Countryfile plays host to the One Man and His Dog sheepdog trials, and Matt Baker and Helen Skelton present all the action from Byland Abbey.
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Hello, and welcome to North Yorkshire,
in the shadow of the magnificent Byland Abbey,
where four countries are about to go head to head, nose to tail,
hoping to be crowned champions of Countryfile's
Yes, we have got the best of the best,
who are hoping to give us a masterclass
in how man and dog can work in perfect harmony.
And over there, perched on the bales,
friends and family waiting in nervous anticipation.
Now, Bob and I are going to be spending the afternoon
in the commentary box, talking you through the action.
While you're doing that, I will be revealing
why this abbey was once at the heart of Britain's wool trade,
and finding out why there are pink sheep dotted all over these hills.
The rural majesty of heather moorlands.
Over 550 square miles of breathtaking beauty
make up the North York Moors National Park.
Tucked away in a remote corner is Byland Abbey.
It's been associated with sheep farming since medieval times.
Now, One Man And His Dog might not be that old,
but it has been celebrating the art of sheepdog trialling
since 1976, bringing together the best shepherding talent
For this year's competition, our handlers and their dogs
from the farthest reaches of the Scottish Highlands
to the Atlantic shores of Ireland's west coast,
For one day, they'll all come together here, to take part in
one of sheepdog trialling's most hotly contested competitions.
All of our senior competitors are champions from their home nation,
but they are only half of the story, because they're paired with
the up-and-coming talent of four young handlers.
It's their combined performances that will determine which nation
walks away with the trophy and the One Man And His Dog title.
The winner of One Man And His Dog 2014 is...
And it is those young handlers who will be the first to
To walk you through the course they'll be taking on,
representing Team Countryfile, it's Matt and his dog Bob.
In our trial, everybody starts with 100 points,
and the idea is to hang onto as many as possible,
so this is what is in store after that nerve-racking walk
to the handler's post. The dog is then faced with five sheep
at the far end of the field, up there in the distance.
Now, the handler can choose to send their dog
either out to the right-hand side, which is "away",
or off to the left, which is "come by",
hoping for 20 points and the perfect start to their trial.
This first part is called the outrun,
with the dog running a distance of 250 yards to meet the sheep.
Then it's the lift, as the dog starts to move
the sheep in a controlled manner back towards the handler.
Having executed the lift nice and gently, it's then on to the fetch.
The idea here is that the dog brings all five sheep
through these fetch gates in the middle of the field
and on to the handler at the post.
Now, 20 points are available for this bit,
and once the sheep have rounded the handler, it's then on to the drive.
The drive is a journey consisting of two drive gates,
which all five sheep must be guided through.
The dog needs to keep the sheep moving at a steady pace here,
and this element is crucial as a massive 30 points are on offer.
Then, it's on to their penultimate challenge.
This is when the trial will get very, very interesting.
It's the first time that the handler can leave their post.
Now, the aim here is to take the flock through
the middle of the cross, ignoring the exits at the top
and at the bottom, which will be very, very tempting for the sheep.
So, this is the point at which the trial could be won or lost.
Come on, Bob, we're almost there. Come on, son.
10 points are on offer at the Maltese cross,
and then it's on to the final challenge, the pen,
The course is completed when all five sheep are herded in
and the gate is closed, with all our competitors hoping to get
as close as possible to that maximum total score of 100 points.
Well, as if all of that isn't difficult enough,
the whole course has to be completed within 12 minutes.
It looks like everybody is ready, Bob.
Shall we get into the commentary box? Come on, then.
Already set and ready for the off are our two judges
One Man And His Dog's first ever female winner, Katy Cropper,
and alongside her, a man whose catalogue of awards includes
three supreme championships, Bobby Dalziel
Completing our line-up with me in the commentary box is this man,
the International Sheepdog Society's Andy Jackman.
Andy, we are in for a treat. I think we are.
I hope everybody at home enjoys this as much as we will.
Rather than drawing straws, we drew sheep earlier,
which means that kicking off the competition,
it'll be 18-year-old Allan McKenzie with his dog Coal.
When he was a pup, he was the runt of the litter.
to a possible One Man And His Dog champion.
