Helen Skelton and Sean Fletcher are on the Cleveland Way in Yorkshire. Helen meets the team of Scouts who have 'adopted' their own stretch of the 109-mile trail.
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There are highways.
There are byways.
And there's this, the Cleveland Way, more than 100 miles of paths,
taking in some of our finest views.
I'll be meeting some of the people
who look after their very own stretch,
and some who prefer to run it.
Come on, team!
Sean is taking a trip back to discover what childhood
was like here in the past.
We've had some good fun, climbing round here.
As you describe it, I can see the little boy in your eyes there.
Tom's got an exclusive look at the RSPB's latest bird report.
It reveals that our bird behaviour is changing,
and it also says that many of our rare breeding birds
are at risk of extinction.
And, Adam is meeting the young couple
taking their first steps as farmers.
-Test your skills.
I'm very impressed, they're coming straight down!
For mile upon mile...
..a vast, wild landscape,
famed for its beauty, forged by nature,
alive with history.
And, sculpting a path right through it is this, the Cleveland Way,
a national walking trail.
You can start the Cleveland Way at Filey on the Yorkshire coast.
The way then snakes northward, before cutting inland,
where it skirts the edge of the North York Moors National Park
to wind up, after 109 miles, at Helmsley.
More than 350,000 ramblers and runners take to the Way each year.
It's one of 15 national trails in England and Wales,
so keeping it in tip-top condition is paramount.
-The trail itself is in fantastic quality, isn't it?
-It is, yes.
We have got 75% of the funding from central government,
Natural England, and that helps to maintain such high quality.
Earlier this year, the Park authority had a brainwave.
They broke the Way down into 26 sections,
and invited people to come forward to adopt a stretch to look after.
It was Tammy Andrews' job to find these new custodians.
Why did you decide to hand over bits of the trail for adoption?
Our National Trails Officer
and our Maintenance Ranger do do an annual inspection once a year,
so, by getting other groups out on the trail, carrying out patrols,
it means that any issues that they spot we can react to a lot
quicker and continue to maintain that high standard on the trail.
The number of hours that they put in is fantastic.
We couldn't manage without them.
The scheme has been a roaring success.
There's now a waiting list of families and local groups
who want to adopt their very own slice of the Cleveland Way.
And it's hardly surprising,
when the route takes in landscape like this.
The 1st Marston Moor Scouts became one of the first to
adopt a section of the Way, a three mile stretch here at Sutton Bank,
regarded by some as having England's finest view.
Now, as sections of the trail go, I think you've hit the jackpot.
This view is spectacular!
It's absolutely stunning, isn't it? We've got the Gormire Lake there.
Hood Hill, and there's great footpaths
and walking along there as well,
so you can come up and down onto different bits of the Cleveland Way.
Andrea Clayton is the Scout leader.
How often do you bring the guys up here?
About three times a year for looking after the Cleveland Way.
We walk along it one way,
and as we come back, we do any jobs we've spotted.
You must be quite proud to see them taking an active responsibility.
Yes, yes, immensely proud.
From the very first project we did, they always work really hard.
They have good fun, they have a good laugh,
and it's good skills for them later in life.
Owen, I'm sorry to interrupt.
You do look busy, but I'm just going to grab a quick word.
Talk me through what's happening here today.
What are you guys doing?
Well, we're trying to shear back the trees so they don't overgrow on
the path, and people can still walk past undeterred by trees in the way.
Has it made you feel differently when you're out and about
in the countryside, enjoying other trails and walks?
Yes, it makes me think, who's done that?
How have they helped us? And they've helped us really well.
What do you think the guys get out of doing this work?
It's just a real sense of, like, achievement, that they
have done something that'll help a lot more people, and not just them.
And, because you have worked here, and spent a bit of time here,
can you see yourself coming back year after year?
Yes, I really enjoy it here, so yes, I quite like helping the
environment, so I'll probably be coming back for years to come, yes.
Thanks to the Scouts, and all of the other adopters,
the Cleveland Way has never looked better.
Later, I'll be exploring more of this national trail, and meeting
a group who don't just tend their own sections,
they like to run the whole lot, too.
Now, this is a perfect time of year for bird spotting,
but what if your winter favourites just stop turning up?
It may not feel like it on this winter's morning,
but things are getting warmer, and scientists think we are to blame.
But, while not quite everyone agrees that climate change
is a man-made problem, one thing is certain -
these rising temperatures are affecting our birds.
Countryfile has been given exclusive access to the
State of UK Birds report 2017, which is released on Tuesday.
It reveals that our bird behaviour is changing
in a way that is "consistent with a warming climate".
It also says that many of our
"rare breeding birds are at risk of extinction".
So, what does the future hold for our birds?
Well, a good place to start is here, at the
Wildfowl and Wetland Trust Centre at Welney in Norfolk.
Dr Dafila Scott knows birds.
She's a wildlife artist, as was her father, Sir Peter Scott.
I decided to concentrate on studying and painting,
and if possible, helping to conserve these marvellous birds.
A legendary conservation figure, who founded the Wildfowl
and Wetland Trust, as well as painting birds, both Dafila
and her father kept detailed notes for years...
-Well, what about Myrtle?
-That's a good name.
..monitoring the UK population of Bewick swans.
Five decades later, Dafila still takes a keen interest in swans,
but the results from the study here at Welney are causing concern.
So, what are they actually up to in the background here?
They're just counting the swans, the whooper swans.
The whoopers have been roosting here overnight
because it's a safe place for them, and now they're going to be
flying out to feed on the agricultural land around here.
I gather you spent quite a lot of your life
-working in this area a few years back?
I studied Bewick swans, which are the smallest of the three
migratory swans that come to this country in the winter.
Nowadays, the Bewick swans don't come this far.
Because it's not so cold because of climate change,
they mostly stay in the Netherlands or Germany.
10, 20 years ago, there would have been 5,000
Bewick swans on the Ouse Washes in the winter.
-Last year, I think there were maybe 1,000 of them.
-A big change.
It's a big change in the numbers, yes.
So, climate change is affecting their migration.
Is it also affecting their success,
compared to other swans like the whoopers?
It looks rather as if it is.
This year, for example, was a really late spring
and they've got only 4% young with them, which is very small.
Sometimes it's up to 25%, so it's really bad.
How does that make you feel, given your personal
-and family connection to these birds?
Worried that we shall see some favourite species disappearing.
But, of course, there are a lot of other pressures on birds
at the moment as well, so I think a lot of birds are in trouble.
I no longer spot flycatchers nesting in our garden,
and I no longer hear turtledoves calling at the bottom of our garden.
So there are a lot of changes,
and I think people need to be aware of these changes and
we need to try to do something for the benefit of the natural world.
Welney is a haven for many thousands of birds,
and it's alarming to think they are noticing significant changes,
even in protected places like this.
So, do we have to prepare ourselves for the loss of species
like the Bewick swan?
Dr Daniel Hayhow is a conservation scientist,
trying to work out what the future holds for our birds.
He is the lead author of this report, which
looks at the effects of climate change on our birds, and combines
the expertise of the RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology,
and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, with that of the Government.
It's a fantastic spectacle,
but you are worried about what lies behind this image.
That's right. Sites like this that are, obviously as you can see,
massively important for wintering wildfowl, ducks,
swans, and geese that are coming down from the Arctic, are places
where we're beginning to see signs of the impacts of climate change.
We're seeing birds moving northwards up the country.
Their distribution is spreading, so things like goldfinch
and nuthatch are breeding further north up into Scotland
than they did 20, 30 years ago.
As quite a northerly country,
are we going to benefit from species coming up from the south?
Certainly, we are in a position where birds are moving up
into the UK from the continent.
We're getting increasing numbers of some larger breeding wading
birds that we hadn't seen previously here,
such as night herons and great white egrets,
and things like that, which is a wonderful spectacle for us to see.
The downside of that is that we're also losing species off the top,
and you just need to look at the globe to see that, above the UK,
there's not much more land. So, what is happening to those species
that are getting squeezed out?
While climate change will enable these species to move into the UK,
do we have the habitat to support them?
Are they going to be constrained by other factors that mean they
can't actually take advantage of those improved conditions?
In nature, it's always been about the survival of the fittest.
Aren't we just seeing a continuation of that?
Survival of the fittest relies on changes that happen over
millennia, and this is a change that's happening within the last
century, and these birds just simply haven't got the scope
to adapt to the change that's happening.
So, it is accepted that big changes are happening,
but does that mean we should be just sitting back
and waiting to see what happens, and indeed who comes out on top?
Or, should we be managing our reserves with the future in mind?
I'll be getting the full scoop later.
The Cleveland Way cuts a swathe through the beautiful
North Yorkshire landscape.
It's no wonder that some people want to capture it on camera.
Glenn Kilpatrick has been a photographer
for the past three years.
For more than two decades, he worked as a community support
worker in mental health, travelling over hill and dale for his job.
On his journeys, he became captivated by the animals
and wildlife he saw.
And now, that roadside interest has become his full-time occupation.
Today, Glenn's going to show me one of his favourite
and lesser-known sites for photography.
But I actually met Glenn before, in completely different conditions.
These conditions are awful!
This is as harsh as it gets.
As long as the sea is rough, we like to be out in this
sort of weather, this is when the fish come in to feed.
Yes, that winter, Glenn took me shore fishing in gale force winds.
He's definitely a man who likes a challenge.
Today, I'm hoping for gentler conditions,
and it looks like we've come to the perfect spot.
This is the River Esk, the best river for salmon
and sea trout in Yorkshire.
Glenn. Good to see you.
-Last time I saw you,
you took me to what felt like the coldest place on earth.
This is a bit better, isn't it?
I think it probably was the coldest place on earth that day!
This is far better, isn't it?
So, what brings us here to this beautiful river bank?
This is the River Esk, flows through Eskdale down into Whitby,
and we're here to photograph salmon and sea trout.
OK, so you're promising me fish again, but this time we're
going to get them on the camera, rather than on the end of a hook.
There seem to be rather a lot of fish jumping today.
This is a prime time to be here.
Late autumn, going into early winter,
all the fish have come here to spawn.
At this time of year, mature salmon and sea trout
return to the very same place where they hatched.
Their whole life at sea has been about this moment.
Everything in their life is about reproducing, so they have been
out there, they have eaten well, they've swum for miles and miles.
They are as fit as a fish can possibly be,
and here they are, coming back to reproduce.
I just saw one.
-That jumped really high, didn't it?
It was up in the air about a metre high.
Still nowhere near the top of the waterfalls.
That was a really big fish, that one.
-It's like a highly tuned athlete, isn't it?
-I think they are, yes.
-They're in prime condition when they come back here.
-He was a big one as well, wasn't he?
-He was brilliant.
I couldn't have missed him as well.
-I just missed him as well.
You can guarantee that if you move to the right,
they'll all start jumping in that corner.
-I didn't press!
-You didn't press?
-Glenn! Don't talk to me, don't talk to me.
-I'm distracting you.
-There's a huge one in that corner
now where we just left it.
What I like to do is focus right in and try to get a salmon or
a sea trout in full frame shot.
You're looking for an area of the dam where there's
a lot of fish hanging about, and then you'll focus right
tight into that area, and then it's basically just sit and wait.
I still miss more than you see.
Taking the perfect photo requires more than just patience
and skill, though.
You need to know where to go, too.
So, Glenn, how do you find the best places to look for wildlife?
Certainly for the salmon and sea trout,
this is a place we used to come as children and swim.
I put a lot of my photographs online in social media,
and through that I've got a lot of people getting in touch
and saying, "Hey, we've got a barn owl on our farm",
or "We've got a tawny owl here". I get invited to quite a lot of farms.
You've got this amazing countryside contacts book.
Yes, and the list grows.
That inside information has been invaluable in Glenn's quest
to photograph wildlife.
I would never call myself a wildlife photographer.
I think so many other people have so many better photographs
than myself, but I just like to document what's about.
But there's no guarantee that there'll be any wildlife about,
and that means there's a lot of hanging around, waiting.
So, how long would you spend here, taking photographs?
I was down here a couple of weeks ago, Sean,
and I think I sat maybe four or five hours that day.
It becomes almost an obsession at times.
You just want to capture that one perfect photograph.
These fish will only run this river on certain days
under certain conditions.
The river has to be in spate,
which means it has to have rained further up the valley.
Obviously, when there's too little,
it can be so shallow they just can't pass.
I can see a few of them poking their heads up.
Oh! He had two goes at it, didn't he? Did you see that one?
-I missed that one.
-Did you miss it?! Glenn!
It's not easy capturing salmon and sea trout leaping at full tilt.
But the Esk is the best place for it.
It's one of the few rivers in Yorkshire where they spawn.
The fish need clean waters and a clear route to sea,
plus gravel beds that are vital for laying their eggs.
To see them leap is to see just one small part
of their incredible journey.
That was a good one. There he is. It's the money shot.
-It's not so clear, but it's a good one.
-Looks good enough!
Glenn, you're too hard on yourself. That's brilliant.
-A big fish, isn't he?
-Yes, that looks quite a decent fish, actually.
Quite pleased with that.
And it's an amazing place to spend your days.
I think there's nowhere better to spend your days, really.
I mean, it's really, really good for the soul,
and it's good for your mental health.
There can be days when you're sat in and not feeling too happy,
and you just venture out, and you can forget it all in an instant.
Many of these fish will die once they've spawned,
but the strongest will survive and return to the sea,
perhaps to have their picture taken again in two or three years' time.
From spectacular moorland in the west...
..to rugged coastline in the east...
..the Cleveland Way offers the best of both worlds
to those in search of inspiration.
Having grown up near the coastal village of Sandsend, Katie Ventress
fuses the beauty of the natural world around her with her metalwork.
After an apprenticeship and six years of training,
Katie recently decided to go it alone,
and forge ahead as an artist blacksmith in her own right.
Now, her work is starting to make waves.
The great thing about being on the coast is that it changes every day.
Every morning you come down, it could be completely different.
With the winter comes rougher seas, there's more dramatic scenery.
It's perfect to come down and sort of have a root around,
see what's been washed up.
My work is very natural.
It can be anything from almost exact replicas of pieces of nature,
whether it's an actual sculpture of a lobster, or other fish,
but also I like to just create movement from the ocean.
I love these beds of ammonites, where hundreds of them
have sort of died, settled on the bottom,
and been fossilised over millions of years.
It works perfectly, taking inspiration from the coast
when it comes to metalwork because a lot of natural forms,
I've found, look like they're already made out of ironwork.
So, things like bladderwrack
perfectly lend themselves to forming shapes with iron.
You can wrap them around a candle holder, or something similar,
or use these limpets, anything like this as a backdrop
could work perfectly for a future piece of artwork.
Although iron is a very rigid, raw material,
once you start to manipulate it, you can give it dramatic shapes,
and it just suddenly brings it to life.
Or a little twist here, or a big fold there, and all of a sudden
it looks like you've just pulled it out of the sea.
I found a crab.
It's a little dogger.
I was born in West Barnby, which is just outside of Sandsend.
It's perfectly in the middle of the coastline.
It's backed by the woodlands,
and then you've also got, you know, the agricultural farmland around it,
and there's no other environment
I would want to be for inspiration than here.
This is Mulgrave Estate.
We've visited this area all my life, for as long as I can remember.
It is the perfect place to have grown up.
No matter what mood you were in that day, or what the weather was like,
there as always somewhere that you wanted to be out playing in.
I have always been the type of person to get my hands dirty,
being able to sort of forage things, gather things,
find out how things work.
This is a lovely cluster of mushrooms there.
But I was always told never to touch them
if you're not actually sure what they are.
I never would have put myself as a blacksmith.
When I started to move towards creating 3-D pieces,
I knew that I loved metalwork, but I didn't know the name to put to it.
I used to like trying to make things out of scrap material.
We'd root around through skips, that sort of thing,
and collect up things that could make a great sculpture.
But it wasn't until after university,
when I was looking for any kind of employment where I would be
able to make things creatively, that I found the opportunity
to take on an apprenticeship with a blacksmith,
and I thought I'll give it a go, and it just merged perfectly.
I only really started up around two months ago on my own, full-time.
You think of the facts, like new businesses fail within
the first two years, so that's always in the back of my mind.
But again, it's just a risk you've got to take.
You weigh up how you feel going to work for somebody else every
day, and think, "Is it worth risking it?".
At least then I know I've tried.
For a female of my size, I'm fairly strong. Fairly.
It's not necessarily about your strength.
Yes, it might take me a little bit longer, but you've just got to
use your head, and use something like a wrench to give you
a bit of leverage, or stand on something to give yourself
some height to bear down on something.
But it's more about stamina and just perseverance.
So, I think I'm done.
One tree branch with some nice, heavy texture.
And a leaf.
Earlier, we heard how climate change is affecting our bird populations.
But, is sitting back and watching the effects all we can do?
The latest "State of the UK's Birds Report" has revealed
exclusively to Countryfile that climate change could
push some of our rarer bird species to extinction.
These birds just simply haven't got the scope to adapt to the
change that's happening.
But, there will be winners, as well as losers, and we may well be
gaining some new feathered friends as others disappear.
That's why I'm looking into a success story, and finding out
what more we can do to help our birds, both present and future.
Author and bird expert Steve Piotrowski is a big
fan of the bird I'm hoping to catch sight of today
here on Sutton and Horsley Heath in Suffolk, the Dartford warbler.
It sounds quintessentially English,
but has a Mediterranean temperament and struggles in the cold.
But now, it's starting to thrive in the UK's warmer temperatures.
A beautiful bit of heath here,
but what are the chances of seeing a Dartford warbler?
It's difficult because they don't stay out very long.
They'll get to the top of the heather
-and then dive back down again quickly.
-Where it's cosy?
-That's right, yeah.
-So, what do they like about heather?
There's a lot of food underneath the heather,
so they can forage there and find food.
They particularly like spiders' cocoons,
-so perhaps we can go in and see if we can find some.
-Yes, see if we can find some.
So, if we just have a little hunt around here. There we go.
Oh, yeah, there's one there, look. Just here.
-That little white spot there.
-You've been coming here a long time.
-You didn't used to see Dartford warblers in the past.
-Tell me about their story.
-They were lost in the early war years,
and then we had three successive poor winters,
very severe winters, and they disappeared altogether.
They didn't come back until the early '90s,
when they first started coming back as migrants.
And then they colonised the heath late 1999,
and they've been breeding ever since.
How do you feel about the fact that they're back?
I'm very excited. It's amazing to see them come back.
I didn't think I'd see it in my lifetime.
How certain are you that climate change is driving this change?
Without doubt. We really haven't had any really bad winters since 1963.
The Dartford warbler is moving northward.
It's been seen as far up as Yorkshire,
and is now surviving at higher altitudes.
But, in south-west Europe, where most of the population is found,
this little songbird is declining fast.
So, will we be able to accommodate all these climate refugees?
There's not enough habitat, and we are unable to create enough habitat.
We have a shortage of space, places like this are unique, really,
so we're not going to be able to support them, no.
What's clear is that we are gaining new species,
and if we want them to stay, we are
going to need to do more to provide the conditions that they need.
I'm here at Wallasea Island in Essex, one of the UK's newest
nature reserves, where they're engineering habitats that will
withstand changing conditions - in effect, climate proofing in action.
I'm going to be lending a hand, and it looks like the first job
could be getting this boat off the mud.
-Hi, Rachel, how are you doing?
-Where are we off to?
-We're off to that island over there.
-Oh, so not far!
Oh, hello. We're going!
This is one of the shortest ferry crossings I've ever had in my life!
The RSPB Wallasea reserve was created on farmland
under threat from sea-level rise.
A remarkable three million tons of earth
excavated from London's Crossrail project was shipped in
to raise the ground height.
It was sculpted into a range of islands and lagoons
to attract nesting birds, while providing a local flood defence.
And, this is where I am being put to work by reserve warden Rachel Fancy.
So, what's the purpose of the weed raking, Rachel?
We need to clear the islands for breeding birds for next year,
so birds such as redshank might come and nest here,
-and they like the grass to be short...
..so they can see any incoming predators.
What happens to the brash we're collecting here?
So, because it's a new lagoon,
it hasn't got much food in it at the moment.
We can put these nutrients into the water,
and it should provide good new nutrients for some invertebrates
to live on, and that will be some food for the birds in the future.
What's the guiding principle behind the design here?
One of the things the ecologists thought about when they designed it
was future-proofing it for climate change and sea-level rise,
and making sure that the habitats here
not only helped those that might potentially be at risk from
climate change, but also provided habitat for future colonists.
So, it is about helping what's already in here
-and in trouble, as well as new arrivals?
-It certainly is.
The redshank, which breeds on salt marshes, their nests could
potentially get drowned out in the future as sea levels rise,
and we've provided shallow slopes down from the sea walls in order
for that salt marsh to be able to creep up and still have that height.
As well as building in the capacity to cope with a rising sea,
they've also created islands here that will appeal to
species like common terns, which could be vulnerable.
And, it's working for new arrivals, too.
Black-winged stilts have been spotted here
for the first time this year.
This is a great example of adaptation,
but I guess this kind of work can only go so far.
That's true, there's only so much land that we can create these
habitats in, and obviously some of the species might well move
north and disappear from this country altogether.
Well, we'd better do a little bit more weed raking, I think,
get some of this stuff in the water.
The careful planning at Wallasea may provide a vital lifeline
for our birds, but is it enough?
Projects like this do help to soften the blow of climate change,
but, in a steadily warming world, birds, and indeed all wildlife,
face a perilous future.
Right, well, I enjoyed the view.
And a cup of tea. You need one on a day like today.
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With agricultural land prices averaging around £9,000 an acre,
buying a farm is an expensive business.
In Cumbria, Adam's meeting one couple who found a way
to break into agriculture without breaking the bank.
When it came to becoming a farmer, I was very lucky
because my father had taken on a farm tenancy and, in my early 30s,
I was fortunate enough to succeed the tenancy from him.
But, for new entrants without family ties,
starting to farm can be quite tricky.
But it's not impossible.
David and Bekka Corrie-Close don't come from a farming background,
but they've found a clever way of getting a foot on to the farming ladder,
and it's all about the growing demand
for grazing cattle in conservation areas.
Hi, guys. Have I come at a crucial moment?
There we go.
-I'll just hold his chin up.
Well, I have to say, you took some finding.
-It's quite remote here, isn't it?
It's a lovely site, though.
Plenty of shade for the cattle in this woodland.
And what are you up to?
We're just bringing these three Belted Galloways onto a new site
here at Arnsite, it's National Trust land.
Before we let them out, we've got a tag to put into this one,
who's managed to pull it out at the last site he was on.
-I'll give you a hand to put the tag in and we'll turn him out.
-Good boy, good boy. So he's good to go.
-Let him go?
The others can follow. Come on, boys. Freedom!
Come on, lads.
Come on, boys.
And off they go.
With no land of their own, they graze their cattle
on land belonging to various landlords,
including the RSPB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.
Come on, then, boys. They're going along nicely, aren't they?
They are, yes. They're following David with a treat, though.
-Come on, boys!
What made you decide to become farmers?
My background is in ecology and I have a passion for being outdoors
and working with animals, so this works really well together.
-So, sort of farming with nature?
-It is, it's farming with nature.
And how big is the site here and what have you got?
This is about 40 acres.
It's a mixture of woodland and limestone grassland.
A mixture of lots of different species. It's a very beautiful site.
We've got about ten animals on here at the moment.
-Very different to your normal farmer's field, isn't it?
-Looks like they might be making a break into the woods. Let's get around them.
Come on, boys.
Well, it's lovely that they've found all their mates.
I must say, I was very impressed how you led us down the path to get to the other cattle.
How did you know where they were?
I've got an app on my phone and that'll produce a map
and tell me where the red belty with the collar on,
-the GPS collar on, is on this site.
-It's very good, isn't it?
-Saves us a lot of time.
If we didn't have that, it could take upwards of an hour
just to find them with all this scrub and the trees.
And is it because these areas were available that gave you
-the opportunity to get into farming?
-In a way, yes.
But to be honest, this is just the kind of land that we want to be managing.
So, Bekka, if you were offered more productive grazing,
-like you've got over the wall here, would you take it?
-Not really, no.
We have a passion for farming with nature
and that is farming ground like this.
-It's a very different way of thinking, isn't it?
-It is, yes.
This is a way of farming that's allowed the couple to develop
their herd of cattle across environmentally-sensitive
sites in and around the Lake District.
But farming extensively over a wide area isn't without its challenges.
Roaming from site to site,
everything they use has to be mobile.
They have to bring the farm to the cows.
But with some ingenious kit and the right attitude,
David and Bekka have found a way to make it work.
It's quite unusual for farmers to be travelling
to see all their different groups of cattle, like this. How many sites have you got?
We've got about 15 different sites with about 80 herd of cattle at the moment,
and each site needs managing very differently,
with different numbers of cattle.
So we've just been to Arnside Knott, which is our southernmost point,
and now we're heading up to Tebay, which is our most northern.
And that's about 25 miles away,
but it can take about 45 minutes to get there.
I notice how the weather's turned a bit.
-We've got a bit of rain coming in now.
-Mm. Not very nice, is it?
As we leave the coast and climb into the hills, the heavens open.
And with the unforgiving winters you get up here,
it just goes to show that it's not just 4x4 cars you need
it's 4x4 cattle.
-That's lined up. Great.
-This is looking really good.
So, can we find these cattle on your GPS collars now?
So today, we're catching them up to fit a GPS collar,
so that's going to make it easier to find these animals
when we come to look for them next time.
So, where are they this time? THEY LAUGH
-Even bigger site here, I'm afraid.
This is about 100 acres that we're looking for the cattle on today.
-But hopefully, the terrain is a bit more open,
so we should be able to spy them in the distance.
Fingers crossed. Let's go.
None of the sites David and Bekka manage offer shelter,
and with no farmstead to house the cows over the winter,
they have to be hardy to survive the elements.
-It'll keep you fit, farming here.
Luckily, even without David's GPS locator,
the cattle don't prove too hard to find.
-Well, there they are.
Do we need to get up behind them to bring them down?
They should come to a call. I've got some treats.
If I shout them, they should follow us down.
They're Shetland cattle. They're a rare breed. They're a native breed.
And they're fantastic for this type of landscape.
We used to own some Shetlands at home. Lovely little cattle.
So native breeds are what you're using, is it?
Yep. So they're really well suited to tricky terrain.
They're great at eating off rank grass in the winter
and turning that into energy.
-Go on, then, David, see if you can call them down. Test your skills.
DAVID RATTLES FEED
DAVID RATTLES FEED
-Oh, they're moving.
I've very impressed! They're coming straight down!
This is easy, this lark, isn't it?
It's all in the training.
-Shall we get ahead of them, then?
-All right, yeah, beautiful.
Come on, girls! There we are, look. Come on, then!
Grazing cattle in these isolated areas has focused David and Bekka
on the quality of their product, rather than the quantity.
Come on. Come on, come on! They're quite well behaved.
-Are yours as good?
There's a lot more running around with my cattle, I can tell you.
Come on. Come on, come on, come on.
Farming their herd in this way is also strengthening their rural credentials.
Which is all-important in an industry that
desperately needs new blood.
OK, so here's the collar that we're going to put on.
This is one of the quietest ones of our herd.
Brilliant that technology is helping this lovely old-fashioned
way of farming, really.
This herd should be a lot easier to find now you've got that on.
Yeah, they really should.
I've been very impressed by what you've achieved so far
in such a short period of time as first-time farmers.
What's the goal? Where do you see the future?
We really need a tenancy on a farm somewhere locally.
That will allow our business to go to the next level, really.
-So that's what we're looking for.
Yeah. Having a base and having somewhere that we can perhaps
house our calves in the first winter.
But you still want to keep farming these sort of remote areas?
This is the landscape that we want to be part of
and want to be involved with managing, so absolutely, yeah.
Well, I think you've got every chance of success
and I'm very impressed by the way you've got your foot on the farming ladder.
-Right, shall we let this lady out?
-Yes. She's been very well behaved.
That's it. Good lass.
What a wonderful way to farm.
We spent all our childhood outside.
It was wonderful.
There was lots of different birds then.
We used to go looking for birds' nests in the spring.
Well, the best thing about being outside was being outside.
Everything seemed so free. We didn't have any money.
We didn't need money.
For the last two years, hundreds of childhood memories have been
collected from people in East Cleveland.
Well, the meadows then, there was that many flowers,
every kind you could imagine.
That's why there were so many butterflies.
And the smell was absolutely gorgeous.
It was just like the Garden of Eden.
Depending on the time of year,
there was always something to go and see.
We never had any fear or, you know, nothing seemed to bother us.
We just roamed as far as we could as long as we were back for tea.
These recordings are part of an ambitious project
for Teesside Wildlife Trust.
But far from being a collection of random stories,
these memories are revealing new insights into the history
of wildlife, farming and childhood in this stunning landscape.
Well, as a child, we used to see chaffinch, bullfinch,
We did see red squirrels.
We'd see fox, badgers, the hares.
Down here on the seashore, the rocks, up on the moors.
Red clover and white clover and meadowsweet.
All sorts of different flowers.
All the mice, the moles, the shrews.
Yellowhammers. Now, they're a bonny little bird, is the yellowhammer.
The project is called Where the Wild Things Were,
and Kate Bartram is in charge.
Kate, why is the project important?
In our area in East Cleveland, we have very few biological records.
Particularly anything before the 1990s.
And when I was going around visiting community groups,
I'd meet older people who would tell me stories.
And they would be talking about animals that we don't think
we have in the landscape any longer,
like the water voles or the dormice, or red squirrels.
And somehow, the landscape's changed.
You need to now link the past to the future.
So by utilising everybody's memories,
we get this collective voice about change across our landscape.
And what have you found?
These children would get up in the morning and they'd be out all day.
You know, as eight, nine, ten year olds,
they would quite happily spend a whole day walking five miles
following the becks from the sea here,
all the way up to the moors across there.
They knew all the bends in the river.
They can tell us about changes they've seen in fishing streams.
Just the pure abundance of birds.
A lot of people talk about how they just used to sit and watch things.
They would watch where the birds went and where they nested.
And that whole connectedness with nature has really changed.
Kate has gathered nearly 40 hours of memories,
a rich tapestry of information from people who grew up in
small towns near the coast, the woods, the fields and moors.
My name is Rita Beckham and I am 81.
Different days were different things,
but we always seemed to end up in the beck.
When we were younger, there appeared to be much more wildlife
than what there is now.
Every memory provides vital information about wildlife
distribution in the past, where certain species could be found
and how common they were.
But this collection of memories is also creating a powerful
social record of a bygone time.
My name is Eileen Found,
I am 79 years old.
Everyone knew about nature in those days
and it was just complete freedom.
There was two very large ponds
and it was full of newts,
newts with the combs down their backs with orange on their chests.
I don't know what they were called.
Boys used to go and collect them, maybe catch up to 50 and put them
in a bucket and then at the end of the time, put them all back again.
It was just something to do.
Since that time, the rules have changed on collecting newts
and other wildlife,
but the stories will allow Teesside Wildlife Trust
to focus their conservation efforts on particular areas in the future.
Another local contributor to the archive is Don Agar.
The main thing I would say about my childhood is the freedom
and ability to just roam.
Don's free time was spent in the woodland building dens
and making campfires and he had a special way of getting them lit.
King Alfred's cakes, or cramp fungus as it is also known,
grows in these woodlands and makes the perfect fire-lighter,
as long as you know what you're doing.
-So you're actually lighting the fire with fungus you've picked from the forest?
That's a good spark you've got there.
It's got going, I can see it's red.
You can see that is just a tiny spark but...
-It's like a piece of charcoal.
-It is, very much the same.
I use it to cook on so if you are going to go further on to light a fire, you can carry that with you
and blow on it and you've got a fire going again.
-It's really warm, isn't it?
I know spots I can go straight to and collect it.
Got to know loads of things like that, you just know a specific area
for cramp fungus or crab apples or whatever.
As you describe it, I can see the little boy in your eyes there.
-Take you back.
-Yes, we had some good fun climbing round here and...
And we knew the woods, we knew every inch of the woods.
The way we were at that time,
we were born to be in the woods I think.
It's childhood experiences like these that forged a lifelong
love of the outdoors in Don and the others.
And their knowledge is invaluable to this oral history project.
So far, 50 people have contributed their memories.
My name is John Robert Craggs and I am 82 years old.
My childhood, it was lovely really.
Things seemed to be more beautiful.
Whether it was because I was young, I don't know.
This is where we used to catch the frogs.
I took a frog over
and put it on the edge of the waterfall just to make it jump off.
I lifted my leg up just to give it a nudge and next thing
I was flying through the air and down into the stream below.
I landed flat on my back so I had no bruises or anything.
The frog was still sat on the top.
These stories are a powerful pointer as to how much
this landscape has changed.
But they offer something else - a window on childhoods past,
before they are forgotten forever.
Now it's time to see what the weather has in store
for the week ahead, with the Countryfile forecast.
Sean and I have been exploring the Cleveland Way near the border
of North Yorkshire and Cleveland.
It's a 109-mile footpath that takes in the wild North York Moors
and the beauty of the Yorkshire coast.
The official guidebook recommends nine days to walk the whole route,
allowing plenty of time to take in the many impressive
places along the way.
But there are some who think nothing of doing the whole thing,
end-to-end, in one go,
and give themselves just 36 hours to do it.
Yes, that's right, some people choose to do the entire
109-mile trail nonstop through day and night. Wait for me!
The Hardmoors race series was set up by fitness fanatic Jon Steele
as the ultimate endurance challenge along the Cleveland Way.
Today Jon has promised to be gentle with me.
Thankfully for Poppy the dog and me,
he is only putting us through a so-called light training session.
Talk me through the Hardmoors series then - where did it start?
Why do people do it?
It started in 2008.
The first race, we had about 15 runners.
And people take part in it really purely for the challenge.
-It's a challenge.
And how many people do it now, the 110?
We had over 130 runners.
-It's quadrupled in size.
What is it about this type of event that you love?
Why do you do it?
Something about the 110 -
it's 24 to 36 hours,
and it's almost living a lifetime in a day, the amount of emotions you go
through, the highs and lows - as you know - and then the highs again.
What is it like running this route in the dark?
When you look to one side you can see the lights of Middlesbrough
and civilisation, and on the other side you have miles and miles
of desolate moorland, so it is quite a cosy feeling.
-Cosy is an interesting word.
This area where we are running at the moment is one of my favourites
and not so far away from here is where I actually got married.
And we also held a seven-mile running race the next day
over these very hills.
All dressed up in wedding gear.
You're dedicated. HE LAUGHS
It's fair to say this route holds a very special place in Jon's heart.
The Hardmoor runners have adopted their own three sections
of the Cleveland Way to do their bit for its upkeep.
I would love to stay and help, but I've got a date to keep.
How far is it to the coast?
About 20 miles.
Right, I'd better pick up the pace if I am going to meet Sean
there by the end of the programme.
Come on, team.
Well, so much for Helen.
At least I've made it on time.
-What are you doing just hanging around?
-You finally made it!
Have you come from far?
All the way from the car park.
I was going to lie and say I did the 20 miles
but I couldn't do it to you.
That's so Helen. All over.
Efficient, I think I'd like to say.
Yes, that's it for today's programme. Next week, Ellie and Matt
are going to be in the Brecklands of Suffolk and Norfolk.
Yes, they will be looking at
a major push to save some of our rarest species
and finding out why the Brecks are surprisingly good for farming.
I was saving my energy for the final race of the day.
Helen and Sean are on the Cleveland Way in North Yorkshire. Helen meets the team of Scouts who have 'adopted' their own stretch of the 109-mile trail and are busy clearing gorse and doing some vital maintenance. She then joins the Hardmoors, a group of ultra marathon runners who have also adopted their own stretch, on a run through some spectacular countryside.
Sean explores Yorkshire childhoods through an incredible oral history project, before joining wildlife photographer Glenn Kilpatrick as he attempts to photograph leaping salmon on the beautiful River Esk.
Blacksmith and artist Katie Ventress takes Countryfile to her favourite stretch of coast. Tom has an exclusive look at a major new report into the effects of climate change on our bird populations, and Adam meets the young couple getting into farming despite not having a farm.