Remembrance Countryfile


Remembrance

Ellie Harrison finds out about the so-called 'Idle' women of the canals, who played a vital role in the Second World War.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Remembrance. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

BIRDSONG

0:00:240:00:26

At this time of year,

when the leaves change their colours

0:00:300:00:33

and cover the ground

in a carpet of brown,

0:00:330:00:36

we'll also be turning our thoughts

0:00:360:00:38

to the red of summer's poppies.

0:00:380:00:41

It's a time for reflection

and remembrance.

0:00:410:00:43

I'll be discovering how nature

became our medicine chest

0:00:460:00:49

in times of conflict.

0:00:490:00:51

This is one of

our most poisonous plants.

0:00:510:00:53

John, I'd like to introduce you

to deadly nightshade.

0:00:530:00:56

Ellie is getting into the swing

of it as she discovers how the

0:00:560:00:59

so-called "Idle Women"

played an all-important role

0:00:590:01:02

in the Second World War.

0:01:020:01:04

There we go, we've got

some momentum, now.

0:01:040:01:07

Tom reveals the devastating

effect of pubs,

0:01:070:01:09

schools and post offices

disappearing from our villages.

0:01:090:01:13

It just won't be the working, living

countryside that we know and love.

0:01:140:01:17

And Adam is visiting a school where

farming is top of the timetable.

0:01:170:01:22

For some children as well,

it's just an escape.

0:01:220:01:24

They come here to be happier,

to feel calm

0:01:240:01:26

and it helps their whole

school life.

0:01:260:01:29

Across our landscape

meander 2,000 miles of canals.

0:01:390:01:43

Today, these peaceful backwaters

are a haven for wildlife

0:01:440:01:48

and the odd pleasure boat wending

its way through the countryside.

0:01:480:01:51

75 years ago, these waterways played

a vital part in the Second

0:01:550:01:59

World War, keeping desperately

needed supplies on the move.

0:01:590:02:04

Taking a leading role on the home

front were an army of women

0:02:040:02:08

who stepped up and volunteered

0:02:080:02:09

to carry out this important

work on the canals.

0:02:090:02:12

With the outbreak of war,

men were called up, leaving cargo

0:02:140:02:19

boats unmanned and vital shipments

for the war effort undelivered.

0:02:190:02:23

Until a boatwoman, Daphne March,

0:02:240:02:27

suggested the government

recruit female crews.

0:02:270:02:30

Today, Daphne's niece

Kathryn Dodington,

0:02:310:02:34

a Canal and River Trust volunteer

0:02:340:02:36

in Stoke Bruerne in

Northamptonshire,

0:02:360:02:38

looks after one of the wartime

narrow boats.

0:02:380:02:41

Why do you think

she suggested the whole idea?

0:02:410:02:43

I think she was one of those

people that decided

0:02:430:02:46

she could do something for the war

effort and she also saw it

0:02:460:02:50

I think as a way that women could be

seen to be involved in everything.

0:02:500:02:54

What was it about her character

that made her do it?

0:02:540:02:58

She was a bit like my mum,

I suppose.

0:02:580:03:00

She was just, "get on and do it",

and "life's an adventure,

0:03:000:03:04

"grab it with both hands and...

0:03:040:03:06

"go and do it!"

0:03:060:03:07

And here you are,

on the narrow boats.

0:03:070:03:09

Do you think that comes down

from her?

I'm sure it does, yes.

0:03:090:03:12

And it's what my mother would have

called a wholesome occupation!

0:03:120:03:15

Yes, it's very wholesome!

0:03:150:03:17

These canals were the arteries

that kept the supplies

0:03:180:03:21

flowing during the war

and yet the hard,

0:03:210:03:24

dangerous work of these women

was all but forgotten.

0:03:240:03:27

That was until poet Heather Wastie

and dramatist Kate Saffin

0:03:270:03:32

stumbled upon their exploits

on the Grand Union Canal.

0:03:320:03:35

How important were the inland

waterways through the war?

Very.

0:03:480:03:53

They'd been

struggling for a long time,

0:03:530:03:55

but during both the wars,

0:03:550:03:57

they came into their own again,

0:03:570:03:59

because a pair of boats could

carry 50 tonnes of cargo,

0:03:590:04:02

which was a lot more than

a lorry could,

0:04:020:04:04

and use a lot less fuel.

0:04:040:04:06

Where did they come from?

Who WERE these women?

0:04:060:04:08

Middle-class women.

0:04:080:04:11

Some of them a bit bored, nothing to

do, or had very unadventurous jobs.

0:04:110:04:16

I mean, my poem says secretaries,

hairdressers, artists,

0:04:160:04:19

ballet dancers.

0:04:190:04:21

You know, all kinds of women who,

for one reason or another,

0:04:210:04:25

either wanted a sense of adventure,

0:04:250:04:27

or wanted to escape from something.

0:04:270:04:29

Yeah, there's something about that

kind of adventure which was

0:04:290:04:32

something that women from these

sheltered backgrounds liked.

0:04:320:04:35

These newcomers formed

crews of three

0:04:360:04:39

and embarked on their mission.

0:04:390:04:41

Training complete,

0:04:420:04:43

the women were rewarded with

a coveted Inland Waterways badge.

0:04:430:04:46

Ironically, the letters IW

saw them nicknamed Idle Women.

0:04:470:04:52

They were working two boats,

so they had a motor boat like this,

0:04:540:04:57

plus a butty, an unpowered boat

that they towed, with...

0:04:570:05:02

Coming up from London, raw supplies

like steel, aluminium,

0:05:020:05:05

timber - 50 tonnes of it.

0:05:050:05:07

So if they were loading timber,

for example,

0:05:070:05:09

they'd be down here,

in the hold, moving things around,

0:05:090:05:11

making sure everything

was in the right place.

0:05:110:05:13

So it is really exhausting work.

0:05:130:05:15

Oh, yes!

0:05:150:05:17

We reckon about 100

actually started.

0:05:170:05:21

Very quickly that number dwindled...

Some barely lasted...

0:05:210:05:24

Some lasted as little as

a few hours.

Oh, really?!

0:05:240:05:27

Yes. There's an account of one

who stood in the cabin, which is

0:05:270:05:29

ten foot by seven, and said,

0:05:290:05:31

"Oh, where's the accommodation?"

0:05:310:05:33

And on a sort of domestic front,

what was life like - cooking,

0:05:350:05:39

eating, sleeping...?

0:05:390:05:41

What did they have?

0:05:410:05:42

They had a little stove in

the corner. Um, the beds...

0:05:420:05:47

One was like this, one's like that.

0:05:470:05:49

You might end up with your feet

under someone's head, or...

0:05:490:05:52

And if they haven't washed...

then you really have to be

0:05:520:05:55

quite forgiving and friendly then,

don't you?

0:05:550:05:57

On this canal during wartime,

there was no room for gongoozlers -

0:06:040:06:09

the traditional canal word

for onlookers.

0:06:090:06:12

This was, and still is, hard graft.

0:06:120:06:15

The women would have had to do

this by themselves.

0:06:180:06:22

More than 150 of them,

0:06:220:06:24

between London and Birmingham. Ooh!

0:06:240:06:26

On a 20-hour day.

0:06:280:06:30

I'm struggling with that!

0:06:300:06:31

There we go, we've got some

momentum, now.

0:06:330:06:35

Exhausting.

0:06:370:06:38

Idle women? I don't think so.

0:06:380:06:41

Well, it didn't stop.

0:06:410:06:42

You worked from pretty much dawn

till dusk,

0:06:420:06:45

because they had to make use

of all the time they could.

0:06:450:06:48

So it was hard,

heavy work, in all weathers.

0:06:480:06:52

And there were some fierce

winters during the war.

0:06:520:06:54

And working in the industrial cities

targeted by German bombers,

0:06:560:06:59

these brave women

feared for their lives, too.

0:06:590:07:02

The docks were targets, yes.

0:07:040:07:06

Although famously,

the Luftwaffe did use

0:07:060:07:09

the Oxford Canal to find

their way into Coventry.

0:07:090:07:11

They did use it as a road map,

because of the light, the moon

0:07:110:07:14

on it. That's why lock beams are

black, with a little white tip.

0:07:140:07:17

They were painted black

during the war.

0:07:170:07:19

Despite all the hardship and danger,

0:07:190:07:22

these so-called Idle Women, these

0:07:220:07:24

volunteers, stayed at their posts,

dedicated to helping the war effort.

0:07:240:07:28

I often wonder whether,

if I had done it, would I have been

0:07:290:07:33

one of those who stuck it out,

0:07:330:07:35

or would I have done a runner?

Yeah.

0:07:350:07:38

These unsung heroes deserve

our respect and belated thanks

0:07:400:07:44

for their part in Britain winning

the Second World War.

