The team visit the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, where Matt celebrates the 70th anniversary of Enid Blyton's Famous Five. He visits Corfe Castle, the inspiration for Kirrin Castle.
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The Isle of Purbeck, where steep cliffs fall to the sea,
and where the rich and varied landscapes
present endless opportunities for adventure.
The charming, typically English countryside of Dorset,
fuelled the imagination of children's author, Enid Blyton.
And I'm going to be celebrating the 70th anniversary
of the first Famous Five book with...my brand-new friends
ALL: And lashings of ginger beer.
Come on, you lot, let's get exploring.
The Isle is really a peninsula,
and when it comes to wildlife, it boasts some hidden wonders.
This is one of the very few places in the UK
you can see all six British reptiles.
I'm going to be trawling the area, trying to track them all down,
including the notoriously elusive smooth snake.
And wherever you live, Tom's got a question for you.
Put your hand up if you want nuclear waste buried beneath you.
That's what councils around Britain are being asked to do,
but is that a good idea? I'll be investigating.
'While Adam's pigs are making the most of the sun.'
This is Dolly, my Gloucestershire Old Spot sow
that I bought a few weeks ago with her eight piglets
and they're all settling in really nicely.
But they can get a bit sunburnt sometimes.
Oh, there's a good old girl.
So I'm armed with a bucket and a bit of suntan lotion.
That should solve the problem.
'The stunning Isle of Purbeck in Dorset,
'where rolling hills and heathland meet the sea.
'It's called an isle, but it's not an island.
'It's a peninsula,
'a small piece of classic English countryside on our southern coast.
'It was to this area that children's author, Enid Blyton,
'first came on holiday in the early 1930s.
'She fell in love with the place, and it became the inspiration
'for a series of books, featuring those plucky young adventurers.'
'Anne, Timothy the dog
The Famous Five.
'No mystery was too large for these kids to solve
'and 70 years after the first Famous Five novel was published,
'I've come to Dorset to do a spot of detective work of my own.'
I'll be catching up with that lot for a little bit more
Famous Five-style fun later on
but first, I'm off to find out what an impact Dorset had on Enid Blyton
and the legacy that she left behind.
The story goes that Blyton first came here in 1931,
when she visited the pretty, picture book village of Corfe Castle.
A decade later, she returned
and the following year, her first Famous Five novel was published.
In Five On A Treasure Island, there's a castle, Kirrin Castle,
and Enid describes it like this...
"On a low hill, rose the ruined castle.
"It had been built of big white stones.
"Broken archways, tumbledown towers, ruined walls,
"that was all there was left of a once beautiful castle,
"proud and strong.
"Now, the jackdaws nested in it,
"and the gulls sat on the topmost stones."
But it's not just the old ruins of Corfe Castle.
Other places in Purbeck pop up in Blyton's work.
And who better to tell me more than perhaps her number one fan,
She runs a shop dedicated to the author.
She's a walking, talking Enid encyclopaedia.
And it's your theory then that this track here was used,
or was the inspiration of Five Go To Mystery Moor?
Anyone who was going down to Swanage on the mainline steam train
would have been able to see this track.
It was largely disused. The rails were still down.
Yes, it was there to be used for someone
who was looking for a good story.
You can see why, can't you,
why this place was such an inspiration for Enid Blyton?
You couldn't half have an adventure in here.
She liked adventures that happened over several days in big landscapes.
And what's so special about this corner of Purbeck
is that we've got so many different types of habitat.
It's all to do with the underlying geology.
But for someone who's just looking at landscapes,
it gives you the great variety of the water, the sea, the marshes,
the chalk down and the heathland. It's fantastic.
Blyton's work was shaped by landscape
and she also played a part in shaping the landscape she loved.
Back in the 1950s,
she and husband Kenneth bought the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club.
They expanded the course and looked after it for more than 13 years.
Enid loved to swing the clubs.
In fact, she was even spotted up here writing,
but this place was an inspiration for her Famous Five books,
because as she played golf or wrote,
she would look out onto Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island -
her island in Five Have A Mystery To Solve.
It's thought that Lucas, the groundsman in that book,
was based on Enid's caddie, Johnny James.
Now unfortunately, I don't have a Johnny James today.
I have to carry my own bag.
But I do have a guide, David Hodge from the National Trust.
David, good to see you.
You can see why Enid fell in love with the place.
Oh, it's absolutely fantastic.
So these days, it's owned by the National Trust?
That's right. It came to the National Trust in 1981.
We've got the National Nature Reserve
at Godlingston Heath immediately next door
and almost all of the golf course is actually SSSI.
There are scheduled ancient monuments here too.
It must be a real challenge to have this recreation
-sitting alongside all that conservation?
But actually, that's what the Trust do at our best,
is managing conservation, conservation needs,
but also providing access for people to enjoy the wildlife we look after.
Right. Let's try and find my ball.
Did it go in the rough?
No, it was in the middle.
Nice little ripple of applause at the bottom.
What's happening here, David?
Oh, these guys, they're spot weeding on the green.
Can I introduce you to Chris? He's the course manager here.
-Chris, how are you doing?
-Very nice to meet you.
You've got your work cut out, haven't you, managing this?
Yes, it's quite a challenge, but really enjoyable.
It's quite a big course, and with all the restrictions of the SSSI...
So, you don't use fertiliser or anything like that?
No, none of the fairways are irrigated or fertilised.
We simply manage the greens and the tee tops,
they're the things that we intensively manage
but even then, we only use very minimal fertiliser input
and very little pesticides, as little as we can get away with,
which is why we hand weed the greens.
Well, I'll let you continue. What's the camber like on here?
It's quite an even green, to be perfectly honest.
Slightly right to left.
-Is it fast or slow?
-Reasonably quick, yes.
-I think you'll be surprised.
-All right, then. Here we go.
OK, good luck.
Oh, it was far too fast and it's gone an absolute mile away.
That's down in Poole Harbour.
Some of the most beautiful parts of our countryside
are being eyed up at the moment
as potential burial sites for nuclear waste,
but what does this mean for the landscape above?
Tom has been finding out.
The western edge of the Lake District. A remote place,
less travelled, but beautiful just the same.
This landscape has been an inspiration for poets
and artists for centuries.
But, part of it could become the biggest building site in Europe.
The reason? Nuclear waste.
Down the last 60 years,
we've piled up enough of the stuff to fill the Albert Hall to the rafters.
# And did those feet in ancient time
# Walk upon England's mountains green? #
At the moment, most of our high level nuclear waste
is kept in facilities like this one here at Sellafield in Cumbria.
Some of it is stored near the surface in vertical storage tubes,
marked out by these yellow discs.
But in total, there's nearly 300,000 cubic metres
of high and medium level waste in the UK.
No-one's worked out a permanent solution for dealing with it,
but that could be about to change.
The Government wants us to think again about burying it
in "underground geological disposal facilities".
That's a big hole in the ground, to you and me.
West Cumbria, home to the Sellafield plant seen here,
is one of the places being looked at.
The idea is to take our nuclear waste
and dump it thousands of metres down, in a specially dug storage facility.
It will then be filled in and sealed for all time
and it will be a huge job.
Can you give me any idea of the potential scale of it,
both underground and above ground?
Underground, it could be anywhere between six square kilometres
and 20 square kilometres, so it's a major facility underground
and on the surface, round about one kilometre squared.
It will certainly be a long-term project,
over 100 years, from start to finish.
The idea of having a huge nuclear waste dump in your back yard
has always been a tough one to sell.
Four years ago, the government hit on the idea
of asking councils to volunteer.
Cumbria County Council has done just that.
Why has this area, Cumbria, chosen to put its hand up and say, "Yes,
"We want to be considered for nuclear waste"?
The main reason is that we already host 70%
of the nation's higher level nuclear waste
just down the road at Sellafield.
So whatever happens to it, involves Cumbria and Cumbrians.
Now, what could it mean for this area if it goes ahead?
What's in it for you in terms of maybe jobs or economics?
Well, there are potentially jobs, yes.
It's a very large project, if it happens.
Some say it's about the size of the Channel Tunnel,
so we're talking about thousands of jobs and considerable benefits.
Aside from the jobs and the investment of the actual project,
are you hoping for a little bit extra from the Government?
If it does go ahead, we'd be hoping for a lot extra.
Certainly investments in things like health, education,
that sort of thing would be vital.
Sounds like you're looking for a bung, alongside the actual jobs.
You want a bit of brown paper that's going to help the services here.
Those are your words, not mine, but I think, yes, certainly,
I would expect the area to benefit significantly, if we go ahead.
That's a big if - but locally, public opinion
seems to be warming to the idea.
A recent telephone poll of people living in Copeland Borough,
where Sellafield is, showed a majority in favour.
Though not everyone who lives in Cumbria is convinced.
In this area, Copeland, 68%, more than two thirds,
were in favour of further investigation of underground storage.
That is a clear majority.
It is for Copeland,
but you can't forget there is the other local authority, Allerdale,
and Cumbria County Council,
and if they were to site an underground dump here,
it is not just this community here that suffers the detriments,
plus any benefits that may be,
it's the county as a whole.
But doesn't the waste have to go somewhere?
We've already got it and we're generating more.
It does indeed, and most of it is here at Sellafield.
Everybody knows that, it's well-documented.
But in our view and many other people's view,
underground dumping is simply the wrong option.
It is a matter of putting it out of sight, out of mind.
The bulk of our nuclear waste nationally comes from power plants
where nuclear fuel is used to produce electricity.
And it's not just working nuclear power stations which are a problem.
We've still got to deal with the waste from places like this,
which are decommissioned and now being dismantled.
Chapelcross, the first nuclear power plant to be built in Scotland.
Electricity was first generated here back in 1959, and ceased in 2004.
You're no longer generating electricity here,
but there are still fuel disposal issues
which you're handling in this building. How does it work?
Yes, this is a dummy of the nuclear fuel
that we're currently removing from the four reactor cores here.
There were 38,075 when the cauldron was shut down,
and we're gradually filling these flasks
with about 150 of these
and shipping them down to Sellafield.
So, in a reactor, these are in effect the heating element,
the hot rod that's generating the heat that's required
-to generate electricity...
-Yes, that's right.
A live one of these would contain a uranium bar,
which is the heat generator in the nuclear core.
The spent fuel rods get bundled up
in these specially designed containment flasks.
Checks are done on the water inside to make sure no radiation
is seeping out, then they're loaded onto secure trucks
for the two-hour trip to Sellafield.
Although as you say, its first stop is Sellafield,
some of what's in there, if they go ahead with geological disposal,
is the sort of thing that will end up underground.
That's right. Essentially, what they do at Sellafield
is to recycle the reusable uranium from that fuel bar I showed you,
but there's also some waste and that small amount of waste
is potentially what's going to end up in the disposal facility.
Burying nuclear waste deep underground is a big leap.
Nobody really knows what the geology is like that far down.
So, are we be right to be pressing ahead?
Is it safe to bury nuclear waste in Cumbria?
I'll be finding out later.
We're on the Isle of Purbeck,
a beautiful, windswept peninsula on the Dorset coast.
There are few places in Britain where all six of our native reptiles
can be found in one place and one of them is here at Arne.
Sand lizards, common lizards, legless lizards or slow-worms,
grass snakes, smooth snakes and adders live on these heathlands.
My challenge today is to try and find all six of them.
-'My guide is RSPB warden Rob Farrington.' Morning, Rob.
-How are you?
'Birds may be the big thing here, but Rob's got an eye for reptiles.
'He's also got a licence because these animals are protected
'and you need special permission to disturb some of them.'
What is it about this habitat that gives us
a good chance of finding all six?
Arne's brilliant because we've got a huge mix of habitats.
We're on lowland heathland here now,
which is really good for smooth snakes, sand lizards,
but then we've also got farmland, scrubland, woodland.
On the edges, it's where you'll find things like adders and grass snakes.
So we've got a huge mix of habitat
and that's where you get the most biodiversity.
'First up, we're checking metal sheets used as reptile shelters.
'We're looking for the rarest of the bunch, the smooth snake.
'It's proving to be elusive, but in the end, Rob does find something.'
-What have you got?
-I've got a female slow-worm.
Slow-worm. Legless lizard.
Indeed. Whoever named the slow-worm needs a bit of a kicking.
They're quite fast and they're not a worm, they're a lizard.
Eyelids as well, that's the other lizard feature.
If we played a game of staring into the eyes, see who'd blink first,
she would probably beat us, but she has eyelids, yes, like all lizards.
She can blink. Snakes don't have eyelids. They're always open.
'We may not have found a smooth snake,
'but I can tick off one of the six.
'Next, Rob's on the lookout for sand lizards.'
So, just down here in the grass,
you can just see the wonderfully camouflaged...
-What incredible camouflage!
-That's a female sand lizard.
The males this time of year are much brighter.
-The males can get quite green.
They've stolen David Bowie's make-up case!
That's just for them to compete with each other
and show off to the girls.
-This one's likely to have eggs in her at the moment.
We don't like to handle the females around this time of year,
in case we disturb them.
'Two down, four to go. Next, Rob's taking me to the RSPB's farm.
'Believe it or not, it's another snake and lizard hotspot.
'Local reptile expert Nick Moulton's here,
'carrying out conservation work.'
Tell me a bit about your work, including what you're doing there.
We're trying to get some more monitoring sheets down.
Very good at bringing the reptiles in.
They can hide underneath, it's a non-threatening situation.
They pick up the heat from it.
You've chosen a really different subject matter in reptiles.
They're so elusive. You haven't made it easy on yourself.
Sometimes you can tear your hair out trying to work with them.
It takes a long time to build up some kind of quality information.
We've got a lot of basic data, but we need to improve.
Reptiles are notoriously tricky to work with.
You can't take anything for granted.
It's a tricky business searching for reptiles,
but it looks like Rob's come up trumps again.
He's found a grass snake and it's not too pleased about being handled.
-Can I smell that already?
-That really stinks.
It's a kind of fish smell.
-Grass snakes have got three main defence mechanisms.
Number one is that smell. They can flick and squirt that as well.
They'll also hiss and flatten themselves out to make them
look like they're venomous.
This guy is doing this.
The last one, this guy hasn't done it, they pretend to be dead.
-Tongue outside the mouth...
They can stay that way for ten minutes, more.
Wow! He's slightly rougher on the old skin there.
Well, I'm on a reptile hunt and I'm not doing too badly.
Adam is on the Purbeck coast looking out for marine wildlife.
Kimmeridge Bay in Purbeck. As secluded a spot as you can find.
It's all very peaceful, but this area is simply teeming with life.
You just need to know where to look. To find out more,
I've come to join a volunteer group for something called a welly survey.
I've no idea what a welly survey is, but I've come prepared.
Julie Hatcher from the Dorset Wildlife Trust is going to tell me
what the Welly Zone project is all about.
The Welly Zone project is a project to get local people out
onto their beach, getting in touch with the wildlife that lives there
-and starting to record it.
-Why's that important?
We're recording wildlife on beaches that hasn't been recorded before.
We're finding there are things that can tell us
about climate change, invasive species, some quite rare
and unusual things that are only found on beaches.
Then we can start to try
and get protection for these areas where these creatures live.
'So there's a serious reason for the project, but there's no denying
'it's also a lot of fun and takes me back to rock pooling as a kid.'
-This is a ferocious looking fellow.
-This is a spiny spider crab.
-You can see all the camouflage seaweed on its back.
-It's very difficult to see.
-He's certainly very spiny.
You can see where they get their name.
-Let's pop him back.
-Yeah. Good idea.
They like people to put them back where they found them.
'You don't have to be a marine biologist to take part.
'Volunteers are all given a handy guide.'
-Hi. Any joy?
-I'm quite a beginner at this.
These guides are pretty useful to me.
Down here, I've already spotted the peacock's tail seaweed.
We've also got the Japanese seaweed, this one just here.
-The pretty one. That's quite an invasive species.
I'm completely landlocked where I live, so it's all new to me too.
That's enough yomping about in wellies.
I'm off to the other side of the bay for a kayak safari.
These aren't any ordinary kayaks. They're glass bottomed.
As you're floating through the water,
you can see what's going on beneath.
If you want a detailed view, these are goggle viewers.
You put your head in and you can see what's going on.
The kayak safaris are available to anyone who fancies
this unique way of glimpsing beneath the surface.
Today, I'm getting a tour of the highlights from guide Mark Smith.
The snakelocks anemones, they almost look like plants,
but they've got thousands of stinging tentacles.
If a small fish goes into those tentacles,
it fires loads of harpoons into the animal and injects venom,
which then paralyses the fish and then it can eat it.
Goodness me! Sounds ferocious!
There's dozens of types of urchins and seaweeds
and goodness knows what down there.
Yes. There hundreds of different species of seaweeds recorded here
in Kimmeridge Bay.
This is a rocky reef under the water here.
They provide lots of nooks and crannies for animals to hide in
and they provide a hard surface in which seaweeds
can anchor themselves to.
The seaweed itself provides a bounty of food for different animals.
Kimmeridge is a real hotspot for marine wildlife.
All this and I'm not even getting wet! It's great!
I've had a rare glimpse into this fascinating world.
You could stay out there all day and still not see everything,
but I'm heading back to dry land.
I've never been on a safari like that before. Great fun!
I've been told there's one more very rare species I've got to find
while I'm in Kimmeridge Bay. It's the elusive lagoon snail.
At just 2mm fully grown, the lagoon snail takes some finding.
Coastal photographer Steve Trewhella
is one of the few people ever to have seen them.
-Have you found some?
-I have. They're tiny.
You can just about see them with your naked eye. There's one there.
They're fully grown. They don't get any bigger than that.
They're miniscule! Are they found anywhere else in the country?
There are a few locations on the south and south west coast.
But they're not widespread, by any stretch of the imagination.
-Can I take a closer look?
-You can. Would you like to borrow these?
Let's try these babies!
Tiny golden snails.
I never thought I'd get so excited about such a small animal!
Are we getting this on telly? This is special!
Never been filmed before, as far as I know.
People don't like creepy crawlies and flies, but without flies,
we have no swallows coming over from Africa. It's the biodiversity.
Everything has a role to play in nature. Even 2mm long snails.
They're part of this habitat, which makes it unique.
It's a long way removed from the cows and sheep on my farm.
It is. It's a microscopic world and this is their world.
They're not aware of any of this. They live under this boulder.
Every little crack, every little thing, that's their universe.
Look at that. A tiny lagoon snail.
Like a pin prick on the end of my finger.
But still an important part of this valuable ecosystem.
It's been a real joy discovering what lies beneath the waves here.
I've only been here a day,
but I've gained a real sense of what a rich marine habitat this is.
The beautiful Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.
Earlier, I took a tour of some of the places here that inspired
children's author Enid Blyton.
I'm deep in real Famous Five country and when those children weren't off
solving mysteries, more often than not, they were eating picnics.
So when in Dorset...
Hello. How are you? I'm trying to create a Famous Five picnic.
-Have you got anything local to the area?
-A picnic basket!
-I'll start you off with that.
-What would you recommend?
-Obviously, you've got to have some boiled eggs.
-Chuck the eggs in.
And then we've got a couple of varieties of local pork pies.
I'll take two of them, I think.
We can halve them. Biscuits? What do you recommend?
-I would have thought ginger.
-Oh, yes. Good one!
Will we over-ginger things if we have rhubarb and ginger chutney?
-I don't know. Can you over-ginger?
-I don't know.
-Maybe not with the Famous Five! Have you got any ginger beer?
-You have. Oh, yes! Brilliant!
-How many do I need? Lashings!
How many is lashings? One, two... I'll take five.
Brilliant. That's me sorted.
Later, I'll be continuing my journey through the Purbeck landscape
and finding out why Enid Blyton loved this place so much,
and I'll be meeting up with three friends and a dog
to devour this lot. I just hope they like ginger.
And here's what else is still to come on the programme.
Adam's back on his farm, keeping his piglets out of the sun.
I do sometimes squirt a bit of sun tan lotion... Urgh! ..on their ears.
And will there be sun in the week ahead?
We'll have the Countryfile forecast.
Now, as we've been hearing, the Government wants us
to consider putting our nuclear waste under some of the most
picturesque parts of the countryside.
But is that safe? Tom's been investigating.
Nuclear power has been part of our lives for nearly 60 years.
It provides almost a fifth of the electricity we use at home
and at work, but that creates waste and it's really starting to pile up.
So what do we do with it?
The Government would like us to stick it deep underground,
buried thousands of metres deep and sealed for all time.
And here, Western Cumbria, on the edge of the Lake District,
is one of the prime candidates.
But would it be safe?
Scientists here at Manchester University are doing experiments
to find out.
This is a tube of actual uranium dissolved in water.
The kind of thing you might find underground if the protection
around the waste failed and the groundwater got to it.
You can tell it's radioactive by the reaction of the Geiger counter.
We take a sample of it and then, it goes into this,
which is a mixture of rock particles and water.
This is just the kind of test that will be performed on Cumbrian rocks
if the project gets the go-ahead.
I'm going to take this to a man who can tell me whether it suggests this
kind of rock is the kind of thing
that will help keep radiation locked in.
You've got a range of different types of minerals in here.
Some of those are known to be good at taking uranium out of water
-and holding it up.
-So what you want to see
is these are the kind of minerals that the uranium could bond to
and could be held there, rather than flowing out through the rocks.
Yes. You want to understand that the uranium will stick to these minerals
and ideally will also stay stuck so it doesn't come off again.
And so this looks like at least a promising sample.
I'd be quite interested in it, certainly.
These tests are vital
because if you've buried all that nuclear waste and then
the man-made containment fails, your last hope is the rock around it.
So is the geology of West Cumbria up to the job?
Originally, this was rivers
flowing through a desert about 240 million years ago.
Professor Stuart Hazeldine from Edinburgh University has his doubts.
You can see these cracks go all the way up through the cliff.
You can see there's lots of vertical cracks.
Those are shortcuts for water going vertically.
How critical or worrying could cracks like this be
if they choose to bury nuclear waste over there?
We're in a fault zone here. These cracks don't just stop here,
they go down two or three kilometres, as far as a waste dump would be.
The water which goes past the dump site can come up,
carrying the radioactivity and get into the drinking water.
Nuclear waste isn't just toxic, it stays hot for thousands of years.
Some scientists believe that will only make things worse.
Radioactive water will come up to the surface within a few hundred years
and that'll crack the rock, before that,
lift the ground surface up around here by about a metre
and radioactive gas will come out, right up to the surface.
The confusing thing is that we already know this
because burying nuclear waste in Cumbria has been looked at before.
In the mid '90s, they mounted a big geological survey of this area
and this was one of the fields where they sank a borehole
to investigate what's going on beneath. And what did they discover?
That this area was not suitable for the burial of nuclear waste.
Over £400 million was spent drilling holes and doing tests.
If they didn't find the right kind of geology then, what has changed?
Does Cumbria, as far as we know, have the best geology
in Britain for the burial of nuclear waste?
We've not done that assessment in that way.
A lot of people say that they can see it has the right politics,
because people know about nuclear and they're not opposed to it,
but it doesn't have the right geology.
Surely this is a question that should be based on geology.
It's a question that is dependent upon two key parameters.
One is that you have a willing community.
The second one, that you have a geology that you can work
with your engineered systems to make a safe disposal system.
So it won't be a case of the politics dominating the geology
and saying, "If people accept it, we'll put there."
A Cumbrian nuclear dump is by no means a done deal.
Romney Marsh in Kent is being considered as a potential site too.
But in all cases, the people living there have to get behind it.
Over the next few decades, the debate is likely to rage over impact
on the landscape versus jobs and economic growth.
But in the long term, and surely that's what matters,
the question will be should it go where it's popular
or where it's safe?
The Isle of Purbeck has a real mix of landscapes.
Katie's been exploring its Jurassic coast.
These fossil rich cliffs are a World Heritage Site,
showcasing 185 million years of geological history.
But it's not just geologists who bow down to these Dorset cliffs.
Artists too have been seeking inspiration here for centuries.
Old Harry Rocks, these magnificent chalk sea stacks
mark the Dorset end of the Jurassic coastline.
One man who's been inspired to paint them is local artist Ben Spurling.
-Can I have this chair?
-Go for it.
-What a fantastic spot.
So what are you doing?
I'm painting in oils, trying to capture the light
-and painting towards Old Harry.
-Why is it called Old Harry?
A lot of people say it's a pirate from Poole who came over here,
or a smuggler, but I'm sure myself.
Does it always come out the same way?
Surely there's only so many ways you can paint a scene.
-It's different every time.
-Yeah. I don't really get bored.
The light changes. You get an east wind which comes in.
-Have you got some you can show me?
So this one was a September light, with the highlights on the cliff.
This is towards midday when you get different light on the cliff.
I particularly like the mornings and the evenings
cos the light's a bit lower
and you get different colours in the cliffs.
So that's exactly the same scene that you're painting today.
-Very different, yeah.
You sort of look at the cliffs and think it's amazing,
these have been here for years.
Even though they're steep and strong they change quite a lot,
so Old Harry might be gone some day.
-I better keep painting it.
'Whilst Ben likes to take his time capturing the essence of the cliffs,
'there are other ways you can enjoy them too.'
And they're slightly less sedate.
It should come as no surprise
that Purbeck is a popular place with rock climbers.
I think I'll take the steps.
'It's not just traditional rock climbing that's in vogue here.
'I've come a few miles down the coast to a little known spot
'called Conner Cove to find out about
'something called deep water soloing.'
I'm here to meet one of Britain's top climbers, Neil Gresham.
Neil travels the globe looking for some of the world's toughest climbs,
but today he's somewhere down there.
And luckily it's him that's coming up to see me
rather than the other way round.
Although I'm not climbing, I'll be going close to the edge,
so I'm leaving nothing to chance.
But in case you hadn't noticed already,
Neil down there isn't attached to anything.
And that's the primary attraction of deep water soloing.
-Well, nice to meet you, Neil.
-Nice to meet you too.
So what is deep water soloing?
In a way it's the simplest form of climbing.
You don't need ropes or safety equipment.
You're just climbing using your hands and feet on the rock
and if you fall off, you obviously get wet, so the main thing is
you need to make sure the water's deep enough.
-So the water is effectively your kind of safety mat?
You said you're climbing without ropes,
that sounds just so dangerous.
Well, it would be really dangerous for a non-climber
to rock up at a place like this and try and do it.
There's a lot of considerations.
You don't want to get stranded at the bottom of one of these cliffs.
It can be really difficult to get out.
So it's important to be with experienced people
and to work up gradually.
So where did deep water soloing start?
It actually started right here at Conner Cove
in Dorset in the late '80s.
A chap called Crispin Waddy was trying to do one of these climbs,
but the ropes were really getting in the way,
they were going in the sea and weighing him down.
He just had this brainwave and thought, "Why don't I just get rid
"of all this gear, the water's deep enough and if I fall off,
"I'll just get wet and swim out."
All the climbing community thought he was absolutely crazy,
but sure enough he attempted this climb, fell off it a couple
of times, got out of the water, was perfectly safe.
That was the start of deep water soloing
and loads of people copied after that.
It might make some people think of tombstoning,
is it the same in any way?
Deep water soloing is 100% about the climbing.
If you fall in, it's just because you made a mistake,
but you're not setting out to deliberately
fall in the water like you would if you were tombstoning.
So are there any rock types that are better to climb?
The limestone we have here in Dorset is fantastic for climbing,
it's really solid, you can get a good grip on it.
The nice thing about deep water soloing is you don't
have to drill it or bang bits of metal in it,
you don't spoil it, so it's actually
a really eco-friendly way of climbing, which is a bonus.
Dorset will always be special,
it is the spiritual home of deep water soloing.
Deep water soloing must surely be one of the most extreme sights
these cliffs have ever seen.
I'm content just enjoying the view though.
I'll leave the adrenaline rush to other people.
Adam enjoys the occasional day away from the farm,
like his trip to Purbeck earlier,
but summer's a busy time in the farming calendar.
The crops are flourishing
and so are the animals as they feed on the fresh pastures.
With all that activity going on
he can't afford to be away for too long.
Part of the joy of living on a farm is watching the seasons change.
From month to month the jobs out in the field vary
depending on the time of year.
As we approach mid-summer there never seems to be enough hours in the day.
It's a great time of year and everything on the farm
is really benefitting from a bit of sunshine.
I love getting out and about,
I'm very privileged to have such a lovely outdoor office.
Even when you come into the woodland here, where it can be quite dark,
there's a changing array of colour through the seasons.
The bluebells that carpet the woodland
took advantage of the spring light
and they transformed over the course of a couple of weeks,
producing a mass of blue flowers.
Just as they started to fade, the beech trees burst into leaf
bringing the woodlands to life.
When the trees turn green, I know summer's on its way.
This is one of my favourite parts of the farm,
it's really stunning with a natural valley running through it
and a stream providing drinking water for the animals all year round.
Buttercups are in flower now and it's looking stunning.
This old oak tree is one of my favourites.
It's probably 150 to 200 years old
and it's seen generations of farmers and will certainly outlive me.
It's one I keep a careful eye on.
It's laid dormant all winter
and it finally came into leaf at the end of May.
And these big mature trees in grazing fields like this
work very well for the animals, they're like nature's umbrella.
The sheep get underneath and huddle round
to get into the shade, you can see them all under the tree there.
My Highlands, that are very good in cold weather,
don't really like the heat,
they are taking full advantage of the shade.
There's an old saying about the oak tree and the ash tree
and when they come into leaf, and it goes,
"Oak before ash, you're in for a splash.
"Ash before oak, you're in for a soak."
It may not be very scientific,
but this year the oak came into leaf first
so as far as I'm concerned we're in for a splash and a nice summer.
Sometimes nature needs a helping hand, especially
when I've got over 2,000 animals that like to graze the pasture.
After a long winter, fresh green grass was in short supply.
So back in February we fertilized the fields to boost growth, and
at the end of March, Eric the bull was already appreciating the results.
By mid-April, lambing was in full swing
and my ewes and their offspring were moved into the pastures too.
Now we've turned the corner into June,
the growing conditions are perfect for my grazing animals.
They really don't have to worry about those harsh winter conditions
and the snow any more, there's plenty of grass under their feet.
Although the cold weather earlier on in the year has meant that
the grass hasn't grown as well as I might have liked
for cutting hay and silage, so we are a bit delayed on that.
But it isn't just about the grazing animals on the farm here,
the crops are very important too.
And like all farmers I want the perfect conditions -
nice bit of rain, but also lots of sunshine.
I farm 1,000 acres of arable crops,
and as the seasons change from winter to the growing seasons of spring
and summer, I keep my fingers crossed for the right weather conditions.
But it's something I can't control.
This is my oilseed rape, it's grown really well.
It's almost over my head, it's quite difficult to walk through.
The growing conditions for it have been very good this year.
We did get a bit of a drought back in March,
but it didn't affect us here as much it did on some farms.
We really got away with it.
And then the rain came, which did the crops a lot of good,
and now all we need is lots of sunshine.
Oilseed rape is a relatively new crop to the country,
it's only been grown commercially for the last 30 years.
It's part of the brassica family,
you sometimes get that cabbagey smell -
cabbage and rape are the same family.
And it's certainly one of the fastest growing crops on the farm.
At the beginning of March, the crop was barely a few inches tall,
and on a daily basis you could almost see it growing.
It benefitted from ideal conditions and by mid-April,
the rape had grown to about three foot.
A few weeks later, it was in full flower,
transforming the whole landscape.
The flowering is now pretty much finished.
It's got a single stem with lots of branches coming off that stem,
and on the stems are the seed pods -
where there was a single flower a seed pod has formed.
The seeds are now setting inside those pods.
The plant will eventually die off and go brown
and the seeds will turn from green to black and we'll harvest it in August.
The seeds go to a neighbour of mine who crushes them to make oil,
and the oil goes for cooking and for dressings.
Rapeseed oil is lovely stuff to eat.
Just across the wall there we have a bit of a wildlife strip with
cow parsley and a broken down wall.
Then it goes into my winter wheat
that's been grown for milling, for making bread.
And winter wheat is a different crop altogether, it's much, much shorter.
'As the spring weather conditions improved,
'the winter wheat also started to grow,
'but much slower than the oil seed rape.'
And the wheat now has come up quite nicely.
It's about up to my knee,
but in comparison to the rape, it's very short.
This stuff is about five foot tall. They're very different plants,
but both looking good and hopefully we're in for a bumper harvest.
The crops and the animals enjoy the sunshine.
But sometimes it can be too hot.
These are some of my rare breed pigs.
Over the fence here is a Tamworth sow with her litter.
And unlike me, being a redheaded person who suffers from sunburn,
the Tamworth's got very dark skin and reflective hair
and do very well in hot conditions.
In fact, they ended up in Australia
and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust went over there to bring back
some of the boar lines because they'd become so rare in this country.
But the Gloucester Old Spots, on their bodies they're quite hairy,
but on their ears they do get sunburnt on the back.
So what we do is give them a bit of a wallow.
There you are, missus.
'Pigs lack functional sweat glands,
'and wallowing is a natural behaviour to help them
'regulate their temperature and cool down.'
There you go. Oh.
They like getting all this muddy water on themselves. Oh, Dolly.
And then with the piglets,
I do sometimes squirt a bit of suntan lotion - eugh! - on their ears,
just on the pink bits.
There you go.
A little bit of that.
Do you want some, Dolly? Yuck!
She's just such a lovely, quiet, friendly sow. Oh, she's happy now.
'The job us farmers do plays a key part in all our lives
'because we produce food for the plates.
'Every year, the BBC gives an award to the farmer
'who's made a standout contribution at its Food and Farming Awards.
'Now, if you know a farmer that deserves recognition
'for the way they do their job and for inspiring the rest of us,
'you can nominate them as Farmer of the Year.
'You can find the details on our website.'
And as one of the judges, I look forward to seeing your suggestions.
I'm continuing my search for all six British reptiles
here at Arne, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.
Now, Rob, the reptile expert, has taken me to a house on the edge
of the reserve, where we've got special permission to film
and where it's known to be a bit of a reptile hotspot.
Wait up, Rob.
This overgrown garden's an ideal place for adders.
But to give them a helping hand,
RSPB warden Rob Farrington has also put down a few metal sheets.
Ah, my goodness. One, two, three, four, five. That's a grass snake.
One, two, three, four and a grass snake.
There we go.
So it's pretty normal for the males
and the females to be hanging out together?
Yeah. They hibernate communally, adders.
You can get loads and loads and loads of adders together.
So we'll just back away now, just in case we stand on one.
Oh, we don't want to do that. That was ace.
-Was there six adders and a grass snake?
-And a grass snake, yeah.
'That's four of the six British reptiles.
'Just the common lizard and the smooth snake to go.
'And Rob's not done yet.
'He wants to take one last look for that rare snake.
'We couldn't find any this morning,
'but this time his persistence pays off.'
-Oh, fantastic. Rob, look at this!
-This is a young male smooth snake.
On his underside, check out that lovely orangey-red colour.
-Oh, yeah, wow.
-The females are just dark on the underside there.
The only way I can handle this is because I'm with you
-and you have a licence.
-That's right, yeah.
I'll hand this one back to you, Rob.
Well, I've managed to find five out of the six British reptiles,
which I think's incredible given the time and the size of the area.
They'd make the perfect subject for this year's
Countryfile photographic competition,
with its theme - a walk on the wild side.
'But don't forget, these animals are protected.
'Make sure you don't inadvertently harm any wildlife, and remember,
'smooth snakes and sand lizards have special protection,
'which means that disturbing them, even to take a photograph,
'may require a licence.
'There are links on our website
'with the information you need to take your photos responsibly.'
Remember, we're after pictures of wildlife,
wild landscapes or even wild weather.
The best 12 will be put together in a calendar for 2013
sold in aid of Children In Need.
Here's John with a reminder of how to enter.
Our competition isn't open to professionals,
and entries must not have won any other competitions
because what we're looking for is original work.
'You can enter up to four photos, which must have been taken in the UK.
'Please write your name, address,
'and a daytime and evening phone number on the back of each photo,
'with a note of where it was taken.'
And then all you have to do is send your entries to...
'Whoever takes the winning photo, as voted for by Countryfile viewers,
'can choose from a range of the latest photographic equipment
'to the value of £1,000.
'And the person who takes the picture the judges like best
'gets to pick equipment to the value of £500.'
The full terms and conditions are on our website,
where you'll also find details of the BBC's code of conduct
The closing date is July 22nd,
and I'm sorry but we can't return any entries.
So, the best of luck.
So if you're thinking of heading out and about with your camera
this week, here's the Countryfile weather forecast.
The beautiful Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.
Earlier, I took a tour of some of the places here
that inspired children's author Enid Blyton.
She holidayed here for more than 20 years,
staying at a hotel not too far from here.
And Enid's Famous Five would spend their holidays
on a bay much like this.
"'Come on, let's have a jolly good swim!'
"They all plunged through the big curling breakers,
"squealing as the water dashed over their bodies, cold and stinging.
"They chased one another, swam underwater
"and grabbed at the legs swimming there
"and wished they hadn't forgotten to bring the big red rubber ball."
I think it's a little bit nippy for a swim today,
but the good news is I've remembered a ball.
Time for a good old-fashioned game of beach cricket.
'It's all part of a scheme to bring people
'to Studland Beach and Nature Reserve.'
Yes, catch! Oh!
'1950s beach activities for a spot of Famous Five fun.'
OK, this is Emma
from the National Trust, who's now wading deep in.
It was Emma's idea that we came here.
Promoting beach cricket, look at that, that's brilliant.
Nice one, Emma.
This is all part of the idea, to get people down onto the beach, Emma?
Yeah, definitely. To come down, have a great day out,
get sort of into the old-fashioned sports and activities
and really enjoy themselves.
So what else are you doing, then? You say old-fashioned activities.
We've got some beach cricket that's going on, obviously.
We've got quoits,
which is going on, sort of throwing hoops onto structures on the ground.
We've got beach huts to hire
and explore and enjoy those sort of activities as well.
Yeah. How popular is this beach?
It's incredibly popular. Not today, but it's a really popular beach.
We have up to 25,000 visitors on a busy day with the sunshine.
-So yeah, it's great.
So what are you finding the best ways of kind of marrying
tourism with conservation?
Obviously tourists are incredibly important to us
because all the money that tourists bring into this area,
that's what we use to spend in our conservation work.
The beautiful landscapes that you see in front of you,
that's paid for by the tourists coming in.
So there is a complete sort of synergy of the two of them.
Oh, look at that! That was brilliant, tremendous.
Right, come on, you lot, I'm sure you've worked up an appetite.
OK, right, grab a plate, everyone.
'Good, old-fashioned fun, and lashings of ginger beer.'
-It's quite nice now.
-Yeah, see, I told you, didn't I?
'The spirit of The Famous Five lives on in the Isle of Purbeck,
'a place Enid Blyton held so dear.
'And talking of the spirit of The Famous Five,
'there's just one more thing to do.'
The dog's asleep, we're all relaxed. There we are. Cheers.
-Happy 70th. There we go.
That's all we've got time for
from Enid Blyton's beloved Isle of Purbeck.
Next week we're going to be delving into the Countryfile archives,
looking at the British countryside from above.
Hope you can join us then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
The team visit the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, where Matt Baker celebrates the 70th anniversary of Enid Blyton's Famous Five. He visits Corfe Castle, the inspiration for Kirrin Castle, before teeing off on the golf course once owned by Blyton but now managed by the National Trust as an SSSI site.
Ellie Harrison is on the hunt for reptiles. She is hoping to find all six British reptiles in a very small area of land. The smooth snake is particularly rare and elusive, so it is top of her list. Adam Henson is also in Dorset. He is out with the Wildlife Trust on a special kayak with a glass bottom looking at the eco-system under the surface, and finding out why they want it to be named as a Marine Protected Area.
Tom Heap investigates whether you would like to have nuclear waste buried beneath you. That's what councils in Britain are being asked to do at the moment. But is volunteering to bury waste really a good idea?
Katie Knapman looks at the geology of the Jurassic Dorset coast. She sees how the historic rock formations inspire artists and extreme climbers alike. And Adam is on his farm in the Cotswolds, where his Gloucester old spot pigs are getting a bit hot in the sun.