Ellie Harrison and Matt Baker are in north Devon, where Matt finds out what life is like for the residents once the tourists have gone.
Browse content similar to North Devon. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
North Devon in deep winter.
The bustle of summer a long time past, the coast restored to calm.
This place may look quiet and sleepy when all of the tourists have gone.
But for the people who live in picturesque Clovelly,
work doesn't stop.
Ellie is discovering the wonders of local wool.
These hardy Exmoor Mules have a thick, soft fleece,
ideal for making the Stanbury Walker,
the perfect sock for keeping warm on this incredibly blustery headland.
Tom's gone fishing.
You may not identify the species,
but you'll recognise the name - sea bass.
A very fashionable fish these days.
But now, stocks are plummeting,
and there's a temporary ban on catching them.
But is even that too little, too late?
And Adam's in Worcestershire, where the growing season is in full swing.
Tomatoes are usually considered a summer crop.
But not on this farm.
Using this clever lighting system,
they can harvest tomatoes 365 days of the year,
regardless of the weather.
I've never seen anything like it.
Resting in the protected embrace of these rugged cliffs
is a little village that appears to have escaped
the hustle and bustle of modern life.
I'm in Clovelly, on the north coast of Devon,
not far from Bideford.
With its steep, cobbled streets and its whitewashed cottages,
Clovelly is as unchanging as the landscape that surrounds it.
In the summer months,
this traditional fishing village is packed with tourists.
But at this time of year, the fishing pots and nets
have been hauled in, and the streets are quiet.
This place is just so beautiful.
It's so charming, and that is partly because of the fact
that there's no vehicle access here.
But for the 200 or so people that live here,
that comes with its challenges, all year round.
You've still got to get everything home,
from the groceries to the new three-piece suite.
Over the years, they've had to come up with
some ingenious ways to deal with this.
-Down in Clovelly, they don't use lorries.
They couldn't manoeuvre in the hilly, cobbled byways.
But donkeys can. He gets around where nothing on four wheels can.
Well, in the past, fellas like these would do a lot of the donkey work,
hauling things up and down the steep terrain.
These days, Charlie and Jake lead a much more gentle existence,
giving donkey rides on the flat.
But, of course, the work still needs to be done.
And it's all down to manpower and a few sledges.
Come on then, you two.
Pretty much everything comes in or out on sledges,
including the rubbish.
Local resident and part-time dustbin man Stephen Perham
has offered give me a less touristy taste of life in the village.
So, Stephen, is this a weekly thing, biweekly -
-how often do you collect the rubbish?
-Once a week.
Once a week's enough for anybody, doing this job.
OK, and is the idea then that we start at the top and work...
Start at the top, work your way down.
So, goodness me, the challenges that you must face in your life.
If people have something pretty big that they want to get in here,
-how do they go about it?
-You have to ask everybody.
-Get a load of people to help you.
-We've had pianos and all sorts.
Yeah, we dragged a piano down the street,
and they played on it as we went down.
It's a challenge to live in Clovelly.
It's not an easy place to live, but it's a beautiful place to live.
-Where else would you want to live?
-This is the thing.
How do you feel, walking on a flat pavement?
Oh, it's hell, isn't it? I can't do that, my God(!)
It makes your feet ache, that does.
It's not just Clovelly's way of life that's different -
the village is unusual as it's still privately owned,
and has been in hands of just three families for the last 800 years.
The Clovelly that people know and love today
is largely down to the vision of one woman.
And she was quite a remarkable one at that.
Christine Hamlyn inherited the estate towards the end of the 19th century,
just as tourism in this part of Devon was really taking off.
She wanted to build on the village's potential to attract visitors,
and set about major restoration work.
She was so successful that she became known as the Queen of Clovelly.
-She seems like quite a formidable woman.
Since 1987, the job of managing the estate has fallen
to her great-great-grandnephew, John Rous.
And so what did your ancestor Christine do here?
What was here beforehand?
Christine Hamlyn inherited the village of Clovelly in 1884.
The cottages, I think, were very modest.
They'd only been used to support fishing families who'd made
a precarious living from fishing in the 19th century.
And she set about rebuilding them all.
The dates that you see on the cottages
mark the restoration that she undertook.
The way that the times are changing and moving on, and everything
we have, with broadband and this, that and the other,
-how does it all sit with this place?
-Yeah, it's a great challenge.
On the one hand, one wants to make the village a lovely place
for our residents, our tenants to live in.
On the other hand, for our visitors to come and visit,
because that helps finance all the maintenance of the properties.
And one's got to adapt to modern circumstances.
There's no doubt that this very special village
owes its survival to tourism.
But it's a living, breathing place, with a strong
sense of community, that's determined to keep its traditions alive.
Well, as I'll be finding out later on, there is still fishing
here in Clovelly, but it's not on the scale that it used to be.
Partly because of strict European quotas
and what they're allowed to catch.
Now, across the UK, there are fresh concerns about the impact that
new restrictions on catchers could have on the industry
in the year to come.
The seas around the United Kingdom provide an all-year-round harvest.
Fishermen toil to gather the bounty that lies beneath the waves,
but it's no longer a free-for-all.
Because of fishing pressure,
many species have come close to extinction.
So, for more than 30 years, many types of fish have had quotas
put upon them, determining how much people are allowed to catch.
From sole to plaice, haddock to cod,
there aren't many fish species that haven't been subject to quotas.
One species that had escaped any EU-wide controls was
wild-caught sea bass. But not any longer.
In the space of two years, it's gone from being completely unrestricted
to total - albeit temporary - bans on catching any at all.
There's a good reason for that.
In just five years, since 2010, the breeding population of
wild sea bass in northern Europe has more than halved.
And that's not just affecting commercial fishermen,
but recreational anglers too.
-Good morning, guys!
-Good morning, Phil.
Around one million people go sea angling
each year in the United Kingdom, and sea bass is a favoured catch.
Nigel Horsman is from the Bass Anglers Sportsfishing Society.
He's seen a worrying decline in stocks.
The commercial fishing industry have been catching
more and more bass over the years.
To the point where they're definitely being overfished.
But it's a double whammy at the moment -
in the five winters of 2008-2012, all had spells that were so cold,
they actually killed off a lot of baby bass.
So we've got a five-year gap where there are very few young bass
to feed through into the adult stocks.
And that combination is a perfect strong, if you like, on bass stocks.
So what's been done to stop their extinction?
Well, last year, emergency measures were brought in across the EU
that restricted not only where wild sea bass could be caught,
but also introduced a minimum size and a maximum catch.
European ministers, though, felt more needed to be done.
So, from January 1st this year, further restrictions came in
and they affect everyone from commercial fishermen
to recreational anglers right across the country.
Recreational anglers catch a quarter of the sea bass
caught in Northern Europe. For a full six months of this year,
they will have to throw back every wild sea bass they catch.
After that, it is only one fish each per day.
That's angered anglers like Nigel.
It's going to have, actually, a very bad impact on economic value
and jobs, on the recreational sea angling industry,
where anglers unable to keep even one bass to take home to eat
after a day's fishing don't want to go fishing as much as they used to.
We all need to play our part,
but I think we need to think again about whether we've actually
done this fairly and the negative impact on jobs and livelihoods.
For Nigel, it's the commercial side of the industry that should be
taking on the brunt of the new regulations.
Commercial fishing boats catch three-quarters of wild sea bass
and they are facing two types of ban.
Those seen as more sustainable, such as rod and line fishermen,
will have a two-month ban from February,
then a 1.3 tonnes per month vessel catch limit.
But most commercial fishing is done by trawlers
and boats that use large nets.
These will face a six-month ban,
then a monthly catch limit of one tonne per vessel.
It's 6am, and I've come to Brixham fish market to find out
about the impact of sea bass restriction on commercial fishing.
£8 on them big soles.
7.50 on them big soles.
I've got 7... 7.10...
More than £20 million worth of fish is landed
and auctioned here every year.
What about bass? Have we got any in today?
It's a fairly light market for bass, but there are a few, we've got
a few line-caught ones, a few trawl-caught ones...
Paul Trebilcock is president
of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations,
which represents thousands of fishermen across the UK,
including those on trawlers.
We've got a fleet, a large fleet of relatively small boats
and they are going to sea daily,
catching a wide variety of species,
but in amongst that mixed fishery is bass,
and that bass is one of the more expensive or higher value species,
and that's important to these guys.
You start taking the bass, the high-value species out of the gross
value of that boat, the business starts to become less viable.
Crews start to get less wages.
So, there is a real impact on these inshore fishermen.
Do you accept the number of bass is dropping
and they need to be protected?
There is no doubt there needs to be sensible
management of the bass fishery across Europe.
But you seem to be saying, sensible management,
we need restrictions, but not with us, with somebody else.
No, I don't think that's fair, because already,
fishermen themselves have taken on the larger minimum landing sites,
so, bass, below 42 centimetres, they are all going back in the sea.
There are monthly catch limits which allow for this by-catch,
so I think there are fishermen who have taken on a lot of positive
and proactive measures for the management of bass,
but this one is just a step too far.
There is no doubt that the restrictions on catching
sea bass will have a significant impact on the livelihoods of many
British fishermen, as well as the angling industry.
But despite that, there are those who believe the limited ban
on catching bass like this doesn't go far enough
and that EU policy is completely flawed.
I'll be finding out why later on.
'Good morning. Here is the shipping forecast issued by the Met Office
'on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
'Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon,
'west or southwest, five to seven, decreasing four at times,
'showers, good, occasionally moderate.'
The rugged, brutal coastline around our shores is picturesque,
but seas like these here in Devon can be treacherous,
sparking thousands of calls every year to the coastguard.
For those of us who live, work or holiday by the coast,
the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the RNLI,
is the vital fourth emergency service.
Founded as a charity by Sir William Hillary in 1824,
the RNLI was originally called the National Institution
for the Preservation of Life from Shipwrecks.
While the boats and equipment have changed considerably
over the years, one thing remains the same -
our lifeboats are crewed almost entirely by volunteers.
Now, one man is honouring this band of volunteers
by photographing all crew and every single lifeboat station
in the country - 237 of them!
This five-year project brings together Jack Lowe's two passions -
photography and the RNLI.
A year into the project and Jack's photographed the lifeboat crews
of North Devon, travelling with his assistant Duncan
in their converted ambulance-cum-mobile darkroom.
-Wow! Gentlemen, hello!
Jack, this is not quite what I was expecting.
How old is this technology?
Er, well, the camera is Edwardian - 1905 -
and the process that I use is Victorian. It dates from the 1850s.
Good gracious. Why this, rather than digital?
Well, I really enjoy making things again.
After working so long in the digital industry,
I'm enjoying making glass plates, things that people can refer to
and look at for hundreds of years to come.
What would you get from a photograph produced this way,
compared to one produced digitally?
They have a beautiful depth to them
and, also, they're still, even after 160 years,
-the highest resolution photographs ever invented.
Where did this love of lifeboats, specifically - where did that come from?
So, about eight or nine years old, um,
my grandmother gave me my first camera, which was an old Instamatic.
My dad took me to one of the shipyards,
where they made at the time a particular kind of lifeboat
and, for me, that was it sparked.
-Can you take a photo now?
-Yes, of course.
Once the photograph is composed through the glass screen now,
-I swap that with the plate that's waiting here.
And that goes on to the back of the camera.
So that's now holding a wet piece of glass with the chemicals.
I pull out the dark slide, to reveal the glass plate there,
-and the lens cap is my shutter.
-So, once I'm happy with the scene,
and that everything's as it should be,
I release the lens cap...
..and count for a few seconds.
-It goes back on the lens...
-..the dark slide goes back in...
..and then, remove the glass plate holder from the back.
-Can we see it now? Of course, we can't, can we?
It needs to be processed in the darkroom.
It's a real anticipation, isn't it, waiting to see it?
-Yes, really magical every time. It's amazing.
-All right, I look forward to it.
-See you in a bit.
Jack's photographs of the Clovelly crew are some of his most prized.
Including this one - The Women Of Clovelly -
just a handful of the 533 RNLI women in the UK.
Martel Fursdon is the lifeboat operations manager.
-What's it like being photographed by Jack?
-It was an incredible day.
The weather, the waiting around, nothing seemed to matter.
We knew we were going to be part of something special.
It's a beautiful photo as well.
-It really captures that moment so nicely.
And to look at it and think...
It looks like something that's part of history.
What's it like, then, when a pager goes off?
It's not panic, but it's similar -
that moment of adrenaline surge and, "OK, what is it?"
For me, it's making a phone call to the coastguard,
to find out what it is that they want from us.
And then, we're into the scramble of getting the boat ready and...
crew flying through the village,
clothes are coming off as they come through the door and into the suits
and, whilst the crew are getting ready, then the boat's being moved.
It's a well-oiled machine. It's something else to watch, really.
-Yeah, really slick.
-And it only takes minutes -
from when the crew alert's gone off, it's maybe seven minutes
till we actually get the boat in the water.
-Yeah, incredibly quick.
'Crew member Luke Gist
'is running some routine checks on the lifeboat.'
So, you're one of the helmsmen here, are you?
Yeah, I'm a trainee helm, so I'm just going through all my training
and stuff now - hopefully should be signed off by the end of the month.
What was it that made you decide to volunteer in the first place?
All my family's done it at some point. My dad was on the lifeboat.
Two of my uncles were senior helms here at Clovelly. One of my uncles
was actually lost in a fishing accident, just round the coast.
Um, so - I don't know - maybe repaying a debt, if you like,
and I get to drive a really nice boat and not put fuel in it, so...
-..that's always a bonus.
It's a win-win. That's good.
-Here's Jack. Oh, the photo!
-Hey, let's see.
-It is holographic!
-It's almost like you're in the depth of it!
That's a real cracker. An real piece of history too.
It sort of lights up the area and, as you go around the coast doing
all these stations, you're lighting the whole coastline. It's beautiful.
'It's another striking image, and, as Jack continues his project,
'we can look forward to many more photographs
'detailing and honouring the work of our lifeboat crews.'
MATT: Now, time to forget the cold
and enjoy the warmth of last summer all over again.
That's when we asked some well-known faces, from athletes to comedians...
Ooh, it's quite refreshing after a while.
..what part of our magnificent countryside was special to them.
With 22 medals to her name,
Dame Sarah Storey is one of Britain's most decorated Paralympians.
And the edge of the Peak District is not only her training ground,
but it's also where she calls home.
-'Now... the countdown is on.
-'And she is underway!'
This area as a training ground is absolutely superb.
'She's the big favourite here! She's the defending champion.'
Being in this environment just makes you super fit
and that definitely tells on race day.
'Sarah Storey is absolutely flying here!'
Ultimately, preparation is everything.
These were the days where I put that extra mileage in
that really helped me to achieve what I've done today.
'It's a gold medal for Sarah Storey! And everybody
'up on their feet!'
I live in Disley. I've lived here since I was a very small child.
'Disley's on the west and north-west edge of the Peak District,
'right near Lyme Park, which is an incredible spot as well.'
SARAH AND HER DAUGHTER LAUGH AND GIGGLE
We're on the top of Cage Hill now.
This is the folly I could see from my bedroom window as a child.
And we can literally view everything,
right the way across the Welsh hills, to Runcorn, up towards
the back of Manchester, with Bolton, and then right over the Pennines.
You can just see everything from up here. It's amazing.
'I remember all the great things
'I did with my parents as I was growing up.
'We moved here when I was just 18 months old, so going into Lyme Park
'and being able to climb on the adventure playground
'and scaring my mum by going up too high on the climbing frames.
'Yeah, it's fantastic now, with my daughter and my husband,
'to be able to rediscover this area through the eyes of a toddler.'
Feeding the ducks is always a... is always a favourite activity
-and there's never enough bread.
You couldn't wish for a better place to grow up
and I hope she sits here when she's the same age as I am
and is able to appreciate it as much as I appreciate it myself.
More, Daddy, more.
This area as a training ground is absolutely superb.
You've got a little bit of everything.
You can go across to the flattish roads,
you've got rolling countryside, then you've got the steeper climbs,
the steeper descents, the gradual climbs, the twisty descents,
everything that you might need to be a great cyclist.
And when you get to a major championships, being able to train
in those conditions means that you're just ready for anything.
My next goal is going to be Rio in 2016.
It's going to be amazing to be able to prepare in this environment.
The Goyt Valley Loop, for me, is a staple part of my training,
especially in the spring through to the autumn months.
It's got around about 1,000m of climbing
in just around about an hour and a half.
It's got a long, gradual climb up Long Hill.
Er, then you drop quite quickly into the Goyt Valley
and then there's a steep climb out.
And I'll be using this route a huge amount in that time, because
the hills of the road race will need some good strong climbing legs
and you don't get much better climbs than the ones I've got round here.
We're at the top of Pym Chair, which is probably the highest point
on the ride and definitely the place you can see the most.
It does give you that vantage point of being able to survey
the place that you call home.
The views up here are absolutely incredible.
They change all the time.
You can come up here in the morning and the afternoon
and the evening of the same day and the view will be quite different.
You get the ability to see all the different weather rolling in,
the hillsides look different colours depending on the sunlight.
No two days are ever the same
and I love the fact that it constantly changes.
So many people come up here just to contemplate the world
and it really is a beautiful spot.
'Having this landscape as an environment in which to train,
'in which to live, in which to be as a family, is a real blessing.'
'I've got everything I need right on my doorstep.'
For me, hopefully, I'll be able to attribute the landscape here
and the roads that I use every single day as my path to gold.
Tom has been on the south coast exploring the latest EU restrictions
on fishing sea bass in the waters around the UK.
But do they go far enough to protect the species?
Wild sea bass - one of our most popular fish.
Until recently, catching it was free from any EU-wide restriction,
but this year, temporary bans and strict catch limits will affect all
kinds of fishermen, both commercial and those who fish for pleasure.
The arguments over who should take the bulk of the restrictions will
rumble on, although everyone accepts that something needs to be done.
But for some, the new rules are not nearly tough enough.
'Bernadette Clarke is from the Marine Conservation Society,
'which campaigns for sustainable fishing.'
So what do you think about the quality of the restrictions
that the EU have brought in?
We think these measures, whilst they're welcome, er,
are too little, too late. The numbers don't really stack up.
The scientific advice is for landings, for both sectors -
recreational and commercial - of no more than 541 tonnes.
'This is the figure
'the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
'told the European Commission was the maximum sustainable yield
'for sea bass in Northern Europe in 2016.
'But the Marine Conservation Society thinks the new rules could allow
'more than three times that to be caught,
'leading to an even more dangerous decline.'
What do you fear that might mean for the sea bass?
Well, the stock inevitably will continue to decline and, er,
we'll be looking at a moratorium being recommended.
It's, er, about money and politics,
not primarily conservation, as it should be.
'So, have the latest European restrictions actually been
'watered down, despite scientific advice warning that drastic measures
'needed to be taken now, before it's too late?'
Brussels - the centre of European policy-making
and home to the Council of the European Union.
Just last month, ministers from across Europe met here
to decide fish quotas for the next 12 months.
The future of thousands of fishermen
was decided in two days of debate and discussion.
Place Sainte-Catherine, in the heart of the city.
For 500 years, fish and seafood has been traded, sold and eaten here.
'So, what better place to meet the man responsible for overseeing
'all fishing policy for the EU -
'Karmenu Vella, the European Commissioner
'for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries?'
How confident, or sure, are you that the sea bass
will survive and thrive as a species?
Sure as in 100% sure and giving guarantees, I cannot do that,
but we are... I'm very positive that we will achieve the intended result.
The scientists recommended an 80% cut down to, I think,
-around 541 tonnes in the northern sector.
-That's right, yes.
And yet, what's been allowed is much more than that.
Yes, I can explain this.
The scientists always recommend an amount.
However, we do recognise that this might create
some social and economic hardship on some fishermen and member states.
'So, have European ministers put the fishermen before the fish?'
It sounds to me like you've given in to the fishing pressure groups?
No, no, no. The idea is to get...is to get there.
You either act and, in the process, you might be killing...
-not killing the fish, but killing the fishermen.
-Or, if you use gradualism, you will save both.
We've spoken to some fishermen, who say that
the restrictions you have brought in, you know, are very tough.
Um, well, I admit, I won't say they are the easiest of measures,
but it's in the best interest, after all, of the fishermen themselves.
Um, what we want and what we... what we are after is the long-term
sustainability of the stock, not only for the commercial fishermen,
but it's a good stock for the recreational fishermen as well.
The story of sea bass has a familiar ring.
Abundant stocks and no regulation.
Overfishing and a slow response.
Emergency measures and an angry reaction.
We'll soon discover if the current plan delivers a happy ending
for the sea bass, and the livelihoods that depend on them.
Now, there aren't many places as untouched by the hands of time
as Clovelly in North Devon.
When you walk down these cobbled streets,
it's like stepping back in time
and these characterful fishermen's cottages
seem to have changed very little over the years
and, really, that is what brings all of the tourists here.
Last year, there was over 150,000 of them.
But this place is not a museum, it's a working village.
And, when the tourists go, the builders can move in.
The Rous family, who own the estate, manage 80 properties.
Their biggest challenge is to conserve their character
whilst making them fit for 21st-century living.
Now, so many people come here to take photos of these beautiful cottages.
But not many visitors get to see what goes on on the inside.
That is until today. But apparently, this one needs quite a bit of work.
'In fact, it's about to undergo a major renovation
'into a four-bedroomed house over three storeys,
'and Luke McAdam is the architect leading the project.'
So this one room that we're standing in here now, this would've
originally been the whole of the downstairs of this one cottage?
-Absolutely right, yeah. It would've been one room per floor.
So, kitchen, sitting area,
everything taken place in a room like this.
So what's the plan, then? How are you going to keep
all this wonderful character? What's the idea with this?
-Well, that's the challenge.
-We've got to somehow balance
the constraints of the fact that the building is listed,
-and all the conservation issues that that brings with it...
..with the need to allow the building to be adapted
to suit a modern lifestyle.
Come this way.
-Oh, are we outside now, then?
-It's sort of an inside-outside space.
-You can see the rear of the retaining wall here.
And then, through here, we think this could've been
maybe a smoke store, or something like that, but this will become
-a very useful utility room connected through the kitchen.
-I see, I see.
Well, let's have a look at what would have been next door's downstairs.
In the converted state, this was the living room for a larger house,
so they've converted what was the original kitchen range
-into a smaller fire.
-I see. But I guess the challenge you've got here
-is that you can't extend this, can you, at all?
-In the whole village, really, we're sort of landlocked.
So the only opportunities architecturally to modify and adapt
the properties are within the constraints of the existing size.
And time is of the essence, cos you've gotta get it done
before the tourists turn up.
One of the challenges of working in Clovelly...
-..as you've probably seen walking around, is we need
-to time the works to minimise the disruption on tourists...
..but also not in the middle of winter, when it's quite difficult.
Well, the question is, have you got yourself a new sledge?
LAUGHTER Cos you're going to...
You're going to need a big one for this!
There's a lot of work to be done.
-Now, farming and the weather go hand in hand,
but in the winter months, it's easy to forget about
those warm summer days, when the conditions are perfect for growing.
But as Adam's about to discover, even in the depths of winter,
there's a way fruit and veg can flourish.
-We're used to having fresh fruit and veg all year round.
But at this time of year,
a good deal of what we buy in the shops is imported.
So I've come to Bristol to see if there's a solution to this issue.
The challenge is to produce more of our own food.
That way, we can cut down on food miles,
become less reliant on imports,
but there is a finite amount of land,
so how can we produce more food?
Perhaps the answer's in science.
'I've come to Bristol University,
'where new technology is paving the way towards
'a cost-effective method of growing plants throughout the seasons.
'As horticulturalist Tom Pitman has been discovering.'
-Hi, great to meet you.
-This is pretty impressive. Tell me all about it.
-Well, we're up on
the fifth floor of the new Life Sciences building here in Bristol.
And you're producing plants all year round? I mean, here we are,
it's the middle of winter, we've got maize with lovely green leaves.
Yeah, we can grow anything, any time, anywhere, throughout the year.
And amongst all the technology up here,
I understand one of the very special things is the lighting.
Yeah, these are LED lighting.
When we first moved in a couple of years ago, we had, um,
sodium lamps, which are the equivalent of a street lamp, really.
But they were, at the time, the norm for horticultural lighting.
-So, why did you go for LED, then?
LEDs grew plants under them just as well as sodiums,
but the main thing was the energy saving,
where we quartered our electricity bill
from something like about £16,000 a year down to about four.
-That's significant, isn't it?
-It is, yes.
'So, financially, it makes sense. But this is not the only advantage.
'New LED technology is a game changer for growers,
'and can offer so much more than the tradition sodium lighting.
'It's allowing scientists to experiment in new ingenious ways.
'Steve Edwards has been developing the technology
'and is the brains behind this system.'
These look great, but I wasn't expecting this colour.
No, it's an unusual colour, isn't it?
As you can see, we've got green, amber, red, blue.
It sort of takes a little bit of getting used to, but after a while,
you know, it's not too bad. The plants love it, of course.
So what are the advantages of LED, then?
Well, the advantages of LED over conventional systems
is that we can actually target specific wavelengths of light.
So, a conventional light would give you a very broad set of wavelengths,
whereas, with LED, we can actually give the plant
exactly what it needs, in terms of the right colours.
-Can you increase yields and those sorts of things?
-We can do.
In the commercial world, what we're finding is
we can increase yield across a whole year, so, rather than just
growing from, say, March to October, which is normal with sunlight,
what we can find is we can actually grow the whole year.
And, with an increased yield, presumably, with a growing
world population we're all told about, we may be able to feed them?
As the urban expansion eats into more and more land, there's
less and less land for farming and we're at the mercy of the weather.
We've had a run of really heavy rain just recently in the UK,
then we have issues with natural sunlight conditions.
With LED technology,
the hope is that we can build facilities where we can actually
grow the crops we need to grow in a more of a controlled environment.
And, for the environment and food miles, it saves us importing food,
-if we can grow more here.
-It certainly does.
Yeah, the more we can reduce how far we transfer food,
from where it's grown to where it's consumed, the better for the planet.
For example, we can actually look at growing urban farms underneath
a supermarket and just ship the crops upstairs to the supermarket.
Some supermarkets are actually having live growing walls within
their supermarkets themselves - the freshest herbs you can buy.
-Extraordinary, isn't it?
-Very much so.
'So, with a limited amount of land,
'and the need to produce more food, could this be the answer?
'Can it really work on a commercial scale? To find out, I'm meeting
'tomato grower Roly Holt in Worcestershire.' Hi, Roly.
-Adam, hi, good to see you.
-Good to see you.
This is extraordinary! And you're harvesting tomatoes in the winter!
-It doesn't seem right!
-No, after 35 years of conventional crops,
we took the plunge, invested in this set-up,
which enables us to grow all year round.
-And it's all about the lights?
Without the light, the crop wouldn't grow.
We've got a mixture of high-pressure sodium lamps -
these ones up the top here.
-High-pressure sodium lamps produce some heat.
-That's all a plant needs.
-I can feel the heat coming from the lamps.
And a mixture of LED interlighting between the canopy.
-And that makes the difference?
-Absolutely. It gives us... It gives
the plant enough light to grow in the darkest months of the year.
They look amazing, don't they, like some sort of crazy tomato disco?
Yes, yeah, that's it, it is.
And with the lighting, does it taste any different to a summer fruit?
That's our aim and with this LED lighting,
we've got the right spectrum to target the maximum growth
and we're finding we're getting very similar quality and tasting fruit.
-Can I pick one?
-Yeah, help yourself.
-Lovely, shiny-looking tomato.
-Delicious. It's really sweet.
-Really sweet, yeah.
Lovely, so can we take a closer look at the lights?
Mm, up there we got a hydraulic trolley,
-which can take you up to the top.
-All right, let's have a look.
-Different world up here.
-It really is. What an amazing view.
So this is where the flowers are?
That's right, yeah, this is all the new flower growth here.
Within a few days, you'll start to see little tomatoes forming.
Oh, yeah, OK.
And then a week later, you'll see more mature tomatoes forming.
-What's pollinating the flowers?
-You've got bumblebees in here?
-Yeah, we've got an army of bees in here.
-It's wonderful, isn't it?
-Yeah, it does all the work for us.
You can really see the LED light shining through the crop, can't you?
And you're using a combination of colours.
Yeah, we're using a sequence of four red and one blue.
The red is to improve flower development
and the blue is for leaf development.
-Can we move along a bit?
This is quite exciting.
It's all very well not having the air miles by producing
the food here in the UK, but you are using a lot of energy, aren't you?
How do you argue against that?
Well, on site, we have a power plant producing heat,
electricity and CO2, so we're not relying on buying electricity
and also, together with the LED, we're already being quite efficient
on energy, so we're definitely heading in the right direction.
And what about being self-sufficient in tomatoes in the UK, then,
-how far off are we?
-We're way off.
-Yeah, we're only producing 25% of what we eat in the UK.
-Lots of room for growth.
-There's a massive, massive scope for growth.
And are we likely to see these LED lights
being used across other fruit and veg?
I think there's a massive application for soft fruits,
for herbs, other protected crops.
There is a huge scope for other crops to use it.
-Very exciting times ahead.
-I think it is, yeah.
Thank you for showing me around.
-It's been fascinating.
-It's a pleasure.
-Shall we go down?
Now, a few weeks ago, we launched
the 2016 Countryfile Farming Heroes Award,
looking for those remarkable people
who embody the very best of our countryside.
Your hero should be someone inspirational,
a farmer who has gone above and beyond, or simply someone
whose commitment to the countryside makes us all proud.
If you know a farming hero, then I'd love to hear about them
and who knows?
Maybe they'll make it to the BBC's Food and Farming Awards in April.
But be quick.
Nominations close at midnight tonight,
so names sent in after that won't be considered.
Remember, if you're watching us on demand,
nominations may have already closed.
Details, including terms and conditions, are on our website.
Devon is a county of extremes, framed by a rugged coastline
and sheltered harbours.
Travel inland and you'll find tough moorland and lush pastures.
For all its beauty,
its harsh climate can make it an inhospitable place.
So, it's not surprising it takes a hardy breed
to survive this tough terrain of sloping, windswept fields.
Come on now.
'And hardy stock is certainly true
'when it comes to both local farmer John Stanbury
'and his flock of Exmoor Mules.
'His family's been farming sheep in the West Country
'for more than 100 years.'
-Whoa! Are you all right, John? How are you doing?
-Good to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Cor, it's grim weather up here, isn't it?
-Shocking, isn't it?
-It's not even raining today, though.
-No, but it's not very nice.
It's quite exposed, it's 1,000 foot up, north-facing,
-looks right into the sea.
-What about this lot?
How do they cope with this awful weather?
Well, they're a good breed to cope with the elements up here.
-They're a cross between the local hill breed, the Exmoor Horn...
-..and the Bluefaced Leicester.
And they combine the qualities of them both and the important one
for survival is the Exmoor Horn, the local breed.
I understand this fleece is bringing a bit of fame.
It is, a little bit, on a roundabout way.
I've got some lambs penned up if you want to come
and have a close look at the wool?
Yeah, let's check them out.
So, the Exmoor Mule, a cross between the local Exmoor Horn
and the Bluefaced Leicester, is a tough beast.
Bred with a thick fleece perfect for its unforgiving home,
but it does have a surprisingly soft side.
-I have a few ladies.
Oh, yeah! Once you get down in there, super-soft. That's amazing.
The Exmoor Horn is slightly coarser wool but there is more of it
while the Leicester is a fine wool.
So you get the best of both worlds here.
And it's this combination which has given John his claim to fame -
the Stanbury Walker.
How many of us can say we've had a sock named after us?
How did the sock come about?
Well, my friend John, he makes socks.
He asked if I kept this breed.
When I told him I did
he asked would he be able to use the wool from my sheep
and would he mind if he named the socks after me.
I said he would be all right to do that.
-You've got a sock named after you!
-I have, yeah.
-What a claim to fame!
-And I assume you're wearing a pair, are you?
-Go on, let's take a look. Prove it.
-I'll take my welly off.
Oh, yeah! They're just the ticket, aren't they?
What do you rate about these, then?
-A good combination of the two breeds.
-Tough and soft.
Just what a farmer needs.
I'm going to find out how they go from this lovely fleece
to those socks and let you get your footwear sorted.
-Nice to meet you.
-Cheers, John. Yeah, you too.
John Arbon's been running a small-scale mill in North Devon
for 15 years, producing yarns perfect for creating
his range of socks.
-So this is where the sock magic happens.
-Sock magic indeed.
How do you go from farm to foot, then?
Well, what we've got here, this is the sheep's wool
after it's been sheared
but it's been washed or scoured, leave a bit of grease on there
-because you need a bit of softness to it.
What we're going to do now is open it out because it's a tangled mess.
-Behind me I've got an old 1950s carder.
-It's still going.
What we're going to do is run the fibre through this and as it
goes through a series of rollers with pins,
it's going to detangle it.
We're going to turn into what we call a sliver.
What's happened here is it's detangled it
so we can process it further.
-You must get a sense of the softness here when it's like this.
Now we're going to take that to Ralph
and try make all these fibres that are a bit mismatched
nice and parallel.
This is Ralph. This is a gill box. All our machines have silly names.
They've got affectionate, silly names. Don't ask me why.
-I am going to ask you why. Why?
-They're almost human.
They're old machines and we're bringing them back to life.
Why have you gone for these older machines?
They're easier to maintain.
Mechanical - I can get them apart and fix them.
Next, the wool is combed to reduce the short fibres and then evened out
before arriving at this machine, called Butler, for spinning.
What we are doing here is drafting the fibre, we've made into a roving.
We are drafting it down
and it's spun on to a ring and on to this tube.
-Can we see this one in action?
-Yeah, sure. I'll fire it up for you.
Go on. Here we go.
It's incredibly quick, isn't it?
Not quick enough!
WHIRRING DROWNS SPEECH
I'd love to have a go at making one of these socks.
-Do you think I could try?
-Yeah. We've got some yarn set up
on the machine. You can have a go on it.
I'm not much of a knitter. I like the sound of a machine.
-I'm sure you are.
-Which way? This way?
-Let's go this way.
Each sock is designed on this clever piece of kit,
a Victorian knitting machine.
What could possibly go wrong?
-Don't go in the wrong direction now.
-Off you go.
Gently, gently. Do I have to pull this thing?
There we go.
It is feeding the yarn into the needles as it goes round
and the inner tube.
These little levers, what do they do?
They are called latch needles. They're able to pull a loop
and slip a loop each time.
They used these quite a lot in the First World War
to knit socks at home for troops.
There is something quite moving about the idea of these women
sitting at these machines making socks for the boys in the Army.
-Yeah, a lot of them did.
Well, socks... Who doesn't like a good pair of socks?
You put on a natural-fibre pair of socks, it's a whole different world.
I think these are going to be over the knee.
Oh, definitely. You're going for long socks?
I'm going for long ones!
I tell you what. We do a lot of standing around in cold weather
on Countryfile so I know someone who is going to love a pair of these.
If you want to know whether you you'll be wearing thick socks, hats
and scarf this week, it's time for the Countryfile five-day forecast.
We're in Clovelly, exploring this extraordinary little village
that clings to the North Devon cliffs.
The waters that lap at its shores
are some of the area's most sheltered,
protected from the worst of the westerly winds.
Thanks to this secluded position,
there's been a working harbour here since the 13th century.
At one stage, practically everybody that lived in this village
would've been involved in the fishing industry.
That changed in the 19th century, when tourism began to take hold
as Clovelly's main source of income.
But there is one man who's made it his mission to keep
the fishing traditions of this village alive.
Stephen Perham, who we met earlier, is not only the village dustman
and harbourmaster, he's also a sixth-generation herring fishermen.
Well, Stephen, it's good to see you again.
Now to talk about your true profession, where your heart lies,
as a fisherman.
Talk us through your year here, as a fisherman in Clovelly.
The main part of the fishing is the summer,
when we're fishing for the lobsters and we use a bigger boat for that.
My passion is with the herrings and the herring season
has finished now, that is why we're taking the nets out.
What is the key to catching herring?
These are drift nets and we shoot them on the tide out here.
Herring come in to the bay to breed. This is a breeding bay.
Sometimes you're out all day, all night.
It all depends on if you want to play with the moon.
The fish will rise to the light of the moon.
If the fish are playing, then you're not here very long.
I've been out for half an hour and caught about 2,000 or 3,000 fish.
And you're fishing in a very traditional way.
Let's talk about the boat. It has an interesting name, doesn't it?
She's called a picarooner.
The name comes from the Spanish word picaroon
for a sea robber, a rogue or a rascal.
Basically, the older fellows had bigger boats, bigger luggers,
and they had to wait for the tide to come in before they could get out.
These boats could float earlier, get out early on the tide,
they can get back in early and they catch the market, make more money,
so it was an insult.
-They were called the picarooners.
-The name stuck?
-The name stuck.
Stephen's ties to his heritage are strong.
Recently, he's decided to revive an old fisherman's craft.
He's making willow lobster pots, just like his father
and grandfather would have done at this time of year.
So these are traditional lobster pots?
Yeah, traditional lobster pots, withy pots.
As opposed to the ones that people would probably see
stacked up on the harbour today.
Here we are then at the end of the herring season,
in preparation for the lobster season, and this is
when all of this would have happened anyway this time of year.
Yeah. The herring fishing was finished, Christmas was over
so they would be out in the woods, cutting down the withies,
getting ready for doing this job.
This is very complicated.
You wouldn't have picked this up first go?
No. My father used to do it but he was left-handed so he couldn't
teach me how to do it. The other fishermen, Bernard, he taught me.
Is the idea for you to try
and make as many of these as possible and to try and get
fishermen to use them again or are those days well and truly gone?
Fishermen won't use these again.
They don't last long enough for fishermen to use them
but people like to buy them and put them in gardens or in pubs.
They're decoration. They are a beautiful thing to have.
The idea is to keep the craft going.
I haven't done this for ten years myself.
It's the first time I've done it for ten years. I'm giving it a go.
Well, if you haven't done it for ten years and you've created that,
I'll tell you what, that is mighty fine.
Well, this is rather pleasant, isn't it?
We should end all programmes like this!
-Yomping... Can you believe how steep it is around here?!
Those cobbles, they've given you a funny walk.
Speaking of those cobbles, have you seen the fireplace?
That is something else, isn't it?
Given that it's chilly and next week we're doing the winter special,
how about these for your feet? Woollen socks.
-I've had a go at knitting these.
-Are these woollen socks?
They are exactly a month too late for my Christmas stocking. Perfect.
Thank you very much indeed. As Ellie was saying,
next week we're going to be taking a walk on winter's wild side.
-Do join us. I'll see you then.
Ellie Harrison and Matt Baker are in north Devon, where Matt finds out what life is like for the residents once the tourists have gone. He discovers the difficulties of living in a place where everything from groceries to grand pianos has to be delivered by hand. He also meets the fisherman keeping old fishing traditions alive.
Meanwhile, Ellie meets a photographer who is on a five-year mission to photograph every one of the RNLI lifeboat stations in the country. And she discovers he's using an old-fashioned technique to make this unique record. Ellie then meets the farmer who has a sock named after him and sees for herself how they are made.
Dame Sarah Story talks about her favourite bit of the countryside, and Adam finds out how new technology is extending the growing season for food producers. Eating sea bass is rather fashionable these days, but that success has led to dire warnings about the health of wild bass stocks, and now a temporary ban on catching them. Tom Heap investigates whether that policy is, as some people claim, too little too late.