The team explores the Brecon Beacons. Matt Baker discovers geocaching, a treasure hunt with a modern twist, and meets an artist whose canvas is the night sky.
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and windswept hillsides.
The Brecon Beacons. Just look at this place.
It's a landscape waiting to be explored
and today is going to be full of digital discovery for me
because I'm going geocaching, and if you've never heard of it before,
think of it as a 21st century treasure hunt.
How far in was that? How are you supposed to find that?
Helen is taking a walk in the wild with a difference.
One thing you have to... Just give him a little bit of a tug.
They need to know who is boss.
You can see we are off the road.
Tom is asking why so many horses and riders are being injured
and killed on our roads.
I'm extremely lucky to be alive.
Digby basically saved my life.
If I was cycling up here that day, I would have been killed.
And Adam is visiting a hospital
where they are helping dogs with cancer.
It's extraordinary seeing this human technology
being used on dogs.
And brilliant that they can find out whether the cancer
has spread and then whether it is worth doing operations.
Lush, steep valleys crowned with spectacular summits.
Today we are visiting the unmistakable outlines
of an ancient glacial landscape.
Covering nearly 520 square miles of glorious Welsh valleys,
the Brecon Beacons National Park
stretches from Llandeilo in the west to Abergavenny in the east.
Somewhere in these hills,
hidden treasure is waiting to be discovered.
And making sure that I don't get lost before I've even started,
are the National Park's very own geocaching officers,
Ilona Carati and Billy Morgan.
They've set up simple trails around the Beacons,
melding modern technology with an ancient landscape.
Now, I've been billing this as a kind of
21st-century treasure hunt.
Ilona, is that fair?
Yeah, it's exactly what you are doing.
You are going out and you are finding caches, as they are called.
You are using modern technology to do it with.
And no two caches are the same,
but almost all contain a logbook to record your discovery
and often trinkets to exchange with fellow geocachers.
But it's the technology that is the key to unlocking the landscape
for the younger generation.
Tell your child that you are going for a walk,
the first things they'll say is, "How far?", or, "How long?"
So what we'd find with geocaching is that you've got some piece
of technology, usually that they are more familiar with than an adult,
or they will be very quickly,
and then they've suddenly walked
three, four kilometres without even really thinking about it.
Certainly in our purposes, that's amazing
because we are working with children that are very physically inactive.
So you can be quite extreme with it.
You can hit mountaintops or some are right next to where you park.
They are called cache and dashes.
And that's quite handy, maybe, if you are differently abled.
You might need somewhere that's got wheelchair access.
Before I can get started, I need the tools of the trail
and Billy has got just the thing,
a hand-held navigational device similar to a car sat-nav.
But we are heading strictly off-road.
It's sending me this way.
There we are.
I am using this little electronic gizmo,
but it's just as easy to go geocaching
with a free app on your smartphone.
79 metres. 79 metres to go.
So this little device here, then,
it's in conversation with satellites.
-That's how it's working.
-It tracks a number of satellites,
a minimum of three.
So, for those with smartphones that want to go out,
how many points around Britain are there?
I'd say there's tens of thousands around Britain.
Around 2.5 million worldwide,
so really, anywhere you want to go you can find a geocache.
Say, Siberia and the Sahara Desert, not so good,
but the rest of the world, yeah.
Once you get the bug, then, there's no stopping you.
At what point do you put the device down and start searching?
I mean, how accurate are these things?
-It's generally, we say, it's about a radius of about ten metres.
The clue we give them is, "Look for a Bronze Age standing stone."
-So we'll give you that clue.
-Here it is.
We are certainly in the right ballpark.
In this particular instance,
you're looking for a box, I would say, about that size.
-Bear in mind it's well hidden.
This fence line would be quite an attractive place
to put it, maybe.
What about this post here?
-Can you see it?
-Ah. OK, that helps.
-That wouldn't be much fun.
Was I right when I said I was being drawn to this area?
You are definitely in the right area.
Was it the post?
Ah, well, we are not going to tell you exactly where.
Have a good, good luck. Long, hard look.
-I've found it.
-There you go.
See, I said at the beginning
this wonderful straining post would be it.
So, "Congratulations. You've found geocache JT3.
"Time standing still."
This trail of geocaches holds more
than just the thrill of discovery.
Each one contains a little info
about the history of its hiding place.
In keeping with geocaching etiquette,
I am recording my visit and swapping some knick-knacks.
I just need to write my name in.
Name and a date is nice
because then the next person that comes along and finds it,
it sort of provides a whole trail.
So that's my first-ever geocache in the bag.
Time to pop it back in its rightful place.
Horses and their riders have been a common sight on our roads
for centuries, but today, as more and more cars use those same roads,
are they risking their lives more than ever?
It's a picture postcard scene.
Horses and riders enjoying the beautiful British countryside.
But there is another more dangerous side to this popular pastime
and that's here on our rural roads.
-Get a bit
-closer, you idiot!
This is the danger,
filmed by people on the country's highways and byways.
Horse riders are some of the most vulnerable road users.
