Matt Baker takes to the Trent in a kayak and finds out about the effort to clean up the river. In Rutland, Helen Skelton is an apprentice in a windmill.
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HELEN SKELTON: With its flat, fertile plains,
the East Midlands is more rural than you might think.
And running through it, one of the UK's mightiest rivers, the Trent.
Matt will be finding out how it's been brought back to life,
whilst I'm an apprentice for the day at one of the last
Nigel, you must be constantly covered in a cloud of flour. Yes.
Is your beard really black under there?
No, no, it's white with age and stress!
Tom's in Wales, where a global health crisis is affecting
Obviously, we're going to have to go back to plan A, I'd have thought.
Which is...? Which is culling, I'd have thought. Yes.
tonight sees the launch of this year's Photographic Competition.
This is turning into more Carry On than I was expecting!
And Adam's at the Bath and West Show catching up
Tell me about your sheep, how many sheep have you got here to show?
So which is your favourite? Willow. Willow.
Early summer in the heart of England.
Splashes of green burst on the river banks...
I'm in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands.
Just one of the counties cut through by the River Trent.
But the Trent hasn't always been like this.
200 years of heavy industry took its toll.
Waste from factories and homes was dumped straight into the river.
I'm going to meet a man who has helped its fortunes change.
Alan Henshaw has known the Trent since he was a child
and now works for the Environment Agency's fisheries team.
This is a really, really special piece of river.
As you can see, it's very natural, lots of weed,
Yes. It really is. Very clear, isn't it?
It is. It is. Today it's very, very clear.
But that hasn't always been the case,
I mean, at the end of the Industrial Revolution, how bad did it get here?
In the 1880s, I think it was, there were 3,000 salmon in the river.
Within a decade, that had dropped down to 10.
So, it just shows you how bad the pollution was. Yeah.
Right, and water temperature and stuff like that, as well.
I mean, that's obviously key for a river. It is.
In the 1940s, they built lots of coal-fired power stations.
And they warmed the water up. You know, as a kid fishing,
You just put your feet in the water and your feet stayed nice and warm.
But, of course, that artificially heated it
so it was making a kind of an unnatural habitat.
Look closely and you might just see a few chub idling in the shallows.
These fish need pristine conditions to thrive.
It's testament to the improvement of their habitat that they're here.
What's the situation these days with the fish stocks?
We've stocked young salmon into rivers
There are thousands of salmon that now run each year.
They're a really good indicator species.
If salmon are running, then your river is in good nick.
And other species, as well, then? Definitely.
The spread of species that we've now got, you know, the chub,
the dace, the roach, the barbel, the bream.
and that's because the water quality is so good now
that the youngsters get a good start in life.
I love the river. It's my river. Uh-huh.
'To improve the numbers of fish in the Trent
'Mother Nature was given a helping hand.'
The river was restocked from the Environment Agency's fish
The fish bred here are used to replenish rivers all over the UK.
This is where the eggs... Oh, yeah. This is where all the eggs start.
In here at the moment there is two, three, four million larvae.
A lot of larvae in here and this is where everything starts life.
And how long ago would these have hatched?
Because they're destined for the wild it's important that
This is the orange gloopy brine shrimp
and it's a live food and it's much easier for the fish to digest it.
The stuff comes from the great salt lakes in Utah.
How often are you feeding them a mix like this?
Feeding them five or six times a day.
The larvae are feeding really, really aggressively.
And this is what that food looks like under a microscope.
As well as being easy to digest these tiny shrimps give
the young barbel their first big lesson in life.
will consist of small crustaceans and insects.
There you can see they've all got orange bellies, they're feeding
really, really well. All the little tiny orange dots are the shrimp.
These fish are moving from tank to tank here under this roof?
Yes, they're going to be in here for three,
maybe four weeks and then we'll move them on to the next stage.
These fish will remain here until they're 18 months old.
Later I'll be back to find out how they're being taught to be
streetwise - or river-wise - before being released into the wild.
Normally at this time of year, badger vaccinations would be
under way as part of the battle against TB in cattle,
but as Tom has been finding out, a global health crisis in humans
is affecting efforts to eradicate this invisible killer.
Our relationship with badgers has never been straightforward.
"Tommy Brock was a short bristly fat waddling person.
"He ate wasp nests and frogs and worms,
Brock the Badger - cast as a villain by Beatrix Potter 100 years ago
and still seen as a bad guy by some in farming today.
Why? Badgers are blamed by some for helping to spread tuberculosis in
cattle and TB is devastating parts of our beef and dairy industry.
they have controversial programmes to shoot badgers.
But here in Wales, there's a no-cull policy.
Instead, they rely on bio-security, testing and they vaccinate badgers
to stop them catching and spreading TB.
But there is a worldwide shortage of the vaccine
so this year no badgers will be vaccinated at all.
it's causing extra confusion for farmers at the sharp end
like Gareth and Ann Gamage in Pembrokeshire.
Today, they are getting the result of TB tests on their 500 dairy cows.
Gareth, tell me what are these TB testing days like for you?
Pretty stressful. Yeah? Pretty stressful and it's a lot of work,
the pasture at this time of year is hard work.
How many years have you been fighting this problem?
It's been ongoing for best part of 10, 12 years with us.
You've got the financial implications,
And of course, you've got the physical aspects to deal with.
I've got to draft staff in today now to help us
and I've got to do this twice in a week.
Just one positive reading will mean that animal being destroyed
and the whole herd effectively quarantined and retested.
animal movements will be severely restricted.
You have sleepless nights beforehand, don't you,
because it is D-Day. They live or die on these tests.
As they reach the last few cows, the tensions are even getting
We're getting near the end of the tests now.
It makes me feel really nervous. Why particularly now?
Well, because we've been clear so far
and it only takes one to put us back to square one again. OK.
The fear of infection being spread by badgers has prompted
while in England there are selective culls and some vaccination.
And in Northern Ireland they trap badgers,
test for TB and then either vaccinate or cull.
Here in Wales the overall cost of the vaccination programme
George Walters vaccinates badgers and he's set up a trap to show me
We use peanuts as bait for the badger
and we are usually on the farm for about two weeks.
When we're confident, after usually 10 or 12 days
with the badger going in and going out,
we will then set the cages to trap. And then, bang.
Yes. What we do, we use these and we'll put them
through the cage like that. We can then push the badger
towards the side and then we will simply inject through the cage.
or do you think it is quite benign for the badger?
I don't see any problem for the badger.
Generally, we capture around 30% of the badgers from the previous night,
so they're quite happy to come back and take the peanuts,
even though they have been caught already.
that you have got this year where there is no vaccine?
I think this role is vital in the fight against bovine TB.
While it's no silver bullet on its own, used in conjunction
with other bio-security methods, it goes a long way
in being able to do something about the TB problem.
It's vital that we get this vaccine back again next year.
if the vaccine wasn't available for next year?
in trying to offer the farming community
a viable option in the fight against bovine TB.
It is disappointing that we don't, you know...
We have the policy in Wales of vaccination.
It's completely unworkable without the vaccine.
As there is no badger culling in Wales,
some say this leaves dairy and beef farmers powerless
Also, they say this is more than a minor hiccup,
and adds uncertainty to an already muddled debate.
That's what I'll be looking at later in the programme.
I'm in Leicestershire, a stone's throw away
from the market town of Melton Mowbray,
the self-titled rural capital of food.
one food has always been at the heart
And in these parts, it was one cheese in particular -
Colwick, a long-lost traditional cheese now being revived
He is using Red Poll cattle, an old English breed,
whose creamy milk is perfect for making Colwick cheese.
For Alan, it is all about the animals.
You have a lifelong passion for cows.
When I was seven, I had my first calf for my birthday
and I must have been the proudest chap in England.
put it on the back-seat of the car, and came home with it.
And Alan knows all of his ladies by name.
Most of them have actually got pedigree names.
So you keep family names going. Yeah.
So we've got quite a lot of Dellas, Candys...
Hilarys are another, quite a big name.
Cheese is a serious business in these parts -
along with bread, it was a staple of the working poor.
Think of a ploughman's lunch and you get the idea.
to protest about the huge hike in food prices.
In Nottingham, there were riots about the cost of cheese,
which had rocketed by a third and left people to go hungry.
Thankfully, Alan's cheese has been winning awards
I am headed to the dairy now to join Alan's wife Jane
to see where the magic of Colwick cheese happens.
OK, Jane, talk us through this process, then.
Alan has put the milk in here, this morning,
and we have put some starter culture and rennet in.
and then it just goes in these moulds.
So Colwick cheese is a cheese that is made in a cloth
and it sticks to the sides of the cloth
Presumably, originally, they were...socks, or something.
Yes, or stockings, actually, I think,
But we don't use those today, obviously.
so you could put, like, blackberries in the middle,
or an up-to-date take on it is a sweet chilli sauce...
In the middle of the cheese? Yes. Oh, wow!
I am just so impressed at you guys, because diversifying, for farmers,
is something a lot of people are forced to do,
but you guys seem to be doing this with a smile on your face.
We decided that we had to do something different,
because if we had just produced a black-and-white milk,
it would have tasted exactly the same.
to preserve the English rare and native breeds.
The cheese has done phenomenally well, hasn't it? It has.
We have won a gold for Rutland Slipcote at Nantwich,
which is the world's largest dairy event,
So they now have to stand there... OK. ..overnight.
And how long does it take for them to turn into edible cheese?
So, they drain, and then we salt them.
How much did you know about cheese before you started making this?
Nothing at all before we started making cheese.
It has been a lot harder to learn how to make the cheese
just this simple cheese has taken two years to develop it
It's time for the bit I have been looking forward to the most.
Jane, perfect timing. I've brought you a cup of tea.
It's not crumbly, is it? Creamy.
Possibly more than we should do. LAUGHTER
Put some on some nice bread, tomatoes on top,
I can see why you've won all those awards.
Thank you very much. Thank you, Helen.
I'm all in favour of bringing back forgotten recipes like this.
I could eat this till the cows come home.
A fleeting, magical time when the world awakens
Throughout the day, the landscape is transformed
until dusk cloaks the countryside, returning it to sleep.
For this year's Countryfile Photographic Competition,
and capture the British countryside in its ever-changing glory,
To launch our contest, I have come to a nature reserve
It's a charitable project run by one of this year's judges,
Simon King, the distinguished wildlife cameraman and presenter.
Also joining Simon and I on the judging team
is the comedian and writer Rhona Cameron.
bringing her discerning eye to bear on your photos.
I'd like to accept your offer. Excellent!
Our new judges are all keen photographers,
Welcome to the judging team. Lovely to be here.
Nice to see you. Good to see you. Hello.
I am going to send you out on a photographic safari
to see what you can find on Simon's reserve,
but I know you've been studying the current calendar,
so anything there stands out in particular to you?
See, that is very restful. Calm, isn't it? It is very sleepy.
Very calming. Everything is sleeping.
Absolutely. And I have to say I echo your choice.
Thank you, Simon. I think you'll find we have impeccable taste.
you're a bit of a toughie, aren't you? Well...
How tough are you going to be with our entrants?
because there are a lot of amazing entries,
and you have to be really singular about what is it
that makes this really, really special,
because it'd be easy to sit there and say they are all brilliant.
talk about the golden hour, don't you?
That period just after sunrise, just before sunset,
when the light is at its warmest and colour is at its most saturated,
of course, it can make an image absolutely sing.
It's down to the eye of the photographer
something that we might not otherwise have seen.
Well, we'll see what you can do. Off you go into the reserve.
LAUGHTER See you later.
are more than 25 specially rigged cameras
Everything you see in front of you is live. Oh, wow!
On the left, there you go. That's a great tit
who is currently feeding a brood of chicks.
Clearly, there's lots of fascinating wildlife here.
Such a lovely day as well. It is, let's make the most of it.
But just how much of it will Deborah, Rhona and Simon see today
down the lenses of their own cameras?
I know I've got a big lens, you haven't got to point that out.
But Simon believes you can take great pictures
particularly for close and macro work.
In many ways, you can be much more intimate
than you can with a great big digital single lens...
Yeah, that's really close. I mean, I'm in there.
So around the ground here are bits of manky old tin,
which actually provide sanctuary for a host of different creatures.
There we go. Oh, wow! A field vole.
Nailed it. Thank you very much. There is a vole.
Well, I've just checked my picture...
..double-checking that she has got a...!
And I have just got a big corrugated thing, pulled up,
Well, don't worry if you are not as speedy at snapping as Deborah,
because Simon has a top tip on how to photograph other small creatures.
So, every time I see a harvest mouse in a picture,
it's kind of sitting on an ear of wheat.
Almost certainly it's a harvest mouse in captivity, in a set.
When I photograph harvest mice, I build a special set.
In fact, this is an out-of-focus picture of a field
that acts as a backdrop for an image of a field
when I am taking a photograph of a harvest mouse.
And that's out of focus because it gives you...
Because it gives you depth and perspective. OK.
So it gives an artificial view of the world.
any images of British wildlife in captivity must be declared as such
and pictures of pets are not allowed,
But whatever you decide to photograph,
and take care not to disturb any animals,
especially protected ones, or damage the environment.
is wide open to your own interpretations.
What we ARE looking for are eye-catching photographs which will
show off the British countryside at its very best all through the year.
It could be scenes of snow-covered fields at dawn,
the shadows of clouds sweeping across the landscape
bathed in the light of the setting sun.
It really can be any aspect of our landscape throughout the day.
From all your photos showcasing the British countryside from dawn
till dusk, the very best 12 selected by the judges will take
pride of place in the Countryfile calendar for 2017 -
And just here is a great tit nesting.
To be really close enough to take good photographs,
So you can help me... Right, so what happens?
we'll have an overall winner voted for by Countryfile viewers.
See the bits that look like dimples? This bit here?
No, you push them out, don't you? No, you...
HE LAUGHS There we go.
Not only will their picture feature on the cover of the calendar,
they'll also get to choose photographic equipment worth ?1,000.
Don't! That tickles, don't! Please don't.
Are we in the right...? Right a bit. Right.
This is turning into more Carry On than I was expecting.
Whoever takes the judge's favourite photo will be able
to pick photographic equipment to the value of ?500.
So, what's the longest time you've been in a hide?
The longest period I spent, for possibly the shortest return,
was to film a sparrow hawk catching a blue tit and on the 14th day,
the male sparrowhawk arrived, was at the table for about a second
and a half, grabbed a blue tit and took off.
It's actually a very privileged view.
Deborah, Rhona and Simon have really made the most of their time
here but what are their favourite photos of the day?
So how did you do, then? I think the proof's in the pudding, isn't it?
I got a demoiselle fly... Yeah, a beautiful demoiselle.
..actually looking at me. There it is.
And the detail's phenomenal, isn't it? Yeah.
That's the only half-decent one and it's not great.
My talent is capturing people and desolate landscapes and buildings.
I like it. But this is... Not a lot of those
in the Countryfile Photographic Competition.
Now, what about you, Simon? Got some goose, goose pics.
There are really different layers to that, isn't there?
It's fun, isn't it? I think what this proves
though is that you can take great pictures on any kind of camera.
Yeah. And how are you looking forward to the actual judging?
This is where I'm going to have to put on my Dragon's hat.
I will enjoy the small sense of power
I will get from the proceedings, being a benign despot type.
You can be a Dragonette. Indeed.
You know, I think that, very quickly, with that sort of process,
the winners jump out at you - they get you.
If you think your skills behind the camera could really impress
the judges, there's only one way to find out.
To enter the competition, please write your name, address
and a daytime and evening phone number on the back of each photo
The competition isn't open to professionals
and because we're looking for something original,
your pictures must not have won any other national competition.
they must have been taken in the UK and please remember
we're looking for hard copies, not e-mailed or computer files.
And I'm very sorry, but we just can't return any entries.
The full terms and conditions are on our website and that's where you'll
also find details of the BBC's code of conduct for competitions.
The competition closes on July 22nd, so that means you've got just
under five weeks to send in your pictures,
so it's time to go out and capture the British countryside
from dawn till dusk and we look forward to seeing your entries.
Tom's been looking into fresh concerns over the battle
A programme to vaccinate badgers in hot spots in England
and Wales has been put on hold indefinitely
because of a shortage of the vaccine.
Last year, across the UK, more than 47,000 cattle were
slaughtered after testing positive for TB.
Farmers at the sharp end say something has to change.
The crisis means TB testing is a regular fixture for cattle farmers
like Gareth and Anne Gamage in Pembrokeshire.
..and it only takes one to put us back...
Many blame badgers for helping to spread TB to cattle.
But while in England and Northern Ireland,
there is badger culling, here in Wales,
they rely on bio-security, testing cattle and vaccinating badgers.
The trouble is, this year, there is no vaccine.
The Welsh NFU says it's time for an about-turn and Gareth agrees.
We've got cattle here that are in a controlled environment,
they're tagged, we know what we're treating.
To actually tackle wildlife, when we don't know what's there,
and try and vaccinate that, it just seems very difficult to me.
You can probably trap the same badger ten times,
And now we haven't got a vaccine for a year, what do you make of that?
Obviously, we're going to have to go back to plan A, I'd have thought.
Dr Liz Lewis-Reddy and her husband Mike breed Welsh coloured cattle.
They were hit by TB last year but they take a very different view.
This is one of our largest setts on the farm.
You can see all the holes that have been recently excavated.
Liz is Head of Living Landscapes for the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust.
She trained to vaccinate badgers herself
so she could inoculate the ones on her land and protect her cattle.
How frustrating is it that you're not able to go ahead?
because when you're a farmer who's invested a lot financially,
the fact that there's nothing you can do,
that there's always going to be the risk of interacting with
or a badger that's infected with TB,
and so the vaccination protocol gave you the chance
to do something positive and proactive.
Do you think that this year gap invalidates both the science
and the effectiveness of the vaccine programme?
I'm not really worried if it's only this one year.
appear that it won't invalidate the process.
but to the groundswell of public opinion and support,
both in the agricultural community and beyond,
that has been developed because of the protocol.
"Look, vaccination was the alternative to culling.
"If we can't vaccinate, we should cull." What do you think?
Well, I don't see vaccination as an alternative to culling.
Vaccination is part of the suite of options
Culling isn't something we, as a wildlife trust, would support
because we know of this perturbation effect,
the fact that when you disrupt the badger social network,
it increases the risk of spreading the disease elsewhere.
And as individuals here, we ourselves as farmers
would only be interested in culling infected animals.
is the same as the TB vaccine used on people.
The shortage has been caused by a rise
in cases of TB in humans around the world.
As one dose for a badger can protect 20 children,
it's no surprise that all badger vaccinations are now on hold.
But where does that leave the Welsh no-cull policy?
Professor Christianne Glossop is the Chief Vet for Wales.
It just seems to me, if you're designing a scientific test,
the whole point is, you know, you set the parameters,
here's what we're going to do, and if you suddenly take a year
out of it, isn't the whole thing worthless?
Well, it wasn't a test, it wasn't a trial,
it was applying a number of different measures in one area
to see what impact they would have, collectively.
So, yes, it's true, we've done four years of badger vaccination
But all the other measures in that area continue.
And what has that four years told you
about the effectiveness of vaccination?
Well, we didn't expect to demonstrate a benefit in such
slight reduction in the incidence of TB in that area
but I can't tell you whether that's the vaccine or
whether it's the additional measures.
We didn't set up the pilot project to answer that question.
What we're trying to do is fight a disease.
And given that you don't have vaccination as an option this year,
Well, I think we all agree that badgers are part of the problem
and where they are causing a problem to the cattle population,
we have got to figure out a way of stopping those two populations
And one approach to that, of course, was the vaccination programme.
So will you now reach for that in that TB zone?
Well, another approach would be bio-security,
trying to keep badgers and cattle apart.
and we're looking carefully at what is happening in England.
But culling badgers is not the policy in Wales right now.
Do you wish it were? Do you wish it were a policy?
Is it a tool you'd like to have in your arsenal?
What I'd like to see is TB eradication in Wales.
that you'll have a vaccine for next year, for 2017?
At the moment I'm not confident. Really? Yes, I'm not confident.
We're talking with the companies, we've got lots of different ways
of approaching this, but I can't say today
that we've definitely got vaccine for next year.
The news that there may well not be any vaccine available,
even next year, will come as a huge blow to people
who care about the lives of both cattle and badgers.
It puts a big question mark over a key element
of the TB control strategy for the whole of the UK.
although the chief vet would not be drawn on the subject,
it surely brings the no-cull policy back into the argument.
after seven emotionally gruelling hours of testing,
the last of their 500 cattle gets the all clear.
Yeah, it's a relief. It's a relief until the next test. Yeah.
Now, a couple of years ago, Adam met Arthur Jones.
Despite having cerebral palsy, which affects his ability to walk,
Arthur's been helping out on the family farm in Dorset
I've come across many farmers in my time,
but meeting Arthur and his grandmother Nicky a few winters back
Working with sheep has helped him? It has, incredibly.
They said he wouldn't walk until he was four.
He's two-and-a-half and he's walking.
And he took his little pet ewe, Twinkle,
into the Dorset County Show in the children's class
and he won a cup for the child that showed the most endeavour.
Arthur won that! Amazing. Best handler. It is.
He let go of my hand and walked into the ring by himself. Incredible.
So we all had a lump in our throats when he'd done that.
I've come to the Royal Bath and West Agricultural Show,
is preparing his prize-winning sheep for yet another competition.
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition
but it's remarkable how Arthur continues to cope.
Tell me about your sheep. How many sheep have you got here to show?
Five. Five? So, which is your favourite?
Which one is Willow? This one. She's lovely, isn't she?
Er, so she doesn't get anything in her wool.
Where's Granny? Shall we go and see her?
Come on then, let's go and see Granny.
There she is. Hello, Arthur. Hello, Adam. Lovely to see you. And you.
He's a little action man, isn't he? He is now.
How's he be getting on since I last saw him?
Last year, he had both legs broken and had his bones realigned.
And then this year, because his tendons and muscles were so tight,
they cut the muscles in the back of his legs
and stretched them, which he had done two weeks ago,
and he only started walking on Thursday.
Two weeks ago? And just trouble free, it seems.
He's not moaning about it, is he? No. On no medication, nothing.
Quite an inspiring little chap. He is. He's an inspiration to everyone.
Is there still quite a lot to do to the sheep
before you show them tomorrow? Yes, there is,
there's just the final one to do and that's it,
There's a lot of work taking place across the showground
Arthur will certainly have plenty of competition
Show programme inside. Just ?3 for your show guide.
TANNOY: 'It is the Royal Bath and West show.
'They're all very patiently waiting for the judge.'
It's the first day of the Royal Bath and West Show.
The public have started arriving, there's a real buzz in the air,
there's lots of preparations going on.
I remember as a child getting really excited
about coming to agricultural shows.
But also nervous about taking animals into the show ring.
Hello, all. Good morning. How are you, Arthur?
Which one is this one? Willow. Willow, she's lovely.
What have you got to do, Arthur, to make her look pretty for the show?
A little pat. And what does it do to the wool? Makes it white.
And have you done all the clipping? I did the clipping, yes.
We won't let you loose on the clippers just yet, will we?
And I suppose all this work helps take his mind off things. It does.
While he's involved with them, he doesn't think about his legs.
Which way round does this go, Arthur? I'm not sure.
This bit goes at the front. Does it?
That bit goes at the front. Well done.
I'm glad you know what you're doing. There we are.
Now then, Arthur, when you go showing later,
This is one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country.
there will be plenty of other judging happening.
one of the most popular attractions is the cider competition.
Barny Butterfield is a cider maker from Devon.
I can see around you, cider judging is still going on.
cider-judging competitions in the world.
I thought I could introduce you to both the good and the bad.
So, cider has been in this country for hundreds of years.
It was certainly recorded by the Romans
when they first came uninvited, and we've been making it ever since.
Can you suck some air through your...through that...?
I shouldn't have done that, but that's...
It's not bad cider, but they've allowed the air to get to it.
So that's a very difficult cider. That's enough of that one.
So you get to try the championship-winning cider.
This is from a sweet class, it's naturally sweet, taste some.
You're getting a totally different experience.
It's quite sweet. It's a world apart from the other cider.
It's been made with skill and it's been made carefully.
Presumably, when you're tasting all these ciders,
Every single drop, we spit out, Adam, as you well imagine.
Agricultural shows are all about competitions.
And there's one I really don't want to miss -
Arthur's latest attempt at winning another top prize.
But before I can go in the ring with him, I'd better look the part.
Arthur's told me I need to smarten myself up.
I need a white coat and a tie if I'm going in the show ring with him.
There we go, Arthur. How am I looking? Great.
There's quite a skill to showing animals well -
keeping the sheep looking at its best all the time.
But I think it's looking all right so far, Arthur, isn't it? Yes.
The judge is now making his mind up, talking to the steward.
Well done, Arthur! Congratulations!
to encourage young people into agriculture.
And showing sheep and other livestock is a great way to do it.
And particularly, with the difficulties Arthur's got,
to overcome them and have the joy of getting first prize is so lovely.
"Unspoiled, clean and full of fine buildings.
"Fine country smells of arable farming.
"With great stone barns of neatness and order
"and natural good taste almost everywhere.
"Rutland is both very small and very good."
So said the famous landscape historian WG Hoskins
Driving through the English countryside,
you come across lots of hidden treasures.
And the village of Whissendine has a real gem.
I'm here to meet one of the caretakers
Nigel Moon is a lifelong windmill enthusiast
and has been milling here for 20 years.
I first came in here when I was a little tot.
In those days, the windows were broken, so it was all
full of pigeons, holes in the floor and wonky ladders and cobwebs.
You clearly fell in love with this place.
What is it about the windmill that captured your heart?
I don't know, really, it's just something that I've always liked.
It's all I ever wanted to do, was run a windmill.
there were at least 3,000 windmills in England,
with around 150 of those in Rutland and Leicestershire alone.
Right, this is a hive of activity, isn't it?
We've hooked the sack on at the bottom
and now we're going to pull the string.
So it's the wind that... The wind is lifting that.
'Nigel is using a wind-powered hoist to lift the heavy bags of grain
'from the ground floor to the top of the mill.'
Is this how it would always have been done, winching it up?
You see pictures in the medieval documents
of a miller carrying it up on his back.
Nigel, you must be constantly covered in a cloud of flour. Yeah.
Is your beard really black under there?
No, it's white with ageing and stress.
'The earliest recognisable windmills appeared in Persia,
'or what is now modern-day Iran, more than 1,000 years ago.
'And by the 12th century, they were well established here.'
The last stage is to put the grain... Into the hopper.
And then what happens? Then it falls down the chute
and arrives at the millstones on the...two floors down.
Cos that tells you if things are going wrong.
And they say the whole time, millers could go to sleep in the mill,
leave it running, and they would wake up
if something didn't quite appeal to them.
Much like ships' captains, millers are highly attuned
to the changing wind and the movement of the sails.
To keep the blades turning at their optimum speed,
So, there are two bits to the windmill at the top, aren't there?
The sails on the front. Yeah. And this rudder bit at the back.
So you can always have the sails facing into the strongest wind.
Yeah, it always has to point head to wind.
It doesn't feel that windy today. No, it's not.
Of course, the shutters of the sails can be opened and closed
to increase the surface area and catch the maximum amount of wind.
That's rustic in the most charming sense of the word. Yes, yes.
It's a family heirloom, that is. Is it?
I love this view, Nigel. This must take your breath away.
It's a nice view when you want to have a cup of tea.
Do you have time for a cup of tea? Occasionally.
Well, if she's set right and she's going right,
to some extent she looks after herself.
By the 1850s, the rural landscape in England had changed forever.
Factories and steam power put paid to wind power.
Today, there are just 52 windmills left,
and only a handful are still working.
Right, so, Nigel, we're back where we started. That's right.
The grain went up, and what's come down is...?
Oh, wow! That's wholemeal, that's everything.
For the white flour, we sieve a little bit of the brown out.
that I still have a set of balance scales in the mill.
They seem to think it's almost prehistoric.
But these aren't for effect, are they?
D'you know, Nigel, it would be really easy
to patronise this whole experience and say what a quaint operation,
this is a working, living, breathing mill, isn't it? Producing flour.
which hopefully a lot of people like. Well, I'd love this to say
I'm going to take this away and bake some bread,
but I'm probably just going to put it on the shelf and say
I got this from one of the last working windmills in the country
Brilliant. There you go. See you again.
and it's just the gentlest of breeze in the air.
Will the wind pick up over the next few days?
Here's the Countryfile forecast for the week ahead.
The wind has picked up. Slow-moving storms and it led to some big
rainfall contrasts. The dry spots of the UK so far this month, very few
would have guessed Shetland. But those big storms last week,
Nottinghamshire has had two months worth of rainfall so far. More rain
tonight. The Atlantic breeze has picked up and it is these weather
fronts, widespread rain across the UK and heavy bursts for a time. It
will ease off but it will pep up again. A cloudy and mild night. Not
great if you are hoping to see the solstice sunrise. You will have to
be up early. Best of the cloud breaks to the northern half of the
UK. More rain than you have had so far this month. Wet start to Monday,
heaviest of the rain around the English Channel. Easing off into the
afternoon but precious little sunshine across the south-east
corner. Not a bad afternoon elsewhere. Feeling fresher. You have
sunshine anon of the persistent rain. The wind is coming in from the
Atlantic. The jet stream is weakening and eclipse the
north-west. Nothing too substantial. Occasional rain and gusty wind up
time. Morning mist and fog clearing. Sunny spells for many. It clears
tonight but the rain comes across the English Channel so it could be
murky across the Channel Islands. The weather front is crucial because
it separates building human air again across the near continent. --
humid air. Going to be a glancing blow to the south and the East and
with it risk of intense thunderstorms. But the most on
Wednesday, not a bad day. A few passing showers, breezy as across
the Northwest. Pleasant in the sunshine. Rate chance of the storms
close by in the south-east corner and East Anglia on Wednesday night
into Thursday. A lot of uncertainty how far West or East they could be.
Could be nothing at all. If it is nothing, we stick with the Atlantic
are, some sunshine and increased showers on Thursday, compared with
Wednesday. Low-pressure which starts to win over for the end of the week.
Clearing of the potential for the humid air back into northern parts
of Europe. Low-pressure at the end of the week, we still run the risk
of scattered showers. Slow-moving across western areas. Eastern areas,
largely dry with a few showers late in the day. Though showers could be
in the South East of England. Pleasant in the sunshine.
Low-pressure for next weekend. Southern areas will be the heaviest
of the showers. Over the weekend it looks like the jet stream will kick
in over the north of the UK. Even if you start with storms in
Glastonbury, potentially later into the weekend and later next week,
things turn drive. Showers southwards and
Countryfile is in the East Midlands to find out about the region's rural past and the revival of the River Trent. Matt Baker takes to the Trent in a kayak and meets Alan Henshaw from the environment agency who tells him about the effort to clean up the river. Matt sees for himself the improvements in water quality and habitat, before taking a trip to Calverton Fish Farm in Nottinghamshire. Here, Alan and his team teach stocked fish how to be 'wild' in special tanks that force the fish to swim against an artificial current for food.
Helen Skelton is in Rutland to meet master miller Nigel Moon. Nigel takes her on as apprentice for the day in his traditional windmill, one of the last in the region. Helen then heads over the border to Leicestershire where farmer Alan Hewson is reviving a much loved, but long gone, local cheese, Colwick - a favourite of agricultural workers in the past. Alan puts its prize-winning taste down to the rare breed red poll cattle, a once common breed in the region.
Adam Henson is at the biggest agricultural show in the south west - The Royal Bath and West. And John Craven launches 2016's photographic competition, with its theme From Dawn till Dusk. Joining John on the judging team are Dragons' Den's Deborah Meaden, comedian Rhona Cameron and wildlife cameraman Simon King. Matt Baker also reveals the total raised by sales of 2015's calendar.
Tom Heap discovers how a global health crisis is impacting the battle against Bovine TB.