Sean Fletcher visits Capel Celyn, where 50 years ago villagers were evicted to make way for a new reservoir. Sean meets the families still living with that legacy.
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The deep green is turning.
The chill of autumn settles on the land.
From the mountains to the coast, North Wales is marked by the season.
And for the fishing families of Conwy,
that means one thing - mussels.
Now, this is the start of the mussel season, so, I'm going to be going
out with the fishermen, gathering their catch in time-honoured fashion.
And I'm going to be saddling up for the riding lesson
of a lifetime on one of the world's most famous breeds of horses.
I'm so jealous, I can't tell you!
We are also going to be returning to a school that rear their own
chickens, to find out what the buzz is about their new venture.
Also, Tom is on the broccoli diet.
It's claimed that if I eat it regularly,
this specially bred broccoli should reduce my cholesterol.
So, could this be the beginning of a new wave of superfoods?
And down on his farm, Adam is seeing the world in a whole new way.
Dr Troscianko here has brought some hi-tech equipment to the farm.
Using this camera and some specialist software, I can get
an insight into animal vision and see the world the way they see it.
North Wales, a landscape steeped in heritage.
A region rich in tradition, language and culture,
from the peaks of Snowdonia to the island shores of Anglesey.
We are on the Conwy Estuary, where the fresh water
of the Snowdonia Mountains meets the salty depths of the Irish Sea.
It is also home to an ancient tradition.
For thousands of years, folk have fished these waters for mussels,
originally for the pearls they contained and later for their meat.
Well, now, just four families are responsible for the whole industry.
'89-year-old Ken Hughes is from one of those families.
'He started on the mussels at just 14.
'He has lived right next to the quay all his life.'
Well, I've been musseling from before I left school.
I was very young, going to tide.
My father did it and his two brothers.
You had to go to tide, get the mussels
and you had to carry them, carry them all up,
tip them in the tanks, purify them and shovel them all out again.
That was 300 bags, twice a week.
I quite liked the job, but the trouble is, when you are going out,
you're going on your own, and anything can happen, can't it?
Through thick and thin, these four families have worked the water here.
For Ken, it was a career that spanned nearly 70 years.
How old were you when you hung up your musseling wellies?
Well, I was 80. You were 80?! I'm 89 now, so...
That's some career, though, 14 to 80! And do you like mussels, Ken?
Not really! THEY LAUGH
The fleet has dwindled since Ken first fished,
but the remaining families still work every day of the eight-month season.
'Tom Jones is a third-generation musseller
'and today, he's got an extra hand on board.'
Is this a natural bed that we are heading towards?
Yeah, they are natural beds, yes.
So, you know, Mother Nature looks after them,
they grow themselves, they can reseed themselves.
Oh, this is lovely. This is... Oh! This is an absolute delight.
'Conwy mussels are hand-raked, as opposed to dredged or rope-grown.
'It's the only place in the country that still fish mussels this way,
'a tradition that goes back to the 13th century,
'when the pine rakes were first designed and used by monks.'
So, you let the weight of it take it down... Let the weight take it down
and we'll see what we've got.
And how do you know that what you're feeling for there is not just
a rubbly or stony bottom...?
When you can feel it, um, you can hear it up the rake, the noise
travels up the rake, so when you are on hard ground, you can hear it.
It's always been the ideal way for fishing for mussels in Conwy,
because of the natural flat beds, so, just the way the rake is
designed, it is softer and not so harmful on the beds, raking.
Smaller mussels can fall through.
Oh, look at that! Yes! We've got some.
We're going to be here a long time!
So, yeah, there you go, as natural as you can get.
Natural Conwy mussels.
Because they're in the estuary, they're getting a mixture
of saltwater and freshwater, so it gives them that distinct taste.
How much would you expect to get in a session?
Um, well, it depends, really.
Quite a lot, on a good tide, you know,
you'll have about 200 or 300 kilos, maybe more. Quite a lot.
'There is a knack to using these 20-foot rakes. Time for a go.'
It's got quite a weight to it, hasn't it? Yeah, it's quite heavy.
When you think, when you look at the length of it and, actually,
that's kind of the pivot point, there. Yeah.
So, we'll just blast it out there and... That's it, yeah.
That's it, and you'll feel it when it gets to the bottom. There you go.
So, now, you basically just want to keep going up and down,
keep it on the bottom. It's a bit like...
Yeah, it's like sweeping the chimney, backwards!
Got a rubbly bottom there.
The moment of truth!
Hey, I tell you what... Oh, there's something there! Yes!
That's all right.
Just think, that'll be on someone's plate next week. Yeah, it will!
'Tom and his family are keen to keep this tradition going.
'For them, this is the only way to fish.'
People from outside quite often say, "Oh, you're daft.
"You should be dredging them or growing them on ropes."
But it's just the way we'll always do it in Conwy.
I mean, it's part of our history now, why would we ever change?
'With our catch safely gathered in, it's time to head back to shore.
'Apparently, the next step is all hi-tech
'and I'll be seeing how later.'
Now, mussels make a naturally nutritious meal, even more so
when they're coupled with a nice bowl of veg
and as Tom has been finding out, scientists say that they've just
made one of our healthiest vegetables even healthier.
'Over the years, we've become picky
'about what we want from our fruit and veg.'
We've made apples crisper, sprouts sweeter, beans bigger,
even grapes without seeds.
Science has done a lot to improve the taste,
yield and disease resistance of our crops,
but what about growing things which are actually better for our health?
It's called biofortification -
that means breeding crops to improve their nutritional value.
It has led to the creation of one special vegetable that is
taking the health benefits of eating your greens to a whole new level.
Looks pretty much like the normal stuff,
but tests are showing this could reduce your cholesterol,
and it's on course to be the first raw vegetable with European
approval for its claimed health benefits.
There are strict rules to ensure any health or nutritional claim
on a food label is clear, accurate and based on scientific evidence.
This is to prevent consumers being misled.
And this broccoli is really being put through its paces.
They reckon eating around 400g a week, that's about a pound,
could reduce your cholesterol by 6%.
Rigorous human trials are almost complete,
so, about six weeks ago, I thought I'd give it a go.
Thomas Heap, please.
'First job, a quick cholesterol test at my local GP surgery.'
Now, you will feel a sharp scratch, all right?
'High cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease or
'having a stroke, so I'm hoping the results aren't too bad.'
Your total cholesterol is 6.3,
so, that is a little bit higher than we were talking about.
We prefer it to be 5 or below.
'Not exactly the news I wanted to hear!'
My cholesterol level is a little higher than it should be,
so I guess I'm a pretty good candidate for this diet.
'A six-week super broccoli diet, to see if it makes any difference.'
Luckily, I do quite like broccoli.
Mm, it's good.
'More from my rather unscientific experiment later.
'First, I've come to where the real science is done.'
I'm at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich,
to meet the man behind the broccoli.
In 1984, a young PhD student called Richard Mithen was studying
wild brassicas in Sicily.
He brought one home and wanted to see what would happen
when he crossed it with the broccoli we buy in the shops.
Each time you make that cross, you're taking a little bit
of that wild plant and putting it in a broccoli background.
Now, we just have maybe three or four genes from that wild
plant in the broccoli.
Was this a GM process to deliver this?
No, this is conventional breeding.
So, those three to four genes are enough to do what?
Well, it's actually only one of those genes.
And what that does,
it increases a particular naturally occurring compound.
It's called glucoraphanin, it occurs in all broccoli,
but that gene means that instead of having the normal level,
it has about three or four times the level.
What is that compound doing that is good for my health
and how does that translate, you believe, into lower cholesterol?
Well, the bugs in the gut break that molecule down
and we absorb another compound called sulforaphane.
And when we absorb that, it's a bit like it retunes our body.
It gets all our metabolic processes working better.
And if they're working better, we use our fuel more efficiently,
we feel healthier,
and things like cholesterol, which may be rather high, they go down.
So, I'm in the midst of a retune at the moment? I think you are.
Yes, it will be interesting to see how you are getting on
and what the outcome of that is.
Professor Mithen says what makes his broccoli
so special is that it fits easily into an ordinary diet.
Put it in the steamer...
'I can put that theory to the test.'
A good helping of broccoli. Again.
Today it's "broccamole". Yes, really.
Hmm. Doesn't taste too bad... and it seems to be popular.
'My broccoli diary is really just a bit of fun,'
but there are official human trials too, aimed at gathering
enough evidence to apply for a European health claim next year.
It will join foods like
cholesterol-reducing spreads and yoghurt.
These carry European-approved health claims,
but they're all processed foods.
What makes the broccoli different is that it's raw.
With added nutrition coming straight from the ground rather than
the factory, farmers now have the chance to grow our food
and make it healthier at the same time.
Caroline Drummond is the chief executive of LEAF,
an organisation which promotes sustainable agriculture.
What do you make of this broccoli? Fantastic opportunity.
It's sort of health by stealth really,
because not only have you got a really healthy vegetable to
start off with, but it's got added nutritional benefits as well.
Do you think our farmers could, in effect,
become nutritionists for the nation?
It's really clear with the growing challenge around obesity
and a lot of nutrient deficiencies that, actually, farmers have
a key role and should be around the table in the discussion,
working with doctors, nutritionalists
and, of course, plant breeders and livestock breeders,
because if we don't take part of that, we're not really going
to have the full story.
A fusion of farming and science has set the ball
rolling for healthier foods straight from the farmer's field.
'But has eating enhanced broccoli for six weeks had
'any impact on my cholesterol? Time to find out.'
You've got a little impish grin on there.
You clearly know something. Yes, well, it's better than it was.
Brilliant. It's come down.
It's come down from 6.3 to 5.77. Quite a reasonable change then? Yes.
It's gone down by nearly 9%. I'm not sure
if I have only the broccoli to thank for that, but I'm pretty chuffed.
Of course, one result from one person doesn't really tell us
anything except that it IS possible to incorporate
a pound of broccoli into your diet every week.
So, is enhancing the nutritional value of our crops to
improve our health the future of food production?
And could there be a catch? That's what I'll be finding out later.
The Llyn Peninsula, a crooked finger of land pointing out
from north-west Wales into the Irish Sea.
It's very beautiful, but it's a long way from almost everywhere.
Just to give you an idea of how remote it really is,
the nearest train station is an hour away and I left the last
dual carriageway more than two hours behind me.
But the miles don't matter,
because I've made a special journey to be here.
And the reason is this.
Lusitano horses, one of the most famous breeds in the world.
Hi, Marcia. Hello. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.
You found your way up here all right. Just about. Very good.
And look at these horses. They are absolutely beautiful.
Lusitanos are prized for their skills as dressage horses.
Top specimens from the best Portuguese studs can cost
up to ?1 million.
So, it's a privilege to get close to them here on the Llyn Peninsula.
The story started when Marcia Pendlebury
and her husband decided to drop out of the rat race and move here.
It was their daughter, Janine,
who first developed a passion for Lusitanos.
Her father and I went to Vienna
and took some film of the Spanish Riding School there,
and she really fell for it.
And she had a little white pony and she started to teach it to go
on its hind legs, in the air and sit down.
So, it's not surprising that she went into buying a Lusitano.
'They now have 45 Lusitanos,
'including a stallion from the top Portuguese stud.'
This is Uivador.
He is the foundation stallion. He's stunning, isn't he?
Uivador is the only stallion of his type in the UK.
He commands top stud fees and is a competition-winning horse
back in Portugal.
This is where it all happens. Where the magic happens. Here we are.
This is the school.
Look. Very majestic, isn't he?
Lusitanos were originally bred to be warhorses.
They are powerful, brave and responsive.
Hi, Janine. Hi. That was so impressive. Thank you.
Oh, wow, he's gorgeous. Kaikai, yes? Kaikai.
A little bit different from the white pony you learned to ride on...
Absolutely. ..that your mum was telling me about.
Yeah. Quite different.
What is so special about Lusitanos?
Well, they're just totally different to ride and to handle.
Easy to teach. So, the horse is easy to train.
How easy is it to train the rider?
Well, it's easier if the rider hasn't picked any bad habits
up over the years, which many people have.
So, trying to get somebody to sit straight
and to tone down everything they do, because you don't have to do
quite as much with these horses as you would with the average horse.
OK, shall we have a go? That would be amazing. Thank you so much.
'Now, I'm no stranger to horses.
'I ride twice a week, but I've never ridden one of these
'magnificent beasts, or done any dressage, for that matter,
'so I'm excited and a little bit apprehensive.'
All I want you to do to start with is just to
walk him around the edge of the school, OK?
So, keep your leg on the girth,
a little nudge with your inside leg. That's it.
OK, shall we do a little bit of sideways? Yes.
Just turn him with your body
and use your outside rein a little bit against the neck.
He's doing his Spanish Walk.
THEY LAUGH Doesn't matter.
He's just showing off. He is. I'm always upstaged by animals.
That's it, now go sideways. That's it, outside rein. That's better.
Go on. There you go. Outside rein again. Well done.
That was much better. Yes. Spanish Walk then.
Now, just click.
'Just a few clicks from me
'and Napolitano knows to kick out his legs.
'A slight body movement, or a little leg pressure,
'and he walks on.'
I think he'd do it without any help.
OK, so next one we can do is the Piaffe.
He's starting to do it.
Yes. Nice. Good boy. That's it.
Keep him a bit more on the spot but sit back.
There you go. Can you feel that? Yeah.
Now, relax a little bit. You're going to go to passage.
You're going to trot. There. Whoo! Whoohoo!
Very good. Now just relax again. Good boy.
So, that's quite bouncy. Very bouncy.
Good boy, Napolitano. That was fantastic.
Thank you so much, Janine.
Well, I never thought I'd be doing that after half-an-hour's lesson
of classical dressage and, if I can do it, anyone can.
I think it's safe to say, I love Lusitanos.
Now, meet new Countryfile face Sean Fletcher.
Brought up on a farm in Essex and married into a Welsh family,
Sean's taken North Wales to his heart.
I love North Wales.
I come here regularly with my family.
My wife is Welsh, so I learned the language
and now I feel right at home here.
It's beautiful, isn't it? So peaceful.
But go back 50 years and events in this quiet valley
sparked a clash of cultures that resonates to this day.
This is Llyn Celyn, Lake Celyn.
Beneath its tranquil surface lie the ruins of a tiny Welsh village.
And all because, back in the '50s, a big English city needed more water.
Liverpool City Council got a bill passed in Parliament
to build a dam across the beautiful Tryweryn valley.
Acres of farmland would be flooded and the village of Capel Celyn lost.
For the best part of a decade,
people right across Wales campaigned against the dam,
but to no avail.
The diggers moved in,
the people moved out.
And, in 1965, the dam was opened.
It was a case of the national government
overriding the wishes of the local community.
It was English city against rural Wales
and it was the English city that won.
I'm meeting Eurgain Prysor Jones,
who was a child in Capel Celyn when the dam was built.
Eurgain was just nine when the valley was flooded,
or drowned, as they say here.
Do you remember that last time you saw the school and your home?
Oh, it was a very, very sad time, yes.
Tell me what Capel Celyn was like before it was drowned.
Well, it was a very rural place.
Only six houses in the village
and we lived next door but one to the chapel.
Although there wasn't a lot of houses,
there were quite a few heads of people that lived there
and it was a very happy place.
But, once this business of drowning the village started,
In July '63, the school was closed.
The next thing to go was the chapel.
As soon as anywhere became vacant,
the machines moved in and just demolished everything.
Demolished the walls, demolished the hedges,
the trees were cut down, empty buildings were just bulldozed
and it became a very, very horrible-looking place.
Horrible, horrible-looking place.
People came to see the village before it was drowned
and they used to say, "Oh, isn't this awful?
"What's going to happen to you? Where are you going to live?
"Isn't it terrible?"
And, to us, that felt as if everything as an anchor
you had as a child was going to be pulled away under your feet.
It was a bitter blow.
Many here felt the flooding of the Tryweryn valley
was an attack on Welsh culture.
The people here used to say, "Dyma gartref yr iaith Gymraeg."
"This is the home of the Welsh language,"
and it had been like that for generations.
Even though Liverpool council apologised for the drowning in 2005,
it remains a rallying cry for the people of Wales.
Dafydd Iwan is one of Wales's leading singer-songwriters.
The drowning of the Tryweryn valley inspired him to write this,
his very first song.
It remains an inspiration to Welsh people today.
I heard the mention of Tryweryn in there.
Just how important is Tryweryn to you?
Oh, it's crucially important.
It was the destruction of a community,
a Welsh-speaking community,
and a way of life we will never see exactly it's like again.
It's a very, very emotional thing
and Tryweryn remains, probably, the most potent symbol
we have of our inability to defend ourselves
and things have changed.
I think Tryweryn was the catalyst to change Welsh politics for ever
and it led, eventually, to setting up the Welsh Assembly.
Tryweryn was that point of turning the tide.
Do you think the drowning of Capel Celyn
had a long-term impact on your life?
I think it did.
I think it made me value more the, you know, the basic things in life
that we lost.
I treasure them, the things I've kept from those schooldays
and home life, I treasure today, yes.
The drowning of Capel Celyn is clearly important
to the people who lived here and the nation of Wales,
but it's also highly relevant to rural communities
that are under threat in an ever-changing Britain.
No matter how small the village,
the memories and the scars can remain for generations.
Earlier, we heard how food can be grown for increased nutrition,
but is there a catch?
Tom's helping out with the broccoli harvest.
Super broccoli -
designed to be better for you than the average broccoli.
It's a bio-fortified food bred specifically for increased nutrition
and it's healthier from the moment it's harvested.
It was created to reduce cholesterol,
not through genetic modification,
but using traditional plant-breeding techniques.
George Reid is one of the biggest brassica growers in the country.
He decided to grow a crop of this souped-up broccoli in Lincolnshire,
believing health-conscious consumers will lap it up.
But there have been some drawbacks for farmers.
There is a trade-off. Disease resistance isn't quite as good.
It's slightly less vigorous than a normal broccoli.
It's less dense, so typically,
it probably yields about 30% less than a standard broccoli.
On top of that, George can't yet put anything
on the packet to distinguish it from normal broccoli.
He needs that coveted European health claim.
It would make a huge difference to us trying to sell the product,
because, at the moment, we really can't put anything on the packet,
so the consumer doesn't really know the difference between this
broccoli and a standard broccoli.
Farmers like George are well aware of the advantages,
but they're experiencing the downsides too.
feels problems like lower yields can be addressed.
it might have a slight knock-on negative effect on another trait,
which will be much better adapted to the particular farmers.
Consumers can be absolutely confident that
if there is a health claim on the product,
it's backed up with the very best scientific evidence.
Scientists here are looking at wheat to improve
the nutrition of starchy foods like bread and pasta.
Outside the EU,
around 50 countries are now growing or testing biofortified crops,
such as beans with more iron and sweet potato with extra vitamin A.
For scientists like Professor Mithen, there is enormous potential.
We've got a society that's getting older,
we have big increases in health costs.
Breeding crops and making foods which are more nutritious
will make a major contribution to our health in the future.
But some believe we shouldn't pin all our hopes on a biofortified
Should we be waiting for these
miracle cures to boost our nutrition? No.
There's already so much that we can be doing now actually,
both as individuals, but also in the supporting industry as well,
but what we should be doing is looking at our diet,
eating more vegetables, eating food that looks like food
and, of course, in addition to that, actually eating less.
Even with science on our side, there's no getting around the fact
that a healthy lifestyle always
comes down to a balanced diet and exercise.
There's never a quick fix
and there are trade-offs
when you grow crops for improved nutrition -
a frequently lower yield for starters -
but if we can prove the health benefits of some of these foods
and slap it on the packet,
could it usher in a whole new era of super foods?
Watch this space.
The season's moving on, but there's still autumn colour about -
a joy to behold. But as Adam's about to find out,
it looks completely different to his animals.
I'm just moving this flock of ewes now, on to some fresh grass,
and it's amazing how the dogs can move the flocks,
that sort of understanding between the dog and the sheep
and as a shepherd, you really have to understand how
the minds of the sheepdog and the sheep work.
So, you can see Pearl moving round to the right and then,
she'll run back behind them, just shifting the sheep gently on.
And Boo here is actually quite useful as well.
Although she's a house dog, she's actually working behind
the sheep, zigzagging backwards and forwards, being quite effective.
And I work with these animals all the time,
but what I can't really do is perceive how they see the world.
That's quite alien to me.
Until now, that is.
I've invited a top scientist from Exeter University to the farm.
He's an expert in animal vision and knows all about how
animals' eyes work.
Today, he's going to show me how the world looks to them.
Jolyon, good to see you. Hello, nice to meet you.
Now, explain to me what your work's all about, then.
I'm a sensory ecologist. I investigate the colours
and patterns in the natural world around us.
Every animal has a very different way of seeing the world, so that's
where this camera and the software that we've written comes in,
because that allows us
to simulate what the world might look like to another animal.
So, what about the dogs here and their vision?
Because some people think they can only see in black and white.
Yes, that's not true. They can actually see some colours.
They can't see as many colours as us.
Our eyes, for example, are sensitive to red, green and blue
and our brains turn those three inputs
into the millions of colours that we can see.
But dogs, they are only able to see
blue and yellow as the two main colours.
They're not colour-blind as such.
They can still see a huge variety of colours between blue and yellow,
but it's not nearly as sophisticated as ours
when it comes to looking at red and green differences.
And how about the sheep, then? Are they different to the dogs?
Well, they actually see the world in very similar colours.
Again, just the blue and yellows,
but their eyes are positioned on the head in a very different way.
They're a prey animal, so the main job their eyes have to do is
look out for predators, so the eye
is positioned on the side of the head to give very good peripheral
vision to try and spot any predators that might come and attack them.
Unlike the dog, which is related to the wolf, isn't it,
with eyes on the front of its head. Exactly.
The dog, with eyes forward-facing,
it can sit in wait and have very good vision
and be able to spot the sheep.
So, can you take a photograph of the dogs to see how the sheep see them?
Yes, we can do. Right. Let's do that. Let's have a go.
Whilst I get the dogs into posing position, Jolyon takes the photos.
He then runs them through a specialist software,
which converts them into animal vision.
But the first image is how we humans see. You can see all the colours.
They look normal. The grass is green, the dog is slightly brown
and the sheep are white.
But here, if we look at what it looks like
to dog vision and sheep vision,
they will both see similar colours here. So, very subdued.
Hardly any colour in that at all.
It almost looks black and white but it's not.
So, the way the sheep are viewing this, looking at the dogs,
Boo, the red dog, is almost disappearing into the grass there.
She looks camouflaged.
Yes, she looks pretty much the same colour as the grass exactly.
Perhaps it's no coincidence that sheepdogs, they're black-and-white.
The black and white sticks out like a sore thumb here.
Once that dog is moving, the sheep really react to it. Absolutely.
So, if dogs are seeing yellow and blue,
can that be used in training them in any way?
Knowledge that the dogs will be able to see the bright yellow
and bright blue colours much more clearly than anything else
might be useful in terms of the objects that you train them with.
Great. So, that is a dog's eye view of the world.
But what about my cattle? How do they see things?
It's often said that cattle find red threatening but is this true?
In terms of the colours that they can see,
it's very similar to the dogs.
So, just like the dogs,
they will see the world in shades from blue to yellow.
So, the idea of the matador's red cape and that cattle charge
if you're wearing red, how true is that?
Yes, it's a complete misconception that they will be able to see
that red. To the cattle, the red sheet will just look like
a dark brown or dark yellow.
They can't see this powerful vibrant red against the green like we can.
It's the movement, the flapping,
the fervour of the event that gets them really riled up, I guess.
So, are there colours that they can see more clearly,
or get more, sort of, excited about?
If you were walking into a field with an angry bull,
it's probably best not to wear very bright, vibrant blues and yellows.
But, actually, red would be fine, for example.
They will just see that as a dark brown.
So, while the cattle are there,
do you want to take a photograph of them? Yes, let's have a go.
It will be interesting to see, with all these different coloured cattle,
how they see each other. So, if we look at the human vision first.
This is what a normal human would see.
But when we look across to the cattle vision image,
you see the colours in the brown cattle there is almost
exactly the same as the green trees behind it.
The old adage that the grass is always greener on the other side
with animals breaking out...
through cow vision, the grass looks quite dull.
You can see here that in the human visible shot,
the dead blades of grass look much more yellow
and the lush green bit of grass is quite clearly different to us,
whereas, if you look at the cow vision,
it's all pretty much the same, so the cows must be using some
other cues to work out where the grass looks best.
So the grass isn't greener on the other side...if you're a cow.
There's one creature here
on the farm for whom vision is absolutely vital - bees.
As well as being good for my crops, they do
an important job pollinating a third of the world's food.
Key to this is their sight. They see in ultraviolet.
Using a specially adapted camera, I'm going to find out
what a dandelion looks like to a bee.
The filter wheel is turning round
and taking pictures in different wavelengths.
And then, we can take these photos and put them on the computer
and see what it looks like to a bumblebee. OK. Let's take a look.
So, there's the vibrant yellow. That's how the human sees it, is it?
Yes, that's right.
So, you've got the yellow dandelion
and the green grass in the background.
But here we can convert it to bee vision
and you'll see the colours are completely different.
You'll notice the middle of the dandelion is a deep red colour,
it doesn't transmit any UV,
whereas, the outside here is more of a pink, purple colour
and that's because the UV light has been reflected quite powerfully.
And so, a bee will see this colour contrast going on
and we are completely blind to it.
The colour change and the markings will help the bee know where
the middle of the flower is.
So, with that oilseed rape we grow on the farm,
a mass of yellow attracts millions of insects
and we need them to pollinate, so these colours are important
for us to understand how these insects think and see.
Impressive. But there is one creature here that has
the best vision of them all.
Any guesses? It's the chickens.
These are definitely the most sophisticated in terms
of colour vision on your farm.
Like pretty much all birds, they'll be tetrachromats,
so that means they not only
see the world in the same red, green and blue we do,
but they have a whole UV channel as well, so it's like
combining the best of bee vision and human vision in one animal.
The colour that the chicken can see there is quite impressive
and we can't even begin to imagine what it might be like
to see the world in a whole fourth dimension of colour,
rather than just the red, green and blue that we have.
It's remarkable. They've left us behind as far as vision goes.
Absolutely. It doesn't mean they're any less stupid, though.
Oh, don't listen!
Amazing! What an insight into my animals.
I'll never look at them the same again.
Every week on Countryfile, we see Adam and his love of farming -
a passion which he inherited from his father, Joe Henson,
one of the founding fathers of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust
and a gentleman who has appeared many times
on Countryfile over the years.
Now, sadly, earlier this month, Joe passed away
and with Adam and his family's permission,
we wanted to pay tribute to him.
Hello, piggy. Hello, piggy. Hello.
Adam and his dad Joe have always shared their love
of rare breed farming and the British countryside.
Well, you know the old saying.
"If the berries do grow, you're in for some snow."
For Joe, it's a passion he'd had all his life.
He grew up near a farm in Northwood, on the outskirts of London.
We used to hunt for eggs in the rickyard
and all that sort of thing, you know.
And I think that probably had a great impression on me
at the age of five or six.
And this is what I wanted to do,
to work closely with animals in that sort of environment.
I think this is what set me on the road to farming.
So, at the age of 19, Joe set off
for Cirencester Agricultural College, as it was then,
and trained to be a farmer.
Joe became fascinated with livestock breeding
and his passion for rare breeds was born.
But he still needed to persuade the public that these animals
And so, in 1971, the gates of Joe's Cotswold Farm Park,
the first of its kind in the world, opened to the public.
Just two years later,
the Rare Breeds Survival Trust held its first official meeting.
In the chair was Joe Henson. Go on. Your mums are leaving you behind.
His passion for farming was soon recognised by the BBC
and in the 1970s, he started making guest appearances on the popular
children's show Animal Magic, filmed on location at his farm.
Hello, Joe. Hello, Johnny. They're rather special, aren't they?
They are. How old are these now, Joe? These are ten days old.
Only ten days? Mm-hm, so they've still got their stripes
and still reliant on the mother for their milk.
But it wasn't just children Joe hoped to enthuse
with his love of farming and rare breeds.
In 1976, he appeared on a programme called Barnyard Safari.
He shared the screen with more troublesome animals.
Joe and his passion for farming proved an audience winner
and he was sent round the world
on a programme called Great Alliance,
where farm livestock was replaced by more exotic ones.
In the wild, it's perfectly capable of looking after itself.
But in captivity, it needs a great deal of love
I did, actually. You can say so now, it doesn't matter.
..showed us the joy of lambing
The time of year when we think of harvesting not only
Alongside his occasional television work,
Joe continued to build up his rare breed farm
and campaigned tirelessly for rare breed conservation.
In 1999, though,
he was happy to pass the running of the farm on to his son Adam.
But like father, like son,
your own breed of cattle, so you're putting your own mark on the place.
positive for Adam on the farm...
It's an absolute travesty. Complete disaster.
..Joe was there.
To get two so far out of the new heifers is just awful.
And...I just don't know, you know,
how we're going to go on.
It was a great pleasure for Adam when, in 2011,
he was able to take his dad
on a sheep-buying trip to the Orkney Islands,
a trip they'd first made together more than 30 years before.
It must have been a right pain having an eight-year-old
running around with you. It was great.
I really enjoyed having you with me, actually.
It's particularly lovely for me being back with you.
The two of us here, you know.
It's a lovely trip down memory lane. It really is.
Joe's work for conservation was rewarded when, in 2011,
he was awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours,
much to the delight of all his family.
Between the years 1900 and 1973, we had lost 26 of our native breeds.
Since the formation of Joe's Rare Breeds Survival Trust,
no other livestock breed has become extinct in the UK.
Joe Henson was himself a rare breed -
a true gentleman who believed passionately in the animals
and breeds he preserved for the nation.
He was a lifelong champion of farming and education and,
through his tireless work, leaves a lasting legacy.
It was a privilege to have had Joe on Countryfile
and a real pleasure to have known him.
A couple of miles from Conwy sits the seaside resort of Llandudno.
Famous for its pier, it's also home to an award-winning school,
inspiring environmental entrepreneurs of the future.
When we last visited San Sior primary a year ago,
we got to meet their brood of 140 chickens...
..help out in their orchard...
..as well as meet some of their more unusual animals.
Well, it's now a year on
and the school has a new addition to its menagerie.
Ian Keith Jones is the head teacher.
Zips right to the top.
Morning, everyone. Good morning. How are we all doing? All right?
Now, this is a good school uniform!
Goodness me, this is absolutely extraordinary.
So, we're talking bees, here, Ian.
Usually bees and children, they don't generally mix, do they?
No, but it's such a great topic, everything fits into the bee topic.
Literacy, numeracy and not only that, it's a business,
so, hopefully, the aim is to sell some of the honey
in the Conwy Honey Fair, which is the oldest fair in Wales, I think.
Every penny made from selling their own hens' eggs last year
has been spent on the bees.
But it hasn't been plain sailing.
We bought two nucleus and then,
they started swarming as soon as we got them.
When they started swarming, did you think,
"This is such a bad idea to have them in a school"?
I did question the sanity of having
bees on a school site, definitely, yeah.
Particularly when I came back from a course
and a teaching assistant said,
"The sky went black and they all flew over the field."
And I thought, "Bad idea."
Time to see what all the buzz is about
and help check on the hives.
But do the children know their stuff?
Shall we see if we can find the queen, then? Yes.
Now, who knows what the key to spotting the queen is?
What does she look like? Why is she different?
She has, um... She's bigger and we've put a blue spot on her.
These ones are workers,
because they are much smaller.
And how are you all feeling at the moment? Because these bees,
they're flying around us quite closely, aren't they, now?
You can hear them, that wonderful buzz.
I'm fine with that. You're happy with that, yeah?
I was terrified, then I realised that they weren't going to hurt me
unless I annoyed them or anything.
If we look after them,
they'll give us honey in return and they help the environment.
I cannot believe how much you know in just a few months!
And this must be really interesting for you, Ian,
because you're discovering so much.
I mean, you're not a bee keeper, are you?
No, no. In the olden days,
the teacher was the lead and everybody would follow the lead.
Now it's more of a partnership.
Absolutely. We need to find the queen. Oh, there she is!
That's so vibrant, that blue.
Good job it's there, that spot. Yeah.
As these bees are all part of the school business,
the children are going to have to learn how to harvest the honey
for when the time comes.
Julian Thompson is a warden of a nearby nature reserve.
He's going to show these budding beekeepers
how he extracts his honey.
We're going to take the caps off the honey, there.
You slide it in like that.
Take a thin sliver off the top.
Keep the lids off there.
But we won't waste these cappings that we're taking off.
A quick spin in the centrifuge...
How are you feeling about the fact that next year
you'll be doing this with your own honey?
I'm very proud of the school
and all the bees have been working really hard.
Whilst the children weren't looking, I went back to the hives
and it turns out there was just enough honey for them to get a taste.
This'll be a surprise.
Right, listen up, everybody, because you're all focused on that honey,
right, but the honey we're going to be trying and tasting
is actually your honey.
What's your opinion? LAUGHTER
Is it good? Is it good? Face says it all!
Got lots of honey there.
Really nice. Really nice, isn't it?
What's it taste like? Jam. Jam!
I have tasted a lot of honey from lots of different producers
all over Britain...
..and THAT is one of the finest.
Beekeepers of the future, here we go!
'The honey business will be great fun for the pupils'
'and it's educational, too.'
'A creative and tasty way of teaching the importance of the natural world.'
In a moment, we'll have the weather for the week ahead,
but before that, a big thank you to everybody
who has bought our Countryfile calendar for 2016.
If you haven't got yours yet, here's how you do it.
The calendar costs ?9.50,
including free UK delivery.
You can buy yours either via our website at:
Or by calling the order line on:
To order by post, send your name, address and cheque to:
Last year's calendar was a record breaker,
raising over ?1.5 million.
So, this time around, let's see if we can beat that.
We're on the Conwy Estuary,
where earlier I joined one of the few remaining families
working the mussel beds here.
Hey, I'll tell you what... Oh, there's something...
Yeah, you did all right here! Yes!
They have been harvested this way for nearly 1,000 years,
but when they come ashore, it's much more 21st century.
I'm joining Tom at their special purification building
to see what happens to the mussels
on the next step of their journey to our plates.
Right, well, they've been in the tank here now for 42 hours,
they've been purified now.
What's in that water? Well, it's seawater,
it mimics the conditions that they live in. I see. And then,
the seawater gets filtered through an ultraviolet light system.
So, it's state-of-the-art technology to get the mussels safe to eat.
So, they're filtering that water that's been treated.
And the UV treats the water, zaps all the bugs out of it.
OK. So, they're dead safe to eat now.
What's the foam on top of here, then?
Well, the foam is a good sign that the mussels are alive and working.
So, it's just a by-product of the energy they're using
in the water, really, because they're filtering all the time.
In you go!
They're going to go through a cleaning machine now,
which is, basically, just a mixture with brushes inside and fresh water.
So it just de-clumps them and makes sure they're all individual
and any shells and that will fall out. OK.
So, what does the future hold for this most local of industries?
These parts, centuries ago,
it was loaded, wasn't it, with mussel fishermen out there.
Yeah. These days there's what, four families?
I know. It's a shame that there's not as many working on the beds now,
but it's amazing it's still the same four families,
their generations are still fishing today.
Yeah. I was talking to Ken, he retired at 80. Yeah.
I mean, are you going to be doing this,
do you think, for your foreseeable future?
I hope so! Hopefully, yeah!
They always say that the proof is in the tasting, so...
Let's give them a go!
And what better than pan-fried Conwy mussels with local oak-cured bacon?
How long have these been steaming in here, Tom?
Oh, not long, about four, five minutes.
They're so meaty, those mussels.
Got all this wonderful local produce, local ingredients here,
um, have we got enough butter?
I think so, just about. Yeah, OK.
So, we're just going to cut a little bit off.
There you go, that's it. There you go.
What a backdrop to be cooking in front of.
It's quite inspiring, isn't it?
Well, you can see it's straight from sea to plate.
Shall we go for it? I think so, yeah!
Why not? Let's do it.
A sprinkling of chives...
..some fresh bread...
..and a rustic delight fit for this historic quayside setting is ready.
That's looking OK, isn't it? Yeah, I think so.
Would you like a bit of cheese? Sprinkle a little bit on.
I'll have a bit. Something smells good! Oh, hello!
Just in time! What do you think to this lot?
Lovely, I am starving! May I? Yeah.
Well, yes, if you're a fan of mussels,
then, I think you're going to enjoy this.
It's a completely new recipe for me, this, so...
Mmm! Maybe it needs tweaking, I don't know.
Mmm! Well? Lovely!
Well, I'm happy with those. Delicious. Absolutely beautiful.
Anyway, before we go, there's just time to remind you
of a very special programme next week.
Three, two, one...
Off we go!
We're donning our walking boots along with many of you
for the Countryfile ramble for Children In Need.
We'll be covering all corners of the country from Windsor Great Park
to Loch Leven, the Jurassic coast to the heights of Snowdonia,
where I'll be taking on the challenge with Ella,
who is part-sighted.
I'm sure you would agree, Ella, this is probably the most challenging
section of the walk for you so far.
Yeah, I'm still waiting for the so-called path! Yeah!
Hope you can join us then. Bye-bye. Bye!
Matt Baker and Shauna Lowry are exploring North Wales. Matt is in Conwy joining the Jones family at the start of the mussel-fishing season. The Joneses still fish using the traditional wooden rakes that have been in use since the 13th century. Matt finds out that it takes strength and skill to handle these 15-foot implements. Matt then pays a visit to San Sior Primary School in Llandudno. When Countryfile was there last year, the pupils were rearing their own chickens and selling the eggs. Now the children have started keeping bees with a view to selling the honey. Meanwhile, Shauna is on the Llyn Peninsula getting a riding lesson on one of the most famous breeds of horse in the world - the lusitano - a pure white Portuguese horse famous for its tricks and stunts.
New presenter Sean Fletcher visits Capel Celyn, where 50 years ago villagers were evicted to make way for the building of a new reservoir. Sean meets the displaced families still living with that legacy.
Tom finds out if claims that broccoli can lower cholesterol are true by going on a special broccoli diet. Adam dons some hi-tech goggles to find out how the animals on his farm see colour. And Countryfile pays its own tribute to Adam's dad Joe, farmer and rare breed champion, who died recently.