:57.

you would have seen a whole series of little thatched buildings.

:03:58.:04:03.

You probably would have had as many as 4,000 people.

:04:04.:04:07.

Goodness me. And you think that could have been one of the bigger

:04:08.:04:10.

or biggest settlements in Europe at that time?

:04:11.:04:13.

It's very likely that it was, absolutely.

:04:14.:04:15.

For a period of about 10 or 12 years,

:04:16.:04:18.

this would have been the beating heart

:04:19.:04:20.

of what was going on in the British Isles.

:04:21.:04:22.

That's incredibly exciting, but why here?

:04:23.:04:25.

Well, we think from the dates of the settlement,

:04:26.:04:28.

they match exactly with the construction of Stonehenge,

:04:29.:04:32.

which lies just a couple of miles from where we are standing.

:04:33.:04:35.

And this site is actually physically linked, via an avenue,

:04:36.:04:39.

to the River Avon, and if you go downstream down the River Avon,

:04:40.:04:43.

there is another avenue to Stonehenge itself.

:04:44.:04:46.

What we think we've got here is the encampment

:04:47.:04:49.

where the builders of Stonehenge were living.

:04:50.:04:53.

archaeologists have established that Durrington Walls

:04:54.:04:58.

played an important role in the construction of Stonehenge.

:04:59.:05:02.

The discovery of these hidden objects

:05:03.:05:04.

suggests the site could be even more special.

:05:05.:05:08.

And it's thanks to huge advances in technology

:05:09.:05:11.

It was specialist ground-penetrating radar

:05:12.:05:16.

that first saw the mysterious objects, buried only a metre deep,

:05:17.:05:20.

Those mystery objects are right here beneath my feet, and they're big,

:05:21.:05:28.

each one measuring up to four metres across.

:05:29.:05:32.

Now, they've discovered AT LEAST 120 of them

:05:33.:05:35.

and they've got the experts scratching their heads.

:05:36.:05:41.

Could the site have once looked something like this,

:05:42.:05:46.

A memorial to those who had once lived here,

:05:47.:05:52.

To solve the mystery of what lies hidden,

:05:53.:06:07.

The team here have been digging for just over a week

:06:08.:06:11.

and they have made very quick progress indeed.

:06:12.:06:16.

We are actually standing on a ground surface

:06:17.:06:19.

that was last walked about on 4,500 years ago.

:06:20.:06:23.

Archaeologist Professor Mike Parker Pearson

:06:24.:06:26.

may have the answer to the mystery of the buried objects.

:06:27.:06:29.

You've dug down. What have you found?

:06:30.:06:31.

Well, these enormous holes held giant posts,

:06:32.:06:35.

the kind of posts that are basically tree trunks.

:06:36.:06:38.

So they would have been, what, five, six, seven metres high?

:06:39.:06:42.

You know, these would have been nearly 100-year-old trees

:06:43.:06:47.

The evidence from the dig suggests mighty timber posts once stood here.

:06:48.:06:59.

But why, then, was the bank and ditch henge hiding this evidence?

:07:00.:07:04.

There is yet another twist to this tale.

:07:05.:07:07.

Somebody, at the top management level, I'm sure,

:07:08.:07:10.

"Pull out the posts. We are going to have a huge great bank and ditch.

:07:11.:07:19.

"We want this to be something that lasts not for hundreds of years

:07:20.:07:22.

"but for thousands, so that people in the future

:07:23.:07:25.

we now know that the late Neolithic people

:07:26.:07:43.

planted a huge number of giant wooden posts

:07:44.:07:46.

all the way round this henge that were then suddenly removed.

:07:47.:07:49.

We don't know how, we don't know why,

:07:50.:07:51.

and it just goes to show that this well-studied World Heritage Site

:07:52.:07:56.

hasn't given up all its secrets just yet.

:07:57.:08:06.

Now, the theme for this year's Countryfile Photographic Competition

:08:07.:08:10.

was From Dawn Till Dusk, and we've had thousands of entries.

:08:11.:08:14.

It's now up to the judges to choose the final 12 pictures

:08:15.:08:17.

that will appear in the Countryfile Calendar for 2017.

:08:18.:08:21.

And we'll need your help to pick one overall winner.

:08:22.:08:24.

But first, here's John to get us started.

:08:25.:08:34.

Our photographic competition is always one of the highlights

:08:35.:08:37.

This time we asked you to send in your pictures

:08:38.:08:45.

capturing the British countryside in all its glory

:08:46.:08:48.

from dawn till dusk, from daybreak to sunset.

:08:49.:08:53.

You sent in more than 20,000 entries.

:08:54.:09:00.

And finding the 12 outstanding images

:09:01.:09:03.

that will make up the Countryfile Calendar for 2017

:09:04.:09:06.

This is where we'll be doing our judging,

:09:07.:09:10.

amidst the splendid ruins of Old Wardour Castle

:09:11.:09:13.

in the depths of Wiltshire, as guests of English Heritage.

:09:14.:09:19.

we've called upon past winners and finalists to help with the judging.

:09:20.:09:25.

the castle's charming 18th-century banqueting pavilion,

:09:26.:09:30.

and compiling a long list of around 2,000.

:09:31.:09:39.

Where was that taken? That's Carmarthenshire.

:09:40.:09:44.

Choosing the final 12 for the calendar

:09:45.:09:47.

will be down to wildlife cameraman Simon King,

:09:48.:09:50.

Deborah Meaden from Dragons' Den, and me.

:09:51.:09:56.

So, what's our team of long-list selectors hoping to find

:09:57.:10:00.

With the theme being From Dawn Till Dusk,

:10:01.:10:07.

We've got the sunrise, we've got the sunset.

:10:08.:10:12.

And they can produce fabulous images.

:10:13.:10:14.

So, what I'm going to look for is a bit of the magic in the day.

:10:15.:10:18.

I think I'm looking for something artistic,

:10:19.:10:20.

something I've never seen before maybe.

:10:21.:10:22.

The type of picture that I'm looking for is something

:10:23.:10:24.

that sort of grabs your eye from quite a distance

:10:25.:10:26.

Working in pairs, our first skilful snappers are Ben Andrew,

:10:27.:10:32.

who was the overall winner last year with Happy Hedgehog,

:10:33.:10:36.

and Rosy Burke, judges' favourite in 2005 with Fun In The Waves.

:10:37.:10:42.

because it's a kite festival and it's like a medieval painting.

:10:43.:10:48.

And because they're flying against a blue background,

:10:49.:10:53.

it's as though they are flying in water.

:10:54.:10:55.

It's actually got a European green lizard

:10:56.:11:02.

and some of the vegetation that it's picked up

:11:03.:11:06.

so it becomes more than just your average sort of bird-in-flight shot.

:11:07.:11:13.

Our second pair is Dianne Giles and Andy Colbourne.

:11:14.:11:17.

a beautiful stag just popping out from the grass here.

:11:18.:11:35.

The photograph was taken in a back garden, it says, which is great,

:11:36.:11:41.

because when you start to look at this, the detail,

:11:42.:11:44.

it's the closest you'll ever get to looking at an alien.

:11:45.:11:46.

And Lawrie Brailey, who was a finalist with Fox Love in 2014.

:11:47.:12:02.

Photo taken from a mouse hiding inside a plastic ornamental heron.

:12:03.:12:08.

You don't get much more wacky than that.

:12:09.:12:10.

Really, really cute image and it has to go through for me.

:12:11.:12:13.

For somebody to be able to take an image like that,

:12:14.:12:16.

you've got to plan it the day before.

:12:17.:12:19.

And then to actually get an animal in the shot as well, fabulous.

:12:20.:12:27.

After many hours of sifting and sorting, our crack team has done it.

:12:28.:12:32.

They've managed to compile a long list of around 2,000 photos

:12:33.:12:36.

Simon and me to pick those 12 stunning photographs

:12:37.:12:46.

that will each have a page on next year's Countryfile Calendar.

:12:47.:12:50.

we'll be right here, amidst the ruins of Old Wardour Castle itself,

:12:51.:12:56.

so join us for that later in the programme.

:12:57.:13:06.

The mighty and mystical circle of stones.

:13:07.:13:10.

A huge draw for more than a million visitors every year.

:13:11.:13:14.

Stonehenge was built by a huge workforce over many decades,

:13:15.:13:20.

a feat of determination as well as engineering.

:13:21.:13:25.

But who were these people and how did they live?

:13:26.:13:30.

Excavations have shown they used what they found in the landscape.

:13:31.:13:34.

Here at this mock-up of a Neolithic village,

:13:35.:13:37.

English Heritage volunteer Sue Martin

:13:38.:13:39.

is doing a spot of prehistoric plastering,

:13:40.:13:42.

using the same materials our ancestors would have used.

:13:43.:13:45.

We are repairing houses, they sort of continually need repairing.

:13:46.:13:52.

And what's in there? This is crushed chalk.

:13:53.:13:55.

And water. And that's it? That's it. Simple as that,

:13:56.:14:00.

and that's what they insulated their houses with?

:14:01.:14:02.

This is the daub. So the wattle, and what type of wood is this?

:14:03.:14:07.

Hazel. It's a bit like an upturned basket when it's first made,

:14:08.:14:10.

Simple as that. To repair, we need to get the wall quite wet,

:14:11.:14:16.

So is that an ancient sponge you are using there? Yeah, very(!)

:14:17.:14:20.

Oh. It's not as easy as it looks. Nope.

:14:21.:14:33.

And I've managed to get it everywhere.

:14:34.:14:35.

Inside the house, Sue's colleagues Flo Brooks,

:14:36.:14:41.

Dennine Hopper and Chessie Turner are gathering round the fire

:14:42.:14:45.

Hello, ladies. ALL: Hello.

:14:46.:14:50.

Wonderful. So, this is what we think a Neolithic house

:14:51.:14:56.

When they excavated, they found chalk floors and the hearth.

:14:57.:15:01.

And they have stake holes round the outside

:15:02.:15:03.

and grooves where the furniture went.

:15:04.:15:06.

Dennine, what have you got in your hand? What are you twiddling there?

:15:07.:15:09.

I'm working with nettle. I'm making cordage out of nettle,

:15:10.:15:12.

but you can use it for all sorts of things.

:15:13.:15:15.

If you take a piece of leather, which they would have had,

:15:16.:15:19.

and wipe it down the nettle stem, it actually removes the stings.

:15:20.:15:24.

And once you've strung it, you can actually...

:15:25.:15:26.

And Chessie, this is not the ancient way of lighting fire,

:15:27.:15:33.

but this is how they would have had it,

:15:34.:15:35.

they would have had a hearth in the middle, would they?

:15:36.:15:37.

Yes. From the excavations that we did at Durrington,

:15:38.:15:39.

this is what we found, so we've done replicas.

:15:40.:15:48.

It's been 30 years since Stonehenge gained its World Heritage status,

:15:49.:15:52.

with the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China,

:15:53.:15:55.

but it's not just the stones that need to be carefully managed,

:15:56.:15:58.

it's this beautiful wider landscape all around it.

:15:59.:16:04.

Helping manage the site is archaeologist Susan Greaney.

:16:05.:16:08.

balancing the demands of millions of visitors

:16:09.:16:12.

with a need to protect this ancient landscape.

:16:13.:16:15.

So, we're stood right in the middle here of the World Heritage Site,

:16:16.:16:18.

and it's about 25 square kilometres, a huge, huge area,

:16:19.:16:21.

and it's got all kinds of prehistoric monuments in it.

:16:22.:16:24.

We can see some of the major early Neolithic monuments

:16:25.:16:29.

We've also got a huge amount of archaeology that we can't see,

:16:30.:16:33.

lots of things that have been destroyed by ploughing,

:16:34.:16:37.

but are actually still there and still waiting

:16:38.:16:39.

So, how difficult is it to look after a site like this, then?

:16:40.:16:43.

Well, there's two major things that we have to think about.

:16:44.:16:46.

One is the visitors, but then we've also got a, sort of,

:16:47.:16:48.

So really, we are here to look after the monuments,

:16:49.:16:52.

make sure that everybody can enjoy them in the future.

:16:53.:16:56.

In recent years, a major road, the A344, has been closed,

:16:57.:17:01.

meaning traffic no longer thunders past close to the stones.

:17:02.:17:05.

In 2013, we closed that road and now we've restored it back to grass and

:17:06.:17:09.

that's a really tranquil and much more peaceful place to be.

:17:10.:17:12.

What do you think it is about that monument there?

:17:13.:17:14.

There is just something about it that is unique.

:17:15.:17:17.

There is no other lintelled stone circles in the world,

:17:18.:17:19.

and I think people just come and marvel

:17:20.:17:21.

at the amount of energy and the amount of expertise it needed

:17:22.:17:24.

You can come here and stand where our prehistoric ancestors stood.

:17:25.:17:28.

Millions have stood where those prehistoric feet stood.

:17:29.:17:37.

And it's a privilege to stand here too.

:17:38.:17:40.

To feel the magic and the mystery of this ancient place.

:17:41.:17:52.

people have farmed these gently rolling acres.

:17:53.:17:58.

But running a 21st-century farm operation

:17:59.:18:01.

in a landscape of such archaeological importance

:18:02.:18:03.

brings with it very particular challenges.

:18:04.:18:10.

Hugh Morrison farms more than 1,500 acres of National Trust land.

:18:11.:18:18.

He took over the tenancy with his family and business partner Billy.

:18:19.:18:23.

I mean, what is in this field, it's barley?

:18:24.:18:26.

Yeah. Spring barley in this field. That's hopefully all for malting.

:18:27.:18:29.

Yeah. So, have it with your beer tonight.

:18:30.:18:31.

We've got 600 breeding ewes and they all graze the grassland

:18:32.:18:36.

You farm two of the most archaeologically important sites

:18:37.:18:43.

in Europe. That's incredible. It's always very interesting, yeah.

:18:44.:18:46.

Well, look, I want to have a look around the farm.

:18:47.:18:55.

There are archaeologically sensitive sites all over the farm.

:18:56.:19:01.

Hugh has had to change the way he works the land.

:19:02.:19:06.

We've got a very nice, diverse sward reverted back to downland grass.

:19:07.:19:14.

We made that decision with the National Trust

:19:15.:19:19.

to principally protect the archaeology that's underlying this,

:19:20.:19:23.

so we've put it down to grass and we've now got a base

:19:24.:19:27.

Well, it seems to be flourishing, so it seems to be working quite well.

:19:28.:19:32.

It is working. I'm quite pleased with the results with this field.

:19:33.:19:35.

It's really satisfying to see this grass start to mimic very natural

:19:36.:19:40.

we've kick-started this and it's going to take maybe 50 years.

:19:41.:19:46.

Oh, really? It's really going to start having an impact.

:19:47.:19:52.

It could result in a landscape as ecologically diverse

:19:53.:19:55.

Helping Hugh to manage this rich landscape is his daughter, Molly.

:19:56.:20:04.

At just 15, she is the resident expert

:20:05.:20:07.

So, how does it feel to be mowing an ancient burial mound?

:20:08.:20:15.

It's nice to think about the history, but also,

:20:16.:20:19.

I'm just doing a job and it's not stopping me doing that, so...

:20:20.:20:21.

You're not really thinking about the history as you go around, are you?

:20:22.:20:24.

No. What's really on your mind? Not hitting anything.

:20:25.:20:27.

Avoiding the tree stumps. Yeah! You're doing a great job.

:20:28.:20:31.

Dad's working you hard this summer? Yep, over 100 hours' work so far.

:20:32.:20:34.

All right, then. Time is money. Back in there. You can finish this.

:20:35.:20:36.

Well done, Molly. Thanks! We'll see you later. Bye!

:20:37.:20:39.

Farming here has its particular challenges for Hugh.

:20:40.:20:52.

You weren't joking when you said you farmed right up to the monument.

:20:53.:21:05.

Not many farms have a view like that, do they?

:21:06.:21:09.

What's the perfect conditions for you, as a farmer, to see Stonehenge?

:21:10.:21:15.

I think a lovely autumnal misty morning,

:21:16.:21:19.

when the stones are looming out of the mist

:21:20.:21:21.

Wiltshire's farmers share a heritage going back millennia

:21:22.:21:33.

to the prehistoric pioneers of agriculture.

:21:34.:21:37.

this landscape should endure and flourish for generations.

:21:38.:21:50.

This is Old Wardour Castle in Wiltshire,

:21:51.:21:52.

the atmospheric location for the final judging

:21:53.:21:55.

our team of past winners and finalists

:21:56.:22:02.

to provide a very challenging long list.

:22:03.:22:08.

OK, Andy, you're the expert on lighthouses.

:22:09.:22:11.

And now, it's time for the final judging,

:22:12.:22:22.

when we'll be searching for those 12 exceptional photographs

:22:23.:22:25.

that will grace the Countryfile Calendar for 2017.

:22:26.:22:31.

Joining me on the judging panel are Deborah Meaden from Dragons' Den

:22:32.:22:35.

And we'll be choosing the final 12 pictures HERE,

:22:36.:22:41.

within the ruined walls of the castle.

:22:42.:22:44.

Welcome! Hey, John. How are you? You found it! Good to see you.

:22:45.:22:47.

Be nice when it's finished, won't it?

:22:48.:22:50.

'The theme for this year's competition is From Dawn Till Dusk,'

:22:51.:22:57.

and with so many images to get through,

:22:58.:22:59.

Simon, professional photographer, cameraman,

:23:00.:23:04.

It's composition, it's the lens used,

:23:05.:23:08.

that there was a serious intent in the taking of the image

:23:09.:23:14.

So many entries. Yeah, going to have to be tough.

:23:15.:23:17.

Well, here's our rather large short list.

:23:18.:23:20.

Shall we get going? Let's do it. Let's do it.

:23:21.:23:29.

Stunning. A pony coming at us through a snowstorm, I think.

:23:30.:23:37.

Never seen anything like that before.

:23:38.:23:42.

There's a frog that knows its own mind!

:23:43.:23:51.

The fact that's down and near water level...

:23:52.:23:54.

Yeah. ..means that they've really considered

:23:55.:23:56.

And to get it actively having a go at a blackberry is...

:23:57.:24:02.

Yeah, he's having one of his five a day!

:24:03.:24:10.

Does anybody else think that's a little bit romantic?

:24:11.:24:12.

Yes. There's something very lovely...

:24:13.:24:14.

That's exactly what's happening. Is it?

:24:15.:24:16.

It's a male feeding the female in courtship feeding.

:24:17.:24:19.

Oh, it is? You see, now, that's a photograph to me.

:24:20.:24:22.

When you actually get the sense of what's going on.

:24:23.:24:25.

Oh, I love that! DEBORAH LAUGHS

:24:26.:24:32.

I am going to let Deborah and Simon carry on,

:24:33.:24:37.

while I take some time out to discover a little bit more

:24:38.:24:40.

The unusual hexagonal ruins of Old Wardour Castle

:24:41.:24:56.

stand serenely in their lakeside setting.

:24:57.:25:00.

But this beguiling scene masks a dramatic past.

:25:01.:25:05.

It's wonderful, and a fantastic entrance

:25:06.:25:10.

Win Scutt, curator with English Heritage,

:25:11.:25:16.

is going to tell me how this once lavish home

:25:17.:25:19.

Well, what an impressive place, Win, isn't it?

:25:20.:25:25.

It's absolutely fantastic, isn't it? What's its history then?

:25:26.:25:28.

Well, this is basically the facade to a great 14th-century building.

:25:29.:25:32.

But by the time we get to the 1570s, it's bought by the Arundells.

:25:33.:25:35.

And they start to decorate it and we've got lots of features here.

:25:36.:25:39.

The kind of makeover job that was done in Tudor times,

:25:40.:25:42.

you've got the Arundell coat of arms and a bust of Jesus Christ,

:25:43.:25:46.

our Lord, above. They were a Catholic family and they sided

:25:47.:25:50.

with the King and the royalists against parliament in the Civil War.

:25:51.:25:58.

When Lord Arundell went off to fight for the King,

:25:59.:26:01.

he left his 61-year-old wife Blanche to bravely defend the castle.

:26:02.:26:06.

She managed to stand with 25 servants and other men

:26:07.:26:13.

in the castle here against 1,300 parliamentarian forces

:26:14.:26:17.

But eventually, she had to give up and surrender.

:26:18.:26:22.

They allowed her out, but they went in and smashed the place up.

:26:23.:26:26.

And one of the pieces of the fireplace,

:26:27.:26:28.

You can just about make out the lovely lion shape here.

:26:29.:26:33.

Oh, yeah. Why did they want to destroy it?

:26:34.:26:36.

I think it just stank of royalist opulence and all the rest of it.

:26:37.:26:40.

I think they just wanted to smash everything to do with the royalists.

:26:41.:26:48.

In a bid to recapture the family home, Henry, Lord Arundell's heir,

:26:49.:26:53.

But HE did even more damage than the parliamentarians.

:26:54.:26:59.

Well, if Henry wanted to take the castle back,

:27:00.:27:02.

how come that so much of the REAR of it is in ruins?

:27:03.:27:05.

Well, he planted mines, barrels of gunpowder

:27:06.:27:08.

And accidentally, someone dropped a match on it.

:27:09.:27:13.

but 35 rooms have completely disappeared.

:27:14.:27:19.

So, what started as a brave plan, ended in disaster.

:27:20.:27:24.

The castle was never inhabited again,

:27:25.:27:27.

the ruins abandoned to the quiet of the Wiltshire countryside,

:27:28.:27:30.

where they've stood for nearly 400 years.

:27:31.:27:43.

With the day marching on, it's time to get back to the judging.

:27:44.:27:46.

I wonder if Simon and Deborah have found any images

:27:47.:27:49.

I kind of like photographs that take me to a place

:27:50.:28:04.

You know, I see lovely skies, I see lovely views,

:28:05.:28:09.

but I never see a little furry caterpillar

:28:10.:28:13.

And he's looking up as if, "Oh, how much further have I got to go?"

:28:14.:28:21.

Barn owls, I love. And I've got a soft spot for them.

:28:22.:28:24.

putting the air brakes on just before it lands.

:28:25.:28:28.

Later, we'll be fighting it out for our favourites

:28:29.:28:35.

and then handing over to you to pick the overall winner,

:28:36.:28:38.

which will feature on the cover of the calendar for 2017.

:28:39.:28:50.

For most farmers, every day is a dawn till dusk day,

:28:51.:28:53.

Adam is certainly up for making the most of the daylight hours.

:28:54.:29:00.

There we are. There's your breakfast.

:29:01.:29:20.

and although we're still in the middle of summer,

:29:21.:29:24.

the daylight hours are getting shorter,

:29:25.:29:26.

which means the ewes will soon be coming into season,

:29:27.:29:28.

So I'm now heading off to a farm in Herefordshire

:29:29.:29:32.

to hopefully buy a couple of new rams for this season.

:29:33.:29:35.

And I hope he's got what I'm looking for.

:29:36.:29:49.

Edward Collins runs Bearwood Farm just outside Leominster.

:29:50.:29:52.

a popular breed of sheep that I use in my commercial flock.

:29:53.:30:01.

All the rams Edward has on offer are amongst the best in the breed.

:30:02.:30:06.

Thankfully, he's also one of a select few breeders

:30:07.:30:09.

to help me pick the right animals to suit my flock at home.

:30:10.:30:16.

Now, what's interesting with what Ed does here,

:30:17.:30:19.

he chooses good animals in the way they're made up,

:30:20.:30:22.

but also, he measures lots of attributes

:30:23.:30:25.

that the animals have and builds up a set of statistics, really.

:30:26.:30:29.

So it's a bit like choosing a lovely car

:30:30.:30:32.

Right, here we go. His maternal figures are top 5% of the breed.

:30:33.:30:43.

What lets him down is his worm figures.

:30:44.:30:48.

So, maternal figures are the traits

:30:49.:30:52.

that he's going to put into his daughters,

:30:53.:30:54.

so how good a daughter he's going to have.

:30:55.:30:56.

Yes. And the carcass is how much meat

:30:57.:30:58.

he's going to produce across his lambs.

:30:59.:31:00.

you're measuring lambs that have a natural ability

:31:01.:31:05.

Yes, we are doing some research at the moment on worm resistance.

:31:06.:31:12.

There are certain animals in a group that will be more

:31:13.:31:15.

genetically resistant to worms than others.

:31:16.:31:17.

This ram's figures are not as good as some of the other rams

:31:18.:31:22.

Well, that's a real shame because I really like the look of him.

:31:23.:31:26.

Right, you've picked one that's top 1% of the maternal.

:31:27.:31:40.

Oh, yeah, he's the one. He's my best for worm.

:31:41.:31:44.

And plus, he's got good worm figures.

:31:45.:31:51.

OK, he's a definite. Let's remember that number.

:31:52.:32:02.

'farmers are able to buy tailor-made animals to suit the needs

:32:03.:32:08.

'I'm keen on animals with good worm resistance because I want

:32:09.:32:14.

'to reduce the amount of medication I use.'

:32:15.:32:17.

I'm going to take five. LAUGHING: You're going to take five?

:32:18.:32:19.

'Also, by using rams with these genes,

:32:20.:32:22.

'I'll be able to breed this characteristic

:32:23.:32:24.

'into future generations of my flock at home.'

:32:25.:32:29.

and when you can find out about their figures

:32:30.:32:34.

and their performance, over and above just what they look like,

:32:35.:32:37.

An excellent morning. And back on the farm,

:32:38.:32:51.

there are other little tricks of the trade we can use

:32:52.:32:53.

to get the most out of our livestock.

:32:54.:32:56.

Most people don't shear their ewe lambs until next year,

:32:57.:33:00.

These are only four or five months old,

:33:01.:33:04.

and we've been shearing them now, around August time,

:33:05.:33:07.

for the last couple of years, and it works really well.

:33:08.:33:14.

We shear these young sheep for a number of reasons.

:33:15.:33:16.

Partly because it keeps them nice and clean and free from any muck,

:33:17.:33:20.

On a very hot day at this time of year,

:33:21.:33:23.

usually the sheep will be in the shade,

:33:24.:33:25.

But if you take the fleece off their back,

:33:26.:33:29.

they're cooler, so then they're out grazing, and when they're grazing,

:33:30.:33:33.

they're putting on weight, which is a really good thing.

:33:34.:33:36.

Although the value of wool isn't that high,

:33:37.:33:39.

these little Romneys produce a good-sized fleece,

:33:40.:33:41.

so it pays at least for the shearing.

:33:42.:33:44.

But we find the real benefit of them growing on so well

:33:45.:33:47.

and producing a better ewe really makes it worthwhile.

:33:48.:33:54.

Dry weather's important, not just for shearing,

:33:55.:33:57.

The winter barley has already been taken in.

:33:58.:34:07.

This afternoon, the combines are making good progress

:34:08.:34:09.

Because of the rain and the lack of sunshine,

:34:10.:34:14.

the crops have been quite slow to mature this year

:34:15.:34:17.

But also, because of that lack of sunshine,

:34:18.:34:21.

In our winter barley, it was 20% down,

:34:22.:34:24.

and usually we would expect 3.5, 4 ton a hectare

:34:25.:34:27.

for this oilseed rape and we're getting about three.

:34:28.:34:30.

And that's the story I'm hearing right across the country.

:34:31.:34:33.

But while we've got a break in the weather

:34:34.:34:35.

we've just got to keep working, even if it means combining all night.

:34:36.:34:45.

The incredible speed that these modern harvesters work at

:34:46.:34:48.

means they can eat up fields quicker than ever before.

:34:49.:34:52.

By late afternoon, they've harvested the oilseed rape.

:34:53.:34:59.

But as dusk draws near, the early evening dew clings to the next crop,

:35:00.:35:04.

so the combines will have to call it a day, as the extra moisture

:35:05.:35:07.

will need burning off by tomorrow's summer sun.

:35:08.:35:12.

What we ARE still working on is the cultivations.

:35:13.:35:15.

This is a great big tractor running on tracks,

:35:16.:35:17.

with low ground pressure, so it doesn't damage the soil.

:35:18.:35:20.

And then the cultivator behind is ripping up the stubble to

:35:21.:35:24.

create a seedbed to plant into for next year's crop.

:35:25.:35:28.

we have to take every opportunity to get jobs done.

:35:29.:35:33.

Fortunately, the technology in these machines is designed to work

:35:34.:35:37.

It's all being run by satellite navigation,

:35:38.:35:43.

so it's steering itself up the field in a dead straight line.

:35:44.:35:46.

There's a saying in farming - that we work in acres, not hours.

:35:47.:35:51.

And this machine is certainly chewing up the acres.

:35:52.:35:56.

Talk about working from dawn till dusk!

:35:57.:35:59.

Here, we're working from dawn till dusk and beyond.

:36:00.:36:14.

This is Old Wardour Castle in Wiltshire,

:36:15.:36:16.

where we're in the final stages of judging this year's

:36:17.:36:19.

Countryfile Photographic Competition.

:36:20.:36:22.

Is that starlings? No, it's lapwings. And golden plovers.

:36:23.:36:27.

That's extraordinary that you can tell that from that picture.

:36:28.:36:30.

After much deliberation and debate,

:36:31.:36:35.

our long list of 2,000 photos is now down to about 400.

:36:36.:36:40.

Now comes the really hard part, as we try to agree on our final 12.

:36:41.:36:45.

We still have far too many, I'm afraid.

:36:46.:36:47.

I wouldn't know, but it looks to me like a dawn start.

:36:48.:36:55.

I think that's the killer cow from hell!

:36:56.:37:03.

When you stand high enough up a hill or a mountain

:37:04.:37:14.

to get the cloud around you and the sun is shining past,

:37:15.:37:17.

you get a rainbow around your own shadow,

:37:18.:37:19.

It is, but I'm not sure I would want that on my kitchen wall.

:37:20.:37:30.

'We've got to make some very tough decisions

:37:31.:37:35.

'because the selected photos will be the stars

:37:36.:37:38.

'of our calendar, which we sell in aid of BBC Children In Need.'

:37:39.:37:42.

It is a beautiful shot of a red squirrel.

:37:43.:37:49.

The current calendar sold 460,000 copies and raised

:37:50.:37:54.

It's time to get brutal. Right. OK?

:37:55.:38:06.

I'm going to fight for the sheep because I think that I'd like

:38:07.:38:09.

to see something with a bit of human intervention.

:38:10.:38:12.

For the calendar, I would probably go for this one.

:38:13.:38:21.

Yeah, me too. There is just more to...

:38:22.:38:22.

'Our job will be done once we've chosen the final 12.

:38:23.:38:42.

'Your vote will determine the overall winner,

:38:43.:38:47.

'who gets to choose ?1,000 worth of photographic equipment.

:38:48.:38:51.

'Their winning picture will also grace the front of the calendar.

:38:52.:38:55.

The time has come to choose our final 12 from these. Hmm...

:38:56.:39:07.

You know, maybe not the dead of winter.

:39:08.:39:18.

late summer, July, August. Yeah, it's stunning.

:39:19.:39:31.

'Picking just a dozen pictures from so many striking images has been

:39:32.:39:35.

'an almost impossible, very subjective task.

:39:36.:39:39.

We've got our final 12. What do you think of them?

:39:40.:39:45.

I'm actually very jealous of some of these pictures.

:39:46.:39:47.

I wish I'd taken them, I really do. Deborah?

:39:48.:39:50.

Actually, laid out like that, I'm amazed we got them

:39:51.:39:52.

down to those, because they are stunning photographs,

:39:53.:39:55.

and that looks like a really good calendar.

:39:56.:40:03.

here are the 12 that will make up the Countryfile Calendar for 2017.

:40:04.:40:16.

Now it's for you to decide the overall winner.

:40:17.:40:19.

You can select your favourite by phone.

:40:20.:40:24.

And you can also vote online on our website.

:40:25.:40:26.

You'll need to register for a BBC iD if you don't have one already,

:40:27.:40:30.

and then you can choose your favourite picture

:40:31.:40:33.

And that way, of course, it won't cost you anything.

:40:34.:40:39.

Voting by phone costs 10p, plus your network's access charge.

:40:40.:40:47.

If Morning Hare is your favourite, call...

:40:48.:42:22.

Right, you've got all the numbers and our website address,

:42:23.:42:25.

And we'll be revealing the overall winner, plus the judges' favourite,

:42:26.:42:57.

and the calendar itself on Countryfile in early October.

:42:58.:43:01.

But for now, all that remains to be said is a very big thank you

:43:02.:43:05.

to everybody who sent in their pictures.

:43:06.:43:07.

We just couldn't have done it without you.

:43:08.:43:22.

a wealth of archaeological treasures,

:43:23.:43:27.

a constant reminder of ancient times and an inspiration

:43:28.:43:31.

With more than just a nod to the past,

:43:32.:43:37.

one local farmer has taken diversification

:43:38.:43:40.

to a whole new level with his latest venture,

:43:41.:43:43.

Tim Daw farms 200 acres in the Marlborough Downs,

:43:44.:43:51.

and it's not just crops you'll see in his fields.

:43:52.:43:54.

'Tim has been inspired to build a Neolithic-style monument

:43:55.:44:00.

Wow! So what is this structure in front of me?

:44:01.:44:10.

This huge mound is actually a long barrow.

:44:11.:44:15.

A long barrow, it's the oldest monument in the British Isles.

:44:16.:44:20.

They were building them 5,500, 6,000 years ago, and then

:44:21.:44:23.

they didn't build them again until I built one two years ago.

:44:24.:44:26.

They stored their ancestors' remains in them.

:44:27.:44:31.

The bones and ashes of their loved ones.

:44:32.:44:36.

So, Tim thought, why not bring one into the 21st century

:44:37.:44:40.

and offer people an alternative resting place

:44:41.:44:43.

It went from being just a fun idea of building something huge

:44:44.:44:51.

and monumental to actually talking to people

:44:52.:44:54.

for their ashes to go, and the two ideas sort of came together,

:44:55.:45:01.

so I tried it, and this is what we built.

:45:02.:45:03.

'Tim's long barrow was built in just nine months

:45:04.:45:09.

'as nearly all of the 340 spaces - or niches -

:45:10.:45:15.

It's amazing! There's chambers either side.

:45:16.:45:21.

Yeah, so this is one of the chambers.

:45:22.:45:29.

Not at all what I was expecting. It's got so much height.

:45:30.:45:32.

It has. I mean, a huge, what they call a corbelled roof,

:45:33.:45:35.

And do you have to be religious to have a niche here?

:45:36.:45:50.

We say it's for all religions or none.

:45:51.:45:53.

There is a slightly spiritual aspect to it.

:45:54.:45:55.

There's something about remembering lives,

:45:56.:45:58.

to monumentalise them, and this is what this is about.

:45:59.:46:01.

It's something that touches people and that they feel at home in.

:46:02.:46:07.

It's really quite peaceful. I'm glad you feel that, yeah.

:46:08.:46:12.

I was worried it might be claustrophobic or macabre,

:46:13.:46:16.

or something like that, but no, it doesn't.

:46:17.:46:17.

You've built this incredible structure that is so in tune with

:46:18.:46:23.

Tim wanted to align the barrow with the winter solstice,

:46:24.:46:35.

but where do you find someone with that sort of age-old skill?

:46:36.:46:38.

Enter Simon Banton, archeo-astronomer,

:46:39.:46:41.

who used his knowledge of the stars to align the barrow the right way.

:46:42.:46:46.

So, at sunrise on December 21st, how nervous were you?

:46:47.:46:50.

Incredibly. Because it's one thing to do it with a set of posts,

:46:51.:46:54.

it's another thing to do it with a 70-metre long long barrow

:46:55.:46:57.

so I was incredibly grateful for the universe

:46:58.:47:02.

to not betray me and my calculations.

:47:03.:47:05.

And is this where you will be spending eternity?

:47:06.:47:07.

Absolutely. I couldn't get a niche fast enough.

:47:08.:47:10.

So you've got a spot in there? I've got a spot in there, yeah.

:47:11.:47:13.

Why? I'm not religious, and neither is this.

:47:14.:47:16.

But I do have a fascination for the monuments in this

:47:17.:47:20.

magnificent Wiltshire landscape and the landscape itself,

:47:21.:47:23.

so if Tim's going to be kind enough to build me somewhere

:47:24.:47:25.

I can spend the rest of time, count me in.

:47:26.:47:29.

echoing the long barrows of prehistory, and a modern monument

:47:30.:47:36.

totally at home in Wiltshire's ancient acres.

:47:37.:47:41.

In a moment, we'll be meeting the man whose passion for Stonehenge

:47:42.:47:44.

knows no bounds, and we'll remind you how you can

:47:45.:47:46.

vote for your favourite photos in this year's calendar competition.

:47:47.:47:49.

Thanks, Anita. I'm sure Stonehenge has seen its fair share of whether.

:47:50.:48:17.

Yesterday, violent thunderstorms rocked the relic. We shall some

:48:18.:48:26.

tremendous rain. Today, in general, the showers have been lied to. There

:48:27.:48:34.

is a trend for much of the rest of the week. There will be lots of dry

:48:35.:48:40.

and pleasantly warm weather, particularly in parts of the South

:48:41.:48:44.

and east of the UK. In the north, there will be some rain but even

:48:45.:48:52.

here some usefully dry spells. Showers lingering across eastern

:48:53.:48:57.

counties through the night. Cloud will help to keep the temperature

:48:58.:49:02.

up. Where the skies clear, it will get chilly. Temperatures well down

:49:03.:49:10.

into single figures. Hints of early autumn. One or two showers first up

:49:11.:49:16.

across northern and eastern England. The vast majority of ours are going

:49:17.:49:21.

to have a lovely day. It will cloud up across Northern Ireland and

:49:22.:49:26.

western Scotland but other parts of the UK, no such problems. Some fine

:49:27.:49:32.

and fluffy cloud. A delightful day to go to the beach. Pretty pleasant,

:49:33.:49:40.

up through northern England and into eastern Scotland. There will be more

:49:41.:49:44.

showers through into western Scotland and Northern Ireland later

:49:45.:49:50.

on in the day. A glancing blow from this frontal system. Most places

:49:51.:49:55.

will stay dry into Tuesday. High-pressure holding firm across

:49:56.:49:59.

southern and central parts of the UK. Another approaching weather

:50:00.:50:05.

front will bring cloud and wind again into Northern Ireland and

:50:06.:50:11.

western Scotland. But look at the temperatures, 27 degrees in some

:50:12.:50:15.

places. It stays dry towards the middle of the week. A splash of rain

:50:16.:50:20.

from this front as it heads down into England and Wales it tends to

:50:21.:50:27.

die a death. It's never really makes it to southern and eastern England.

:50:28.:50:33.

A fresh trees across the West of Scotland. Towards the end of the

:50:34.:50:38.

week, high pressure is still there but more front line out in the

:50:39.:50:47.

Atlantique. Thursday, again a warm day. Some sunshine across the

:50:48.:50:54.

southern half of the UK. Further north, a bit breezy but it will be

:50:55.:50:59.

mostly dry. Big questions about the progress of this front from the west

:51:00.:51:04.

by the end of the week. Potentially spreading some pretty wet weather

:51:05.:51:08.

across Northern Ireland and western Scotland. Once more, further south

:51:09.:51:13.

and east, there is a trend for these areas to stay mostly fine and dry

:51:14.:51:18.

and pretty warm right the way through this week. Temperatures up

:51:19.:51:23.

into the mid-20s but fresh and cool the further north.

:51:24.:51:43.

I'm in Wiltshire's southern grasslands,

:51:44.:51:45.

in one of the most recognisable places on earth.

:51:46.:51:55.

Stonehenge has been marvelled at for centuries,

:51:56.:52:02.

And once it gets you, it doesn't let go.

:52:03.:52:14.

No-one alive today knows more about Stonehenge than Julian Richards.

:52:15.:52:19.

The stones cast their spell over him more than 30 years ago.

:52:20.:52:25.

Julian, how are you doing? JULIAN LAUGHS

:52:26.:52:28.

Well, here at Stonehenge, so I'm happy.

:52:29.:52:30.

Good to see you. Do you remember your very first visit to Stonehenge?

:52:31.:52:34.

but then I came back when I was at university,

:52:35.:52:39.

when I was at Reading, and that, I think,

:52:40.:52:41.

was when it first sort of made an impression

:52:42.:52:43.

"Actually, this is something amazing."

:52:44.:52:47.

And that's led to a long series of digs that you've been involved in

:52:48.:52:50.

in and around this area. I was digging in this area 36 years ago.

:52:51.:52:54.

digging at Coneybury Henge, which is just up on the hill.

:52:55.:53:00.

as well as discovering the site in many different ways,

:53:01.:53:04.

you've obviously collected a few things along the way.

:53:05.:53:06.

Yes, yeah. Are you a hoarder, Julian?

:53:07.:53:08.

Are you a Stonehenge hoarder? Yes, I am a bit, actually.

:53:09.:53:10.

There's an entire gallery in the Stonehenge Visitor Centre

:53:11.:53:16.

full of the stuff that's been loaned by me.

:53:17.:53:18.

with Stonehenge in the background, you know.

:53:19.:53:26.

There's lots of other stone circles and there are some

:53:27.:53:31.

that are bigger than this, but it's the architecture of this place,

:53:32.:53:35.

that's what makes it instantly recognisable

:53:36.:53:37.

Mm. It's the best. Well, we are very lucky.

:53:38.:53:41.

We are allowed to go inside the stone circle for a few minutes,

:53:42.:53:44.

so let's leave the souvenirs behind and step inside, shall we?

:53:45.:53:47.

because you just get a real sense of the scale of it

:53:48.:54:00.

and the incredible ingenuity of the people that built it.

:54:01.:54:03.

I still find it awe-inspiring, you know, even after hundreds of visits!

:54:04.:54:08.

'Without technology, without modern tools,

:54:09.:54:12.

'our ancient ancestors' achievement is truly incredible.

:54:13.:54:17.

'All the more so when you consider that the smaller stones

:54:18.:54:20.

'were brought here from far west Wales.'

:54:21.:54:25.

It's extraordinary because it is carpentry in stone.

:54:26.:54:28.

You know, they're moving 40 ton blocks of sarsen,

:54:29.:54:30.

they are shaping them and then they're creating

:54:31.:54:33.

these elaborate joints to fit them together. Staggering, isn't it?

:54:34.:54:36.

And some of the stones aren't from that far away.

:54:37.:54:38.

I like the way you say, "Not that far away".

:54:39.:54:42.

Comparatively. You know, 25 miles for a stone this big is quite a lot,

:54:43.:54:46.

but, yeah, these are the ones from Wales.

:54:47.:54:48.

These are the ones from... From the Preseli Hills in Wales.

:54:49.:54:51.

is now telling us exactly which quarry some of

:54:52.:54:55.

If they hadn't done it, I wouldn't have believed it was possible.

:54:56.:54:59.

No. That human ingenuity could bring these amazing slabs of stone

:55:00.:55:03.

these distances. When you look back into sort of medieval times,

:55:04.:55:06.

and, of course, even more recently, you know,

:55:07.:55:10.

it's people from outer space. No, it's not!

:55:11.:55:12.

It's our ancient ancestors with skill and ingenuity,

:55:13.:55:15.

and obviously incredible organisation as well,

:55:16.:55:17.

to bring together enough people to move these stones.

:55:18.:55:20.

But I know that no matter how good science is,

:55:21.:55:23.

no matter how good archaeologists are,

:55:24.:55:25.

we're never really going to understand Stonehenge completely.

:55:26.:55:31.

There's magic and mystery here, a landscape to stir the soul.

:55:32.:55:36.

The perfect moment to remind you of the 12 finalists

:55:37.:55:40.

in this year's photographic competition,

:55:41.:55:42.

and how you can vote for your favourite.

:55:43.:55:44.

If Morning Hare is your favourite, call...

:55:45.:57:27.

Calls cost 10p, plus your network's access charge.

:57:28.:57:31.

You can also vote free on our website...

:57:32.:57:37.

The website also contains a full list of the photos

:57:38.:57:41.

and their phone numbers, together with the terms and conditions

:57:42.:57:44.

All the details are on the website, so get voting.

:57:45.:58:10.

Next week, we'll be taking a look at one of our favourite

:58:11.:58:12.

Hope you can join us then. See you. Do you know what?

:58:13.:58:16.

I've suddenly got a hankering for a game of dominoes.

:58:17.:58:19.

Do you fancy it? Yeah, shall we go to the pub?

:58:20.:58:21.

Get your flags ready and join Juan Diego Florez and many more

:58:22.:59:05.

for the world-famous last night of the Proms.

:59:06.:59:09.

Countryfile has been given privileged access to an excavation at the Stonehenge World Heritage site. Joe Crowley meets the team who have discovered strange oblong items buried in the soil at Durrington Walls, not far from the famous stones of Stonehenge. The team used the latest ground-penetrating radar techniques to reveal the hitherto unknown features. But what are they? Joe finds out. He also meets archaeologist Julian Richards, a world authority on the stones and an obsessive collector of Stonehenge memorabilia. Joe then meets Hugh Morrison, a tenant farmer at Stonehenge, to see just what sort of problem he faces farming on a World Heritage Site.

Anita finds out how Neolithic farmers lived by visiting reconstructions of the types of houses they lived in, and she learns to bake bread the Neolithic way - on an open fire in the centre of a Neolithic dwelling. She also meets the modern-day farmer who has built a Stone Age longbarrow on his land where people can inter the ashes of their loved ones, just as Neolithic man would have.

Also in this programme, John is joined by fellow judges Deborah Meaden and Simon King to select the final 12 pictures in the Countryfile Photographic Competition, and in a nod to the competition's theme, we spend a day with Adam seeing what happens on his farm 'From Dawn till Dusk'.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS