Countryfile is in Gloucestershire, where Matt gives the trees at Batsford Arboretum a health check using a clever bit of x-ray kit to look for decay.
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Winter in Gloucestershire.
Trees stand bare and sentinel, but spring is just around the corner,
bringing with it new life.
It's January, the time for out with the old and in with the new.
And here at Batsford Arboretum it's no exception.
With the help of this sonic hammer,
they can give their trees a health check and detect any sign of decay.
Ellie's flying high.
Here in the middle of the Gloucestershire countryside,
you wouldn't expect to see vultures,
but this place is the world authority
when it comes to birds of prey.
Tom's looking at a new law which has been introduced to tackle
the crisis of neglected and abandoned horses,
but not everybody's happy about the situation.
What were you going to say, sir? The council...
OK, for grazing, you mean?
And Adam's making a return visit
to one of the most inspirational young farmers he's ever met.
This year's Food & Farming Awards are upon us again.
I've travelled to Scotland
to catch up with one of last year's finalists,
Cameron Hendry, and to get the search
for Countryfile's 2016 Farming Hero underway.
The green, green grass of Gloucestershire.
Be it crops or flocks,
the rich earth here makes it the perfect county for growing things.
And with Adam's farm and Ellie's apple orchard
both in Gloucestershire,
it looks like my fellow Countryfile presenters agree.
But they're not the only ones to have put down roots here.
Trees seem to triumph in this Gloucestershire soil
and I've come to a place that is full of them.
Big and small.
Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh, has been collecting
and caring for exotic tree species since the mid-19th century.
Head gardener Matthew Hall has been meeting the needs of the trees here
for more than 12 years.
-Hiya, Matthew, how are you doing?
-Good, how are you doing?
Yeah, really good after a fantastic walk. What a place.
-Fantastic place, isn't it?
-Yeah. What's this, for example?
Shishigashira, wonderful tree.
-Almost like big walking sticks, aren't they?
So how many different trees...?
-Do you know how many trees you've got here?
-We've got 3,000 trees.
In that lot, we would have about 1,600 individual, different trees,
different species of tree.
Some of them are obviously incredibly old,
so when did all this start and whose idea was it?
It goes back to about the 1870s, 1880s.
The arboretum was the brainchild of Victorian eccentric Lord Redesdale
after returning from diplomatic posts in Russia, China and Japan.
His love of the Orient inspired him to transform Batsford,
tearing out formal beds in favour of wild planting
and exotic trees.
Later owners expanded the collection,
but Redesdale's trees formed the backbone of the arboretum.
Are you now constantly evolving this place? Is it going to get bigger?
It's always evolving. We've added about another 15 acres.
We're planting about 70 or 80 plants a year.
We can't be a museum, we've got to move forward.
Trees come out, new ones go in,
so it's always evolving.
Among the dazzling array of species at Batsford
is an old tree which is now in a bad way.
Right, then, Matt, we've got this purple beech here
we've got a few problems with.
You've obviously been working on it already.
What's the situation with it?
Well, we've got bracket fungi on the graft line.
-You just see around there, a ganoderma.
Unfortunately, we've got an area of decay around the front.
Quite a lot of science going on in here as well.
We like a bit of science.
Got all these sensors on. Let's go have a look, see what's happening.
A team from Oxford University is using new technology that allows them
to look inside the trunk to see how bad the damage is,
like an X-ray for trees.
Ian Sherwood is the man with the scanner.
Right, then, Ian, this is all looking incredibly technical.
What's happening here?
-We're just doing a tomograph survey of the tree.
That sends sound waves through the tree and it gives you a reading
of what's going on inside the tree without actually drilling in.
The sensors are placed in a ring around the trunk.
Then each one is tapped in turn with Ian's sonic hammer.
Very Doctor Who!
He's got a sonic screwdriver, so between us, we can fix the TARDIS.
And no sci-fi set-up would be complete
without a slightly stroppy computer.
'Please tap again.'
'Please tap again.'
'Measurements at this spot have been recorded.'
Time to see just how rotten our tree is.
-There we go.
-Right, so very colourful.
Yeah, it is very colourful.
Blue, that could be a cavity, or certainly very decayed wood.
The pink is still severe decay, but not quite so much,
so you can see the progression back through the trunk
-and it's actually quite extensive.
And, Matthew, this sad reality confirms what you were thinking.
This is quite sad, really, but, yeah, unfortunately,
it'll have to go.
Well, taking a tree down of this size is a specialist skill and later on,
I'm going to be seeing how they do it, but first,
right now across the country, there are thousands of neglected
and abandoned horses facing a winter outdoors.
It's a problem that's reached crisis levels over the last few years,
but as Tom's been finding out,
a new law could bring an end to that suffering.
A winter's morning in Yorkshire.
I'm on the road with Stockton-on-Tees council
animal welfare inspector Steve Gale.
His wide-ranging experience means other councils come to him
for advice on illegal grazing.
-There's a few just here.
And sure enough, among the parked cars and playgrounds, horses,
more than a dozen of them.
And they're not tethered, are they?
Don't think so.
Those three, I don't think any of those could be tethered.
When owners turn their horses onto someone else's land for a free meal,
it's called fly-grazing.
But that's only half the problem.
It's also common for unwanted horses to be simply abandoned
and left on roadsides, fields or housing estates.
We're taking a closer look.
One of the horses is tethered by a rope pegged into the ground.
It's worn a clear circle, bare of any grass.
Is this a typical fly-grazing scene?
When we talk about fly-grazing, is this what we mean?
This is what we mean.
Probably illegally grazed on, I suspect, council land,
so it hasn't got the landowner's approval to be here.
We've got two loose horses which obviously in themselves
can cause problems, cos they are running around round the estate.
And as you can see from the ground,
the fact that it's tethered in one place, it's got no grazing.
It's not really got any water.
-Steve's visits are not always welcome
and as locals appear to check on their horses
and us, our police escort steps in.
What were you going to say, sir? The council should...?
OK, for grazing, you mean?
Hopefully, the mallet's just for the horse's tether.
What do you make of that?
Typical response, to be honest.
When a farmer wants some livestock, he buys the farm
and then he buys the animals,
but these guys tend to seem to do it differently.
They get the animals, then they're not sure where to graze them,
then they think it's our duty to provide them with some grazing.
So why are these horses here?
As other owners arrive, one local resident, Ian Gregory,
is keen to explain.
Why do you keep a horse as a pet?
Cos I might think I'll keep a cat or a dog, but a horse?
That's a big undertaking.
Well, for me, it's a hobby.
Do you know what I mean? I like it.
-It keeps me out all the time.
It gets me to do stuff where, like,
-a cat, it's different, innit, you know what I mean?
-And you think you can do the job responsibly
-of keeping a horse, do you?
-Oh, yeah, I know I can.
I've brought that one up.
-But do you actually own any pasture of your own?
-Oh, no, no, no, no.
Do you think it's right to be just borrowing
or just going on to a bit of land and finding a bit of grazing?
Do you think that's right?
Truthful, I don't see the harm in it.
While Ian's pony Billy Boy seems in good health,
the RSPCA say fly-grazing is often linked to poor welfare.
They say it's a crisis involving thousands of horses.
But that's starting to change - first in Wales,
then last summer in England,
control of horses laws were introduced
which should mean happier outcomes for neglected animals.
The new legislation allows any landowner in England
and councils in Wales who find a horse on their property to seize it.
If it's not claimed, they can sell the animal or give it to charity.
Some of this work is being done by the RSPCA.
Increasingly, landowners are calling in equine bailiffs to do the job.
Concentrate on the left-hand side.
One company specialising in this area is Bristol-based GRC Bailiffs.
They travel the entire country seizing illegally grazed horses,
usually in the dead of night.
These are military-style operations involving horse experts
and security personnel.
Under the new law, seizing horses is relatively simple.
The legislation is a lot better now,
because it clarifies what landowners can do and how they can go about it.
In England, the bailiffs don't have to give notice.
They just round up the horses and if the owner wants them back,
they'll have to foot the bill for the whole operation.
It's hardly surprising this causes some ill feeling.
The team have asked us to disguise their identities
in case of repercussions.
The owners may turn up and try and interfere with the operation.
If someone starts screaming and shouting,
we'll never get the horses loaded.
We'd just rather come out early morning, later in the evening,
and get it done then without being interfered with.
It's a vanishing act that's not appreciated by the owners.
Have you ever had your horses seized by the council?
And what did you think about that?
He may not be happy,
but supporters say it is an effective
and fast way to remove horses.
It sounds perfect - a new power to seize horses
and deal with any welfare concerns, but there's a fly in the ointment.
What happens to all those rescued horses?
Well, the truth is, they don't all live a life in clover.
Indeed, some could end up being destroyed
and I'll be looking into that later.
Even in the depths of winter,
the beauty of the natural world is a sight to behold.
Light reflects off ice,
freezing mists enfold the land
and the low sun glints through silent woodlands.
These endless wonders of nature have inspired
and captured the imagination of artists for thousands of years.
Everything from beasts to bees, wild woods to weather.
Nature In Art is the name of the world's first gallery
dedicated exclusively to art that depicts nature.
Based here at Wallsworth Hall near Gloucester,
there's art and sculptures from all over the world.
-Simon, hello, good to meet you.
-Thank you very much.
Good to see you. Come on in.
'Simon Trapnell is the director of the museum.'
Tell me a bit about the gallery. When did it first start?
We opened in 1988
and the idea was born in 1982, that's when we had the dream.
Where did the dream come from?
I think the dream was the result, actually, of my mum.
I have to blame her.
She's an artist, always been inspired by nature,
and my father realised that most genres of art seemed
to have a natural home where you could go and celebrate
a particular style or school of work, but rather unbelievably,
there didn't seem to be anywhere
that focused exclusively on art inspired by nature.
He resolved, "Maybe we ought to try and plug that gap,"
and Nature In Art is the plug.
Wonderful. Is there a particular philosophy that you live by today?
We want to celebrate what people expect -
maybe a Peter Scott or a David Shepherd or whatever.
I think we need to be a place too that gives people surprises
and they see things they don't expect.
And there's lots to see,
surprises at every turn,
art of all descriptions inspired by nature.
But for one young artist, the gallery itself is an inspiration.
-What are you looking at here?
I think this is one of my favourite pieces in the whole gallery.
Why is it your favourite?
'Regular visits to this gallery
'to see works like this woodcut by George Tute
'has had a profound effect on 21-year-old artist Holly Brookes.
'But it's the world beyond the walls where she truly finds inspiration.'
What kind of thing do you normally look for?
Well, anything that really fires up my imagination, really.
I was here the other day
-and I saw these beautiful berries down here.
It's lovely to see really bright colours
with the sludgy winter palette,
-Definitely. It kind of livens up the landscape.
But I think today I'm looking for something a bit wilder.
-These are beautiful in their natural forms here.
I wouldn't have even seen beauty here,
but now with looking at them in this light...
I think it's this lovely contrast we're getting of the very pale tones
and then this strong shadow coming in on the side here.
But would you create your art out here,
or try and take some of this back with you inside?
Well, I think what I would do first off is take a few quick shots.
CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS
-Will you take a sketch as well while you're here?
As long as I put down some marks on the page,
that will really help to bring this back to life for me
-when I look at them later on, I find that quite useful.
It was time spent by the sea that gave Holly the subject matter
for this picture, a razorbill caught in netting.
It won her a top prize
at an international wildlife art competition.
For your prize-winning piece of art,
what was the inspiration behind that?
I was studying in Aberystwyth at the time
and I went out walking after a series of very strong storms
and I just couldn't help noticing all these dead bird carcasses
washed up and there was this one in particular
that was all tangled up in this blue netting
and so there were these very vibrant colours
and I really thought that I could maybe emulate
some of the old Dutch still-life masters
and that's really what I was going for with this,
the contrast between life, death, beauty, brutality,
-with a kind of conservation message underlying it all.
Holly's meticulous work out in the field is just the start.
It takes hours and hours of intense effort
to turn her ideas into prints and drawings.
Why do you use nature as your subject matter?
As an environment to be working in, it's quite dynamic,
almost like a theatre production, really.
You've got either end of the emotional spectrum...
-..played out before you in nature.
For me, with my love of detail and texture,
there's just endless variety in the natural world to work with,
so I don't know, really.
Ultimately, I guess, it just captures my imagination.
These are absolutely extraordinary and so intricate.
Because I love the natural world,
artists who manage to capture a moment of nature frozen in time
makes me appreciate it all the more.
Now, here's our weekly winter warmer to beat the season's chill.
we asked some well-known faces, from athletes to comedians...
Oh, it's quite refreshing after a while.
..actresses to chefs...
..what part of our magnificent countryside was special to them.
This week we're in Pembrokeshire with comedian Josh Widdicombe,
taking a trip down memory lane to his treasured family holidays.
I came on family holidays
for almost a decade, from the age of six to 16.
I spent two weeks of summer round the beaches around Pembroke town.
I can kind of make anything nostalgic,
so this is quite a confronting thing, coming back here,
cos I might find out it was rubbish
and it's just me pretending in my mind it was good.
This is the campsite I used to camp on with my parents.
St Petrox Camp Site.
I have no idea how we found it in the time before internet,
but once we decided we liked it, we'd do it every year,
which was kind of our attitude to everything.
When we'd be putting up our tent, we'd listen to music.
I vividly remember buying Country House to help Blur beat Oasis.
But it wasn't always that cool.
I remember the year when we had Donald, Where's Your Troosers?
The great thing about a tent is however wrong you get it,
really, you know, it's never going to be a pleasure
even if you get it right,
so it doesn't really matter if you get it wrong.
It's going to be an uncomfortable night.
I think we can all agree that move
was absolutely astonishing use of the wind.
This is suspicious, isn't it?
I wonder whether I'll get to sleep in that.
I'm very tired, so that's a bonus.
I think I'm going to quit camping while I'm ahead now.
I've done it, I slept all right,
I only woke up every two hours,
then I had a nice shower and now I've got some Honey Nut Loops.
Life is seven out of ten.
I'm enjoying it.
When we'd come to Broad Haven Beach, which was our beach of choice,
there was this amazing walk along these lily ponds.
It's unbelievably nice, isn't it?
The weird thing is the bit I remember most about this
is this bridge with the handle on one side.
Surely they can afford two handles.
It's the best way to get to any beach.
Obviously, it means once you're on the beach, you're on the beach.
If you need to go to the toilet, it's a dune or the sea.
It's much bigger than I remember.
I mainly remember the wind.
My parents having to buy a windbreak and you'd put it,
hammer it into the beach and you'd basically be sheltering
as the wind hit you and it's not particularly relaxing.
Roll up your trousers, Brits on holiday.
Definitely played cricket on the beach,
that's my main memory of that.
Oh, he's gone!
Very low bounce.
'All the things you imagine you'd do on a British holiday on the beach.'
Oh, that is so cold!
It can't always have been this cold. That is un...
I mean, that's...
That's colder than a cold shower.
Oh, it's quite refreshing after a while.
Kind of about four or five when the sun's coming down,
we'd go from the beach. At the other end of the lily ponds is a tearoom,
actually called, I think, Ye Olde Cafe.
I remember a big controversy when one year,
they replaced clotted cream with squirty cream on their cream teas
and I now feel genuinely worried thinking about that
as to whether it'll be clotted or squirty if we go back now.
I'm going to be gutted if it's squirty.
It's just not the same, is it?
-Cheers, thank you.
I mean, it's classic Cornish clotted cream.
That's exactly what you're looking for, isn't it?
There's a lot of debate over
whether you put the jam or the cream on first.
Quite high-level debate as well
and you've got to go jam first. The cream is the best bit.
It's not just a replacement for butter.
When you look back nostalgically on something,
you probably imagined it differently or time has changed it in your head,
but it was exactly the same, really.
It's a really, really nice place.
I'm glad it is, cos I don't think it would have needed to be
that nice a place, cos I think it was the circumstance
that made it nice and the family holiday.
But it just happens that... I mean, that beach
is way better than so many beaches.
It's such a nice beach.
I'm very lucky, really, to have got to go there.
Maybe too many years in a row. Could have mixed it up a bit,
but it's very nice.
Earlier, we heard how new laws have been brought in
to tackle the problem of thousands of abandoned and neglected horses.
But as Tom's been finding out,
these new powers aren't without their problems.
Illegally grazing on someone else's land or simply abandoned -
it's a crisis affecting thousands of horses.
Some are a nuisance, many have welfare issues.
But new laws have made it easier for councils
and welfare organisations to do something about it.
They can seize illegally grazed horses and the RSPCA say
they are re-homing more than ever, so where are they all ending up?
The lucky ones come to places like this,
World Horse Welfare in Norwich,
which re-homes neglected and abandoned horses.
The little one having fun in here.
This lively chap is Huckleberry,
one of the first horses seized under the new legislation in England.
Jacko Jackson helped to rescue him.
Some viewers may find his photos distressing.
So tell me the story of Huckleberry before he came here.
He was found initially in Suffolk.
Lots of reports about him and a friend, another horse,
being dumped on land. By the time we got to them, the friend was dead.
And what was that scene like when you arrived?
It was just bones and lots of maggots.
What did you feel when you walked in to the field and saw him
and what was his friend now dead on the ground?
Initially, I was glad that we'd found him,
but having seen the dead one, um,
we were going to move heaven and earth to get him out of there.
He needed to live. And live like a proper equine.
And now you can see him living life to the full,
-what do you think about that?
-We did the right thing.
No two ways about that. And this Act has enabled it to happen.
But not all horses seized under the new law have happy endings
like Huckleberry. For others, being rescued is the end of the road
and they are humanely destroyed.
And that might come as a shock to some,
to hear that if you complain about
a fly-grazed or neglected horse,
it could end up being rounded up, but then put down.
As Britain's main animal welfare charity, the RSPCA lobbied
for this tough new legislation, so how do they feel about it now?
The new law was necessary because we had 3,000-3,500 horses
being illegally kept on other people's land and the RSPCA and
other horse welfare organisations
were having to pick up the pieces.
So now you've got the law, you think there are roughly 3,500
or so horses out there that could be helped by this?
The good news is the law has been in place for six months now.
Many local authorities are already using it.
We reckon the number of horses that have already been removed is
probably in the hundreds, so actually it's a really good
example of a piece of law that's working.
Do you have any idea roughly what proportion end up being euthanised?
I think it would be round about half would be euthanised.
And how happy do you think the public are with that fact?
Many of these horses are suffering anyway,
not just cruelly treated, but they're in problem places, they
could be next to a road or railway line - that's a real danger.
So, if you can accept that half of all seized horses are put down,
then you might think that the end of the horse crisis is in sight.
But you might have to think again.
That's because there's a catch
and it all comes down to money.
He looks well. He's obviously got grazing.
Back on the road, council animal welfare officer Steve Gale
is with horse owner Ian, who we met earlier.
-Have you got some swivels on your chain?
-What are the swivels...?
-To stop the chain knotting up.
What can happen, with the horse going round and round,
it can get a knot in the chain.
Is that the only one you've got?
-You should have two.
-There's one at the top.
Steve's handing out advice, not sanctions,
and there's a good reason for that.
So you've got the new law and the power to take them away,
but does that mean the problem is solved?
I wish it was as simple as that, Tom.
The problem is, it's the cost of actually upholding the law
and trying to enforce it.
The average ballpark figure with an equine bill
is 1,000 or £1,500
per horse to take it away and look after it for four days.
Which obviously, if you've got a huge problem within your local
authority area, it can be quite burdensome on that local authority.
Mm-hm. And local authorities are enduring a lot of cuts
-and more in the pipeline.
What are your worries there?
That some local authorities won't see it as a priority
and something they don't have to do.
I would urge local authorities to try and keep on board with this,
because if we relax a little bit,
probably a huger cost in the future,
when the situation is out of control.
With bailiff fees of well over £1,000 a time,
it's likely many fly-grazing horses
won't be a priority for removal
unless there is evidence of serious welfare problems.
With threats over future funding to enforce the new law, there's
a danger this apparently effective measure could be undermined.
The battle against illegal grazing and neglect is far from over.
We'd like to know whether abandoned or fly-grazed horses
are a problem in your area.
And if you think they should be taken away.
Let us know via our website or join the conversation on Twitter.
I'm in glorious Gloucestershire, at Batsford Arboretum,
a sanctuary for tree species from all over the world.
Earlier on, we scanned this ancient tree
and discovered it was too rotten inside to be structurally stable.
Well, now it is time to watch this tree come down, so, Matthew,
-what's the plan?
-Well, we'll get the cherry picker in,
take it down in small sections to a height where we can fell it in one.
Obviously, there's been quite a bit of work happening already.
Yep. We had it all skimmed up,
so we'll just step back and see how they get on.
We'll let them get going.
Even though it's been cut down, this beech will live on,
by helping other trees to thrive.
The waste wood is chipped...
and used to protect other newly-planted saplings.
All part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth at Batsford.
Ah, it's a brilliant bit of kit, this!
Just watch it disappear.
Look at the size of this one, here we go!
-Best piece of kit you could ever have.
Well, this deadwood is not the end of the story.
Later on, I'll be planting some new species that will be taking root
in 2016, and talking of looking ahead to the rest of the year,
if you haven't got your Countryfile calendar,
sold in aid of Children In Need, yet, just go to the website...
For all of the details.
Was I shouting then? Think I might have been!
The BBC's Food And Farming Awards for 2016 are underway.
As part of it, Countryfile is looking for its next Farming Hero.
Someone who you think embodies the best of British farming.
Here's Adam with more.
Last year's search threw up hundreds of great nominations.
In the end, it came down to just three.
Cameron Hendry was one of them.
At just 17, he found himself running the family farm
after his dad's untimely death.
We were all incredibly impressed with the work that Cameron
and his family are doing in what is extremely challenging farming
countryside. We've arranged some special extra farming help, Cameron.
They'll come and help you on the farm over this next year
and help you get through this difficult coming year ahead.
Cameron was certainly a worthy finalist. And he won
the hearts of many through his determination and bravery
and me and the other judges were moved by the way
he took on a 2,500-acre family hill farm after
the sudden death of his father on Christmas Day in 2014.
A year down the line, I've travelled back up to
Cameron's farm in Perthshire to see how he's getting on.
Cameron might have taken on the lion's share of the work,
but it's his mum, Marianne, that's been holding the family together.
I'm meeting her first, to find out how they've all been coping.
-Hello, how are you?
-Good to see you again!
-Aah, these are lovely.
So, how are things? It's been, what,
-nearly a year now since your husband passed away.
-Was 2015 tough?
There's no easy way to describe it,
it's been our worst year, I have to say.
Apart from all the hard work,
all the actual physical work,
having to do it without a husband and a dad has been really difficult.
I was very impressed with Cameron when I met him a year ago.
-How has he been getting on?
Yeah, he's amazing.
He's an amazing person.
He's extremely driven,
he's got the temperament of his dad.
Grumpy at times,
moody like any normal teenager!
But that also got him through.
Works very hard and apart from all the hard work, obviously then
having to do it without your dad is a different matter altogether.
-So he just hasn't had his dad to share it with.
There's nothing like your dad to actually have a good old
man-to-man with, and ask him for advice, and that's gone.
And you, as a mum...
I suppose you're having to be a bit of a rock and hold the fort.
Yeah, I've had to turn into Mum and Dad at the same time
and I'm an OK mum, I think, but I'm a rubbish dad, I've decided. Um,
but we're working on it.
He's almost taken over the role of the dad at times in the house.
Which is upsetting for a mum to see.
But at the same time, it's endearing as well,
it's quite lovely to see how we've all pulled together as a family.
Without Marianne's support, Cameron would have undoubtedly struggled.
But the promised help has been arriving.
-Good to see you. Thank you.
Agricultural consultant Kevin Stewart has been helping them
plan for the future.
-Adam, this is Kevin.
-Hi, Kevin, good to see you.
I hear it's been a pretty busy time on the farm?
How are you getting on with the consultancy? What are the plans?
The great thing about Cameron is he keeps coming up with opportunities,
so what my job effectively is is to be that sounding board.
You've got your head down, haven't you,
working with the sheep and the cows.
Quite difficult sometimes to come up with a business plan
-and look at the books carefully.
It's great to have another pair of eyes there to see what other
opportunities there are out there for us.
Because most of the time, you're so bogged down in work, you don't
have time to think about that sort of stuff.
When I was here last, Cameron, it was a beautiful, almost spring day.
It's a bit different now!
No, it's still a good day round here,
but it's a wee bit rougher since the last time you were here.
And it looks like a pretty hard farm to work.
Yes, it is a hard farm to work.
We just have to cope with the weather conditions
and just keep going with it.
And how are you feeling a year on?
It's been really tough,
but we're just staying positive and carrying on.
Just take every day as it comes.
What you've gone through, Cameron, to still be so positive
about it, you're still a real farming hero for me, so well done.
Like a true farming hero, Cameron is not resting on his laurels.
He's already slimmed down his beef herd from 800 to around 80 cattle.
It's quality, not quantity that matters.
So now he's looking to establish a herd of pedigree Luing cattle.
Charles Symons and Ted Fox are from the Luing Cattle Association.
Will Cameron's cows make the pedigree grade?
-Hi, Adam, hi, Cameron.
What are you looking for to assess these, then?
We've already gone through the provenance.
We're now assessing them to make sure they're Luing type.
So really, the advantage of having registered animals
means you can sell for beef, but also in the pedigree world.
Absolutely. You're looking to sell pedigree stock.
It might take Cameron a wee while to get worked into that,
but he should hopefully be able to establish himself as a pedigree
breeder and hence sell for more money, which is
-what we're all trying to do.
-So what should a good Luing look like?
They're working on poor forage through the winter months.
They want a big, broad muzzle, a big head, they want to be deep
-in the chest cavity, but temperament is everything.
Especially with a young lad like this, working with them on his own.
Temperament is everything and keeping them easy to handle.
And the chances of getting the herd registered?
I think animals like this will definitely qualify.
We think these are excellent examples of the breed.
Cameron, are you quite excited about going for the pedigree status?
My dad never had that sort of chance.
He was always fattening them, so I'm taking the farm
in a completely new direction and changing it up.
In a few years' time,
you'll probably have one of the best Luing herds in the country.
You'll be blowing these fellows out of the water!
-I'm not sure about that!
-All in good time, all in good time!
With the help Cameron has been receiving and not least
his own hard work and determination,
some real progress has been made.
It might have been a tough year,
but there's light at the end of the tunnel.
I've left Cameron to get on with the never-ending daily jobs on the farm.
He's certainly an inspiration
and deserved to be in the final three last year.
Now, it's over to you to help find the Countryfile Farming Hero for 2016.
This award is for a farmer or farming family who have made
a difference through their heroic actions.
The judges want to hear about farmers who have come to the rescue
of others, man or beast, at a time of need.
They could've organised emergency animal housing
for their fellow farmer,
have helped their neighbour when times were bleak
or given city kids their only experience of agricultural life.
We'll celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who
make our countryside a better place.
Our winner will be someone who has gone above and beyond to help
their farming friends and neighbours
and of whom we can all be proud.
So if you know someone who fits that bill, we'd love to hear from you.
Visit our website and tell us
why they deserve to be our next farming hero.
But be quick, because entries close in a week.
..so names sent in after that won't be considered.
Remember, if you're watching on demand,
nominations may have already closed.
Details, including terms and conditions, are on our website.
I'm in picturesque Gloucestershire,
a county of rolling hills
and golden villages.
With the Forest of Dean and Slimbridge Wetland Centre,
it's a hotspot for overwintering and native birds.
But the county is also home to some of the world's most
I'm at the International Centre for Birds Of Prey, where ground-breaking
work is being done to help protect these remarkable masters of flight.
The centre was founded in 1967
by world-famous falconer Phillip Glasier.
He was passionate about birds of prey
and wanted to teach others about them and their value in the world.
Phillip's daughter Jemima Parry-Jones
has continued in her father's footsteps,
devoting her life to falconry and raptor conservation.
Today, the centre holds one of the largest collections of birds of prey
in the world and has recently opened a new raptor hospital.
-How many birds do you have here?
-About 240 at the moment.
How many different species?
I think we're at about 74 species at the moment.
Do people tend to bring you injured birds of prey here?
Yes, they do,
and it's really important that a place like this will accept them.
We get calls day and night about all sorts of things.
My absolute favourite, a lady phoned me up and she said,
I found a baby bird, and I said, "Fine, what do you think it is?"
-She said, "I think it's a dodo".
-The very last one! What was that?!
-It was a pigeon!
And the aim, is it to rehabilitate them
and get them back into the wild,
or do you tend to keep them once they've been injured?
No, it's not rehabilitation if you keep hanging on to them,
so the aim is absolutely to get them back into the wild.
Every year, the centre takes in up to 100 injured birds of prey.
Curator Holly Cale has been rehabilitating a peregrine falcon.
It was hit by a plane and had to have its entire wing rebuilt.
You can see here there's a patch of feathers there...
-A slightly different colour.
-..that are a different colour.
Those are his adult feathers that have grown through where
they had to pluck the area to do the operation.
We also fixed some of his feathers,
so you can see he's got a full set of feathers down there
that had ended up broken as well.
-So, like feather implants?
-Yes, it's called imping.
We can take a feather that's been moulted by another bird
and we insert it with a little bit of bamboo and some glue
into his own feather stump where it had been broken.
So we fixed those and we fixed the wing and he's now in training,
gaining fitness and physiotherapy,
-if you like, to get him back to the wild.
Well, I'll stand back while you do this exercising
and see what's involved.
It's astonishing that wing even works.
It is so wonderful to witness a native bird of prey like this being
given a second chance, flying again and soon to be released back into
the wild, but it's not just native birds that the centre is helping.
Vultures are one of the world's most spectacular
and most endangered birds of prey.
The centre breeds several species, including the Andean condor,
-a New World vulture.
-Condor coming! Coming, Condor!
-You want to come up here?
-Wow, who's this?
-This is Marcus.
Marcus is a baby Andean Condor.
They do seem to have this quite unfortunate reputation as they're associated with death.
Yes, it's a real shame, because they're doing incredibly badly
and they're incredibly clean animals
and they're incredibly important in terms of clearing up.
They reckon that of all the wildlife on the Serengeti,
the vultures clear up more dead animals than all the carnivores put
together, so they are really important.
-Like all children, she wants to put her head inside everything.
-Look at that wingspan!
I know, it's huge, isn't it?
Vultures in south Asia were almost totally wiped out in the 1990s.
Numbers collapsed by 97%
and scientists struggled to work out why.
What was the reason for the decline,
for that really quick and dramatic decline?
It turned out to be a drug called diclofenac, which is
a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory,
that was given to cattle across south Asia
and because vultures will all congregate at one carcass,
it only takes a few cattle to be treated,
it was less than 2% of the cattle,
to wipe out over 40 million birds.
Jemima has spent the last 15 years helping bring the surviving
populations in India and Nepal back from the brink.
We started to design the breeding aviary,
facilities for incubation,
brooding and in fact, this year,
I'm proud to say that we bred over 60 young, which is really wonderful
for a place like India, which had never done this sort of thing before.
Next year, hopefully, the first release will start.
But the scale of the numbers that had dropped from 40 million or so
right down to almost single-digit thousands,
how long will it take to replenish that loss?
Oh, that's going to take a long time,
but nature is such an amazing thing, really.
And although vultures are quite slow breeders,
once they start getting going,
so long as there's no drug out there that will kill them,
certainly reasonable numbers, I hope in my lifetime, anyway.
The future for South Asia's vultures is looking up.
But another species, the hooded vulture from Africa, has just been
relisted as critically endangered,
so there's still plenty to do.
It's fantastic to think that the work being done
here in Gloucestershire and the skills
and expertise of Jemima are being shared with
conservationists across the world to help protect
the future of birds of prey and fabulous vultures like these.
I'm in Gloucestershire, and whilst Ellie's been on a flight of fancy...
..I'm rooted to the ground at Batsford Arboretum,
home to a wide variety of unusual tree species from around the world.
The oriental plants and water feature here were
the brainchild of Victorian diplomat Lord Redesdale.
But Redesdale's love of the Orient did not stop with the landscaping.
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Lord Redesdale converted to Buddhism
and hidden amongst the trees are Buddhist-themed bronzes, a Japanese
bridge and a peace pavilion that reflected his love of the culture.
Today, it's not unusual to find local t'ai chi groups
practising their art among the trees here.
Earlier on, I witnessed the sad demise
of one of the Arboretum's oldest trees,
but just like Buddha here, keeping a silent watch over the grounds,
Batsford's tale is also one of death and rebirth.
The Arboretum is part of a programme that hosts rare trees,
ones endangered in their native environments.
Here, they are safeguarded and preserved for the future.
It's something which makes head gardener Matthew especially proud.
Right, Matthew, these young arrivals are incredibly precious, aren't they?
They are. That's Picea omorika, which is Serbian spruce.
-Like a classic Christmas tree.
-Yeah, a fancy Christmas tree.
You know, in its wild state, it's becoming endangered,
whether it's through deforestation, logging,
other environmental factors, but the wild form is really quite unusual.
So this is actually as it should be - tight, compact,
so the snow can fall off it.
As they get bred and you go down the line of seed,
they lose that originality.
And so the idea then with this project is to try
and keep that gene pool?
Keep that gene pool, and what will happen,
these will go in safe sites in the Arboretum
and if ever any of these go extinct in the wild, there'll be some plants
here which can be re-propagated and maybe even put back into the wild.
Matthew thinks he's got the perfect spot to make these foreign firs
feel right at home.
-No prizes for guessing where it's going!
-No! Exactly there.
Actually, which one do you want to put in, though? That's the question.
-Let's go for the big one.
-Let's unwrap that.
Lift that out.
There we go.
How long would you expect a tree like this to live for?
It could be here for the next hundred years or more.
I tell you what, it's got a nice view to spend the next hundred years.
What a nice place to live!
-Just a bit of frost protection, is it?
This will just keep the grass down, we'll get the guard round it,
-stop any deer grazing on it.
-Do you have a problem with deer?
Yeah, we have a little bit.
They'll always go for that one plant that you don't want it to go for.
-Do they like the foreign stuff?
-They're not fussy.
If it's foreign, it's probably better.
-Right, are you happy with that?
That's the next hundred years.
Hopefully, Gloucestershire will become a home from home
and these precious specimens will grow into great giants.
Lord Redesdale would be proud.
So, from the death of a mighty tree to the new life of a small one,
it's all part of the great cycle of rebirth here at Batsford.
Kind of makes you feel at peace with the universe.
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Well, that's all we've got time for from the tranquillity
of Batsford Arboretum.
Next week, I'll be exploring the picturesque fishing village
of Clovelly as winter takes hold.
Hope you can join us then.
Countryfile is in Gloucestershire, where Matt gives the trees at Batsford Arboretum a health check, looking to spot any signs of decay with a clever bit of x-ray kit.
Meanwhile, Ellie heads to the International Centre for Birds of Prey - the oldest dedicated bird of prey centre in the world. She looks at the work the centre do to treat and rehabilitate injured birds, as well as their renowned captive breeding programme for birds such as the Californian Condor. Ellie also goes to Nature in Art, the world's first gallery dedicated exclusively to art inspired by nature.
In My Countryside, comedian Josh Widdicombe takes viewers on a personal journey to the Welsh campsite and beach he loved as a child and explains why it's special to him and his family.
As we ask viewers to nominate their farming heroes for the 2016 Food and Farming Awards, Adam Henson revisits one of 2015's finalists, 18-year-old Cameron Hendry, who tragically lost his father on Christmas Day 2014.
A new law has been now introduced to tackle the crisis of thousands of neglected and abandoned horses. But will it solve the problem? Tom Heap investigates.