It is harvest time, and the countryside is buzzing with activity. The Countryfile team are getting stuck in as crops are brought in across the country.
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Mile upon mile of golden fields, swaying in the summer breeze.
Laden tractors at every turn, full of produce to feed the nation.
and the countryside is buzzing with activity,
as this year's crops are brought in and next year's are planted.
Anita's harvest is in mint condition.
Woo! It's the nicest-smelling farm I've ever been on.
Oh, I'm glad to hear it. ANITA LAUGHS
Joe's investigating if we can believe supermarkets
when they say their food comes from the farm.
might depend on whether you believe the supermarket
when they describe where their food comes from.
And Adam's meeting two of the teams
hoping to be crowned the champions at this year's One Man And His Dog.
WHISTLE Very good. Stay!
Ten out of ten for the shed. The judges were happy with that.
Harvest time - when fields burst with ripe crops,
and farmers all across the land are bringing the harvest home.
I'm at the Gaddesden estate in Hertfordshire,
where harvest is well underway across its 1,800 acres.
They crop wheat, beans, barley, and oilseed rape,
a long way from how it was done nearly 40 years ago,
when the BBC was last here making a film about the harvest.
Harvest time must be the most atmospheric time of the year,
and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world
Back in 1977, Guy Halsey was the owner of the estate.
and following in Nick's footsteps is his son, also called Guy,
Both father and son have witnessed quite a few changes
in the harvest practice since the film was made.
Guy, how are you doing? Hi, man. Hi. Nice to see you.
And you. So, when did you harvest all of this grain?
so we started at three o'clock and finished at one this morning.
Wow. Yeah. Back in the day, Nick, what time were YOU finishing?
It depends on the maestro, the dew coming down, but...
Right. ..we could've gone on, sometimes,
until about three on one occasion, I remember.
How does it compare? What's your combine like?
it's a contractor's combine, and it is enormous,
it's a 40 foot header, so it cuts a strip 40 feet wide through the corn.
so it was, you know, over three times the size.
So, how treasured is the film of their '70s harvest?
Every, you know, every Christmas is it always put on?
but, yeah, we dug it out a couple of years ago and got it put onto DVD.
Yeah, it's wonderful history and I'm very lucky to be able to, kind of...
During the seven weeks of their harvest,
Guy is hoping to bring in 2,300 tonnes of grain.
For farmers, the hard work doesn't stop there.
You may think that harvesting is the end of the farming year.
Well, actually, it's the beginning because,
farmers are also planting the crops for NEXT year,
and, er, these days, they are using the most incredible kit.
This is the oilseed rape drilling machine.
In one go, it digs a trench, adds fertiliser,
plants a seed and lays down slug pellets.
So, considering how many jobs are going on back there,
we are going at an incredible rate, aren't we?
all controlled by the screens in here.
OK, yeah. Talk us through what controls we've got
So, this one down here, this is just, this is the GPS,
that's steering the Challenger up the field.
Right, so you've got no hands on the steering wheel at all.
No, no hands, no hands, it's all steering itself.
'It might be able to steer itself on the straight,
Now, we're just coming towards the end of a run, here.
So, this is where you do have to put in a bit of human intervention.
Yeah, all I have to do is do a loop, like that...
that'll steer itself into where it wants to be. No way!
All I have to do now is drop the drill...
..and then away we go, down the field.
The main crop grown on the estate is wheat.
Some of it will go for animal feed, the rest for milling to make flour,
just as in 1977, some of the flour goes to make bread.
'Baker Andrew Pruden is kindly going to help me make a plaited harvest
'loaf, which is the traditional bread eaten at this time of year.'
Yes, that's what we hope to end up, for the tea this afternoon.
OK. Well, I've made some dough for us, so, we'll...
What I want you to do is chop it into four equal pieces.
What I want you to do now is to make four little sausages.
The one that was shot in 1977? ANDREW LAUGHS
I've seen it. Yeah, you have? Yes, yes. OK.
I knew the two gentlemen who were featured in it.
Oh, right. John Groom and his long-term assistant, Les.
Yeah. And whenever we used to run out of yeast,
or something in our bakery, they were always very kind,
Right. We could always go and borrow it.
Oh, well, that's... I'm very proud to be associated with it.
I'm sure. And what I'm going to do is make you a little blackboard.
OK? And then we label them from the bottom.
Right, so we're going two over three, four over two,
pinch the ends together, roll them nice and flat.
There we are. That's it, job done. Job done. So, right,
two over three... Yeah. ..which is that one, there. Yeah.
And then, one over three, which is that one in the middle. That's it.
OK. Yeah. Then... And then we start again. Yeah.
Yeah. If you keep it nice and tight... ..four over two.
Yeah. It's a cross between the Bake Off and Countdown, this.
Yeah, you've got it in one! Four over two... Two, four over two.
And is that it? Yeah, and then just pinch the ends together.
But that's about it. That's about...
'The dough then needs to be left for an hour to prove,
Yeah, good plan. There you are. Teamwork.
'when I take my bread along to the harvest supper, later.'
Now, you might have seen supermarket food brands named after farms,
but did you know that some of them don't actually exist?
Well, now the National Farmers' Union
But are the supermarkets doing anything wrong?
The fresh produce market alone was worth ?17 billion last year.
And with so many different types of meat and veg on offer,
the choice we have is greater than ever before.
As a result, the battle between the supermarkets for our business
knowing where our food comes from and its journey from farm to fork
some of those farms on the labels
might not be as British as they appear to be.
They're what some call fake farms - put simply,
they're farms or farm businesses that don't exist.
They're brand names supermarkets create to sell their fresh produce.
The food is actually sourced from many different farms and producers,
and despite how some of the names may sound,
much of this produce may not even be British.
For example, Aldi use Ashfield Farm for their meat,
and Wood Farm for their vegetables and fruit.
Lidl use Birchwood and Strathvale farms.
But none of these farms are actually real.
Marks Spencer uses it to market Scottish salmon.
But, surprise - there is no Lochmuir.
And many real farmers think fake farm brands
who farms 500 acres of Welsh countryside,
Yeah, Welsh Blacks. Welsh Blacks? Yeah.
'He's also Deputy President of the National Farmers' Union, Wales.'
John, what's the problem, as you see it?
Well, we're having quite a lot of products being sold under a
British-sounding name, and they're not British very often.
So, you think people are being misled?
We have really high standards of production here.
Our welfare standards are the highest in the world,
our environmental standards are the highest in the world.
So, it's really, really important that people,
when they think they're buying the best, that they ARE buying the best.
It's not just about the name, though, is it?
there's often a huge, great Union Jack.
I mean, that's very clear, that's not misleading anyone.
if it is British, very often there's a Union Jack on it,
but when you've got the same brand name, and it's not British,
it's easy to think, "Oh, last week, yes, that was British,
"it was Boswell beef or it was whatever,
"this week, yes, that's the same farm,"
buy it, and it's not. It does say country of origin,
People can see where it's coming from.
Yeah, if you get your magnifying glass out
and if you put your glasses on, yeah, it's very clear.
It's not THAT small, is it? I mean, come on...
and when you take that the average consumer takes eight seconds
are you going to bother putting your glasses on?
Are you going to really pick it up and have a good look? No.
You look at what's the main line on it.
The supermarkets might say, "Hang on, leave the branding to us.
"The important thing is we are buying British
"and making that available to our customers."
Well, I guess supermarkets' priorities are profit.
We just want clarity, we want honesty and we want transparency.
we want a British-sounding product in the packet.
All we ask for is that it is what it says on the packet.
So, do John and the NFU have a point?
This is the sort of produce the NFU are talking about.
This is Woodside Farms pork, and it's from Denmark.
And this is Rosedene Farms apples from South Africa.
It may be small, but the country of origin IS clearly there.
So, are the supermarkets actually doing anything wrong?
We've put together our own Countryfile Farms brand -
Now, the rules regarding food information are complicated,
but essentially it must be clear, accurate and easy to understand.
particularly regarding the country of origin,
and the label must be looked at as a whole.
And these food requirements don't just apply to the packaging,
but also to how the food is presented in store.
Tesco uses seven fictional farms to sell its own fresh produce,
After a rise in sales over the last six months,
Tesco singled out the growth of exclusive fresh-food brands,
saying they'd had strong initial customer response.
'Matt Simister is Tesco's Commercial Director for Fresh Food.'
Why are you selling produce under fake farm names?
Yeah, we don't see them as fake farm names.
What we see them as is brands that set a standard that people
can rely on for a very, very high - in fact, industry-leading -
set of standards across the whole of the supply chain,
at a quality that's very high, at a price that is very,
And customers can trust that, when they see the brand.
Why did you give them British names, then?
I mean, why not a sort of a hacienda range
for all the fruit and vegetables that come from Spain?
To be honest, we don't think that they are particularly British names.
They are farm names that represent a set of farm standards,
and the origin is very clearly labelled on the pack.
Yes, the name of the country IS on there, but it's quite small print.
I mean, if you've got two screaming kids and you just go and pick
something up, you think Boswell Farms is British.
They're not designed to sound British. Boswell...
They're designed to sound... Willow... ..sound like farms,
but, actually, some of them are British farms that we've sourced
from, from our partner suppliers, that happen to be in the UK.
Now, post the 2013 horse-meat scandal,
Do you think fake farms live up to those standards?
If our customers are worried that we are trying to mislead them,
We know our standards are the highest standards in the industry
and we think it's really important that we...
that what is on the label is in the pack.
So, with many of our supermarkets changing their value ranges to these
'farm brands, is it better for them or is it better for us?'
'To find out, I've come to meet marketing analyst
'Dr Fiona Spotswood, from the University of the West of England.'
Fiona, what are these brands all about?
Brands are a very clever marketing mechanism.
They are a way of providing a real short cut for consumers.
We cannot agonise over every supermarket purchase we make,
so we have to make very quick decisions, and brands give us
a set of symbols, images, pictures sometimes, colours,
that enable us to come up with a set of images in our brains very quickly
and think of orchards and freshness and harvest time.
So, was rebranding with these fake farm names a good move?
Absolutely. Using farm terminology would be a way for Tesco
to get consumers to think about Britishness,
words like Willow and Rosedene sound very English.
They sound like they are the names of farms with pretty roses
crawling on the walls and chickens scratching about.
And they provide consumers with a set of images around farm produce,
does anything happen by accident or coincidence?
I'm thinking in particular of these British-sounding farm names.
and every decision will have been the result of very careful consumer
research. They understand what associations,
what those short cuts are what people think of
when they hear those words Willow or Rosedene - they sound so English.
successful brands meeting customers' needs,
or a cynical ploy designed to mislead shoppers, well,
But make no mistake - if you want to buy British, check the label.
You can't assume that British-sounding fake farm names
will always represent British produce.
So, clever marketing or just misleading?
You can get in touch with us via our website or contact us on Twitter.
ANITA RANI: Sitting along the southern coast of England
In between stunning woodlands and chalk downs
Here at Malshanger Farm, they're in the business of creating something
rather special, by taking crops like this and turning it into this.
The farm specialises in creating top-quality essential oils.
the oil is cooked up right here on the premises.
But there's an ancient crop that's at the heart of the harvest here.
Sir Michael Colman, of the famous mustard dynasty, is the owner.
20 years ago, he decided to revive a once much-loved British crop -
Britain was once at the forefront of growing world-class mint.
land used to grow the mint was reclaimed for farming essential
produce, and the crop fell out of favour.
Lovely to meet you. Lovely to see you. Lovely to see you, too.
Sir Michael decided to grow traditional Black Mitcham
peppermint, originally produced in Surrey.
So, what was the eureka moment where you thought, "This is it -
she asked if she could come and see me.
"My grandfather had a farm in Surrey growing peppermint, and he's got...
"He used to sit with it all night, pushing steam through it."
And she still had a bottle of oil off his still.
It's amazing, isn't it? That's really strong, for 100 years old.
It is amazing how it's kept its punch.
And it's a heritage product, isn't it... Exactly.
..that you're bringing back? Exactly.
has spent 20 years getting to grips with his crop.
There is a wonderful smell in the air, Ian.
We're in this field of Black Mitcham peppermint.
We've got Derek in the background, there, who is mowing the crop down,
so what you can smell is the vapour coming off that as we mow it.
Can we take a closer look? Of course we can. Yes, indeed.
A lot more potent than you would get in your garden mint.
Ooh, wow! Totally different beast to the garden mint. VERY different.
than the mint that grows in our back gardens?
Because that just grows like a weed, doesn't it?
This is a very difficult crop to grow.
I classify it as a lazy crop - it only roots in about this much soil,
so it is one that wants a lot of nurturing.
I knew that the Americans were growing very,
very fine peppermint crops, there in the Willamette Valley.
They'd already got a good system of distillation.
So I thought, "Well, I'm not going to reinvent the wheel."
So we imported the equipment back here.
So, once the mint has been cut, what happens next?
Well, what we do, we leave it on the ground for, say, 24, maybe 48 hours,
depending on the weather. We want it to wilt.
In the leaf is where the oil capsules are,
So we're not interested in the moisture that's within the plant -
we need the oil capsules that are in the leaf.
So we can pick it up, chop it, put it into the distillation unit,
and then we take it down there and we plug it into the steam.
'Now it's my turn to get to grips with gathering in the mint.'
I don't want to make a mess of Sir Michael's field.
'Once the harvest's gathered, it's off to the distillery.'
the distillery equipment has been brought over from America.
So, we've harvested the peppermint, Ian.
What's the next stage in the process?
Well, this is where the separation takes place, in this container here.
Comes in at the bottom and it then floats off
So we've got the pure oil floating up here...
Yeah. We've got the waste water running away here,
and this is the pure oil here, coming out there.
That's pure oil? That is pure oil. There it is. Indeed.
Yeah. And how does it compare in profitability to cereal crop?
and we do our job correctly and we end up with this lovely oil
about six times the value of a cereal crop.
I am going to smell of peppermint for a long time.
It's lovely stuff. It's the nicest-smelling farm
I've ever been on! Oh, I'm glad to hear it!
The peppermint harvest is now in full swing.
I'll be putting this British peppermint oil
to a very particular summer taste test.
It's 40 years since One Man And His Dog first hit our screens,
Once again, Countryfile play host to this year's competition,
with teams England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland
This week, Adam is in Wales and Ireland,
meeting the first of the shepherds and their dogs
competing to be crowned champions.
The Irish landscape is famously beautiful.
that agriculture is big business here.
And it's not just crops and livestock -
Ireland is also turning out champion sheepdog handlers,
and they've taken home the One Man And His Dog trophy
This year, the final is being held in Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.
But does that give the Irish team an edge?
Will it help them hold on to their crown?
I've come to Donegal to meet the senior Irish handler
who'll be helping to defend their title.
Sammy Long is a professional sheepdog trainer,
working with more than 100 dogs a year on his farm
Morning, Sam. Morning. How are you?
'But Sammy is also a champion trialler,
'who has represented Ireland at international level
'This year he's competing with 2?-year-old Roy.'
Roy's quite a nice dog, and sheep like him.
You trained him yourself? I trained him myself, yeah.
And why do you choose him, then, over your other dogs?
Well, I find him easy to work, and sheep like him a lot, you know?
They don't, they're not frightened of him, you know?
And what makes a good trialler, then?
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
You have to have the temperament for it, yourself, too,
and obviously you need a good dog, and a bit of luck.
And can it all go wrong on the day? Oh, easily, yeah.
So can I watch him run out? Yeah, of course. Here, Roy.
Oh, Sammy, you make it look so easy.
The way Roy shed them and then held them back from the other sheep to
bring them in the pen - it was brilliant!
Yeah, he did quite well there. Yeah. Yeah, I was happy with that.
with the One Man And His Dog competition? Well...
If it doesn't, I'll just have to eat humble pie.
of Ireland holding the trophy at the moment, for the last three years.
Yeah. They've done quite well and, hopefully,
Good luck on the day. Thanks very much.
Ireland will be wishing him well.
But cheering him on from a little closer to home
What do you reckon to Grandad Sammy, then? A bit good. Yeah?
How well do you think he's going to do
in the One Man And His Dog competition? You never know.
You never know how things go like that.
You just never know what kind of dogs you're up against. Yeah.
I reckon he's going to win. It's better than nothing.
Who knows? Would you like to work sheepdogs one day?
I've actually trained to do it, but I don't have much of a dog,
Ireland's champion is Sammy Long and his dog, Roy.
Heading further south, the hills give way to the flat,
fertile farmland of County Kildare - a different landscape altogether.
Different landscape means different sheep and a different set of skills
I'm meeting one young man who's making waves
From Kilcullen, this year's young handler for Ireland
How long have you been trialling dogs, then, Caolan?
Yeah. So have you had a few dogs over the years?
Yeah, I've two at the moment, and I had three pups.
That's Dan. He's ten, and that's the dog I'm running in the...
..of them all, yeah. And how have you been getting on with him?
And I won the Young Handlers' last Friday, at the National.
Yeah. So can we go and watch him... Yeah. ..working?
That'll do. Ten out of ten for the pen.
Yeah, yeah. And Dan's not bad, either, is he?
What makes him so good, do you think?
He's very responsive to that whistle.
Yeah. And you're very good at blowing it.
It's amazing, the noises you're making. Yeah. It's fantastic. Yeah.
Now, One Man And His Dog has been won by the Irish team, I believe,
three times in a row, hasn't it? Yeah. So there's a bit of pressure.
Yeah. And do you mind whether you win?
Caolan comes from a long line of winners.
the One Man And His Dog trophy in the '90s.
So how are you feeling about this year's competition?
My dad has won it, my grandad's won it.
And the Irish team have won it three years in a row,
is also carrying on the family tradition -
under the watchful eye of his older sibling.
getting into the One Man And His Dog team?
He's been trying for a good long time.
can't really say yet. He might catch you up.
Yeah. Well, great to meet you both. See you soon. See you.
So there you have it - third-generation handler
Together with home-turf hero Sammy Long and Roy,
JOHN CRAVEN: We're celebrating harvest time across the country.
I'm in Kent - the Garden of England -
with its bountiful landscape of hop fields and orchards.
But I'm not here today for the fruit.
Instead, I'm going to be discovering about a particular Kentish delicacy
One field where it grows is here, in the village of St Mary's Platt.
And this is what I'm here for, the Kentish cobnut -
the only nut in the world that can be eaten straight from the tree.
The owner of this cobnut field is Alexander Hunt.
He's also chairman of the Kentish Cobnut Association.
Alexander, I've heard of Kentish cobnuts,
but I don't really know what they are.
I mean, it's not a thing you see in shops every day, is it?
full of moisture and succulence at this time of the year.
And here we have hazelnut trees, and here we've got cobnuts.
These are the wild hazels, in the hedge, here.
Can you see that's a much smaller nut, there?
Oh, yes. Slightly rounder with a slightly serrated husk.
And what about a cobnut? Behind me here
And you can see from the little cluster there...
Oh, much bigger, isn't it? Larger, bigger, bolder nut.
Yeah. And how many cobnut trees have you got here?
and about 1,500 trees within the plantation.
What about squirrels here? Are they a problem?
Very much so. Squirrels like nuts, don't they?
Every nut grower - squirrels are the bane of our lives.
And, for me, the big question now is what do they taste like?
Well, let me crack one for you, John.
Thank you. Ooh, they are soft, aren't they?
They're the finest nuts you can buy in the country.
And they do have a very strong taste, as well.
Middle of September, the husk begins to go a little bit more mellow,
and that's when they really gain their true Kentish cobnut flavour.
I'm really pleased to hear it! Mmm!
cobnuts lost some of their appeal during the last century.
But now a group of dedicated enthusiasts is encouraging us
The orchards where the cobnuts grow are known as platts.
It's an old Kentish word for flat, cultivated land.
And the people who pick the nuts call themselves, guess what?
Yes, it's a good name for us, isn't it?
Is there any special technique to picking the cobnuts?
Well, you pick the green ones and not the brown ones.
I adore them. Yes, yes. Especially when they're fresh and green?
When they're fresh, and when they're creamy and green.
And everybody I know loves them when they're like this.
After a hard day's picking out in the fields,
what could be better than a cobnut feast for us nutters?
Let's tuck in, everybody, shall we? Come on. Help yourselves.
'is part of the culinary cobnut renaissance.'
What have you laid on for us, Matthew?
We've got plums in there, Victoria plums, which are local.
We've got Discovery apples and, of course, the Kentish green cobnuts...
That's a Victoria plum, with a cobnut brioche crumble, on there.
And then this is traditional hop-picker's cake, there.
Wow. ..in there. So this is all part, then,
It is, yes. All these recipes have actually come from an old Kentish
I must admit, my mother's given me good training, John -
everything's either topped up with a bit of brandy or a bit of port,
And some cobnuts, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Today, I'm at Hertfordshire's Gaddesden estate,
about the harvest, here at Gaddesden. Back then,
celebrated artist-in-residence Gordon Beningfield
was inspired to capture the wheat crop on canvas.
Unusually, there is still an artist living on the estate -
Richard Smith is drawn to the wildlife that thrives here.
How much of an inspiration is harvest to you, as an artist,
Richard? It's usually the best time of year, really.
Cos there's, once they've cut the harvest, there's a lot to be seen.
In the wood behind us, I watched a stoat chase a mouse,
And the next day I painted a painting that just painted itself.
It was amazing. So is it more, kind of, Impressionism that you do, then?
Yeah, pretty much. ..of a view, and then you just replicate that?
When I see something and do a little doodle, the whole, sort of,
comes out as a painting or, now, sculptures.
It seems that all of Richard's wildlife subjects
are sheltering from the rain. But overnight he set some camera traps,
hoping to capture some rarely-seen animal behaviour.
If you look just here, there's a track coming through.
Yeah. Now, it could be fallow deer that have done it.
Yeah. They cut through here, and they go out to the stubble.
Right, well, let's get this lot back to the studio.
Take them back to the studio. Have you got that one, yeah?
'Hopefully, the footage captured on the cameras will give Richard some
'inspiration for his next masterpiece.'
This is a great little workshop, isn't it?
Right, let's get these... Gosh, look at... Yes, all right, then.
Nothing, nothing... Oh, hang on - there's a bottom.
Oh, it's a badger. Oh. Ah... There you go, look.
It's quite nice, actually, isn't it, with that as a backdrop,
These long grasses in the foreground? That's quite
Let me close that one and bring up the next clip.
then would be kind of a starting point for a piece of work?
I'm now thinking of a painting of a badger/rabbit confrontation.
Right. You know? And then the imagination starts working.
What would happen? So it's not always true to science,
This barn owl, then - is this wax, or...?
This is what they call white modelling wax.
There's a barn, obviously, over there,
And I was sitting there as the sun was coming up, and I thought,
"I've got to do that." Little, quick sketch.
Then someone had said that there was a barn owl in residence so, again,
using the imagination, I produced a painting of a barn owl.
And so that has been sparked by that...
So this barn owl here is the end result of that barn?
Pretty much, yeah. Isn't that wonderful?
And, hopefully, if all goes well, the end result will be...
It's obvious to see the estate has provided Richard with a wealth of
there's no better time to spot its resident wildlife
Now, voting for the Countryfile photographic competition
And if you haven't voted to support your favourite,
Calls cost 10p plus your network's access charge.
You can also vote free on our website...
The website also contains a full list of the photos
together with the terms and conditions for the competition.
MUSIC: Myfanwy by the Morriston Orpheus Choir
Vast, borderless country, easy to lose yourself in.
is where the partnership between shepherd and dog
Hills and mountains are the natural arenas of the sheepdog.
that partnership has a history that goes back centuries.
The first sheepdog trials in the British Isles were held in Bala,
And one shepherd hasn't strayed too far
from this heartland of sheepdog trialling.
In fact, he lives and works just ten miles down the road.
has been working sheep in this tough terrain all of his life.
The sheepdog does the work of six human beings,
One really good dog is worth his weight in gold.
But don't be fooled by his calm countenance -
as twice world champion and four-times supreme champion,
he's a rock star of the sheepdog world.
My greatest achievement was winning the supreme championship last year,
I'd already won in Wales, England and Ireland.
I was more or less desperate to win in Scotland, and I eventually did.
As well as winning countless trials all over the world,
Aled's also been on the other side of the scoreboard
for One Man And His Dog, as one of last year's judges.
His collie, Cap, is the latest in a line of dogs
He always was the one that came up to me,
played with my shoelaces, and he was under my feet everywhere.
And even when he was a little bit older,
he was the one that would jump over the door
as soon as he heard me come into the shed.
He's powerful and he's got a lovely pace.
And he doesn't waste too much time doing things.
I just hope that I'll have a good packet of sheep.
I'm sure that Cap will be on form, I just hope that I'LL be on form.
On a good day, I'll be up there with the others.
the Welsh contenders are Aled Owen and Cap.
the mountains shrug their shoulders at the Irish Sea.
As workplaces go, this is a pretty beautiful spot.
And the sheep seem very content with the view as well.
This idyllic setting is home to Wales's young handler, Es Smith,
At 18, she's a bit older than some of her rivals,
and has just returned from trialling after a break of three years.
So this comeback kid has everything to prove.
Yeah. So you've been away from trialling for a little while,
and now you come back to it. What have you been up to?
I've been focusing on school and friends, and my social life.
Well, he's really friendly and loyal,
and he'll do anything for me, no matter what.
But he's young, that's the only thing I'm worried about, really.
And being so young, are you worried about him on the day?
Yeah, just because he's only ever done about five trials so far.
He could behave or he could get overexcited.
And he's up against some very experienced dogs.
Yeah. They're probably going to be quite a bit older than Jaff, but...
And are you competitive? Does it matter if you lose?
I hate losing. But, when it comes to trialling,
I know that I have to let the best person win, on the day.
Well, shall we put him through his paces?
Come on, Jaff. Come on then, fella. Come on, Jaff.
It's lovely the way he brought those up, Es.
Thank you. He's quite steady for a young dog, isn't he?
Yeah, he's... He's got power when he needs it.
Yeah. Lovely. Very reactive, isn't he?
I like him. It's remarkable that he's not even two, and he's so good.
Plenty of shepherds that would want that dog in the kennel, isn't there?
It's what dreams are made of. He's beautiful.
Well, there's not many people who could work a sheepdog
and have a conversation at the same time.
It's pretty impressive. I guess it is.
So he is pre-empting your commands, in a way.
But that's dangerous at the same time...
Yeah. ..if you want to keep him in control.
Yeah. Well, it's brilliant the way you've just picked it up again.
It's like riding a bike, is it? Amazing. Lie down.
I'm just glad that Jaff's come along at the right time, really.
Good boy. Well, that was very impressive.
I reckon you're in with a good chance.
and deep in the heartland of sheepdog trialling
comes our team representing Wales -
born shepherd Aled Owen and his dog, Cap,
and comeback-kid Es Smith with Jaff.
Here at Malshanger Farm in Hampshire,
we've been bringing in this year's peppermint harvest
in the hope of creating something a little special.
And here it is - pure peppermint oil.
But there's one final very important stage left - quality control.
And that means a trip to the lab with Ian, the farm's manager,
So, Ian, what's the importance of testing this?
There's five components I'm really looking for in that oil,
that have to be within a certain specification.
So what we're going to do, we're going to run it through
this wonderful piece of kit, called a gas chromatograph.
'This piece of equipment measures the purity of the oil,
'ensuring every batch is of the best quality.'
Although we distil it, we then store it,
and we aim to only sell it when it's about two years old.
very much like wine - it does mature.
The smell and the taste just mellows.
So this right here is top-quality premium Hampshire peppermint oil,
just as it would have been 100 years ago. Exactly. It really is...
The oil produced here on the farm goes to make all manner of products,
from bubble bath and body wash to probably the most well-known
minty chocolate treat - peppermint creams.
From the farm's warehouse, orders are shipped all around the globe.
chocolate to Switzerland and even lavender oil to France.
the farm's essential oil crops will make up half
Is there anything this peppermint CAN'T do?
Well, there is one particular usage that some of you may appreciate,
and I am more than happy to taste it on your behalf.
Summer wouldn't be summer without a cocktail.
Hi, Ollie. Hi, Anita. How are you doing? Yeah, good, thank you.
This is a fantastic set-up, isn't it? Thank you very much. What fun!
'Mixologist Oliver Grey has come to help me create the perfect punchy
'summer drink, by blending the farm's peppermint oil
So two drops in about a litre mix of syrup or puree is definitely enough.
Any more than that will blow your head off.
OK. So what are you going to make?
What cocktails...? What do you like? We could do a raspberry cooler...
Sounds good. ..which is a gin-based cocktail.
Peppermint's brilliant for enhancing the different fruits.
And, of course, this is English peppermint,
It doesn't get any fresher than this, does it?
This is pretty special, isn't it?
'It's at times like this when I'm glad I'm not driving.'
Tequila cooling... The peppermint is perfect.
Put the lid on. Give that a little shake.
It's a hard job, but I'm happy to do it.
'make of our concoctions made with their peppermint?'
Oh... Well, Sir Michael, that is for you.
That's wonderful. And it has your peppermint in it.
What do you fancy? I'll have the gin, please.
Well, I... This is just right for me.
Absolutely. Gentlemen... Cheers. Cheers, Ollie.
Summer in a jar. But the question on all our minds
is, will it be cocktail weather in the week ahead?
Well, here's the five-day forecast with the answer.
Some good opportunities for cocktails over the next few days but
we're into early September, some -- summer is over and it will go down
as a wet one mainly because of the rain in June and for most of the
time across the Midlands and southern England it was drier than
average with temperatures above average. It was quite a warm summer.
The heat peaked on August 23 in Kent where we saw the rectory soaring to
34 degrees. The mercury will be rising this week. We will turn
things warmer across the board. A good opportunity for some cocktails.
Before we get there we have a weather system coming in overnight
bringing rain with it and a fair number of isobars on the charts so
the rain will be accompanied by a brisk breeze and some wet areas for
the western side in the morning but the rain will become patchy and it
never gets towards East Scotland. Into the afternoon it is light and
patchy rain and pretty great with extensive mist and low cloud but
also quite warm and humid, the high teens or 20s. Into northern England
the north-east should be fine and dry with drips of rain for the
north-west, Northern Ireland brightens up in the afternoon, quite
warm and humid. Three Monday evening, we have a lot of low cloud
around, still light rain and drizzle for western areas and little rain
for Northern Ireland and western Scotland but generally dry with
extensive mist, fog and low cloud. Also very warm, 17 or 18 degrees to
start the day on Tuesday. A great start, a slow start for most of us
on Tuesday. The big picture... High pressure in the near continent, the
wind going clockwise, we have a weather front further north bringing
more rain and a breeze with that towards northern Scotland but in
northern Scotland we shall see the best sunshine on Tuesday. Rain
further south, into Northern Ireland and western Scotland, the sunshine
trying to break through but that'll be difficult. A little bit of
sunshine for eastern areas but even though it is still fairly cloudy, it
is also warm and very humid, the low 20s for many and the middle 20s for
the south-eastern corner. The middle of the week, the wind direction
changes and we pull in drier air from the near continent so that will
help break the cloud up, noting that away from the south-east towards the
north and west so slowly brightening things during Wednesday, much better
chance of spells of sunshine, that little bit warmer in the south-east.
2526. Another very humid day across the board. The drier air continues
north on Thursday, melting the cloud, for many central and eastern
areas on Thursday it will be a lovely day with lengthy sunshine. A
shower or two in Scotland but this line of showers was swinging from
the West, dropping temperatures but notice 26 degrees in London. South
East maybe getting 28 degrees and that is the peak of the heat this
week because this weather front moves eastwards into Friday.
Dropping temperatures back by a few degrees but we still do quite well.
And it looks like a decent day for central and eastern areas, bright
and breezy, 23 degrees, pleasantly no further west were the breeze, the
cloud thickening and the rain drifting and some
Today we're celebrating harvest time.
I've been at the Gaddesden estate in Hertfordshire,
and gathering produce for this evening's harvest feast.
Well, the bread has been plaited and baked,
but to get a bit more variety on the menu,
I'm enlisting the help of Little Gaddesden preschool
the estate's kitchen garden all year round.
as they get the chance to learn where their food comes from.
His father, Arthur, was a foreman on the estate,
and featured in the film the BBC made here in 1977.
Where do your little helpers come in, then?
We get in touch with the local junior schools and the preschools,
to come up and give us a hand, you know,
They can come in, get their hands dirty, pull things out the ground,
pick things... And your daughter's also involved, isn't she?
Yeah, yes, she runs the preschool. Right. This is Jenny, here.
Jenny, hello. Hi. How are things? All right? Yeah, good.
What are you going to do with all this?
And then they get to take them home, they can eat some now,
they can cook them with their mums and dads... Lovely.
..and show them what they've, sort of...
Isn't that lovely? ..harvested so, yeah, it'll be good fun. Great.
And so you do this with all of your classes, then? Yes. Just really
learn about what grows at what time of year
I couldn't agree more. And we've got some chard coming in.
That's all right - you can get involved as well.
It's about being passionate about your food.
I tell you what, I wish I had a full suit like you.
So that's the veg sorted for tonight's harvest meal.
Up and down the country, farmers are working, weather permitting,
day and night to bring in this year's bounty.
But you can't work well on an empty stomach.
the harvest team at Gaddesden downs tools
Who's in charge of the harvest feast?
Oh, my word! Oh, you've got stew and everything!
Oh, nice to see you. And you. How are things? Very well, thanks.
..to go with your lovely stew. Would you like some? Yes, please.
Do you want some beans? Yes, please. Why not?
Right, where's the combining team? Are you having a bit of a sleep-in,
because I understand you didn't finish
till...what time was it this morning?
Yeah, trying to get as much in as we can before it rains.
It's unbelievable. So, yeah, pushed on.
And is this one of the best bits of the day, this?
Oh, certainly is. Definitely. Yeah, yeah.
What do you think to the bread? Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
That was manufactured in Guy's kitchen, first thing this morning.
Yeah, you can't beat a bit of fresh bread. Yes?
Hey, it's gone down a treat, this. Well done. Happy days.
Yeah, the harvest team have been working hard now for two weeks,
flat out. Been really busy, working long nights,
trying to get as much dry grain as they can.
OK, listen - so you're all done for the day and so are we,
because that is all we've got time for.
Next week, we're going to be on Anglesey,
where Anita will be coming face-to-face with a creature
And just a reminder - if you haven't voted in the Countryfile
all you have to do is go to the website for more details.
But from all of us here at Gaddesden, it's goodbye. Bye-bye!
It is harvest time, and the countryside is buzzing with activity. The Countryfile team get stuck in as crops are brought in across the country.
Matt Baker visits the Gaddesden Estate to discover how the harvest here has changed over the years.
Anita Rani picks peppermint and concocts cocktails.
John Craven meets a group of 'nutters' to gather in the cobnut harvest ready for a nutty feast.
And Joe Crowley investigates the farm brands on sale in supermarkets and asks when is a farm not a farm.
Countryfile also plays host to the fortieth anniversary of One Man and His Dog, as England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland send their best shepherds and their dogs to compete for the trophy, and Adam meets the teams to see how they are preparing. He travels to Wales and Ireland to meet the competitors and their dogs hoping to be crowned champions.