On average, there is an incident involving horses
every day in the UK.
And that is something Gillian Singleton knows all about.
She's been riding for more than 30 years.
This is the safest route that we take.
It basically cuts out the corner.
Obviously, you can see we are off the road,
which is our main aim,
is to keep off the road and stay on the grass tracks.
Two months ago she was knocked off her horse, Digby,
while riding here in Snowdonia National Park
with her sister-in-law Gwenda.
Some of the photos you are about to see are distressing.
It was past the green sign over there, which you can see.
Maybe about 150 yards from here
and the next thing, all I heard was, "Bang".
Digby and Gillian had been hit by a car.
Digby jumped up because Gill had fallen against the bank
and not on to the concrete.
And then the driver drove round,
stopped and he said, "I didn't see you. The sun was in my eyes."
You had some minor injuries,
but you must think yourself incredibly lucky.
I mean, a horse had fallen over, a car had hit it.
Digby basically saved my life.
If I was cycling up here that day, I would've been killed.
And how were you at this time?
I was trying to comprehend basically what had happened,
then I just turned to go for Digby.
I could see he was injured.
He collapsed and he died basically within about five to ten minutes.
Digby died from his injuries on the side of the road
just minutes from home.
I was so distraught. So distraught.
Just overwhelmed with emotion.
Even now, I can feel it in my voice.
-So, will you be riding up here again?
-Never. Never again.
I'm too scared. I'm too nervous. I'm too anxious.
I'm afraid of cars.
I'm afraid of cars.
Gillian isn't alone. It's a nationwide problem.
Riders across the country have launched campaigns
and petitions calling for change.
According to figures recently compiled
by the British Horse Society,
there have been 2,070 accidents and near misses involving horses
on our roads in the last five years.
That's more than one a day.
And in the same period,
36 riders have been killed
and 181 horses have lost their lives.
And the true figures could be a lot higher.
Sarah Phillips is from the British Horse Society.
We just think we are scratching at the surface
because a lot of things go unreported.
-People may have a near miss.
They won't know who to report it to.
The police might not be involved,
so a lot of them just slip under the radar.
And why are these numbers increasing?
There are more people using the roads.
More horse riders on the road. There's more cars on the road.
The population is growing.
You get people, you know, in a rush every day
and when horses and riders and cars come together,
it doesn't always end well.
I asked you to stop!
And can even the best trained horse
be spooked in the wrong circumstances?
Yeah, absolutely. A horse is a flight animal.
It will run away from a predator.
That's evolved over many, many thousands of years
and even the best trained and the gentlest, quietest animal,
when you're hacking along,
if it sees something in the hedge that startles it -
it could be a bird,
it could be a plastic bag -
that makes the horse jump away from the danger
and into the path of a car.
What's the main cause of the rise in incidents?
75% of reported incidents,
the cause is because that car has got too close
to the horse on the road.
Back in Wales and Gillian is still scarred
by the accident that killed Digby.
She's just started riding again with her new horse, Mr Todd.
The only way I'm going to get to know him properly
is by having lessons.
I need him to be an obedient horse,
especially if I'm out on the road.
The reason Gillian needs her horse to be reliable on the road
is that legally they are not allowed on pavements or footpaths.
In the Highway Code itself, there are few laws about horse riding
but plenty of advice about clothing,
being visible at night and controlling your horse.
But what's the drivers' responsibility?
Again, it's mainly advice.
The Highway Code says you should take extra care on country roads
and treat horses as a potential hazard.
But there are laws about driving properly with other road users,
which include riders.
So are the existing laws sufficient or do we need new laws
aimed specifically at protecting horses and riders?
That's what I'll be finding out later.
The Brecon Beacons National Park has some of the most beautiful
and dramatic landscapes to be found anywhere in the British Isles.
This part of Wales has been shaped by centuries of sheep farming,
but as times have changed farmers have had to be inventive
with ways of eking out a living.
Here in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons,
a local business has paired up with farmers
to offer people a rather unusual way
to get out and enjoy the landscape.
I'm meeting Julia Blazer, whose company provides distinctive ways
of enjoying the great outdoors.
Today I will be sheep trekking.
Where did this idea come from?
Basically, I was looking at llama trekking and thinking,
that's quite popular and thinking, "What's that all about?
"Let's do it with something a bit more native."
Why do people go sheep trekking? I mean, people do do this.
Well, it's connection with nature.
We get people who've got a bit of a thing about
lovely sheep, cuddly sheep.
We get families who want to do something a bit different.
It's really nice but it's also you chat to people.
You are looking out at the scenery. The scenery here is stunning.
It's just a really fun thing to do.
Let's go and meet the farmer and these sheep.
Paul Matthews has been a sheep farmer in this unforgiving
landscape for 35 years.
His collaboration with Julia has taken farm diversification
to a different level.
Is that a turkey in there? You've got all sorts in here, haven't you?
There's all sorts of animals, yeah.
They've noticed us now.
So are they quite happy to get into these harnesses?
Some love it.
Others need a little bit more persuasion.
They will do quite a lot for food.
Come on, boys.
Jigsaw won't let me down.
-Oh, have they all got names?
That's the one advantage with the Jacobs. They are all different.
The fact that these are trekkers means that they have been saved
-from a cruel fate. Shall we just put it like that?
You're not supposed to talk about it.
But it's a brutal truth, isn't it? They're happy.
It is the brutal truth, yeah.
Here you go. Now they are coming.
Paul has chosen some calm companions from his flock.
Jigsaw, Jagger, Jet and Jester will be coming trekking with us today.
-This is mine, is it?
This boy here is yours. This handsome boy here.
-And he is called?
-He is called Jester.
Come on, Jester.
Let's go for a walk.
-By the end of today, I'm sure you'll be bonding.
-Come on, Jester!
Good boy. Come on, Jester. You've given
me the dud one, I know you have! Come on. That's right.
Here we go. This is how you do it.
Just give him a little bit of a tug. They need to know who is boss.
Come on then.
'I'm not entirely sure who is walking who,
'as we set off from the farm and start our climb into the hills.'
As we get further up the farm, you know,
you'll be able to see all the views.
-It's not just about trekking. It's about the walk.
'Our route is an ancient right of way across the farmland.'
The road we're on now is an old drovers' road and this goes all
the way to the mountain and in the spring,
the farmers from the valleys would have brought their sheep all
the way up on to the hill for summer grazing and then,
in the autumn, they'd have brought them back down again.
'What we're doing may look slightly strange, but we're following in the
'footsteps of sheep farmers who have walked these trails for centuries.
'Before road and rail reached the remote hill farms,
'livestock was taken on foot to the market by drovers.
'These men were hardy and highly skilled,
'responsible not only for their valuable cargo,
'but also large amounts of money, once the animals were sold.
'The arrival of the railways in 1863 soon meant that livestock
'could be moved from farm to market in a single day.
'By 1950, the era of the drovers was over.
'It's been a novel walk, but as we make our way back down,
'I can really see why this innovative farm diversification
'has been such a success.'
I've got to be honest, I thought you guys were bonkers before I came
here, but now, I accept that you are making the best of the Brecons.
It's been a nice day out, hasn't it?
The sun's shone, sheep for company, and everybody having a good time.
Thank you. You've been the stars of the show.
Now, a while ago, Ellie went to Worcestershire to meet
a man who is passionate about the humble worm,
a creature also praised by one of Ellie's own heroes.
The 19th century naturalist Charles Darwin is best known for his
Theory of Evolution,
as set out in his book On The Origin Of Species, but what is less
well known is his deep admiration for the humble earthworm.
"It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have
"played so important a part in the history of the world as these
"lowly organised creatures."
But Darwin isn't the only person to recognise the attributes of
these humble invertebrates.
Ken Nelson is a farmer with a difference.
He farms worms.
Ken farms on a two-acre site in Worcestershire,
where he breeds worms for sale,
supplying gardeners looking to improve the quality of their
soil and fishermen out for the catch of the day.
I think this must be the first worm farm I've ever been to.
-Well, it's your lucky day!
-It is my lucky day.
What was the appeal for you with worms?
What made you think, "Yeah, yeah. They're going to be what I work with"?
Well, worms, they do a lot for the planet.
If you love the planet, you've got to love these guys.
'And they really do play an important role,
'breaking down dead organic matter in a process called decomposition.
'The process releases nutrients from dead plants and animals,
'making them available for living plants.'
What types of worms have you got here then?
Well, there's three types I use for composting.
This is what you call a Dendrobaena veneta.
-It's a big, chunky worm, that one, isn't it?
-It likes a lot of food waste.
-Then Eisenia fetida.
That's called the brandling or the red worm.
-And the third one?
A bit smaller than the Dendrobaena and this is what they call
-a tiger worm.
-It's got the stripes there.
'Ken doesn't just breed worms ideal for composting.
'His gardening clients are keen to get the right mix of
'creatures to produce the finest soil possible.'
What other types of worms are there?
There's the Lumbricus terres... I can't even...
They call them the lob worm.
-The lob worms.
-Or some people call them the nightcrawlers.
Oh, it's completely different!
-These are what you'd call the backbone of the planet.
Their function is to aerate the soil, keep the water from...
The drainage and stuff like that within the soil.
-The lob worms are the garden worms.
When you think about their function in the soil,
for both creating the soil structure and also just decomposing
everything, I guess it starts to blow your mind
a little bit about how important they are, how much we overlook them.
-Well, I didn't. I don't overlook them.
The rest of us do, unfortunately.
But it's one of those things, you need to be taught about it,
'Globally, there are about 3,000 species of earthworm.
'They can grow up to three metres in length,
'like the giant Gippsland earthworm from Australia.
'In the UK, there are 26 earthworm species,
'some of which Ken has here on his farm.'
So, all these tubs are full of worms, are they?
Well, they've got loads of worms in them. Quite a lot of worms.
Do you think you've got hundreds of thousands here? It's hard to say, isn't it?
Look, I could say you'd find 10,000 or more in a bin.
'And the great thing about farming worms is they don't need much
-In the top.
-In the top. And then the worms...
-And you just top that up with organic matter...
-Shredded food waste, veg waste and shredded paper.
-A bit of paper.
'The dead matter the worms eat passes through their systems
'and produces an amazing by-product.'
This, the good stuff.
Worm cast, black gold, worm poo - whatever you want to call it.
And is it worm poo?
Well, yes, it is. Because it comes from a worm.
-And this is really the good stuff for gardeners.
There's ways you can use it to make just fertiliser to put over
-If I was a gardener, I'd be all over this.
-I've got terrible gardening fingers, unfortunately.
-Well, trial and error.
-Maybe I need more of this.
-That's what I need in my life.
-That's it. There you go.
The importance of worms can't be overstated, in decomposition,
in the structure of our soils.
It's unlikely they're going to become the nation's favourite
pet any time soon, but really we should cherish them and ask
ourselves - where would we be without them?
Horse riders are among the most vulnerable people on our roads.
And as Tom's been finding out, on average,
there's at least one incident a day involving a horse.
What the hell?!
So, is it time for a change?
Well, opinion is divided as to what changes to make.
Riders are calling for more protection,
but some drivers want horses banned from the roads altogether.
A recent AA poll revealed 17% of drivers thought horses should
be banned from the roads.
And 8% said they didn't know the right way to pass a horse and rider.
Not surprising then that 6% of drivers revealed they'd had
a near miss.
Clearly, some drivers need to learn more about what to do when they meet
horses on the road,
but riders too have responsibilities when they meet the tarmac.
And this is something Rachel Middleton,
a farmer who has been riding for 30 years, thinks is often lacking.
There are people that shouldn't be on the roads with their horses.
'She's been hit by a Transit van and knocked from her horse into
'the middle of the road,
'but she still believes it's all too easy to blame drivers.'
It's very difficult these days.
Cars have got faster, roads are busier, but you can work your
horse and prepare them enough to be safe on the roads.
How might riders be able to help drivers and themselves?
They need to make sure that they're riding in the right position on the
road, don't ride two abreast, and if your horse is getting
fractious and nervous, getting off is the best thing.
But riders might think, look, I've got the right to be here,
so others should work round me.
Everybody's got the right to be on the road.
It's just we should all be able to share.
-Is there a case for changes to the law?
-Who is going to enforce it?
The police are absolutely pushed to the limit already.
No, I think horse riders really have
got their own responsibility
to be far more courteous to other road users.
And show their thanks for the effort that people make to pass them
-It spreads good behaviour.
Yeah, it's a knock-on effect of, you know, you've made an effort,
you've been thanked for it, so you'll repeat that.
Good behaviour is one thing, but the figures show we can't rely on
it, so should there be more regulation?
One of the commonest complaints from car drivers is that horse riders
don't have to take a test before they're allowed out on the road.
Well, I'm just about to start my first road safety awareness course.
Just like a cycling proficiency course,
it teaches riders the safest way to share the roads with other users.
Now, put your arm out. That's it. Don't look back when you indicate.
But should a safety course be compulsory for all riders
before they use the roads?
We have over 4,000 people a year that actually do that course and we
would strongly recommend that anyone who wants to hack out on
a road does that riding and road safety course.
'Sarah Phillips from the British Horse Society is campaigning
'for a change.'
Should courses like that be compulsory?
When I drive, I have to take a driving test,
similar thing for a horse?
I don't think that day will ever come and I think people need
to take responsibility for themselves and their own safety.
So there's that balance between education and safety and
legislation and law.
What about, looking at the other side, stuff with the Highway Code?
Do you support changes in the Highway Code to make drivers
behave better around horses?
We would like more information and more guidance put into the
You should always leave a minimum of two metres between the car and a
horse and that you should approach, drive past and pull away at
no more than 15mph.
'But what can riders do to help themselves right now?'
They should always wear high-vis when they're out hacking on
the road, they should put high-vis on their horses,
to make themselves a lot more visible to a car driver.
'But even police horses, with all their high-vis,
'aren't immune to accidents.
'PC Kerry Dawson is from the Greater Manchester Police.'
A couple of years ago, we had an incident with
a police horse who was involved in a collision on the road.
All the officers were wearing fluorescent coats, high-vis,
and we also have a lot of lights on as well.
-You could hardly be more visible.
With all of that on. And yet, you were still hit. The horse was hit.
That's right. That's right.
'And this prompted them to launch their campaign,
'Think Horse, Think 15,
'to raise driver awareness and encourage slower speeds.'
You think the core of this is education,
but do you have the power to prosecute drivers if you
-think they've behaved badly around a horse?
There's offences under the Road Traffic Act that police forces can
look into and use if the incident is serious enough in nature
to constitute an offence.
'Those offences include driving without due care and attention,
'or more seriously, causing death by dangerous driving,
'which means points on your licence, a hefty fine,
'or even a prison sentence.'
Idiot! I've got him on video!
'The fact remains that, on average, there is at least one incident
'a day and that's dangerous for riders, horses and drivers.
'So is it time we relied less on the carrot and used more of the
'stick when it comes to enforcement?'
Whether or not there is an appetite or a need for a change in the law,
legislation takes a while to enact, so in the meantime, maybe both
riders and drivers should just be a little more considerate and help
each other out on the road.
So, what do you think?
Is it just about common courtesy or do we need a change in the law?
Or should horses be banned from our roads?
You can get in touch with us via our website or contact us on Twitter.
I'm exploring the beautiful Brecon Beacons in a whole new way,
by getting to grips with geocaching.
Jordan and Joel are benefiting from the outreach projects run by
geocaching officers Ilona and Billy.
With the help of local housing charity, the Gwalia Trust, their
introduction to geocaching has had a positive effect on their lives.
My wife and I didn't have enough money to put down for
a first month's rent, and a bond on a place,
so we were technically made homeless.
Gwalia were there to help us to be able to find more housing.
And, Jordan, how did you first come across Gwalia?
Well, I got kicked out of my house when I was 16 by my mother
and I got housed in a place in Llandod,
but they've helped me a lot, like I didn't have a job or anything.
-Now, I've got a job. Just got a promotion.
-Yeah, so it's all going good for me.
-Things are going good, yeah.
-Yeah, it's all going good.
-Before Gwalia, I'm guessing you'd never heard of geocaching.
When I realised you had to walk quite a distance,
I wasn't that happy! But I quite enjoyed it after.
I hated walking at the time, absolutely hated it.
-And now, I love it.
-Changing the context of what it is.
It's not a walk, you're going on an adventure.
-So, let's go and see if we can find it.
'Our GPS is telling us that the next cache is within 100 metres
'and in this landscape, there's only one place it can be.'
It's got to be in here somewhere, a little bit of Tupperware.
Do you think it's there?
-You look like you're calving a cow!
-He's going to get pulled down now!
Jordan down the rabbit hole.
-I've got it.
-How far in was that? How were we supposed to find that?
-Right, come on, boys. We need to sign this then.
"Found it eventually, due to Jordan's long arm."
Legend! AKA Legend!
-I am an absolute living legend!
'Speaking of geocaching legends,
'I'm meeting Darren Day up on the breathtaking Twyn y Gaer.'
-Here he is.
-Pleased to meet you.
-Are you all right?
-Yeah, not too bad at all, thanks.
-My word! What a waypoint this is!
-You stay there, let me take everybody round,
cos you get a full 360.
Look at this place. All right, lads? Working hard.
Just look at the landscape! It's absolutely beautiful.
And, Darren, have you been up this high before?
I've got to admit, not as far as this,
no, so it's a first for me today as well.
'Darren has not only travelled far and wide in search of geo gold,
'he's regularly out on the hills with his family,
'checking and maintaining caches across south Wales.'
I've found just over 2,500 and I've placed around 100.
I'm a volunteer reviewer.
Basically, anyone who wants to place a cache in south Wales, I get
it sent to me online and I do various checks to make sure
-it meets the guidelines and I'll publish them from there.
-And so how far and wide have you gone with it?
-Most of Europe, I've covered.
-And most of the UK as well.
I'm hopefully doing a trip to Everest Base Camp in two
Doing a trek there, yeah, so hopefully I can find some out there.
Has it got like little plastic toys...?
Hopefully not. Hopefully a size people can find.
'Inspired by Darren's enthusiasm,
'it's high time I try and seek out my first solo geocache.'
8m, 6m. It's got to be here, hasn't it?
Getting good at this now, I think.
Um... I'd hide it under there. Yeah, I've got it! I've got it!
It's square, it feels very much like the Countryfile calendar for
Children In Need!
Right, I'm going to pop that back in there for the next lucky geocacher.
And if you haven't got your hands on one yet, here's a much easier way.
Come on, John. Give them the details.
It costs £9.50, including free UK delivery.
You can go to our website,
where you'll find a link to the order page.
Or you can phone the order line on...
If you prefer to order by post, then send your name, address
and a cheque to...
A minimum of £4 from the sale of each calendar will be donated
to BBC Children In Need.
A few weeks ago,
we asked you to send us your favourite photographs of autumn.
Here are just a few of them.
Working dogs are an essential part of farm life.
Whether it's rounding up cattle or sheep,
or just having a close companion for those long days working alone,
dogs truly are a farmer's best friend.
Down on his farm, Adam's rarely without one.
I've been around dogs all my life.
As a kid, I always remember having one in the house and then
when we were out on the farm, working with the livestock,
there were plenty of sheepdogs around.
It's hard to imagine life without one, really.
Sadly, every dog has its day.
A life spent working the fields comes to
a close and the farm is quieter without them.
Some of you might remember Dolly, my Hungarian Vizsla.
The children absolutely adore her. She's a gorgeous, very loyal dog.
A few weeks ago, Dolly developed a serious cancer.
She was operated on, but never fully recovered,
so we had to have her put to sleep.
We'll really miss her.
Dolly was a gorgeous dog and a wonderful family pet,
so it was a very tough decision to have her put down,
but we couldn't bear to see her suffer.
But when a cure is readily available and as long as the dog is fit
enough, some dog owners are prepared to give it a go.
Where is it then, Boo?
Treating cancer in dogs is notoriously difficult.
It's a highly skilled procedure, but new techniques and
technology are giving more and more dogs an improved chance of life.
I've travelled to Hayling Island in Hampshire to meet farm manager
Ann Rogers, who decided to risk surgery on her Collie cross Monty.
-So, this is Monty, the black and white one?
-Yes, that's Monty.
So, what was wrong with Monty?
He had a little lump on his leg, on his wrist.
-A little lump.
-How did you find that?
A friend of mine was round for Christmas dinner
and he was sat on her lap.
-She was just stroking him.
-What had to be done?
I wanted to know what the lump was, so I went to my local vet.
They examined him and suggested a couple of routes that we could go.
Crikey! How could they get rid of it?
When they decided it was a tumour, they said they couldn't
really do anything, apart from take his leg off.
-And you decided against that.
Yes. Yeah, as he was so young.
-And how important is he to you in your life?
-Yeah, very important.
I spend a lot of time on my own in the day. He's a pet and a companion.
-So, with you from dawn till dusk, really.
He helps out, checking round the farm.
The fields, the horses' fields. We've got about 100 acres.
-And is that why you invested in having the operation?
Yes, because they come out with me and I wanted him to stay as
active as he could be, for as long.
'Monty was successfully treated at a specialist veterinary
'practice in Guildford.
'I'm heading there to meet TV super vet Noel Fitzpatrick,
'the man behind this new hospital,
'designed specifically to treat animals with cancer.'
-Who have we got here?
-This is Archie and he's got a tumour in his jaw.
You can see it right there. It's actually bursting through his gum.
-Just there, can you see that?
-Oh, yeah. Oh, horrible.
-And is cancer becoming more prevalent in dogs?
I think it's always been there, but the hard statistical fact is
that half of all dogs over ten are going to die of cancer.
We can cure some cancers and we can palliate most cancers,
so you can have a great quality of life, so the thing that people
used to say, which is nothing can be done - that's no longer true.
So, once you've spotted it, get to the vet.
Then, what treatments can be done?
Basically, dogs nowadays can have all of the treatments that
humans can have and that's a game changer.
You can have everything from surgery, through radiation,
through chemotherapy, through antibody directed therapy, through
up-regulating your own immune system, to kill your cancer,
whether you're a human or a dog.
So, I suppose the very difficult thing is then for the owner
to make a decision of how much they want to put the dog through
or how much the vet thinks the dog can cope with.
In every case,
the only thing that we can absolutely do with confidence is
promise a family that we will give them hope,
but not in the absence of the reality of their situation, and that
includes financial and that includes the moral implications of
what we're putting the animal through, and I feel very,
very strongly that it's not enough to be able to do something -
it has to be the right thing to do.
What's Archie's next step?
Archie's next step is he's going to see my colleague, Nick,
and Nick is going to cut that tumour out of there and it won't come back.
-We can cure this dog.
-Brilliant. Good luck, Archie.
-Thank you very much. Nice to see you.
-Lovely to see you.
Take care. Bye-bye.
Labradoodle Fudge has been referred here from a practice in Cardiff.
He's here with his owner Andrew to find out if the cancer in his
leg has spread to other parts of his body.
Professor Nick Bacon is the vet in charge of this case.
Fudge is sedated, before having a scan.
So, if the CT scan finds cancerous lumps in Fudge's lungs,
then that'll be a different course of action.
So, now the problem's no longer the cancer in the elbow,
it's in the chest as well.
So, we'll then look at ways to make sure that Fudge feels good
-for as long as possible.
-And that's probably not doing surgery on the elbow.
So, this is the sort of scanner you could use on people?
Absolutely, exactly the same. This is actually a human table.
You'd lie on this and be pushed through the cylinder.
What the CT does, it takes very, very thin slices, very thin X-rays,
every two or three millimetres,
and then we can reconstruct that in three different dimensions,
so we can actually then look inside organs.
An X-ray is very flat. You can look at it one way or the other way.
So it allows us to find much smaller things, much faster.
And it's extraordinary seeing this human technology being used on dogs.
And brilliant that they can find out so much detail from the
inside of the animal, whether the cancer
has spread and then whether it's worth doing operations.
It gives the owner a choice,
which is now a lot more advanced than it's ever been before.
'Before technology made this level of diagnosis possible,
'most dogs would have been given a slim chance of survival.'
-Is it Lola?
-Yes, it is.
-Hi there. How is she doing?
-Doing very well, thank you.
'Another dog to benefit is Labrador Lola,
'a working gun dog that Nick operated on earlier this year.
'She's coming in with her owner Sharon for one last check-up.'
There's always a strong bond between owners and their dogs,
but with a working dog, there's a lot more to it, isn't there?
Yes, it's the time and effort you've put in to training it and
getting it ready.
My husband works her probably three times
a week during the season and I think because she was such
a young dog, you know, we just felt, what do you do?
You can't just throw all of that away.
And also, you want to give the dog the best chance of survival.
I think it might be a different discussion if your dog's
eight or ten, but this was a three-and-a-half-year-old Lab.
How did your friends and family feel when they knew you were going
to put the dog through surgery?
I think people were a little bit shocked, but she was a three-and-a-half-year-old dog.
She was very young. Trained well.
And it just seemed such a waste to do anything else.
So we felt we just had to give her the fairest chance and see
where it took us.
And take her in for surgery. So, yes, that's what we did.
And the result is a good one, Nick. Must be quite rewarding.
For Sharon and for Lola, obviously, there's a close bond,
a working bond and for some people it's their company on
a quiet night, or for some people the pet's seen them through huge
emotional turmoil and so it's more, for most people, more than a pet.
It's a member of the family.
We all want the best for our dogs,
and advances in technology are giving us more and more options.
It's good news for Fudge - his cancer hasn't spread,
and Nick is confident he can save his leg.
Archie, too, is making a great recovery following his operation.
Two dogs happily on the mend - both with a second bite at life.
'Meandering through the stunning landscape of the Brecon Beacons,
'the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal hugs the south-eastern edge of
'the National Park.'
The 200-year-old Mon and Brec Canal is
a hidden gem of the Brecon Beacons,
but this peaceful waterway is about to undergo some much-needed TLC,
and we've been invited along on the first day of the works to
help out with a wildlife rescue.
'Opened in 1799, this waterway was originally used to move coal,
'lime and agricultural products from the countryside to the
'industrial towns of south Wales.
'The Canal and River Trust takes care of 2,000 miles of waterways
'in England and Wales.
'Kevin Philips is heading up this project.'
Kevin, tell me a little bit about this canal.
What are you doing to it, and why does it need doing?
Well, basically, this section of canal here is the longest
lock-free elevated pound, so it's 25 miles long
without any restrictions,
and because it's elevated the canal is quite prone to leakages,
so this is a section that we've identified that has some seepages
and leakages, so we're basically putting in a concrete liner.
'A leak has the potential to be a disaster.
'A major collapse of the canal in 1994 caused mass flooding of
'the village Talybont-on-Usk.
'These canals are important wildlife corridors, supporting lots of
'So the repair work can't start until the fish have been removed.
'Mark Robinson is an ecologist.
'He's here to make sure they're rescued safely.'
The canals are teeming with wildlife,
and the fish are just part of it, and we've got things like...
There was a kingfisher flying up earlier,
and they'll be feeding on the fish, and you get the herons flying over.
You'll see the herons coming around, thinking,
"Is there a meal here for me?"
But how do you get the fish out?
Well, it's quite a simple process.
We have a couple of guys who come along who are electro-fishermen,
and they put a current, electricity, into the water,
but it just stuns them so we can scoop them up with a net.
You can see just below us we've got a dam that's been put in,
so that we can actually drain this section of canal,
and what we simply do is we take the fish from here and we just
put them the other side of the dam.
Well, it would be wrong to be here and not lend a hand, so...
-Are you going to get in the water, are you?
-Why wouldn't I?
-Absolutely, that'll be good.
'Cousins James and Josh Kirk are specialist electro-fishermen.'
It's not that easy to be graceful in this, is it?
'I'm joining them in the water,
'so I've been kitted up in all the essential protective gear.'
Am I going to feel this electric current?
You won't because you're in a rubberised suit,
-but if you didn't have, you would.
But not enough to kill you or cause you any harm.
Well, that's reassuring.
If you imagine a little mini-forcefield coming from these
anodes, what we're doing is we'll be pushing the fish in front of us.
It's mad, isn't it? They literally just sort of pop up.
It stops all the muscles in the fish from moving,
so, obviously, doing that, they can't swim away.
It's really important, I mean, if we didn't do this, you know,
the stocks of the canals would certainly dwindle over time.
'It's not just me learning something new today -
'these local schoolchildren
'have come to see this unusual process in action.'
Hello there, how you doing? Are you all right, can you hear me OK?
So today we're going to do some electro-fishing,
and that means we're going to put a small electrical current in
the water, and it'll slowly stun the fish and give us enough time
to net them and put them in these blue bins.
Once we've got them in these blue bins, we're then going to put them
the other side of those planks.
If you see any fish, I want to hear lots of screaming and shouting, OK?
-Are we ready?
-Are we ready?!
That's the one.
-There's one there, two there!
-Josh is on it.
-Josh is on it.
Look, there's another one, there, there.
There's an absolute school of them here!
I don't want to hurt them.
Whoa! Ooh, something's bashing me on the leg.
Yeah, that'll be an eel, more than likely.
What's the biggest thing you've caught?
We've had pike in the canals before, up to 30, about 35lb, which is,
you know, it's a massive fish, you're talking three foot in length.
I'm a rookie.
You've done this before, haven't you?
Oh, my word, they are literally everywhere.
Fish coming through!
'No prize catches for us today, but hundreds of fish have been
'rescued and moved to a safe stretch of water.'
There they go!
Well, that looks pretty successful, no floaters, means that all the fish
are happy, swimming off underneath those leaves into their new home.
Confident they're all OK, guys?
'I've been soaking up the soaring peaks and dramatic valleys of
'the Brecon Beacons National Park,
'exploring this stunning landscape by going geocaching.
'But the fun doesn't have to stop when the sun goes down.
'With virtually no light pollution, when it gets dark here,
'it gets really dark - so much so that in 2012 the entire
'National Park was recognised as an international dark sky reserve,
'the perfect canvas for acclaimed local artist Michael Bosanko.'
The reason we're out here in the dark is because Michael uses
lights as his paintbrushes.
'With little more than simple torches, and using
'long exposure photography, Michael creates stunning works of art.'
-Right, Michael, are we set?
-Yeah, looking good, mate.
Studio's looking good.
Erm, right, let's have a little look through here,
cos you've got some images, haven't you?
The kind of thing that we're aiming for.
-Right, let's pull a few up to show you. This one...
That is tremendous!
Gosh! And so how have you got the perspective?
So, I've actually just, like, used real three-dimensional space,
and just strapped loads of torches together
and used them like paintbrushes.
Can you go back to the computer, then,
or are you just having to do it all by remembering where you've been?
Yeah, I just remember it, really.
It's like effectively painting with a blindfold on.
'I'm blown away by Michael's talent,
'and the technique that he's perfected over the last 12 years.'
Oh, that's great. How many goes did you have at that?
That was my second attempt, and that was a 20-minute exposure, that one.
-So, er, if you get it wrong you've got to start again.
No editing in my game, no editing.
It's mind-blowing how you do this!
'It was while photographing the moon that Michael literally
'stumbled on the process that would become his trademark.'
And, er, I kicked the tripod, cos I'm clumsy, and, erm...
The moon in the image created, like, a streak across the sensor,
and I'm thinking, I'll just put two and two together,
if the moon can do that, I can do that with torches.
'To create these colourful masterpieces,
'Michael requires an extensive palette.'
-How many torches do you have in your collection?
-Erm, I have, like, two rooms full.
It's easier to say how many rooms full of torches do I have,
so, yeah, it's quite a lot.
Do you have a room just for batteries?
That's shot on the Brecon Beacons, not far from here, so...
-But many of them are.
It's such a wonderful landscape, it's perfect for what I do.
'Michael frequently draws inspiration from
'the landscape of the Brecon Beacons,
'and now he's going to draw for us.'
Now, of course, in order for this to work,
we need it to be pitch-black, so we've got to turn off these
big lights that we've been using to set up the scene.
But in order for you to see what we're doing at home,
we have got these super-sensitive cameras to film on,
so I will hand that over now to you, Piers, good.
And, erm, when you're ready, team, turn off the lights.
HE LAUGHS Wow.
Now that is dark.
You can see why it's a dark sky reserve.
My word, look at the stars, they're out tonight! Perfect backdrop.
-Putting the branches in there, yeah?
I guess if you've got one of these cameras at home,
really all you need is the camera tripod and some coloured lights,
and you can create some wonderful stuff!
Yeah. What I sometimes tell people to do is, er,
if they've got a tin of sweets, not to throw the wrappers away,
but to, erm, just tape them on the ends of torches.
-You know those colourful wrappers?
They're just very cheap and easy to adapt.
'And after a few minutes of dancing in the dark, he's finished.'
OK, let's have the lights back on, please, if we can.
-Oh, look at that! Are you pleased?
-Oh, yeah, very pleased, yeah.
I love the way you've got the kind of,
the roots coming down through here and the light through the bracken,
and then that kind of smokiness around the bracken at the back.
Yeah, I'm really pleased with that. Really, really pleased, yeah.
Very effective as well, the stars you've put on.
So here we've got, like, four different light tools there,
all these different effects.
This is one of my favourite light tools to work with,
kind of creating this very eerie, ghostly, smoky kind of effect.
-Yeah, very pleased.
-A very artistic way to end the programme, thank you.
Now, from all the technology here in the Brecon Beacons,
next week we're going to be seeing how robotics is changing the face of
agriculture in Lincolnshire, but, erm, Michael,
if you give me that torch, I'll just say goodbye to everyone.
So, from all of us in the Brecon Beacons, bye-bye!
The Countryfile team explores the Brecon Beacons.
Matt Baker discovers geocaching, a treasure hunt with a modern twist, and meets an artist whose canvas is the night sky.
Helen Skelton is sheep trekking across the landscape and taking part in a rather muddy fish rescue.
Ellie Harrison is in Worcestershire to meet a farmer with a difference. Ken Nelson has a two acre worm farm, and Adam Henson finds out about a cancer cure for man's best friend.
Tom Heap asks how safe horses and riders really are on country roads and if more should be done to protect them.