0:07:440:07:48

The impact of both World Wars was

felt across the entire country.

0:07:500:07:55

Here on our canals, in our cities

and the smallest hamlets.

0:07:550:07:59

But as Tom's been finding out,

0:07:590:08:01

the loss of a younger generation is

once again affecting rural life.

0:08:010:08:04

World War I and its aftermath

0:08:130:08:15

tore up the fabric of village life.

0:08:150:08:18

Thousands of fathers, husbands, sons

0:08:180:08:22

left home never to return.

0:08:220:08:24

And through the grief, the worry

of how communities could rebuild

0:08:250:08:29

and prosper.

0:08:290:08:30

Today, villages across the country

are facing a similar worry.

0:08:310:08:36

Though clearly not caused by

such a tragic loss,

0:08:360:08:40

the threat to community life

is just as real.

0:08:400:08:44

Once again, young people are leaving

our villages, but now, the

0:08:440:08:49

social hubs that propped up village

life for years are disappearing too.

0:08:490:08:53

Welcome to Bickington, Devon.

0:08:580:09:00

Population 336.

0:09:000:09:03

Shops, zero.

0:09:030:09:05

Schools, zero.

0:09:050:09:07

Pubs, zero.

0:09:070:09:08

It's not quite an abandoned village,

0:09:100:09:12

but it has become a dormitory,

0:09:120:09:14

populated by retirees

and commuters, with no amenities.

0:09:140:09:19

So that's Grandad there.

Mm-hm.

0:09:190:09:21

That's great-grandad Bertie.

0:09:210:09:23

Caroline Meek's family has lived

in the village for generations.

0:09:250:09:29

Her ancestors helped build

much of this place

0:09:290:09:31

and she still

lives on the same patch.

0:09:310:09:35

Caroline is determined to raise her

daughter in their family home,

0:09:350:09:38

but for 12-year-old Matilda,

there are no activities,

0:09:380:09:41

no playground,

nowhere to meet her friends.

0:09:410:09:45

Well, I'd like to see a bit more,

like a play park and maybe a shop,

0:09:450:09:49

because then we could maybe

get sweets with my friends.

0:09:490:09:52

With the closure of its vital

community spaces,

0:09:520:09:55

Caroline feels the village is

fighting to save its very soul.

0:09:550:09:59

Tell me about your family's

history in this area.

0:10:010:10:04

We have been living in the village

since 1846.

0:10:040:10:09

So many, many generations

of our family have lived here.

0:10:090:10:13

Our great-great-uncle

built this pub, obviously

0:10:130:10:17

he would have had a few drinks

in there as well, I should think!

0:10:170:10:20

Makes me sad to see any pub

with boarded-up doors,

0:10:200:10:23

but I gather this isn't the only

amenity that you've lost?

No,

0:10:230:10:26

we used to have a functioning post

office, a garage, a police house,

0:10:260:10:31

a school in the village hall.

0:10:310:10:33

Many amenities have closed down

in recent years.

0:10:330:10:36

As an individual and as a family,

0:10:360:10:38

you have kind of roots

in the soil here.

0:10:380:10:40

When you see it turning into a bit

of a dormitory village,

0:10:400:10:43

what do you think about that?

0:10:430:10:44

It's really sad.

Remembering it even in my childhood,

0:10:440:10:48

many of these amenities

were still open.

0:10:480:10:50

I kind of feel like this generation

0:10:500:10:52

is letting the previous generations

down.

0:10:520:10:55

It's not just here in Bickington

that the community is clinging on.

0:10:560:11:00

Countryfile has been given

exclusive access to the

0:11:000:11:03

National Housing Federation's

2017 report on rural life.

0:11:030:11:08

The figures are worrying

and reveal that nationwide,

0:11:090:11:12

rural services are quickly

disappearing.

0:11:120:11:15

It's a high-stakes roll of the dice

0:11:150:11:18

in the game that's playing with

the future of our villages.

0:11:180:11:21

Across England, we've lost 52 rural

schools in the last five years.

0:11:230:11:27

That's roughly one every five weeks.

0:11:270:11:29

In the same period across the UK,

0:11:300:11:32

we've lost 116 rural post offices -

0:11:320:11:36

that's about two a month.

0:11:360:11:38

And in just the last four years,

0:11:380:11:41

we've lost 477 rural pubs

nationwide -

0:11:410:11:45

that's an unbelievable

nine per week.

0:11:450:11:48

So, why are our villages

losing this game?

0:11:480:11:51

Monica Burns, from the

National Housing Federation,

0:11:550:11:58

believes that the housing crisis

across the country is the problem.

0:11:580:12:02

Why do you think it is we're seeing

this problem and the decline

of the life of our villages?

0:12:050:12:09

Well, one of the major issues is

that young people

0:12:090:12:12

and working age people and families

0:12:120:12:14

are being forced out of villages

0:12:140:12:16

because they can't afford

to live there. So with young people

and families moving out,

0:12:160:12:19

what's happening is

services are closing down.

0:12:190:12:22

What do you think is the keystone

problem underlying it?

0:12:220:12:25

If you haven't got the houses,

0:12:250:12:27

you're not even at the starting

point. We need houses

0:12:270:12:29

in the community for people

to live in and then the services

come afterwards.

0:12:290:12:33

And to what extent can the

community themselves help to

0:12:330:12:37

turn around this problem?

0:12:370:12:39

Communities can form

Community Land Trusts

0:12:390:12:41

and Community Land Trusts sometimes

do the development independently,

0:12:410:12:45

but often do the development with

the parish council

0:12:450:12:48

and the housing association as well.

0:12:480:12:50

The need for affordable housing

nationwide is well known

0:12:500:12:54

and the government has made some

funding available to

0:12:540:12:57

organisations like

Community Land Trusts

0:12:570:13:00

and housing associations,

to encourage local developments,

0:13:000:13:03

but there is still a long way to

go for our struggling villages.

0:13:030:13:07

What could be the fate of villages

if we don't get this right?

0:13:080:13:12

Well, villages are going to become

like museums.

0:13:120:13:16

The school will be boarded up,

the playground will be silent,

0:13:160:13:18

the pubs will be closed, there

will be no community facilities.

0:13:180:13:21

It just won't be the working, living

countryside that we know and love.

0:13:210:13:24

It's clear that villages

like Bickington need help,

0:13:270:13:30

so could the building of

more affordable homes really

0:13:300:13:34

deliver the lifeline they need?

0:13:340:13:36

Well, I'll be seeing how this game

plays out later on.

0:13:360:13:39

Ranscombe Farm - a beautiful

640-acre nature reserve,

0:13:470:13:52

set within Kent Downs,

0:13:520:13:54

an Area of Outstanding

Natural Beauty.

0:13:540:13:56

With its ancient woodland

and chalk grasslands,

0:13:590:14:02

it's been enjoyed for hundreds

of years by walkers coming here

0:14:020:14:06

to see its wonderful variety

of wild plants.

0:14:060:14:09

And I'm here to discover

how during both World Wars,

0:14:110:14:14

plants like these helped to save

many thousands of lives.

0:14:140:14:18

The German occupation of Europe

0:14:190:14:21

meant vital shipments of drugs

0:14:210:14:23

and medicines were thrown into chaos

0:14:230:14:25

and Britain turned to our native

flora for their healing properties.

0:14:250:14:29

Trevor Dines, a botanical

specialist at Plantlife,

0:14:310:14:34

the wildflower conservation charity

which now manages Ranscombe Farm,

0:14:340:14:38

has studied the use of plants

during wartime.

0:14:380:14:41

All sorts of herbs were used.

0:14:430:14:45

Some of them are really common,

things like nettles

0:14:450:14:48

and burdock, even foxgloves.

0:14:480:14:50

What were they used for?

0:14:500:14:52

Foxglove was used for digitalin,

the drug digitalin,

0:14:520:14:56

which helps regulate the heartbeat,

0:14:560:14:58

so there were some real

proper chemical compounds

0:14:580:15:01

that they were extracting

from these plants to use.

0:15:010:15:04

If you were here in the summer,

John, these fields

0:15:050:15:07

here would be absolutely red with

a wonderful display of poppies.

0:15:070:15:11

There are five different poppies

that we have in Britain

0:15:110:15:14

and at Ranscombe, we're really lucky

to have four of those species...

0:15:140:15:18

Does that include the one

that we wear...?

It does indeed,

0:15:180:15:20

the emblem that we're thinking

about today

0:15:200:15:23

is very much the common poppy

that we see most widely.

0:15:230:15:26

Today, sadly,

the much-loved red poppy,

0:15:270:15:29

that very symbol of remembrance,

0:15:290:15:32

now belongs to one of our

fastest-declining group of plants.

0:15:320:15:35

Unfortunately, this isn't the time

of year to come looking for poppies,

0:15:360:15:39

but you can sometimes find the seed

heads and in fact, look down there -

0:15:390:15:42

there's one of these poppies

that I was talking about.

0:15:420:15:44

Yeah. What kind is that one?

0:15:440:15:46

This I think, from the size of the

seed pod, it looks like opium poppy.

0:15:460:15:50

Yes, here we are.

Opium poppies,

you say?

This is opium poppy.

0:15:500:15:54

When this is green and growing,

a few months ago,

0:15:540:15:56

if you'd have cut that little

capsule there with a knife, it would

0:15:560:15:59

bleed a little drop of white latex

0:15:590:16:01

and that latex has nearly

15% morphine in it,

0:16:010:16:05

so during the war, that need for

pain relief was absolutely

0:16:050:16:09

enormous and opium poppy,

0:16:090:16:11

the morphine coming from that,

0:16:110:16:13

was used to provide that pain relief

on the war fields.

0:16:130:16:17

National Herb Committees were set up

to respond to the staggering

0:16:190:16:22

quantity of medicine needed

0:16:220:16:24

and it wasn't long before

wild plants like poppies became

0:16:240:16:28

nature's healing army - some

of them unexpectedly so...

0:16:280:16:31

John, I'd like to introduce you to

deadly nightshade.

0:16:350:16:38

This is one of our most

poisonous plants

0:16:380:16:40

and we've just got a few patches

here at Ranscombe.

How deadly is it?

0:16:400:16:44

It's not a common plant and in fact,

we're lucky just to find these two

0:16:440:16:47

or three berries on this plant and

this would be enough to kill you.

0:16:470:16:50

Fascinatingly, and this is something

that not many people know, there's a

0:16:500:16:54

drug called atropine sulphate which

comes from this, and this was used

0:16:540:16:59

in both wars in fact as an antidote

to nerve agent chemical gas attack.

0:16:590:17:03

And during the wars,

0:17:030:17:04

they must have needed an awful lot

of deadly nightshade?

0:17:040:17:08

Yes, in the First World War

they needed,

0:17:080:17:10

or they set out a requirement for

50 tonnes of deadly nightshade.

Wow.

0:17:100:17:15

In the Second World War,

that went up to 200 tonnes,

0:17:150:17:18

so a huge amount of this drug

was needed.

0:17:180:17:20

It's still used today -

this is what's amazing -

0:17:200:17:24

in Syria today, with those

chemical gas attacks there,

0:17:240:17:27

atropine is still being used

as an antidote.

0:17:270:17:29

And of course, Trevor,

this emphasises, doesn't it,

0:17:290:17:32

that when you're out for a walk,

0:17:320:17:33

you shouldn't go picking anything

that you don't understand.

0:17:330:17:36

That's right.

Leave alone.

That's the golden rule.

0:17:360:17:39

If you don't know, don't touch.

Leave it alone.

0:17:390:17:41

With so much demand for plants to

help treat the wounded during

0:17:460:17:49

the war, the Ministry of Health

published guides on what was needed.

0:17:490:17:54

And those not fighting

rallied together to forage...

0:17:550:17:58

..including the Scout movement.

0:18:000:18:01

And today, the Seventh Gillingham

Cubs are here to hunt

0:18:050:18:08

for plants used during the war,

0:18:080:18:10

and hopefully earn their Nature

badges.

0:18:100:18:12

So this is foxglove.

0:18:160:18:19

This is one of the plants that you

mustn't eat, but it's OK to pick.

0:18:190:18:22

If you rub it between your fingers

and then have a sniff...

0:18:260:18:29

They smell like...

Is it nice?

Yes.

0:18:290:18:31

It's got a weird name,

it's called black horehound.

0:18:310:18:34

So, what can you see here that we

might be able to use?

Rosehips.

Yes.

0:18:360:18:40

These are rosehips.

0:18:400:18:42

Well, here come our foragers!

0:18:480:18:50

We've had a great time, haven't we?

ALL:

Yeah!

Now, look at this.

0:18:520:18:55

This is brilliant,

you've done a fantastic job, guys.

0:18:550:18:57

What we've got here

is like a wartime medical kit.

0:18:570:19:01

Well, I think in that case,

you deserve one of these, don't you?

0:19:010:19:04

A cub Nature badge.

0:19:040:19:07

There we are. Well done.

0:19:070:19:09

And later in the programme,

I'm going to be meeting a family

0:19:090:19:12

who are passionate about the power

of plants and I'm discovering

0:19:120:19:15

how some of those plants can help us

through the winter.

0:19:150:19:18

Now, who hasn't got a badge yet?

There we are.

0:19:180:19:20

GULLS CRY

0:19:280:19:31

From our wild woodlands

to our untamed seas,

0:19:320:19:36

nature's power is all around us.

0:19:360:19:38

For fishermen, spending time

out in the elements to bring home

0:19:430:19:47

a catch is all in a day's work.

0:19:470:19:50

My name is Andrew Lawrence,

0:19:500:19:52

I'm one of the Osborne family

0:19:520:19:54

and I work down here at Leigh-on-Sea

catching cockles

0:19:540:19:57

on board our fishing vessel

Mary Amelia.

0:19:570:20:00

It's not a job, it's a way of life.

0:20:030:20:05

On a summer's morning, as the sun

comes up...

0:20:050:20:08

there's no better place to be.

0:20:080:20:09

But we are not quite the same as

other fisheries, we don't actually

0:20:140:20:19

go right out to sea, we work

the sandbanks in the River Thames.

0:20:190:20:23

So we suck the cockles up

from the seabed.

0:20:240:20:27

The business has been going

since 1881.

0:20:270:20:30

I'm fifth-generation, so if you

mention Osborne, we're famous

0:20:300:20:34

for cockles, but we're also known

for our role in the Dunkirk...

0:20:340:20:40

Evacuation of Dunkirk.

0:20:400:20:42

My uncle, great uncle

and his cousin,

0:20:460:20:49

they were told they had to go to

a Royal Navy meeting.

0:20:490:20:53

Six cockle boats were being

commandeered for Operation Dynamo.

0:20:530:20:56

They were actually given the choice

0:20:560:20:58

whether to go with the boats

or hand them over to the Navy.

0:20:580:21:02

They weren't letting anyone take

their boats, so...they all agreed.

0:21:020:21:06

One goes, they all go.

0:21:060:21:08

My name is Alfred Smith.

0:21:120:21:14

I went into the Army

in September, 1939.

0:21:140:21:21

That was when war broke out

and I was 20.

0:21:220:21:25

May 26, 1940.

0:21:310:21:33

The beaches at Dunkirk.

0:21:330:21:35

In the face of a fierce

Nazi onslaught,

0:21:350:21:37

Belgium had collapsed and British

and French troops were

0:21:370:21:40

trapped in a pincer as German forces

advanced relentlessly.

0:21:400:21:44

I was on the beach 48 hours.

0:21:440:21:46

No food, no water,

0:21:470:21:50

nothing to drink or eat.

0:21:500:21:52

No shelter, nowhere to hide.

0:21:520:21:54

So you just sat on the beach and...

0:21:560:21:58

just hoped for the best.

0:21:580:22:00

In those days,

0:22:030:22:05

the boats were only designed for

the shallow waters of the Thames.

0:22:050:22:09

They certainly weren't designed to

do Channel crossings or to do

0:22:090:22:12

the job they were asked to do.

0:22:120:22:15

It was just open-decked boats,

0:22:160:22:19

so they would have been open to

everything -

0:22:190:22:21

the elements, the gunfire.

0:22:210:22:23

There was no hiding.

0:22:230:22:25

They didn't really know what they

was letting themselves in for

at the time.

0:22:250:22:29

Well, you did have that Dunkirk

spirit, you see.

0:22:330:22:36

"I'll make it", you know?

0:22:360:22:39

Although a lot of my friends were

getting killed around me,

0:22:390:22:42

um, but...

0:22:420:22:44

You just...

0:22:460:22:47

You know, sort of made up your mind

you were going to do it.

0:22:470:22:51

Their orders were to go into

the beach

0:22:520:22:54

and pick as many troops

as possible up.

0:22:540:22:57

They would then take them off to

the bigger ships to disembark them.

0:22:570:23:01

This went on for another ten hours.

0:23:010:23:03

Eventually,

0:23:040:23:06

saw this ship come in

0:23:060:23:09

and I waded out...

0:23:090:23:10

..up to my neck in water.

0:23:110:23:13

And it was a paddle steamer.

0:23:130:23:16

I was pulled on board the ship

0:23:160:23:19

and that was the last I remember,

0:23:190:23:21

I then passed out completely.

0:23:210:23:23

And you were just lucky, or I was,

0:23:240:23:27

that I got onto a boat

that didn't get hit.

0:23:270:23:29

They'd had the order that they

could go home,

0:23:350:23:37

but the Renown developed

engine trouble.

0:23:370:23:39

One of the other cockle boats,

the Letitia, she'd broken her

0:23:400:23:44

rudder, so she was already in tow

by a tug called the Ben & Lucy.

0:23:440:23:48

So Letitia threw them a line

0:23:480:23:52

and they hooked it over the bow

0:23:520:23:54

and proceeded home.

0:23:540:23:55

They had done a right turn

at Ramsgate and headed towards

0:23:560:24:00

the mouth of the river back home.

0:24:000:24:03

It was then that there was

a massive explosion.

0:24:040:24:06

The skipper of the Letitia at

the time obviously woke, startled.

0:24:080:24:13

All they could hear was all this

stuff raining down on the deck.

0:24:130:24:16

Pitch-black.

0:24:160:24:17

They shouted, nothing came back

0:24:170:24:19

and they pulled the tow line in and

0:24:190:24:22

the tow line was just as they'd

passed it to them

0:24:220:24:24

three hours previous.

0:24:240:24:26

On board at the time was

my nan's brother,

0:24:280:24:30

Leslie and his cousin

Frankie Osborne.

0:24:300:24:34

And Harry Noakes,

who was skipper at the time as well.

0:24:340:24:37

And all three of them were lost.

0:24:380:24:40

They were four and a half hours away

from Leigh,

0:24:400:24:43

from safety.

0:24:430:24:44

LAST POST

0:24:460:24:49

The steel tug that was in front

of them

0:24:490:24:52

had activated a magnetic mine.

0:24:520:24:55

As the Renown came over the top

of it, that's when it exploded.

0:24:550:24:58

And, telling the story now,

0:24:580:25:01

personally, it's...

it's heart-wrenching.

0:25:010:25:04

But it's part of the heritage

down here

0:25:050:25:08

for the family and the company.

0:25:080:25:10

It's something immensely

to be proud of.

0:25:120:25:15

We took about 1,500 to 2,000 troops

off the beaches and,

0:25:150:25:18

Vice-Admiral Ramsay,

0:25:180:25:20

who orchestrated the evacuation

of Dunkirk, commended the flotilla

0:25:200:25:23

of what they'd done and...

0:25:230:25:26

the sacrifice that ultimately...

0:25:260:25:29

..our family made, as well.

0:25:300:25:32

The fishermen at Leigh,

0:25:350:25:38

they were so brave.

0:25:380:25:40

Knowing that they were

0:25:400:25:42

going into danger...

0:25:420:25:43

But they still came

0:25:440:25:47

and done their best to pick you up.

0:25:470:25:49

No, I admire them, I think

they were wonderful.

0:25:490:25:52

LAST POST

0:25:520:25:55

Earlier, we heard how our villages

are declining as they lose

0:26:040:26:08

vital services and residents.

0:26:080:26:11

But could affordable housing

0:26:110:26:12

and a determination to work together

0:26:120:26:15

help turn these communities around?

0:26:150:26:18

Here's Tom again.

0:26:180:26:19

Our villages are losing

their schools,

0:26:220:26:25

post offices and pubs

faster than ever before.

0:26:250:26:28

With nothing to attract

young families,

0:26:280:26:31

they risk becoming little more

than dormitory towns,

0:26:310:26:33

where residents commute,

0:26:330:26:35

quietly age, or move elsewhere.

0:26:350:26:38

It's been suggested that building

affordable housing could help

0:26:380:26:41

reinvigorate

these declining villages.

0:26:410:26:44

But is that really sufficient to

turn things around?

0:26:440:26:47

It's up to councils to make sure

there is enough affordable housing

0:26:470:26:51

and the government has just pledged

£9 billion to help with that,

0:26:510:26:55

but, ultimately, it seems that local

communities need to drive these

0:26:550:26:59

projects for themselves and in some

places, they're doing just that.

0:26:590:27:04

In 1975, Toller Porcorum

here in West Dorset

0:27:070:27:10

lost its railway.

0:27:100:27:12

The school and sawmill quickly

followed, but when the pub

0:27:120:27:16

and post office closed, the

villagers decided enough was enough.

0:27:160:27:20

Local farmer Rorie Geddes was

instrumental in their efforts

0:27:210:27:25

to turn things around.

0:27:250:27:27

You've got some fine looking

properties here,

0:27:270:27:29

but tell me how they came to be.

0:27:290:27:31

It came out of a village plan

that we prepared in 2012.

0:27:310:27:34

We managed to form a Community Land

Trust and take the project forward.

0:27:340:27:38

The new housing project was driven

by the generosity of local

0:27:380:27:42

resident Vanora Hereward,

0:27:420:27:44

who, before her death in 2012,

0:27:440:27:46

kindly donated land

for the village to build on.

0:27:460:27:49

She has given that to the village

for us to build the affordable

0:27:500:27:53

homes on the condition that

a post office was built.

0:27:530:27:55

That is incredible dedication to

the idea.

It certainly is, yes.

0:27:550:27:59

So we've named the close

Hereward Close, after her.

0:27:590:28:02

This affordable housing has not only

helped local families on lower

0:28:040:28:08

incomes to stay in the village,

0:28:080:28:10

but it's also safeguarding

a vital asset in the post office.

0:28:100:28:14

Hello!

0:28:140:28:15

Tom, I'd like to introduce you

to Evelyn.

0:28:150:28:17

Hello, very nice to see you.

0:28:170:28:19

Before the new post office

was built, Evelyn Whitcombe

0:28:190:28:22

spent 15 years running the service

from a rundown house.

0:28:220:28:26

In the previous property

that I was in,

0:28:260:28:29

it really got quite dismal -

damp, wet, flooded.

0:28:290:28:33

And then we had lots of vermin

coming in.

0:28:330:28:36

And how does it feel for you now,

0:28:360:28:37

having experienced it back then,

to be in here?

Oh!

0:28:370:28:40

You just don't know!

Warm and dry!

It's lovely...

0:28:400:28:42

It's a nice, cosy, warm space!

0:28:420:28:45

The post office is a community hub,

but the story doesn't end there.

0:28:470:28:51

The housing development has also

enabled the trust to create another

0:28:510:28:54

vital service that will safeguard

the village's future.

0:28:540:28:58

Great to see the kids having fun,

making a mess, making

0:28:580:29:00

plenty of noise, but how does THIS

link with the houses we saw earlier?

0:29:000:29:04

We get a ground rent

from the housing association

0:29:040:29:06

and we decided to support

projects in the village

0:29:060:29:10

and the toddler group is one of

them.

It's so good, isn't it?

0:29:100:29:13

It creates this momentum of things

that you really want

0:29:130:29:16

and need in the village,

from the housing.

Well, it does,

0:29:160:29:19

because now you can see we've got

lots of children in the village.

0:29:190:29:21

Ten years ago, I think

there were two.

0:29:210:29:24

It's very important that young

people come to live here,

0:29:240:29:26

because they're the future

of the village.

0:29:260:29:28

It's good to see what

villages can achieve

0:29:310:29:33

when everyone works together.

0:29:330:29:35

Affordable housing certainly seems

to be part of the solution,

0:29:350:29:38

but a determined, proactive

community is also essential.

0:29:380:29:42

300 miles north, in the Yorkshire

Dales, while others are losing

0:29:450:29:49

essential services,

0:29:490:29:50

THEY are bringing them all home.

0:29:500:29:52

It started with the community

rescue of a closing dairy.

0:29:530:29:58

Then the police station,

0:29:580:30:00

the library,

0:30:000:30:02

an internet cafe,

0:30:020:30:04

the post office, a bus service...

0:30:040:30:06

Now they're thinking of

affordable homes

0:30:060:30:08

and even taking over

the petrol station.

0:30:080:30:11

Here in Hawes, the community has

taken control of its destiny

0:30:110:30:15

and is thriving, with local

councillor John Blackie...

0:30:150:30:18

Good morning, how are you both? OK?

0:30:180:30:20

..leading the charge for over

20 years to keep vital services

0:30:200:30:23

running from this community hub.

0:30:230:30:26

We're trying to take on everything

that a deeply rural community needs.

0:30:290:30:33

You really have got it all covered.

It's your own fiefdom...

0:30:330:30:36

This place should be called

Blackiestown!

No, no, no,

0:30:360:30:38

it's not Blackie's town, it's a town

0:30:380:30:41

that relies on its self-reliance

to go forward.

0:30:410:30:45

You mentioned the community bus,

any chance we could step aboard?

0:30:450:30:48

I would welcome you aboard.

You can show me around.

0:30:480:30:50

Have a little drive around.

0:30:500:30:52

The Upper Dales community

partnership took over this vital bus

0:30:540:30:57

service to the local train station

when it was threatened with closure.

0:30:570:31:01

When we started in May 2011,

0:31:010:31:04

we only had one volunteer driver,

0:31:040:31:06

that was me.

0:31:060:31:08

We're now carrying 60,000

passengers.

Wow.

0:31:080:31:12

The bus company makes a profit

that funds other vital,

0:31:120:31:16

but loss-making services,

like the post office.

0:31:160:31:19

A struggling local dairy was

the first asset to be taken over

0:31:190:31:23

by the community in 1992.

0:31:230:31:25

It now employs 224 staff

0:31:250:31:28

and has an annual turnover

0:31:280:31:30

of £27 million.

0:31:300:31:32

That was where it began,

0:31:330:31:34

but I'm about to see the community

partnership's latest project.

0:31:340:31:39

Here we are.

0:31:390:31:40

Welcome to the first community-run

filling station in England.

Amazing.

0:31:400:31:45

It's needed by local people,

local businesses

0:31:450:31:49

and it was under threat of being

prey to developers

0:31:490:31:52

and so when we knew there was

an opportunity to step in and take

0:31:520:31:56

it on, as the first community-led

petrol station, we took it.

0:31:560:32:01

So what would you say to

the villages we've seen

0:32:010:32:03

in the south-west

which are really struggling?

0:32:030:32:05

I would say to them,

follow our example.

0:32:050:32:08

Maybe we are a beacon, a pioneer,

0:32:080:32:11

but we're not doing rocket science

here.

0:32:110:32:14

We need people within that community

to lead from the front and

0:32:140:32:18

sometimes partners as large as your

county council -

0:32:180:32:22

backed us all the way.

0:32:220:32:24

But most of all, you need that

community spirit,

0:32:240:32:27

that never-say-die, because

0:32:270:32:28

the minute you start accepting

austerity with all its ravages,

0:32:280:32:33

I'm afraid your community

is on a downward spiral.

0:32:330:32:37

It's sad to see villages like

Bickington and their communities

0:32:380:32:42

struggle and fight, but in places

like Toller Porcorum and Hawes,

0:32:420:32:46

there's a real sense of hope

about what can be achieved

0:32:460:32:49

when a community bands together.

0:32:490:32:51

So, we've heard an inspiring example

of recovery and regeneration, but

0:32:520:32:57

it is really, really tough to escape

0:32:570:33:00

from that vicious circle

of decline -

0:33:000:33:03

the loss of shops, pubs and schools.

0:33:030:33:06

And winning that long fight back

requires energy,

0:33:060:33:11

creativity and passion.

0:33:110:33:13

Earlier in the programme,

0:33:190:33:21

we heard about the female volunteers

who took over the canal

0:33:210:33:25

shipments of vital supplies

during the Second World War.

0:33:250:33:28

The work is remembered here

0:33:310:33:32

at the Canal Museum in Stoke

Bruerne, Northamptonshire,

0:33:320:33:36

on the banks

of the Grand Union Canal.

0:33:360:33:39

Working on the canals during wartime

was not only dangerous,

0:33:420:33:45

but would have been filthy work

carrying coal

0:33:450:33:48

and other supplies back and forth

to London, but this re-creation

0:33:480:33:52

gives us a sense of what it might

have looked like.

0:33:520:33:55

These cheerful paintings,

the traditional castles and roses,

0:33:550:33:59

that folk art that's unique

to our canal systems,

0:33:590:34:02

and inside, there's a mountain

of brass work.

0:34:020:34:05

I have no idea how they had the time

to keep it all polished.

0:34:050:34:08

Let's take a closer look in here.

0:34:080:34:09

It's very bijou in here

and this is a very high-end one.

0:34:110:34:15

The Idle Women would have been very

lucky to have inherited

0:34:150:34:18

one like this,

0:34:180:34:19

but even so, this would have been

for three women - not a lot

0:34:190:34:23

of space for eating, sleeping and

personal possessions and luxuries.

0:34:230:34:27

I don't know how they did it.

0:34:280:34:30

Now, industry and farming

has shaped our landscape

0:34:400:34:44

and put food on our tables.

0:34:440:34:46

Adam is visiting a school where

learning about farming is

0:34:460:34:49

helping vulnerable children

0:34:490:34:51

in need of extra support.

0:34:510:34:53

I feel very fortunate to be

a farmer.

0:34:580:35:00

I was born and brought up in the

countryside and have lived there

0:35:000:35:03

all my life, but many people don't

have that connection with the land.

0:35:030:35:06

And I feel that all children should

learn about farming

0:35:060:35:10

and where their food comes from

and surely

0:35:100:35:12

the best place to do that is

at school - like these lads.

0:35:120:35:15

That's exactly what's happening

0:35:170:35:19

at Hunters Hill Technology

College in Bromsgrove.

0:35:190:35:21

Hayley Simpkin teaches agriculture

to 120 children

0:35:220:35:26

between the ages of 11 and 16.

0:35:260:35:29

The pupils have all got some

degree of learning,

0:35:290:35:31

emotional or behavioural difficulty,

0:35:310:35:34

but working on the school's

purpose-built farm is helping

0:35:340:35:37

with their problems and teaching

them useful skills for the future.

0:35:370:35:40

Hi, Hayley.

Hi, Adam.

0:35:400:35:42

Good to see you.

Nice to meet you.

0:35:420:35:44

Isn't this just a lovely

environment to learn in,

0:35:440:35:46

out here with all the animals?

0:35:460:35:48

Absolutely, they love it,

don't they?

0:35:480:35:50

What is it that makes it

so special then, do you think?

0:35:500:35:52

All our boys are here because

they're either autistic, ADHD

0:35:520:35:55

or they've got social problems

and coming over here just gives them

0:35:550:35:57

a chance to relax and do something

a bit different and outside

0:35:570:36:00

and in the fresh air.

It's really good for them.

0:36:000:36:02

When it comes to farming and growing

and animals, you can

0:36:020:36:05

learn so many different things,

can't you?

0:36:050:36:07

Absolutely.

There's maths, science,

all sorts.

Definitely.

0:36:070:36:10

We do try and get... Quite a lot of

our staff here will bring kids

0:36:100:36:12

over for lessons and do a bit

of cross-curricular work.

0:36:120:36:15

We do a lot with the food

department as well,

0:36:150:36:18

so there's all sorts going on.

0:36:180:36:19

And what jobs are you doing here

today with the sheep?

0:36:190:36:21

We brought the sheep in for an MOT,

0:36:210:36:23

one or two of the little lambs

need their feet looking at.

0:36:230:36:25

Come on, I'll give you a hand.

OK, thank you.

0:36:250:36:28

There's a bit of cuddling

going on, here!

0:36:290:36:31

Yes, she looks quite relaxed,

doesn't she?

My word.

0:36:310:36:33

Go on, then, you sit up

0:36:330:36:35

and I'll have a little look

at that sheep with you.

0:36:350:36:37

Oh, this is a lovely little sheep.

0:36:390:36:40

She likes being cuddled, doesn't

she?

Yes.

What's her name?

Amira.

0:36:400:36:44

Amira. And how old is Amira?

0:36:440:36:47

Over a year old.

Is she?

Yep.

0:36:470:36:50

Do you know what breed it is?

A North Ronaldsay.

Very good.

0:36:500:36:53

And what have you got to do with

Amira today, then?

0:36:530:36:55

We're going to clip her nails

because they're a bit too long

for our liking.

0:36:550:36:58

Let's have a little look. Oh, yes -

they are quite long, aren't they?

0:36:580:37:01

So just a little trim down the edge

there would help, wouldn't it?

Yes.

0:37:010:37:04

So you have to be really careful

that you just clip off the toenail.

0:37:040:37:09

So just down the side...

0:37:090:37:10

There you go,

so that doesn't hurt her at all.

0:37:110:37:14

It's just taking off

that excess hoof.

0:37:140:37:16

And then on the other side...

0:37:160:37:18

And why do you think we cut

the toenails then, Jack?

0:37:210:37:23

So it doesn't grow too long and get

infected.

That's right, yeah.

0:37:230:37:26

If they get too much mud and dirt

in there, it can get sore, can't it?

0:37:260:37:30

Yes.

So if you pull her toes apart,

which are called clees -

0:37:300:37:33

they've got two toes - you can see

0:37:330:37:35

it's a little bit white

and sweaty inside.

0:37:350:37:37

It's a bit like athlete's foot in

people, it's a fungal infection.

0:37:370:37:40

If you smell it, it's really smelly,

so what we need to do is

0:37:400:37:44

put a little bit of antiseptic spray

on that so it doesn't get any worse.

