Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison travel to the south of England to discover the beautiful landscapes of Cranborne Chase, while Adam Henson explains the dangers of farm work.
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Covering four counties,
it's one of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in England.
Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs have it all -
rolling chalk grassland, crystal clear waters and ancient woodland.
At its heart, the Cranborne estate, home to Viscount Cranborne.
The family have lived here for nearly half a century,
relying on traditional farming techniques to manage the land
with some very impressive rare breeds.
The chalk grasslands found on Cranborne Chase
are important habitats, and keeping this precious landscape in tip-top condition takes a lot of TLC.
After years of neglect, scrub has overwhelmed along the hill,
but help is at hand.
This army of grafters are trying to clear the area and return it
to its original chalk grassland.
There are plenty of rewards on offer in exchange for their efforts.
Wonder what I'll get in return.
Rewards are few and far between for some of our fisherman,
as John's been finding out.
Our coastline is dotted with small fishing ports, but these days,
with strict rules over what they can catch,
many fishermen are struggling to survive.
So I'll be investigating whether plans to change those rules
could give a new lease of life to our small inshore fleets
and the communities that depend on them.
And Adam's out to improve safety down on the farm,
because danger lurks in the unlikeliest places.
Piglets may be one of the cutest farm animals,
but once they grow up into a great big sow like this,
they can be dangerous, and they're powerful animals.
I've got to catch these piglets to wean them, and it can be a tricky operation.
Come on, pig, pig, pig.
Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
At 380 square miles, it takes in four counties -
Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and Hampshire.
The Chase takes its name from Cranborne Manor, which is part of the Marquess of Salisbury's estate.
The family have owned and worked the land here
for the best part of 400 years.
The estate farms around 4,000 acres.
It's mainly arable - crops like wheat, barley,
oilseed rape and peas.
The farmland is managed with conservation in mind.
Gavin Falville is the estate manager.
Gavin, what kind of benefits do you think this land has seen
from being kept in the same family for 400 years?
I think it's the ability to take a longer term view in decision-making,
whether it's the way tress are planted or hedges are managed,
and being prepared to be patient that you might not see something in your generation.
-The majority of the estate these days is farming.
We farm an in-home farm ourselves where we grow cereals
and we've got white pot cattle, rare breed cattle.
It's principally cereal farming.
Then we've got six main farm tenants who have been here
with their families for three or four generations.
They have a right to renew
and they're very much a part of the wider estate family here.
As its name suggests,
the Chase was originally a medieval hunting ground,
and those hunting rights have had a lasting impact on the character
of the landscape we see now.
But today's hunting parties are not in search of a prized stag.
The guns have turned their attention to game birds.
It's the middle of the shooting season,
and a busy time for estate beatkeeper Mark.
So, Mark, here we are in November.
What stage are the partridge at in their life cycle?
Well, basically, they will still be in their family groups.
That would consist of anything from eight to 10,
right up to... They could have 20.
20 young, really?!
And Mum and Dad can look after them quite well,
even when there are that many?
Yes, they are very good parents.
How many birds roughly do you have on the estate?
This year we had just over 200, which is...
We doubled up from last year. So I was really chuffed about that.
The grey partridge was at one time the most popular sporting quarry.
Yet, within the last 40 years,
numbers of breeding pairs have dropped by 80%,
mainly due to modern farming practices.
It is now on the red list of endangered species.
Chalky lowland is a perfect habitat for them,
so the estate is managing the land to help boost numbers on the Chase.
You have these beetle banks just in front of us.
Yes, the partridge will nest in here
and then she'll go out into what we call the brood-rearing strip.
Which is a strip which has been planted by the farm,
and it doesn't get sprayed or fertilised,
so that obviously the weeds come up
and then you get the insects and caterpillars, and all that sort of thing.
And as far as supplementing them is concerned,
I can see some feeders up here.
The job is to fill those up at the moment?
Yes. This is one of the feeders we use for feeding the partridges.
Basically, we fill this with wheat, so, if you undo that...
There we go.
-Right, so wheat goes in at the top.
-Wheat goes in...
And there's a spring in the bottom,
and basically they come, just peck, and that's how they feed.
Simple but very effective.
-That's the way.
-I've got probably about 100 feeders
over this part of the estate.
It is basically winter food.
Within the past year, the estate has put in 12 beetle banks,
and plans for more, in an effort to help reverse the national decline.
Now, over the next few years, we're going to see big changes
to the rules governing fishing off our shores.
But how will they affect the many coastal communities around Britain
that rely on the industry to survive?
John has been to investigate.
It's just before dawn at West Mersea in Essex.
Andrew and Johnny French are off to work.
Leave those nets. Right.
They are inshore fishermen who cast their nets from a small boat
along estuaries and shorelines,
part of what's known as the "under 10 metre" fleet.
They're setting off for another 12-hour day, maybe for little return.
Fishing always has been an uncertain livelihood with boom and bust.
You have good times and bad.
But this year we have had a lot of bad and not much good.
Like many small-time fishermen, he is struggling to make ends meet.
The government is worried.
I want to see a better deal for our inshore fleet,
who largely fish sustainably and need better fishing opportunities.
Andrew has been fishing these waters since he was 15.
These days, he sails with his son, Johnny.
While they are at sea,
I'm off to see how their other halves are coping.
How difficult is it to survive on the money that Andrew and Johnny bring in?
In the last few months, they have hardly earnt anything.
It's only in the last two weeks that they've caught any fish
that are worth anything.
-So, pretty tough times at the moment?
They can be very frustrated, sleepless nights and just miserable.
So why do they still go fishing?
Why not give it up and look for a job on land?
I think my husband is fifth or sixth generation
of fishermen in our family.
So it's in his blood.
It's not only THEIR livelihoods that are at stake.
In places like West Mersea here on the Essex coast,
fishing is a pivotal part of life,
and many other people depend on the catches that come in.
Like this local fish shop and restaurant.
There's the fishermen who catch the fish,
and then there are the people onshore that sell it like us,
retailers, or who sell it wholesale around the country
or even for export.
They are the trades that keep fisher boats going,
the engineers and shipwrights
who also do work for the yachting community here as well.
In your time, how much have things changed here?
Well, there used to be a lot of bolt fishing in the winter,
for herring and sprats, which is now long gone.
It's now mainly a summertime fishery.
So the kind of boats have changed and the type of fishing has changed,
but they are very much on a knife edge at the moment.
The big problem is how much fish they are allowed to catch.
The quota restrictions have been a nightmare for us this year.
They were allocating monthly quotas
that you wouldn't have managed for a week on.
Almost all species around here
have limits on the amounts fishermen can land.
The European Union sets quotas to protect stocks,
but it is the UK government that divides our quota up
between our fishing fleets, according to the size of the boats.
The available quota has been split unfairly between the big boys,
the producer organisations, and the "under 10 metre" fleet.
At present, 97% of the available quota
is in the control of either producer organisations or other individuals,
so the likes of us have got 3%.
Hence the problem of getting a living now.
And that 3% is split between more than 5,000 boats.
It's a problem that's now in hands of Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon.
The small boat fishermen reckon they're pretty badly done by,
because they only get 3% percent of the total quota.
Statistically, they are absolutely right.
This is a product of an extraordinary system of management
which has failed them, failed the fishing industry as a whole.
We want to see changes.
Industry experts say it's not just the small boats
that are getting a bad deal.
I think it's important to appreciate that the reduction
in quotas has had a huge impact right across the industry.
3% - that figure is not that helpful,
because the 100% includes fish
that the under tens would have no prospect of catching.
You don't send an "under 10 metre" vessel
out into the Atlantic, for example.
So I don't think this is a David and Goliath issue.
I think there are specific problems in specific areas,
and that is what we need to address.
Not all seafood is subject to quota. For instance,
these oysters can be freely caught in the waters around here.
So the answer seems obvious.
Go for captures that are not subject to quotas.
One of the boats has actually diversified this year into shellfish,
but there's not scope for all of us to do that.
We would be very unpopular if we if we try to muscle in on someone else's
fishing ground or location when they are probably already struggling
to get a living on their bit.
We're really in a corner
where you can't seem to see the way ahead at the moment.
It's a very difficult period.
After all these years of decline and uncertainty,
Britain's inshore fishermen need a rainbow of hope.
Could it come in new reforms to the EU fishing policy?
Could it come in plans that the government have for their future?
That is what I will be examining in a few minutes' time.
A landscape of stunning variety,
from gentle pastures to wooded hillsides.
But it's not an entirely a natural landscape.
It takes a lot of work to keep up with this chase.
Every week, a tenacious team of young people grab their shovels
and get to work, whatever the weather.
They are all local, but instead of paper rounds, they choose to work here.
They don't get paid,
but their hard graft isn't without its rewards.
Their latest project is Long Hill near Mere,
an overgrown mound of dense, neglected scrub.
It's not for the fainthearted.
The mission is to get Long Hill looking more like this
open chalk downland.
But before I head over there to give the guys at hand, first,
I need to understand what is so special about it.
'The chalky landscape here was one of the reasons Cranborne Chase
'was designated an area of outstanding natural beauty 30 years ago.
'For planning adviser Richard,
'the main aim is to conserve that beauty.'
So what is it that's so special about open chalk downland?
There's not a lot of it left these days.
Farming's got to make a decent business,
so anything that's flat will be cultivated.
The chalk grasslands that used to be here 200 years ago -
well, now there isn't much of it.
It needs to be grazed cattle, sheep.
That's when the wildlife comes in. The rare species, the orchids,
they flourish in that tightly nibbled down area of grass.
So if there's less sheep, you will get scrub growth on that hillside.
And what is so wrong, really, with the habitat
and environment you get over there on Long Hill?
Why is that scrub so that?
-It is not bad per se, but you can get scrub anywhere.
It makes its own microclimate
and it's crowding out all those interesting things.
With some ecological knowledge under my belt it is time to head across
to Long Hill and get to work.
The young people are out today repairing footpaths.
They are rewarded by a clever credit system funded by local
authorities and various community organisations.
At the helm is youth worker Jackie Farrell.
You look very industrious over here. Tell us, how does this scheme work?
They are young people that give up their spare time,
to work on conservation projects in the community,
and then they earn credits, based on their teamwork,
commitment to the job, and the task in hand,
how well they get on with each other.
-They can get from 0 to 12 credits in a day session.
-What is the average?
The average - a lot of these often get around 9 and 10.
Certain jobs are more labour-intensive.
-What can they use the credits for?
They talk to us about trips. We organise group trips.
Tomorrow we're going to Alton Towers.
-Are you all right, Marco?
Are you going to give us a go on the saw?
Yes. Just keep going so we can saw it to level it off.
-So it is not sticking out too much.
-Cool. All right.
-I've already done a bit.
-You have done all the hard bit for me.
-How many credits will this get me?
-A few if you kept doing it all day.
What do you reckon to the whole conservation project here?
-There is a lot of work ahead of you.
-Yes, it is a really big task.
We've been working on it for years now. It is a big project.
We are getting through it slowly. We are going to do it.
-You have got a good positive attitude. I like it.
I have nearly done it. There we go. Have a credit on me.
Long Hill is owned by Mere Parish Council
so it is a great opportunity for the young and the older
to work side-by-side.
Until they started here three or four years ago
you could not walk through here. It was totally overgrown.
They are clearing the pathways and doing a marvellous job.
I guess it is fair to say there was a little bit of an unsettling
relationship with how we view young people these days
especially after this summer.
Is this the antidote to that?
I think it is excellent. What these kids do is wonderful.
It's getting them a work ethic, if that's the right word.
-They enjoy doing it.
They are learning a bit about the environment.
They are improving the whole lot.
They think it gives them a sense of belonging.
So when they are adults and have got children, instead of being vandals
they will say, "I worked for years on that footpath,
-"you look after it."
-They have left their mark.
How did this become so overgrown in the first place?
It was farmed until 1976, when the bypass came through
and they built houses the other side.
This then became an island of chalk hill in the middle
and nobody could get to it to farm it.
It became totally overgrown for 35 years.
It will take a fair while to get back to it.
-It will be a 10-year scheme to clear it.
-That is a lot of credits.
Yes, absolutely. The youth club won't run out of things to do.
We have finished our day working on the hill.
We are back at the youth centre now
in time to see how many credits I got.
'This is how it works.
'The guys say how many credits they think they deserve, then Jackie
'and the other youth workers go away to discuss each individual.
'They make the ultimate decision.'
OK then, guys. Are you ready?
Kimmy, you got six. Michael, a nine.
-Marco, you got an eight. Kelly...
-I want a score!
You want a score. They did say they wanted to give you a score.
Right, guys, we can't score Ellie.
-this is going to be so harsh.
-Any advances on two?
-I will take four.
-You'll take four.
-I will take four.
-I saw you sawing.
-I did see you sawing!
-This is so harsh!
This is a landscape that has been shaped by humans over
thousands of years and now it is being handed to the next generation.
I think it is in good hands.
Earlier we heard how coastal communities are struggling to
make money from fishing, so will new rules
on how much they can catch help give them a brighter future? Here's John.
Give us a shout at the last three. That's it? OK.
Many of our inshore fishermen are in danger of going bust,
putting the future of coastal communities at risk.
Fishermen say that tight quotas
on what they can catch mean
they simply cannot bring enough home to make a decent living.
But things are set to change through reforms by both
the European Parliament and the UK Government.
If we do not get this right this time we know what could be the state
of fish stocks in United Kingdom waters and the state of the fishing industry.
By the end of next year, we will have a new Common Fisheries
Policy which governs all EU fishing boats both big and small.
So what is changing?
One thing is for sure. The EU wants to put an end to this.
Discarding dead fish back into the sea.
In the spring there was a lot of skate.
The quota was half a tonne a month.
We quickly caught that in the first few days of the month.
From then on we had to throw them all back.
One particular day we had to throw quarter of a tonne back.
As you can imagine that makes us feel gutted.
If anyone was caught landing them, they would be prosecuted quickly.
That is something that this young fisherman is all too familiar with.
We cannot name him because he faces prosecution for illegally landing fish.
I caught skate, not targetting skate,
by the time I got them on board in the nets they're dead
so instead of dumping them back dead
which is what DEFRA want me to do,
I've landed them and now I've been threatened
-with a £50,000 fine.
-Would that put you out of business?
Under the proposed new regulations all discarded fish will have
to be brought ashore.
How do you feel about that?
It is definitely the way forward.
But banning discards alone will not solve the problem.
Andrew is a former fisherman. For him there is only one solution.
Fishermen need 200, 300, 400 times
the amount of quota they have at the moment to be at all viable.
What is the answer?
The answer is to reallocate the quota that is unused
in this area.
There is in this area at the present time, £8.2 million worth of sole
and skate quota going unused.
That would keep all the boats from Folkestone to North Yorkshire
very happy and local economies would benefit from that wealth
And 25% of that money would go out in tax.
The issue of unused quota is controversial
but the government is taking views like Andrew's on board.
The problem is that the over 10 metres sector
are in a state of crisis as well.
We do not want to be robbing one side to help another, but that is
the opportunity through some quota stocks which are under-used,
to reallocate quotas more fairly to support the under-ten sector.
So they will get a bigger quota?
They will get more fishing opportunity and that is crucial.
They will also get the support they need
to manage that as a fishing community.
And here in fishing villages like West Mersea the Government
wants to try something new.
Instead of issuing individual quotas to fishermen it wants
to test a community quota system where fishermen would
decide between themselves just how much each of them catches.
It also believes that that would help them improve the way
that they market their fish.
Come next January this community could be one of the first
to pilot the new scheme
intended specifically to help our under-10-metre fleet.
And it will be just in the nick of time for Andrew
and Johnny who have had yet another poor catch.
-Hello, Tony, it's Andrew.
Two or three stone of bass if you need them.
'Bring them out. That would be good. I'd appreciate that.'
There you go.
That is the fish sold, not that there's much of it. There it is.
-Not a very good day, I gather.
It has been one of those years altogether.
Do you think this idea of community quotas in future that is
being tested out here will work?
It is a lifeline for us. We are very hopeful it will work.
Do you think all you fishermen can agree between yourselves
about how much you should have?
Yes we will have two. Without it, I think we are finished.
The Government's plans may give new hope to inshore fishermen,
but across Europe there is a bigger problem.
The European Commission says that 75% of fish stocks
are overfished and they want these back to healthy levels by 2015.
Does that mean that quotas are going to have to be slashed?
There is no clear answer yet.
It is going to cause difficulties for fishermen in some ports
who will be facing quite severe cuts in quota,
but the good news is that there is some good science showing that
fish stocks in many areas are recovering.
We have got to be so careful not to impose huge increases where we
do not have the science to support it.
But getting a bigger quota is now vital
for fishermen like Andrew and Johnny.
-What is the future for yourselves and the fishing community?
-It is bleak.
We have had fishing community here for over 100 years.
It would be a shame to see it decline.
Later, Matt lends a hand to the villagers going door-to-door
with their home-grown produce.
Adam is putting safety at the top of his agenda
because farming is a dangerous business.
-That is going to hurt!
-That is going to hurt!
And for farmers and everyone else
There's the Countryfile forecast for the week ahead.
Deep in the heart of Hampshire, an hour from Cranborne Chase,
is Laverstoke Park Farm.
Jules has been finding out what makes it a little different.
At first glance this farm is pretty much like any other.
Ploughed fields, rolling hills,
hedgerows, animals grazing.
In fact this is exactly what you'd expect a kind anywhere in the county.
Except these are water buffalo.
This is the largest herd in the UK.
Dairy manager Nigel looks after these curious beasts.
Here we are in the heart of Hampshire
surrounded by how many water buffalo?
-In this field there's about 160.
-How is it to look after them?
Do you husband them the same as you would beef cattle?
These are all milking cows.
From a stockmanship point of view, they are easy to look after.
-Are they? They are incredibly curious creatures.
They react to people very well.
Some would say they're intimidating with these horns.
But they are all relaxed.
Yes. Watch that one behind you!
Thank you(!) I am looking all over the place.
They respond to people really well.
What's the big difference?
We associate them with big pools of water and wallowing in mud.
Do they do that here or are they grazing normally?
They absolutely love wallowing.
If there are any puddles they will build it into
a swimming pool-sized hole and wallow in that.
They do it because in the summer it is their way of losing heat.
-You have obviously got a great deal of affection for them.
-I love them.
I loved working with dairy cows for 40 years,
but these are is so refreshing.
And the water buffalo are not the only thing that sets this farm apart.
In the driving seat is Jody Scheckter.
'And Jody Scheckter wins...'
Back in the 1970s Jody was a Formula One driver,
becoming world champion in 1979.
Since then he has swapped the racetrack for a 2,500 acre farm.
The life of a farmer is a far cry from the fast lane of motor racing.
How did it start for you?
I have always been a foodie.
I have always done a lot of exercise and been keen on health.
I said I will produce the best tasting
healthiest food for myself and my family.
It is not just a hobby is it?
I had to try to understand how it could become sustainable.
You needed some volume and that's why it got bigger really.
I am organic because I believe that is the way
to produce the best tasting healthiest food.
And to produce the best-tasting food you need the best soil.
Jody subscribes to a philosophy which sees the farm as a whole.
The animals are important, but so too is the compost.
They make 25,000 tonnes per year and it is his magic ingredient.
Everything we do is to produce the best tasting healthiest food.
This had to be part of it.
We are growing animals here - fungi, bacterias,
and then it goes on to the land.
We put as much diversity in this as we can.
Diversity is the real key to a natural environment.
There is diversity in our grass. We have 31 herbs in our glasses.
Our cows are slow-growing. Our animals are mostly rare breed
because they're slow-growing, not because I'm trying to save the world.
Do you think that the success here
is acting as a model for other farms like this in the future?
Yes, I think we're doing a lot of things, and looking at them in a different light
Because I didn't farm and my father didn't farm, I just look at it as a clean sheet
and maybe see things other people didn't see.
Back at the dairy, they're gearing up the milking time.
Over 1,000 buffalo have to be milked twice a day.
Compared with a standard dairy cow, water buffalo produce
two thirds less milk at around 2,000 litres a year.
Milking is now well under way,
but the big question is, what do they do with all of this milk?
Here, they are one of the few places in Britain
that set about the task of trying to make a classic Italian cheese.
The on-farm dairy produces
69 tonnes of mozzarella a year from its buffalo herd.
They are one of the first serious producers in the UK.
As you'd expect on this farm, that means getting in an expert.
Italian Tommaso Valenzano has been making mozzarella for years.
This curd, we use to make the mozzarella.
It almost looks like mozzarella now.
'First, the curd is separated from the whey.'
We add the curd, just the curd,
for stretching in the stretching machine.
'And once it has been melted and stretch, it's into the moulds.
So this is the finished product?
The mozzarella is creamy and....
'It's then cooled in salt water and finito!'
I'm not just saying this, that is absolutely delicious!
-I'm just going to keep eating.
-On the salad, it is fantastic.
If an Italian is helping make the cheese,
it's only right to get another one in to try it.
Top chef Aldo Zilli loves mozzarella. But British?
Well, we're about to find out what he thinks.
There you go, a nice plateful of buffalo mozzarella.
Buffalo mozzarella in Italy,
it's still a little bit of a luxury. People eat it on a Sunday
when they want something a little bit special.
Otherwise, they have the cow's milk mozzarella.
-Mozzarella, it's a staple part of the Italian diet?
And Buffalo mozzarella, you don't cut it with a knife.
You just break it with your fingers. Look at that.
I am going to serve it with
this wonderful mixture of roasted tomatoes and some red onion.
-In a way, you're just letting it breathe.
-Beautiful food at its best.
A couple of tomatoes. Colours...
basil on top, extra virgin olive oil.
-And there is your lunch.
-You've never seen...
It's only fair that the boss gets to taste it too.
I want you to try this with the tomatoes, see what you think.
That is lovely.
You just brought me back 30 years.
And I am growing up on my farm again. It's amazing.
Is it as good as Italian buffalo mozzarella, or better?
-If nothing else, it's as good.
-It is fabulous.
-I would be very happy to serve this in my restaurant.
There you have it. English buffalo mozzarella, approved by an Italian.
Farming can be a very dangerous business.
On average, more than 40 people die in accidents on farms every year,
making it one of the most dangerous industries in the UK today.
Reducing the number of deaths is a priority for everyone.
This week, Adam is doing his bit
by hosting a health and safety awareness day.
I've lived and worked on this farm all my life.
It's a wonderful place to step out of the house and come to work.
But sometimes, you can feel a little bit too relaxed,
a bit blase about some of the dangers you face on the farm.
There's livestock, and there's lots of machines that we work with.
It's a responsibility to look after myself,
but also all the staff on the farm
and make sure they're working in the safest environment possible.
I'm feeding these cattle some apple pulp.
It's a by-product of pressing apple for juice that a mate of mine does.
It's really good for them. These are steers, they're castrated males
that we're fattening up for beef. Puts a nice bit of finish on them
Cattle can be very dangerous animals. I'm confident being amongst them and working with them.
But they are big. They weigh, these ones, about 400 kilos.
If they step on your toe, they can break your foot.
They can butt you and barge you out the way.
Get on the wrong side of them and they can give you a hefty kick.
These ones haven't got horns,
but some of my cattle have got great big horns, like the Highlands.
Get a horn under your chest, it could rip your chest open. So you do have to be very careful.
The stats back up the need to be cautious.
Last year, a shocking six people died due to cattle-related incidents in the UK
and many more were injured.
It's important when you work with livestock to never let your guard down.
I'll often carry a stick to protect myself or to move them on.
Over the last few months, working with cattle on the farm,
I can think of various times when I could have got hurt.
Hand-milking cows present their own risks.
Just last week, I was reminded how dangerous these animals can be.
That rear leg is extremely powerful and can do some damage.
Standing in the right position and knowing the signals are vital.
When you're milking a cow, if you stick your head in their hip
like this, if they're about to kick you,
you can feel it in your head before the foot hits you.
I'll be able to jump backwards if she is about to kick me.
While carrying out a routine TB test with my White Parks last month,
one of the cows decided to fight back in the testing cage.
This just shows the importance of securing the animals
in the right equipment for both the safety of the animal and the workers.
But cattle aren't the only dangerous animal on my farm.
Piglets have got to be one of the cutest farm animals there are,
but once they grow up into a big sow like this,
they can be pretty dangerous.
A pig can give you a very nasty bite and they're powerful animals.
I'm going to catch these piglets to wean them, to take them off their mother.
It can be a tricky operation. Come on, pig, pig, pig.
I want to get them all in the hut so I can catch them. Go on.
That's it. Right, got the ones I need.
Just got to get the trailer in and load them up.
Pig boards are good things to have. A pig won't go where they can't see.
Moving a pig like this, when you're loading it up into a trailer, it's a bit of an alien environment for them.
They'll be flustered, stressed and the sows can get aggressive.
I'll be taking her piglets away from her and she won't like that.
She could attack me.
Come on, then.
Next, I need to separate the sow from her young
so I can give the piglets a worming injection to kill any stomach worms.
Right, that's it. She's that side, I'm this side.
I'll just get the injection, and job sorted.
I just hold their mouths to stop them squealing too much,
but also so they don't shake their heads around and bite me.
They've got quite sharp teeth. There you go, that one done.
Just give them all a mark so I know which ones I've done.
With all this squealing going on, the sow gets wound up a little bit.
If she was in here now, she'd have my leg off.
It's all about safety on the farm.
I'm hosting a safety and health awareness day.
These events are run most weeks at different locations across the UK.
Today, it's taking place on my farm.
I'm meeting with Nigel Long, principal inspector of health and safety from the HSE.
It's great to be hosting this event here today,
but is there still a lot of work to be done
-when it comes to health and safety on farms?
Farms are dangerous places.
Over the last 10 years, 455 people have killed on farms
and many more have been seriously injured.
All the evidence is that that number is carrying on,
even though the number of people farming is reducing.
The instructors use visual aids to help bring the demonstrations to life.
Lead instructor Brian Rees is on hand to take me through the demos.
I'm sure we've all done this on farms -
gone up in a bucket to sort something out in the gutters or on the roof.
Yes, we've all been very tempted to do this.
there are so many accidents every year
where farmers have really bad falls.
That's going to hurt.
Yes, that's going to hurt. Very few farmers that have a serious fall like that get up and walk away.
-If that was onto concrete, it would be even worse.
It certainly makes it very visual, quite shocking for the people watching
and that's what you need for the message to go in.
Very often, all it needs is a little bit of thought
before you start doing the job and you can eliminate the risks before you begin.
What are you demonstrating here?
What we're looking at here is safe electricity on farms.
Unfortunately, farmers are still making contacts with power lines.
We demonstrate what happens to them when a machine,
or a ladder, or an irrigation pipe actually hits the cables.
I'll give you a little bit of power now. If you take that there.
-I have the power.
-You have the power.
If you push that button...
I can assure you, you would not want to be in the machine.
What happens is it kills the engine,
you can't then drop the bucket down,
so you are trapped in your cab.
If you happen to step out of the cab,
it's protected because it's got rubber tyres.
-If you make contact with the ground, you short it out...
you electrocute yourself.
Only in an absolute last emergency would you consider jumping from the cab.
The next demo is all about the use of quad bikes.
Farmer Roger James knows about the dangers only too well.
Quad bikes bring back some horrible memories for you.
You had a bit of a close shave?
Yes, I was moving some cows on a Sunday morning, relaxed mood,
and went up a hill, a hill I should not have gone up
and the quad bike came on top of me.
-What was the outcome?
-I fractured my pelvis in three places,
I'm pinned across the front, the side and in my backbone.
I can't do no tractor driving, or very little tractor driving.
I can't do any lifting, I can't do much handling of stock or anything.
As far as my home life, it's just a total disaster.
My social life and everything has gone.
We all think that health and safety is a menace to us in our business,
but the lads have got a lot of common sense.
We need to listen to what they're saying
for us to enable us to carry on with our work, basically,
not to get into situations we shouldn't be in.
I'm keen to find out how to operate the vehicles properly.
The last 10 people that have been killed on quads,
eight of them would have survived if they had been wearing a helmet.
It's absolutely vital that people wear a helmet when operating them.
What's he demonstrating here?
You need to transfer your weight on the machine by moving back and forth.
We describe this as active riding, to maintain weight on all four wheels at any one time.
-And now going up a hill.
-You can see the way he's moving up the hill.
He's sliding his body weight forward on the machine.
He's keeping plenty of weight on the front wheels.
One typical accident that happens on these machines
is when people drive up a steep bank and the bike comes back over on top of them.
Exactly the same as Roger had a couple of years ago.
So to avoid accidents like Roger's,
it's vital that all farmers understand potential risks.
Getting health and safety across in practical visual demonstrations
like we have seen today really seems to work well.
And apparently, the feedback is that 95% of farmers
that come on these courses would recommend them to other people.
Accidents and fatalities on farms
must cause a huge amount of heartache for those concerned.
As an industry, if we're going to shout about how great British farming is,
the figures show, when it comes to health and safety,
that we really need to carry on tidying up our act.
Next week, I'm on the hunt for a new bull to add to one of my rare-breed herds.
The parish of Martin.
It nudges into the neighbouring county,
making it the most westerly village in Hampshire.
164 households make up the village of Martin,
yet it doesn't have a post office or a pub.
Up until recently, if you wanted to do the weekly shop,
you had to travel to Salisbury, 12 miles away.
Things began to change eight years ago
when the locals decided to take charge.
They shunned the supermarket and started up a grow-your-own scheme.
It's a non-profit making co-operative
made up of volunteers from the village, like Janet Richards.
This is wonderful, isn't it?
-Give us an idea of what you've got growing in here, then.
Well, in the polytunnel, we've got some fresh salads - Swiss chard,
purple sprouting broccoli, brussels sprouts, and right over
there we've got carrots, beetroot and parsnips.
As well as the vegetables, we've got pigs, which we raise for meat,
and we've got chickens for eggs as well.
-How many volunteers do you have working on it?
Because that's the key - the labour. The cost, if you were paying for it,
would be astronomical, wouldn't it?
Yeah. I think we must have at least 40 volunteers, maybe 50.
The project has brought people together from all walks of life.
-Did you grow a lot of veg before you started with this?
-I grew flowers.
-And I'm converted now. Now I just grow veg.
It's been amazing, and the way it's encompassed
the whole community would be underestimated.
-It's drawn the community together in lots of ways.
12 months ago, the co-operative opened a village shop.
It's run by volunteers and is only open a couple of hours a day,
but it's doing really well.
It stocks their own grown produce plus other local supplies
of honey, beef and lamb.
Their entrepreneurial skills don't end there,
as the volunteers are just about to start a box scheme,
and I'm going to help out with the very first one. Janet.
Now then, what's going in here?
Well, we're going to put in some potatoes and onions,
which are coming out of store.
Some nice big onions here. They've done really well this year.
Let's have a nice cabbage.
-Everybody gets a bag of salad,
freshly picked this morning.
This whole idea came about as you were worried about the food miles.
Do you worry that this delivery service might negate that issue?
I don't think so. Most people drive to get their weekly shopping anyway.
And a lot of the vegetables in the supermarkets
have probably come from thousands of miles away,
so I think it's still pretty local.
-Oh, lovely job. There we are. And a parsnip as well.
-How does that look? Are you pleased with it?
Eggs are there as well.
-OK, say goodbye to your first delivery.
-Here we go. See you later on.
-Is it Gillian?
-Hello! Yes, it is. This is lovely.
-Thank you very much.
-You pleased with that?
-I am indeed.
-It looks gorgeous.
-That is the first-ever box delivery.
-Thank you so much. That's very nice.
-Thank you. I will do.
-See you, now.
The volunteers of Martin have worked hard for nearly eight years
growing their own, and it's great that other villagers
can now enjoy the fruits of their labour too.
Well, there's just 33 days to go until Christmas
and if you're stuck for ideas, how about one of these -
our Countryfile calendar, sold in aid of Children In Need?
Here's John, with all the details of how to get your hands on one.
The calendar costs £9 and a minimum of £4 from each sale
will go to Children In Need.
You can order it right now on our website:
Or you can call the order line, on:
You can also order by post. Send your name, address and cheque to:
And please make your cheques payable to "BBC Countryfile Calendar."
In a moment, Ellie will be finding out how the humble bicycle
opened up the countryside to folk, but before that
let's get the weather,
with the Countryfile forecast for the week ahead.
Matt and I have been exploring Cranborne Chase
and the West Wiltshire Downs,
an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty dipping into four counties.
I'm in the Wiltshire bit.
For me, one of the best ways to enjoy the countryside is on a bike.
You can go for miles and you're only burning calories, not fuel,
so it's amazing for the environment, AND...it's free!
The invention of the bicycle in the early 1800s had a massive impact
on society, transforming not only the way we travel
but the way we live.
It was especially handy if you lived in an isolated rural area,
and for those in towns and village, it opened up the countryside
for the first time.
I'm taking a slight detour to a place that knows its bicycles.
I'm north of Cranborne Chase,
in the honey-coloured, chocolate-box town of Bradford on Avon.
Believe it or not, this used to be an industrial town,
made famous for rubber production by the Victorian pioneer
That was one of the rubber-producing factories.
He was the first to bring samples of treated rubber to the UK
a material that went on to revolutionise
the world of transport.
But it was his descendant who made a more direct impact
on the way we get around.
If man's most important invention was the wheel,
then the Moulton family took it a step further.
Doctor Alex Moulton, Stephen's great-grandson,
was the brains behind a new design
that took Britain by storm in the 1960s - small-wheeled bicycles.
Before that, bikes were pretty standard -
bulky and diamond-framed, with large wheels.
Moulton made them portable, unisex,
and smashed the myth that small wheels meant slow wheels.
In an era of miniskirts and Mini cars, the mini bike was a hit,
and it's stood the test of time.
The bicycles are made in Bradford on Avon to this day,
here in the grounds of the Moulton family estate.
The family line didn't stop at Alex.
Today, his great-nephew Shaun is managing the business.
-Hi, Shaun, good to meet you.
-Hello, Ellie. How do you do?
So what was it about the design of the bike in the '60s
-that was so revolutionary?
-It was the Swinging '60s.
I think the world was ready for change then,
and the bicycle industry had been static in producing
large-wheeled road bikes for 60 years.
The small-wheeled Moulton that came out then
was something completely new, revolutionary, very easy to ride,
very efficient, fast acceleration,
easy to get on and off, and it looked cool.
To see the workings of such a classic, an enduring piece
of British engineering, makes my next encounter
all the more exciting.
I have the honour of meeting Dr Alex Moulton himself.
Aged 91, he still lives in Bradford on Avon,
Not far from the bicycle workshop.
How did you feel when the bicycle was first launched
and there was such interest around it?
At the Earl's Court Show in '62,
we were absolutely overwhelmed by people.
The public - "I want one! I want one!"
So that put the traders' noses out of joint a bit! Of course, yes.
The Moulton celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.
What started as a British craze has spread across the globe.
Today many are exported to Asia.
To fully appreciate the small-wheeled experience,
you have to get pedalling.
To ride a Moulton having just met its inventor is pretty special.
And now I've got my classic bicycle, I'm all set to go back in time.
The bicycle has been redesigned through the ages,
and while many are consigned to the history books,
some people are determined to keep the golden oldies on the road.
What a completely brilliant scene! We're back in the 1800s.
That was amazing, Phil.
-What a fantastic view and what a lot of tweed!
And the outfits are all part of what you do?
Yes. It brings in the atmosphere of the whole thing.
-And why ride these old bikes?
-Well, they're lovely to ride.
It's living history. This is a working antique.
And why was it so important that bikes came along?
-How did it change the way we all lived?
-It gave mobility.
The mobility we're so used to today.
People could move further for work, young men could go to other villages
other than the one they lived in to find young ladies,
so it in fact increased human biodiversity in many ways -
-it increased the gene pool.
-And there were health benefits too.
Even King George recommended that factory workers should get out
and get fresh air in their lungs by riding a bike in the countryside.
-And what's this you're riding?
-This is an 1890 Solid Tyred Safety.
-1890! Is there suspension on there?
-Oh, there is. Goodness.
Doesn't work very well, but it's suspension.
I'm very jealous. It looks like a lot of fun. I fancy a ride myself.
-Well, you're welcome to try it.
-I'm not sure about that.
The early bicycle, in all its shapes and sizes, allowed people
to tour and explore the countryside with freedom and independence.
It does look like a lot of fun.
Oh, what the heck - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Thank you. Slightly different era, perhaps!
I could get used to this.
That's it from a slightly dark and wet Cranborne Chase.
Next week I'll be taking to the waters to try out
a new canoeing route off the coast of Antrim,
while John will be exploring the farming traditions
in the Glens of Antrim.
See you then. Bye-bye.
I'll race you, Phil.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison travel to the south of England to discover the beautiful and varied landscapes of Cranborne Chase.
Matt visits the Cranborne Estate, where they are still using traditional methods of farming as well as breeding Adam's favourite, White Park cattle. Ellie gets her hands dirty, helping a group of volunteers restore part of the chase to its original chalk grassland, before going exploring on a bike famous for its little wheels.
Meanwhile, John Craven heads for the coast to discover whether there is a future for Britain's struggling fishing communities. Adam Henson explains the many dangers of working on a farm, and Jules Hudson gets stuck in with the largest water buffalo herd in Europe.