All set and ready, and his trial is away, Andy.
Yes, and the dog started off on a good line, too.
There's less ground to cover on the right, but he's a bit shallow now.
Now, his problem here will be if he pushes the sheep off the post.
The judges haven't been too harsh. 15 for the outrun. There you go.
They've come off now. Now he's pushed them off the line.
Obviously, the key with the outrun is not to push them too much
and then get that nice, gentle lift. They're off to a pace now.
Yes, and not only are they off to a pace,
Because of that, they've now skipped the gate.
We shall see what happens when they go off up the hill.
And this is the point of balance. This is what we're talking about.
The dog doesn't want to get too close to the sheep
No, because once they start running here, they'll just continue
Coal! He is OK. He has lined up nicely.
Ah, there's one looking the wrong way.
If he's not careful he'll be under the gate.
He's straightened them up. Oh, that's good. Caught it nicely.
Just 9 points lost, then, on that drive. 21 scored.
The dog and handler position absolutely key now,
Now, he has got plenty of pressure on here.
He needs to be back towards the dog a bit.
Now, he has to be careful here, because the dog... Yes, yes.
This is what is so difficult for the younger handlers, isn't it?
He needed his dog ten yards further back at that cross,
so that they settled in the mouth, rather than towards Allan.
Now, let's go again. He's far better placed. Oh, this looks very good.
Oh, missed... Well, that's the danger.
but all five sheep have to go through the middle of that cross,
and it'll have to start all over again.
And, of course, points are going. Yes.
Are they all going to go through? Come on, come on, be kind.
He's salvaged that and now he's in position to move forward.
Just 1 scored for the Maltese cross.
I'm afraid that's all he could expect from that.
Again, Coal is just pushing the sheep onto Allan.
That's caused the burst at the pen there.
No, keep cool, keep cool. Down. Down.
A steady start from our first pairing of Allan McKenzie and Coal.
What cost them dear, though, was the Maltese cross,
Allan, congratulations, They are in the pen.
You had the unenviable task of leading out the competition today.
I could have done better picking them up and a bit better at the pen,
but that's just not my luck today. A score of 58.
Next up for Wales, it's this year's youngest handler,
and the competition's only female, 15-year-old Elin Hope.
the tension is rising for her and her mum.
How are you feeling? Slightly nervous.
She doesn't normally get nervous at normal trials,
but I think she's a little bit today.
Here we go, then. A score of 58 to beat.
She's come deep into the field at the bottom,
outside the second drive gates, but heading towards the sheep.
She's shallow now. Just a little tight maybe? Yes, she's tight.
16 scored for the outrun, so just one more than Allan.
Ideally looking for a straight line from that lift
Yes, she has drifted, but she's straightened them up.
They've come across now. She's on the line.
Right through the middle. Yes, going nicely.
Come on. Yes, she's having to encourage floss a little bit. Away.
Away. The problem is that Floss is spending
a fair bit of time on her belly, and she's up and down, up and down,
and that's drawing the attention of the sheep.
They've all turned to look at the dog now.
She is nearly underneath them, see? Yes. So she's too low, almost?
Well, yes. And she's putting in a short flank there,
which has spooked them a little. Now, she has got to turn.
Question is whether they run off up the drive. There they go.
Now, she's going to have to keep her contact with it.
The judges will look for the dog to stay in contact with the sheep,
Pace is on now, and Floss is right up behind them.
Oh, it's going to be tight, this. Yes.
They're through! Well, fortune favours the brave, yes?
So, Elin just making her way over to this Maltese cross.
Allan had a few problems here. Now, she's well placed now.
Come on, come on. They're where they want to be.
She's got to get their heads to turn and look.
Nicely through. Well done. Just one point lost on that Maltese cross.
So, regrouping the sheep, as Elin moves over to open the gate.
Floss just came onto the sheep and has pushed one round back.
That has rather spoiled that. What a shame.
Well, Elin will know that time is ticking, we're under a minute now.
Ooh! There's a flash of it there, of what could be.
There's our little stopwatch in the commentary box. That's gone off.
So, that is time up. That will be no score at the pen.
What a shame, because it was such a good round up till then.
A frustrating finish, but thanks to a flying start,
Elin, brilliant round, but you just ran out of time on that final pen.
Quite frustrating, because the dog worked hard to try
and get them in, but there was no way that they would go in.
Those sheep were just so stubborn, weren't they? They were so stubborn.
But your Maltese cross was brilliant, your drive up the hill
was pretty harum-scarum - what was going on there?
She pushed them a bit too hard, and they just ran,
so it was a bit panicky. But you got them back under control. Yes.
And even though you didn't get a score in the pen,
you are currently top of the leaderboard with 60 points.
How do you feel about that? Happy, yes. Well done, Elin. Thank you.
So, halfway through our young handlers,
it's the Welsh who are top of the table.
With Ireland and England still to run, the field is wide open.
Now, every nation is hungry to claim its piece
of One Man And His Dog history here today,
and there's no better place to do it, as Helen's been finding out.
Watching over the excitement of the sheepdog trials,
Alongside its Yorkshire neighbours of Rievaulx and Fountains,
it was one of the three shining lights of the North.
this was England's largest monastic church,
an economic powerhouse that dominated the landscape,
and it was all built on the back of sheep.
So, that's the rose window? Yeah, yeah. Absolutely enormous.
It's 13th century. This stuff doesn't come cheap.
This is the top-notch architecture of the day.
Mark Douglas is a senior curator for English Heritage,
and today, he's giving me a guided tour around the ruins of the Abbey.
What would it have been like eight centuries ago in here?
Quiet, to be fair. It'd be very, very quiet.
It's one of the biggest Cistercian churches, in fact,
one of the biggest monastic churches in Britain, a huge space.
Outside, on the other hand, it would be a different story altogether,
because it'd be a real hotbed of activity.
Known as the White Monks for their raw, uncoloured woollen habits,
the Cistercians transformed Byland's marshlands
This was a slick operation. It was like a futures market.
They would sell wool in advance of actually producing it,
so they basically took money loans for wool and paid it back in wool.
to how you think the monks were living.
In my head, they were leading very simple lives, very quiet,
very withdrawn, yet it doesn't sound like that.
So all this stuff they've got, all this wonderful architecture,
was all paid for, effectively, by business,
and effectively most of it was paid for by wool.
King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries
brought all that crashing down, leading to Byland,
like countless other Abbeys, being reduced to the ruins we see today.
sheep have once again returned to this site,
and we have a power struggle of our own on our hands here today.
Up next and hoping he can help retain the title for Ireland
is 17-year-old Caleb O'Keeffe, with dog Tess by his side,
What pointers have you given him after those two rounds? None.
Leave it to him. Leave it to himself.
Is it not tempting, though, as his dad...
I would love to, yes, but he's his own mind made up,
If he makes a mistake, he can't blame me!
So, going it alone, it's Caleb and Tess.
So, our penultimate young handler, then,
in this year's One Man And His Dog. They're not messing around at all.
He sends 5?-year-old Tess out to the left-hand side,
Indeed, yes, and taking a good line out.
This looks like a very good outrun indeed.
Looking for that stop at the 12 o'clock position.
Just pushed on a bit there, and pushing on still.
Seven scored for the lift. Lie down!
Well, there's no question who's boss here.
Lie down! You can just hear it in Caleb's voice there.
Things are nicely settled down on this stretch. Hit the fetch gates.
And... She was plenty tight enough there.
And now she's rattled the sheep. She's rattled them.
And now there's far too much pace on approaching that gate,
Caleb's hanging on, and he's put a big bend in there, a big bend.
Oh, he's saved it, though, Andy. Yes, he has. He's come back,
got through the gate. 14 scored for the drive.
And gently towards the Maltese cross. Lie down!
Caleb in a perfect position here. Yes, he's well placed now.
Now, Alan and Caleb are neck and neck,
Get up, get up! Get at it! Lie down! Out!
And I think we could probably say there was an aggressive sniff there.
whether or not there should be a disqualification, and...
It's a disqualification for Caleb and Tess.
Well, Caleb, he finishes the job off just to prove that he could do it,
but those points at the pen will not count
so, Caleb and Tess finish with a score of 60.
An impressive performance from Caleb and Tess ends in disappointment
at the pen, as Tess nips one of the sheep and is disqualified.
That means no points are scored for this section,
although their marks up to this point do still stand.
So even with zero for the pen, they end on 60 overall,
and it means they're neck and neck with Wales.
Caleb, quite a rapid round. How do you think you did?
You want the dog to be keen, but you don't want them to be too close.
How difficult is it to strike that balance?
She can be pushy with you. Sometimes she can be hard to handle.
You have to keep her down and keep the distance back from the sheep.
Maybe she's just excited she was on telly, Caleb?
Congratulations, Caleb. 60 points on the board.
So, as we head into our final Young Handlers round,
So far, the course has caught everyone out, with gates missed,
a costly Maltese Cross, and a pen that's claimed two victims so far.
What a time for England's 15-year-old Alex Briggs
to make his entrance, with the competition's youngest
and most inexperienced dog, two-year-old Rio.
Is he taking a gamble on bringing a dog so young?
Probably. Probably a bit of a gamble,
but he's confident enough to handle it.
Now, Andy, we have seen it all, haven't we? We certainly have.
There's just two points between all three of the handlers.
What is in store for Alex and Rio? Let's find out.
It looks like he's all set and ready to go left.
He's the youngest dog, and he has the advantage of knowing
what's gone before him, so the percentages could be played.
He's landed short, but he'll get away with that.
11 scored out of 20 for the outrun.
There's some forceful voice commands going in.
Six for the lift, so the pressure's on now.
Pressure's off. The dog's giving on the flank.
It's the highest fetch score that we've seen,
The sheep are just picking up the pace now.
He's going to have to straighten them up.
but this looks like a winning performance to me so far.
Well, yeah, don't speak too soon, Matt!
There's plenty of time for it to go belly up yet.
And they're now in the mouth of the gate, needs a very sharp left.
A very sharp left. Well, you wouldn't believe it, would you?
Now, he's rolled them. There's an opportunity.
He's got a job to do here. Come on, Alex, straight through.
Sometimes, just freshening them up, taking them away
and bringing them back is worth the effort. Yes, it's a fresh approach.
It's all about approach to an obstacle such as a Maltese Cross.
They're through. Four scored for the Maltese cross.
at this pen to win the Young Handlers.
Yeah, unfortunately, he's taken the sheep to the back of the pen,
We're facing the wrong way. We need to be turned.
APPLAUSE They're in!
This now is in the hands of the judges.
They score five for the pen, so not enough to win.
So, 58 for the round, not enough to take top spot,
It's a close competition, two points between all four of you.
What do you think now we're going into the senior competition?
Everything can go wrong that quick, but I'm pretty confident.
It is so unpredictable out there, isn't it? Yeah, it is.
Top dog, Rio and Alex. All right, thank you.
That brings us to the end of the young handlers' half
of this competition, and this is how the teams currently stand.
Leading the pack are Wales and Ireland, both having notched up
England and Scotland share third place with 58 each.
But it's these scores combined with the performance
that will determine our overall winners.
how are they feeling about the task that faces them?
You lads have it all to do. What's your plan?
and try to get round with not too many problems.
Yeah. It's actually very, very interesting
watching the outrun and the way that handlers are choosing
Which way are you going to be chucking Ben?
I don't chuck 'em, but I think I'll be heading right, yes.
It's a little tighter, but it's a little safer, I think.
The other side has got a big bit of open ground,
This is really the first time that you lads are talking about this,
because you keep your cards quite close to your chest, don't you?
No, I always make out I'm going to do terrible, so let everyone know!
Listen, we wish you all the very best.
We'll let you disappear and get yourselves sorted out,
because Michael, I know that you are up first.
Now, of course, Helen has been finding out
that the founding fathers of sheep farming here at Byland
but the modern-day monks are working the land in a very different way.
but there is one aspect of monastic life still going strong
Since 1802, Ampleforth Abbey has been home to a community of monks
who seek God according to the Gospel and the rule of St Benedict.
Father Terence Richardson is the prior of Ampleforth.
but you've actually got things here from there, haven't you?
We have, and this altar slab came from Byland.
We think this was the high altar from Byland Abbey.
It was given to us in about 1870, and we're delighted to have it,
and very privileged to have it, as a connection to Byland.
Because you've got something else as well, haven't you, from Byland?
Up on the wall here, there is a representation of the Trinity.
It's probably late 14th or early 15th century,
so not very long before Byland closed.
it's incredible to think that something survived.
Yeah. And these did. Yeah. Yeah.
Benedictine monks are also expected to pay their way.
But you won't find any sheep in this flock.
Ampleforth has gained a reputation for selling something
not normally associated with monks, or Yorkshire, for that matter.
Boasting some 2,000 trees and more than 40 varieties of apple,
nearly 40,000 bottles of the stuff every year.
And the business of picking and pressing
Cameron, I was expecting to see you in a monks habit!
Tell me about these apples, then, because there are loads around,
No, these are all either eaters or cookers,
cos we actually make a different type of cider
They make it with traditional cider apples.
We don't have any of them, so we have to make it from the apples
that most people grow, Bramleys, Grenadiers of cooker sort of type.
So if you're blending different kinds of apples,
Well, it does anyway through the season, because what you get
in the early season is quite thin juice, because they've not been
on the tree very long, then at the end of the season,
you get a much more full-bodied juice,
Are you busy now? Yes, we are. Pressing? Correct.
'Cameron has got plenty of jobs to keep me busy.'
'First, the apples are washed and drawn up into the shredder.'
Out it comes. Oh, yes, it's got the skin on, hasn't it?
'The shredded apples are parcelled up into what are known as cheeses
'before the next loads are sandwiched on top.'
That does smell delicious. It's fabulous - you could eat it.
Yeah, with ice cream, that'd be brilliant.
'the irresistible dribbles of juice arrive.'
It doesn't seem like there's any waste. There is at the end,
cos it's dried apple pulp. What do you do with it?
Pigs get it. There's a lady got rare-breed pigs
and she comes with a trailer and she picks it up.
The only trouble is at the end of the week it's fermented,
so the pigs are as drunk as pigs by then.
'Then to really get the juices going, the cheeses get pressed.'
I love the bit where it just starts pressing
and rivers of golden juice are flowing off the cloth
and into the bucket, and it's just a magical moment.
Now obviously, that over there is apple juice,
but to finish up with cider you need it to be alcoholic.
You do. So how long do you leave it to ferment?
is something we pressed on 25 October last year.
So it takes, really, six months to get it to this stage.
Do we just feed the bottles on to the end? We do.
Just push them up like that and set it down there,
'Once it gets bottled, it's finally time to taste.
'And there is one man who really can judge how heavenly this cider is.'
The moment I've been waiting for all day.
That's very good. Excellent. Yeah? Thank you.
Yeah, that suits me! You finish the bottle, then!
All I need now is a deckchair! Thanks, guys! Cheers!
Maybe we should be toasting our winner with some of that cider
At the moment, though, who takes home the One Man And His Dog title
Let's have a look. Wales and Ireland currently share the top spot,
but it's the Young Handlers and Senior scores combined
that will determine which team wins here today.
'as the Seniors, all champions in their home territories,
And they'll be facing sheepdog trialling's ultimate challenge.
Instead of the Maltese Cross, they will enter the shedding ring.
Their challenge here is to hold the flock
and separate one of the two sheep wearing red collars from the rest.
and a maximum of ten points are on offer.
Only when our judges have indicated a clean split
can they regroup the sheep and move on to the pen
The first senior to be put to the test is Scotland's Michael Shearer,
a world champion, and a previous winner of One Man And His Dog.
Well, the heavens have opened here at Byland Abbey,
so a fully waterproofed Michael Shearer, with his dog Jim.
sending Jim off to the right-hand side - yes, he is.
He is giving them plenty... WHISTLE
Stopped early! Yes, he's pulled up short.
16 scored for the outrun and 9 for the lift.
Such a calm approach from both handler and dog.
You can sense even the whistles are almost relaxed, aren't they?
Well, you can see two of the sheep here have red collars on them.
They will come into play later in the shedding ring.
Oh, he's a fast dog, isn't he? Oh, he's fast, yeah,
and he's just livened them up a little bit
and he's back on the line, heading up the first drive.
17 scored for the fetch. A nice fetch.
Challenging conditions, though, to be working in.
I mean, started in rain, now the sun's in Michael's eyes.
Just 7 points lost on the cross-drive.
So we can see these two ewes here with the red collars on.
The aim is just to take one of them away from the other four.
So what's the technique here, Andy? Ah, well...
the technique is you want one of those collared sheep
to drift to the back or the front, to be on the edge.
But you're asking to get one of these sheep away from its mates,
and that's not something they naturally want to do.
There's an opportunity maybe shaping up here.
And they've accepted that. Good single.
9 scored for that, just 1 point dropped.
What a benchmark this trial is proving to be.
And all five have to be in the pen. Come by.
Come out. They're just milling a little.
It's just whether or not they've seen the opening behind them.
Oh, this looks very, very professional indeed. Yeah.
What a round, then, for Michael and Jim.
That impressive performance means Michael and Jim finish with 83/100,
Congratulations, Michael, you have laid down the gauntlet.
How happy were you with that? Quite happy, yeah!
Quite happy with the run. Good finish.
Do the conditions cause you any problems?
It started with rain, and then it looked like the sun
No, it's the same as working at home -
you've got to work in the rain at home, so it makes no difference.
So this is nothing compared to the north of Scotland.
Not a thing! It's probably luxury! Yes, it is!
Well, congratulations, Michael, that's going to be tough to top.
Well, the task of trying to beat that performance falls to England
and Richard Hutchinson with his dog Sweep.
Richard's a five-time veteran of this competition
Is this going to be the day that you take the title?
How difficult is it to separate that sheep? It was tricky for him.
As England were tying with Scotland on 58,
Richard and Sweep need a score over 83 to go ahead.
Off nicely to the left, Sweep not going too big.
Nice and deep behind. That's a good outrun. Yes.
19 points for the outrun. Just wavered a little on the lift.
8 for the lift. They're going at a bit of a lick here.
Yes, they've picked up pace in front of the fetch,
but he's straight through the middle.
There's a bit of personal pressure here as well for Richard.
This is his fifth time on One Man And His Dog.
Sweep's made two appearances himself.
Yeah, Richard just giving a little bit of room on the post himself
That was lovely. Nice and soft, wasn't it? Yep.
Yeah, the sheep just starting to pick up some pace,
Ah, no, they just drifted and have missed the gate on the outside.
If he's not careful, he'll be inside this one.
Oh, Richard, Richard, Richard! He's going to be inside it.
and Richard's body language tells you everything.
11 scored for the drive, out of 30. Mm-hmm.
So, heading now towards this shedding ring,
where they'll take off one of the singles.
He's got a sheep on the outside there, though, Andy. He has, yeah.
So how costly will those deductions be on that drive?
Well, Richard will be unaware of his points.
Nice and gentle, here we go. Lie down, lie down.
APPLAUSE Safely penned.
Just the 1 point dropped then at the pen.
Going to have to step around Sweep, who is not off-duty yet.
Richard. Yes. Your start was excellent...
Yes. However, you lost points because you missed the gates. Yes.
How frustrating was that? Yeah, it happens.
It was really bad handling, going up the drive.
gave him a right hand I shouldn't have given,
and they whipped that way. It was just poor handling.
Your body language suggested you'd had enough by that point.
It just didn't quite happen. It happens.
Damn sight more than I'd have given it!
Not a bad day at the office. Well done, Richard. OK.
Adding Richard's 72 to Alex's Young Handler score from earlier
Our competitors aren't the only ones who rely on the humble sheep
who are quite literally dyed-in-the-wool
when it comes to their love of these fleeces on four legs.
Sheep have been grazing the wilds of the North York Moors
which blankets this majestic landscape,
Recently the flock of the North York Moors
have been joined by an altogether more colourful variety.
Businesses, schools and locals have all been busy
which are taking their own place amongst the hills,
part of a woolly treasure hunt encouraging people
to explore this glorious countryside.
Textile artist Trish Hutchinson uses natural ingredients
like roots, flowers and berries to dye her wool.
Today she's going to help me add my own pink sheep to the flock.
What have we got here? This is horsetail.
It's going to give us a slight greeny, khaki colour.
It's a prehistoric plant, it's been around since the dinosaurs' times.
are you OK to just do this, just help yourself?
Any plant that you're picking like this, do it in moderation.
We've got birch. These are some birch logs.
but underneath you get this reddy one.
It's like when you peel back wallpaper,
only you find something brilliant underneath. That's right. Great!
These berries are the darkest things we've seen out here.
They are, yes. Are these going to give us a dark colour?
They are going to give us a dark colour, a purpley-pink.
I confess, Trish, I have eaten a few of these berries.
They're very good. We can go and get a few more if we need to!
How do you make natural dyes stay put?
Alum is probably the safest one to use.
The whole of the Northeast coast, that's where alum was mined.
So do you just throw the alum into the pot with the dye?
I can now, but traditionally, when alum was a raw rock,
It had to steep. It was very, very, very smelly.
Vast amounts, actually. They used to bring it in in barrels on ships.
When the sailors used to come up on the ships,
they used to say, "They are taking the..." Yes.
Every day's a schoolday, isn't it? It is! It is.
'turning a sheep's fleece pink by using squashed brambles.'
We need the colour, we need the juice -
the actual opposite of what you do when you are cooking.
And does it need to be at a certain temperature?
As you're pushing it in, you'll see the colour coming through.
How long will it be before that's good enough to dry out
and put onto our sheep? 20 minutes, an hour?
Go for an hour on a low simmer, then take it away,
leave it overnight, just to let it really soak through.
All we need now is a beautiful setting,
and I think this will do nicely. Happy new home!
But someone is going to be in the pink
And hoping it'll be Ireland is a One Man And His Dog first-timer,
James McLaughlin with his dog Ben.
will be his own two trainee sheepdog triallers,
So, here is the man of the moment, then, from Carndonagh.
Started off on a good line, heading off towards the barn.
Because of the great work done by Caleb, the young handler,
they don't need the highest score to win this trial at the moment.
The judges might just touch that lift.
Nine scored for the lift, so just two points dropped so far.
Right through the middle of those fetch gates.
We know that James was really feeling the pressure
going into this. Yes. Well, this will have calmed his nerves now.
18 for the fetch. Oh, yes. 46 at the moment.
Where the problems can come up, this first drive.
He's got the line right, got the pace right now.
We saw the problems with Richard. We did.
Just trotting nicely now. He's in a very good spot now.
Not only to catch the gate, which he has, but he should get a tidy turn.
Hang on! He just needs a touch of left hand.
Through the gate and he'll get a really nice turn here.
25 for the drive. No, good drive, good drive.
A good finish now, and he will want some beating.
is the job of taking one of these ewes with a collar on
This is a possible chance here. Stand. Lie down!
Down there. There you go. Come by, come by. Get back.
And it will be over to the pen to finish up.
And what a trial this is proving to be.
He needs just two points to put him in front
with one dog and handler to come.
but they are in perfect position here.
Perfect position. Oh, what a beautiful pen.
A cracking run from James and Ben means they drop just 11 points,
James, congratulations. 89. You only dropped 11 points.
because he put you in quite a good position.
Yes, the young lad done very well, yes.
Now, Wales, they've got to get 90 to beat you. Yes.
It's doable, but it's going to be difficult.
I wish them all the best, you know, but...
I hope we can have the edge, I think.
Yeah, right, you almost convinced me there, James! Thank you.
That fantastic round from James and Ben means that,
with just one man and his dog left to run, this is how we stand.
England bring up the rear with 130. Scotland stand in second on 141.
And Ireland are currently top dog with an eight-point lead.
But Wales have the target in their sights
and will be hoping to change all that.
It all comes down to the final round.
But before we see if Kevin and dog Jimmy have got what it takes,
it's time to find out whether the weather is going to cause an upset
or give us a smooth run in the week ahead.
It has been an incredible September. It has been warm and it will break
some records in terms of rainfall. Most of the rain has fallen in
Scotland. Percentage-wise, we are way down. There is one of two
elements that may change the rain totals. There are these showers
moving across Spain. This warm air may trigger if you more showers as
we move towards Monday. There is still some uncertainty. We could see
some dense fog in the morning. There may be some showers for commuters on
the south coast. In the north, it will stay fine and dry. There may be
some light rain. In northern England, Northern Ireland, and
Scotland conditions are looking more promising for Monday. As the day
continues, the shutters will move north and east. Some places may
escape the rain altogether. If there is rain, it may be heavy in Wales.
Temperatures of 16-20 Celsius. The showers will move away and as we go
into Tuesday we may see some dry and sunny weather. There may be more
rain in Scotland. However, it will get weaker as it moves south east.
There will be highs of 21 Celsius. There may be some bits and bobs of
rain. This front will introduce some cooler air. On Wednesday, it will be
cooler in Scotland. Temperatures of 40-15 Celsius. Temperatures will
fall on Thursday and there is the potential for a frost. In rural
areas, temperatures will be around the freezing mark. Thursday will be
a dry and quiet day. Wind will increase later on through the day.
Top temperatures on Thursday will be around 13 Celsius. There is the
potential for some gales on Friday. However, there is still some
uncertainty about how far side that will go. Towards the end of the
week, it will turn unsettled. There will be windy weather. There is
certain to We are in North Yorkshire in the
shadow of the glorious Byland Abbey, where sheep farming has been
a way of life for over 900 years. It's here that four nations
have been battling it out for the title of Countryfile's
One Man And His Dog Champion 2014. It's a day that's so far
seen mastery from some... That's how you do it.
What a round then. Good pen. He's going to be inside it.
Oh, Richard. Richard's body language
tells you everything. Scotland, England and Ireland
have given it their all The big question now is
can Wales build on the 60 points to claim the
One Man And His Dog trophy. It all comes down
to this one round, and one chance for
Kevin Evans and his dog Jimmy. so the pressure is really on me now
to get everything right. You need to get a near faultless
round. You need to score 90 to win. Yeah. It won't be easy,
but we'll give it a go. He's travelled the world
training sheepdogs. What can he offer us here
at Byland Abbey? It's the final round, then, of
this year's One Man And His Dog. They need to score 90
for Wales to win. He's come round the back
of these, very nice too. just pushed them
off the line slightly. 18 scored for the outrun.
9 on the lift. So, at this stage,
one point behind James. Stand. Just keeping this flow
as calm as possible. And Kevin has just
eased away from the post. He's now into this drive,
and James McLaughlin, 25 for the drive,
exactly the same as James and Ben. 69 scored, so, if they score
10 and 10, they'll tie. So heading now towards
this shedding ring where they'll take off
one of the singles. Oh, they're having a look.
They're being bolshie. Yes, I think Jimmy is
enough to cope with these. But what will be the points awarded,
that's the question. He needs 10 here.
And he's shaping up for his pen now. Stand. Just milling a little.
But in a good spot. Delicately done.
Yes, and in they go. Everybody waiting for
the judges' score here. It's a nine for the shed,
nine awarded for the pen, Even a perfect pen wasn't
going to be good enough. That means that the final
results look like this. Scotland's score of 141
puts them in third, Wales nipping at the heels
of success with 147, and claiming the title for the
second year running with 149 points. Well, what a day's trialling we have
seen here in North Yorkshire. Some of the finest, I think,
on One Man And His Dog. goodness me, it was close
in the finish. My word! It went to the wire,
there were just two points in it and, of course, at home,
you know who has won, Well, here we go, the winner of this
year's One Man And His Dog is... Congratulations. There we are,
James, well done, my friend. And, of course, Ben.
Well done, Tess. All that remains to be said
is a very big thank you to everybody here in the field.
But that is it for this week. Next week, Countryfile will be
revealing another champion, Countryfile
photographic competition. And we'll be talking all things
harvest, so we'll see you then.
Countryfile plays host, for the second year running, to the One Man and His Dog sheepdog trials. Matt Baker and Helen Skelton present all the action from Byland Abbey as some of the finest handlers and their dogs from across the British Isles compete against each other.
Between the rounds, Helen explores the beauty of the surrounding hills and reveals how Byland Abbey and its monks were once at the heart of Britain's wool trade.
She also discovers how nearby Ampleforth Abbey is still going strong. Its monks still work the land, but today they sell cider rather than raise sheep to help support themselves.