0:37:440:37:47

Make sure you've got the nozzle

pointing in the right direction

0:37:470:37:50

so you don't spray Daniel,

but I'll put my hand behind it.

0:37:500:37:53

You can just spray the middle there,

good - that's it.

You've got it.

0:37:530:37:57

Oh.

0:37:570:37:58

He's got more my hand

than he's got on the sheep!

0:37:580:38:00

At least I'm not going to

get foot rot!

0:38:000:38:02

The children here don't mind hard

work or getting their hands dirty.

0:38:060:38:10

Teaching assistant Jazz O'Mahoney

is supporting two of them

0:38:100:38:13

that love being outside

working with the pigs.

0:38:130:38:15

Hi, guys.

Morning!

I was told

you were out with the pigs.

0:38:190:38:22

How you doing, boys,

all right?

Yeah.

0:38:220:38:24

What jobs have you got to do today,

then?

Muck the pigs out.

0:38:240:38:27

Mucking them out? Brilliant.

0:38:270:38:28

And how old are these ones, then?

0:38:280:38:30

Four weeks old.

0:38:300:38:31

They're lovely, aren't they?

0:38:310:38:33

So, do you prefer to be in the

classroom or outside?

Outside.

0:38:330:38:36

Outside.

Yeah? Do you like being

in the classroom?

No.

0:38:360:38:39

ADAM LAUGHS

0:38:390:38:41

When I'm older,

I want to be a farmer, so... Yeah.

0:38:410:38:45

It's a good way to start,

isn't it?

Yeah.

0:38:450:38:47

So before you came here,

did you ever see animals before?

0:38:470:38:49

No, I'd never seen a sheep,

0:38:490:38:52

a cow or a pig.

0:38:520:38:53

All I did see was a fish.

0:38:530:38:55

ADAM LAUGHS

0:38:550:38:57

They seem to really enjoy it,

don't they?

Yes.

0:38:570:38:59

I think a lot of children here

blossom from this

0:38:590:39:02

and most of them I think

will go on to help with animals

0:39:020:39:04

and farm work, so it will be nice

to see in the future.

0:39:040:39:08

Do you think we should be doing this

in more mainstream schools?

0:39:080:39:11

Definitely. I think every child

should have the opportunity to work

0:39:110:39:14

with animals and understand them.

0:39:140:39:16

Even if it's small animals -

chickens, anything -

0:39:160:39:18

just to interact with them.

0:39:180:39:20

For some children as well,

it's just an escape.

0:39:200:39:22

They come here to be happier,

to feel calm,

0:39:220:39:24

and it helps their whole

school life.

0:39:240:39:26

And then they're more prepared

to go back into classroom.

0:39:260:39:28

Absolutely brilliant.

0:39:280:39:30

Right - come on, then -

let's get these pigs mucked out.

0:39:300:39:32

You're very good with them,

aren't you?

0:39:400:39:42

Go on, piggy. Go on.

0:39:420:39:43

Oh, look - they're excited,

being outside!

0:39:440:39:46

How you getting on there, boys?

0:39:500:39:52

Is it a bit smelly?

Yes!

0:39:520:39:54

Breathe through your mouth,

then you won't smell it so much.

0:39:560:39:59

So what can you use the pig

muck for?

Fertiliser.

0:39:590:40:02

That's very clever, yeah.

0:40:020:40:03

It is quite whiffy!

Keep up the good work!

0:40:030:40:05

I need to get out.

I need to get out!

0:40:090:40:11

It's great to see young

lads like this getting

0:40:160:40:18

an understanding of farming

and food production.

0:40:180:40:21

But there's still about a fifth

of our children nationally that

0:40:210:40:24

don't know where bacon comes from.

0:40:240:40:26

Good skills!

0:40:260:40:27

Elsewhere, another group are having

a lesson on chickens.

0:40:270:40:31

Beautiful.

0:40:310:40:32

So we'll do some chicken questions.

So what is a female chicken called?

0:40:320:40:35

A hen.

Very good.

0:40:350:40:37

And a male chicken?

A cockerel.

0:40:370:40:40

And a baby chicken?

Chick.

0:40:400:40:41

Fantastic.

0:40:410:40:43

So you see this bit on the side

of her head here?

0:40:430:40:45

Can you see what colour that is?

A whitey blue.

0:40:450:40:48

A whitey blue colour, so that tells

me she's going to lay a white egg.

0:40:480:40:51

If she'd got red earlobes,

she'd lay a brown egg.

Is that true?

0:40:510:40:54

Mm, yeah.

0:40:540:40:55

You learn something every day, don't

you? Every day is a school day!

0:40:550:40:58

I never knew that.

0:40:580:41:00

A lot of chickens can't fly

0:41:000:41:02

because they're so heavy,

0:41:020:41:04

but these ones can fly.

0:41:040:41:05

They're quite good at flying,

aren't they? Can you see its wings?

0:41:050:41:08

How big its wings are.

0:41:080:41:09

Shall we do some wing clipping?

0:41:090:41:11

OK, so who wants to hold the chicken

while we clip it? Come on, then.

0:41:110:41:14

What's your name?

Isaiah.

OK, Isaiah.

0:41:140:41:16

Poke your hand out like that.

0:41:160:41:18

Get the feet in.

Sit her on your hand,

0:41:180:41:20

hand over the top... That's it.

0:41:200:41:22

Can you see these long feathers

here, that look like fingers?

Yeah.

0:41:220:41:26

So these are called

the flight feathers

0:41:260:41:28

and these are the ones that let them

actually fly.

0:41:280:41:30

So you see these little

feathers here?

0:41:300:41:32

I'm going to use those as a guide

0:41:320:41:33

and then cut across...

0:41:330:41:36

and just take the ends of

those feathers off.

0:41:360:41:38

They will go everywhere,

but don't worry.

0:41:380:41:40

And that will mean that they can't

get enough of a flap on to

0:41:410:41:44

actually fly away. So I'm only going

to do one side, as well.

0:41:440:41:47

Why do you think I don't do both

sides? Why do you think, Damien?

0:41:470:41:50

Because when she tries to flap off,

she'll turn.

0:41:500:41:53

It does, it makes them

a little bit wonky

0:41:530:41:55

so they can't get enough

lift to get up.

0:41:550:41:57

So, who's going to do the next one?

Me!

OK, shall we catch another one

out?

OK, so there we go...

0:41:570:42:01

Clipping the wings like this is

a common farming practice

0:42:010:42:04

and doesn't hurt the chickens.

0:42:040:42:06

The feathers will grow back in time.

0:42:060:42:08

Keep going, keep going.

Keep going until I say stop.

0:42:080:42:11

Last couple...

0:42:110:42:13

Looking after the animals is just

one part of the pupils' education.

0:42:140:42:18

Understanding the whole process

from farm to fork is paramount...

0:42:180:42:22

so, at the end of the day,

0:42:220:42:24

the children get a chance to cook

the produce raised on the farm.

0:42:240:42:27

You can use both hands...

0:42:270:42:28

So do you know what animal makes

a pork burger?

Pig.

0:42:300:42:33

Pigs, very good.

0:42:330:42:35

See, lots of children wouldn't know

that. It's great that

0:42:350:42:37

you've learned that on the farm.

0:42:370:42:38

That's all part of the process,

isn't it?

Absolutely. It brings

0:42:380:42:41

meaning to what they're doing over

at the farm - they look after them

when they're alive

0:42:410:42:44

and then we learn what we do with

them afterwards.

0:42:440:42:46

And then when it comes to taking

the animals to slaughter, to eat,

0:42:460:42:49

does that bother you?

Yes.

No.

0:42:490:42:52

Do you mind that a little bit, then?

Yes.

What don't you like about it?

0:42:520:42:55

About them being slaughtered.

That's hard, isn't it?

Yes, it is.

I feel sad when I take them off,

0:42:550:42:59

but we do know from the start that

some of our animals are for breeding

0:42:590:43:02

and some of them are for meat,

so you're told from the beginning,

0:43:020:43:05

aren't you, what's going to happen

with those animals.

0:43:050:43:07

Ultimately, selling the meat

pays the food bills.

0:43:070:43:09

And if your choice is to eat meat,

then it's good that you know where

0:43:090:43:12

it comes from, but you don't have to

eat it if you don't want to.

0:43:120:43:16

Well, well done - congratulations,

guys. Good luck in the future.

0:43:160:43:19

I reckon we might make some chefs

out of you yet.

0:43:190:43:22

We saw earlier how during the two

World Wars, our native plants

0:43:300:43:34

provided essential medicines

for wounded soldiers.

0:43:340:43:38

Today, flora and fauna

are still being used,

0:43:380:43:41

but in a different battle.

0:43:410:43:43

And here in Kent, Ranscombe Farm

covers 640 acres

0:43:430:43:48

and it's brimming with

healing plants.

0:43:480:43:51

It's like a giant natural

dispensary at your fingertips.

0:43:510:43:56

Coming from a line of doctors

and surgeons, Scotland's longest

0:43:590:44:03

practising medical herbalist

Brian Lamb believes there's a tree

0:44:030:44:07

that could in the future help to

save the lives of millions.

0:44:070:44:11

And this is it - the sweet chestnut.

0:44:130:44:15

Why is that?

0:44:150:44:17

Well, because the leaf

0:44:170:44:19

may hold a new entry into combating

0:44:190:44:23

bacterial infections.

0:44:230:44:25

And how's that?

0:44:250:44:26

Well, a bacteria colonises

0:44:260:44:29

and the bacteria speak to each other

0:44:290:44:32

rather like on a battlefield,

where communication is central.

0:44:320:44:36

When shall we expand?

How many of us are there?

0:44:360:44:39

And an extract of the sweet chestnut

leaf disarms this communication.

0:44:390:44:45

So an extract from this leaf could

actually do wonders?

0:44:450:44:49

Yes, and this was research carried

out in 2015 in America, showing

0:44:490:44:55

that this leaf will combat the most

virulent form of MRSA, even.

0:44:550:45:01

Of course, there's a lot of

0:45:010:45:02

concern now, isn't there,

0:45:020:45:04

about the potential for failure

of antibiotics.

0:45:040:45:07

Well, we are facing

a antibiotics winter...

0:45:070:45:11

..when antibiotic resistance will

be so great that common surgery

0:45:130:45:19

like hip replacements and Caesarean

section may be more problematic.

0:45:190:45:24

We must seek new ways

of disarming bacteria.

0:45:250:45:28

And possibly, sweet chestnut leaf

might be a new way of looking at it.

0:45:280:45:33

It's incredible to think that

the humble sweet chestnut may

0:45:350:45:38

provide such a huge medical

breakthrough.

0:45:380:45:41

Brian's passion for plant medicine

has been passed down to

0:45:420:45:45

his daughters Naomi and Sophie,

who specialise in herbal remedies.

0:45:450:45:49

What have we got here?

0:45:490:45:51

We've got this wonderful winter

warming hot toddy for you...

0:45:510:45:54

which is very protective over

the winter months.

0:45:540:45:57

What's in this toddy?

So you've got

star anise...

0:45:570:46:00

It's a very well known anti-viral.

0:46:000:46:02

It's star anise that goes into

making the famous drug Tamiflu.

0:46:020:46:06

And we have cinnamon in there

which is for viruses, inflammation,

0:46:060:46:10

we've also got Juniper which is

a decongestant.

0:46:100:46:14

Very nice taste, as well!

It's sweet.

0:46:140:46:16

Not only does it do you good,

it tastes good.

0:46:160:46:19

Where have you got all these

things from, Naomi?

0:46:200:46:22

Well, wonderfully, nature

provides at just the right time,

0:46:220:46:25

so in autumn we have the wonderful

rosehips and elderberry to

0:46:250:46:28

provide you with anti-viral

benefits throughout winter,

0:46:280:46:30

but some are from our own kitchen

cupboards, so there's amazing

0:46:300:46:34

medicinal cabinets within one's home

to protect one's health over winter.

0:46:340:46:39

And what's in this pan here, then?

0:46:390:46:41

Well, we've got some rosehips

which are really, really highly

0:46:410:46:44

nutritionally dense and they're

especially well known

0:46:440:46:46

for their very high

vitamin C content.

0:46:460:46:48

At least 20 times as much as

oranges and for that reason,

0:46:480:46:53

they were given to children

during the war to protect them

0:46:530:46:56

from developing scurvy as the citrus

fruit supplies were being disrupted.

0:46:560:47:01

Cos I can remember as a little boy

having rosehip syrup, you know?

0:47:010:47:05

Yes, most people can.

We all had

it as children in those days.

0:47:050:47:08

Absolutely.

0:47:080:47:09

And what have we got

in the hamper, then?

0:47:090:47:11

Well, we've made this especially for

you, John, cos we know you're out

on location in the cold a lot -

0:47:110:47:15

we thought this'd see you through

the winter months.

Wow, thank you!

0:47:150:47:17

So we have some thyme syrup, which

is an amazing lung decongestant,

0:47:170:47:21

we've got garlic and chilli

to see you through the winter to

0:47:210:47:24

boost the immune system.

0:47:240:47:26

Rosehip syrup and we have the lovely

anti-viral drink in there.

0:47:260:47:29

That should keep me going!

It should do!

0:47:290:47:31

Well, we've had a lovely

autumn day here in Kent,

0:47:370:47:40

but with winter

just around the corner,

0:47:400:47:42

will I be needing any of my herbal

kit in the week ahead?

0:47:420:47:45

Let's find out with

the Countryfile forecast.

0:47:450:47:47

Hello. It was a glorious autumn day

across much of the country today,

0:47:570:48:04

perfect conditions in fact for

Remembrance Sunday, but we had cold

0:48:040:48:09

air blowing down from the north,

gusty particularly in the north and

0:48:090:48:13

east. Quite a few showers and with

those showers and a cold beer,

0:48:130:48:19

wintry in nature here in the hills

of Argyll. But then no showers, dry

0:48:190:48:25

like this, down in Morecambe lake in

Dorset. The cold skies at night,

0:48:250:48:33

those temperatures will tumble away

as we see that blue hue developing.

0:48:330:48:40

They will fizzle away elsewhere, the

south-west by the end of the night.

0:48:400:48:44

The towns and city values are there,

around freezing, but of course in

0:48:440:48:49

the countryside a widespread frost

will develop. -2 down to minus five

0:48:490:48:56

Celsius. In the far north-west of

the country we have this, another

0:48:560:49:00

system bringing in some cloud,

strengthening winds and essential

0:49:000:49:03

outbreaks of rain as well. This high

pressure with the cold arctic winds

0:49:030:49:08

will be slowly moving away so we

will start tomorrow on a cold frosty

0:49:080:49:12

zero, certainly for England and

Wales. Skies turn cloudier for most

0:49:120:49:18

but for Scotland and Northern

Ireland it turns wet and windy and

0:49:180:49:21

you will even see some snow over the

high ground of Scotland and perhaps

0:49:210:49:24

down to lower levels for a time

across central and eastern areas

0:49:240:49:28

before at all times back to rain by

the end of the day is that milder

0:49:280:49:31

air moves in. The weather system

continues to move south and east

0:49:310:49:35

through the course of Monday night,

and then it could be quite chilly to

0:49:350:49:38

start with across the south-east

before the clothes and wind arrives.

0:49:380:49:44

You will see the blue colours pushed

off into the North Sea as the

0:49:440:49:47

yellows and oranges arrived off the

Atlantic. A little blue colours you

0:49:470:49:51

will notice across the far north of

Scotland. A little brightness, quite

0:49:510:49:55

chilly, single figure values, but

elsewhere a cloudy day on Tuesday,

0:49:550:49:59

much milder, 10-12 degrees, and

there will be some drizzle and hill

0:49:590:50:05

fog across western hills. Then in

this north-east corner, bright, the

0:50:050:50:10

best of the sunshine also further

south. Mild temperatures again. But

0:50:100:50:14

a lot of cloud and outbreaks of rain

as well. Into Thursday, something a

0:50:140:50:20

bit more potent expected to push

into the north of the UK, bringing

0:50:200:50:24

gales are even severe gales for a

time across Scotland, particularly

0:50:240:50:28

in the north. Some heavy rains as

well persistent across western

0:50:280:50:32

hills, but elsewhere maybe some

brightness in the south and east and

0:50:320:50:40

it could potentially be the mildest

day of the week with highs of 13, 14

0:50:400:50:43

degrees. On Thursday night that

front sinks south and eastwards from

0:50:430:50:45

the north and then we open the

floodgates to the north-west. On

0:50:450:50:48

Friday it looks like the cold air

making a return again. Across

0:50:480:50:51

Northern Ireland and Scotland that

will eventually wind out as we head

0:50:510:50:55

towards the weekend. This is I think

the picture for Friday, cloud and

0:50:550:50:58

rain across the south and east that

should clear way, brightening sky is

0:50:580:51:03

behind it. Where it is sunniest, it

will be cold as, single value

0:51:030:51:08

temperatures here. The week is quite

a mixture, starting on a cold and

0:51:080:51:15

frosty note, then mild foremost, but

then on it looks it will

0:51:150:51:21

Today, we remember the veterans

of battle and the fallen.

0:51:330:51:37

John's been learning about plants

that saved lives in wartime...

0:51:390:51:43

and I've been hearing about

the women who volunteered

0:51:430:51:46

on the canals

during the Second World War.

0:51:460:51:49

Our symbol of remembrance

is of course the red poppy,

0:51:500:51:53

but the countryside has other roles

to play at this time of year.

0:51:530:51:58

Here on the edge

of the Salisbury Plains,

0:51:590:52:01

surrounded by the garrison towns

of the British Army... In fact,

0:52:010:52:05

you can even hear tanks rumbling

away over there.

0:52:050:52:08

..is a place of sanctuary, treatment

0:52:080:52:11

and healing for the survivors

of war.

0:52:110:52:14

Tedworth House in Wiltshire is

a remarkable recovery centre

0:52:170:52:20

run by Help For Heroes for service

men and women with physical

0:52:200:52:24

and psychological conditions.

0:52:240:52:27

We first visited here three years

ago, but the support

0:52:270:52:30

Tedworth offers is for life

0:52:300:52:33

and there's always something new

to see.

0:52:330:52:35

There are lots of different

therapies on offer here,

0:52:380:52:41

but few can beat the healing

powers of the great outdoors.

0:52:410:52:45

In fact, one of the most popular is

the simple pleasures of gardening.

0:52:450:52:49

The weekly gardening club,

run by Lucy Thorpe,

0:52:540:52:57

with her Springer spaniel Izzy,

offers a haven to some

0:52:570:53:01

and sows the seeds of a gardening

career for others -

0:53:010:53:05

like Major Cornelia Oosthuizen.

0:53:050:53:08

She had to give up her ten-year

Army career

0:53:080:53:10

with a nervous system disorder.

0:53:100:53:12

Cornelia was a star turn at this

year's Invictus Games,

0:53:120:53:17

winning bronze in wheelchair tennis

0:53:170:53:19

and a gold medal in the golf.

0:53:190:53:21

So this is a bit of a change,

isn't it, from the podium,

0:53:230:53:25

receiving gold, to pottering

around the hero's garden?

Yes!

0:53:250:53:28

No, in the best possible way.

0:53:280:53:30

What is it for you, do you think,

about nature, that's so healing?

0:53:300:53:34

Um...

0:53:350:53:36

I think when it comes to nature,

it's that sort of cycle

0:53:360:53:40

and life and new growth.

0:53:400:53:42

It's just really therapeutic

0:53:420:53:44

and helps you to focus on something

that's much more constructive than

0:53:440:53:48

dwelling on some of the challenges

0:53:480:53:50

that you face on a daily basis.

0:53:500:53:52

The beauty of a place like Tedworth

House and what Help For Heroes

0:53:530:53:56

set up is that you're surrounded

by people who have often got

0:53:560:54:00

very similar struggles

and, of course,

0:54:000:54:02

in classic military style,

0:54:020:54:04

we incorporate a bit of black humour

0:54:040:54:06

and banter to get through it and it

makes a massive, massive difference.

0:54:060:54:10

So are you more of a veg garden,

or flower garden?

0:54:100:54:13

These leeks are looking good.

I'm guessing veg.

0:54:130:54:15

I'm trying not to murder

vegetables inadvertently!

0:54:150:54:19

I've got more success this year...

That's good.

0:54:190:54:21

Ah!

0:54:210:54:23

She's apparently a vegetarian today!

0:54:230:54:25

These leeks look ready for the pot.

Yep, I think so.

0:54:280:54:31

Give them a good wash

and chop them up.

Very nice.

0:54:310:54:34

What's not eaten by Izzy goes into

the garden's kitchen.

0:54:350:54:39

Working and eating together is

all part of the healing process.

0:54:410:54:44

At Tedworth House,

there's inspiration at every turn.

0:54:480:54:52

I'm heading away from nature

being tamed in the gardens

0:54:540:54:58

and into the wild woods to meet

one of Tedworth's success stories.

0:54:580:55:03

Three years ago,

Jules Hudson met Michael Day,

0:55:040:55:07

an ex-infantry sniper embarking on

a forestry course here in the woods.

0:55:070:55:12

I was involved in an explosion

with a grenade.

0:55:130:55:16

Damaged my back quite badly.

0:55:160:55:18

Were you suffering from

post-traumatic stress?

Yes.

0:55:180:55:21

I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't, um...

0:55:210:55:23

..wasn't coping very well with

the fact that I wasn't going to

0:55:240:55:27

be able to do my job any more

and that was...

0:55:270:55:31

one of my biggest demons.

0:55:310:55:32

Tedworth encourages

its visitors to return

0:55:350:55:38

whenever they feel the need

and three years on, Michael Day,

0:55:380:55:42

better known as Doris, still seeks

out the tranquillity here.

0:55:420:55:45

Hello! Is it Michael,

or can I call you Doris?

0:55:480:55:51

Call me what you like - Doris!

Doris, is that OK?!

0:55:510:55:53

Yes.

Fabulous. This looks amazing.

0:55:530:55:55

But I understand also that THIS

was built by your fair hand?

Yes.

0:55:550:55:58

Me and a group of other veterans

over the last couple of years, yes.

0:55:580:56:02

Show me around!

OK.

0:56:020:56:03

Tedworth has taught Doris

woodworking skills which enabled

0:56:040:56:08

him and his colleagues to complete

the Iron Age roundhouse project.

0:56:080:56:11

How has this place helped you?

My own injuries are...

0:56:150:56:18

..something we can't see.

0:56:190:56:22

And that's kind of been

understood by Help For Heroes.

0:56:220:56:24

Where sometimes people close

to you don't understand.

0:56:250:56:28

I don't have to explain myself

when I'm here, I don't have to...

0:56:280:56:32

put a face on or be someone

that I'm not, I can be myself.

0:56:320:56:37

So I think the road to recovery

has actually always led to

0:56:370:56:41

or at least through Tedworth House

and I'm grateful for that.

0:56:410:56:45

What's life been like for you

since this place was completed?

0:56:450:56:49

Well, since it was finished, I've

been in a bit of a void each month,

0:56:490:56:52

because obviously I've not had

to come up.

0:56:520:56:54

But it's inspired me to go and find

some work to do with woodlands,

0:56:540:56:58

which is quite difficult to find

at the best of times.

Yeah.

Um...

0:56:580:57:02

But I'm training to become

a utility surveyor.

0:57:020:57:05

So walking the lines, power lines,

0:57:050:57:07

and ensuring that there's a correct

distance between the power

0:57:070:57:11

lines and the trees or foliage

that's growing around them.

0:57:110:57:14

Right.

0:57:140:57:15

Um, it's just walking,

and I like walking,

0:57:150:57:18

and it's on my own.

0:57:180:57:20

And so your knowledge of being in

the woods has helped get you a job.

0:57:200:57:24

Um, I was a sniper, so I loved the

woods and I love the foliage, so...

0:57:240:57:29

Yeah, I think there was always

going to be something for me

0:57:290:57:31

at the end of it to work in the

woodlands, but I didn't ever think

0:57:310:57:34

I would be carving pillars on

a roundhouse that I'd helped build!

0:57:340:57:38

There you go! Not just a woodsman,

but an artist within.

Well, maybe.

0:57:380:57:42

I've seen some of this work, I think

it's amazing! It's incredible.

0:57:420:57:45

And the good work continues.

0:57:490:57:51

The latest batch of recruits is

being taught

0:57:510:57:54

woodcraft by Dave Turner.

0:57:540:57:56

And, so, for a few hours each week,

0:57:560:57:59

they get to leave

their troubles behind.

0:57:590:58:01

The benefits of this fresh air

life are indisputable.

0:58:020:58:05

And while there may be no cure

for some,

0:58:050:58:07

Tedworth offers a place of sanctuary

0:58:070:58:10

and a return to the camaraderie

0:58:100:58:12

these brave men and women enjoyed

in the service of their country.

0:58:120:58:17

Oh, it's good! Really good.

0:58:220:58:24

It's not bad.

Yeah, I like it.

0:58:240:58:25

Well, that's all we've got time for

this week.

0:58:250:58:28

Next week,

we'll be in Hertfordshire,

0:58:280:58:30

where we'll be up to our knees

in the River Lee.

0:58:300:58:32

And Sean will be helping with

0:58:330:58:35

a wildlife building project

fit for a king.

0:58:350:58:38

We'll see you then. Bye-bye!

0:58:390:58:41

It's good, Dave!

Mm.

It's good.

0:58:410:58:43

Countryfile marks Remembrance Sunday. Ellie Harrison finds out about the so-called 'Idle' women of the canals, who played a vital role in the Second World War. She also discovers how the great outdoors helps to heal servicemen and women. John Craven explores how wild plants became medicine during the Second World War. Plus Adam Henson visits a school where farming is helping to shape lives.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS