Countryfile heads to the north Norfolk coast to restore a much-loved British sea shelter. John Craven helps the National Trust celebrate the 100th anniversary of Blakeney Point.
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Ice creams! You've all washed your hands, haven't you?
-I'm going out there a bit.
The British coast. Extraordinarily irresistible.
And summer wouldn't be summer without a trip to the seaside.
Whatever the weather.
So for this special summertime edition of the programme,
we're all on a Countryfile outing on the north Norfolk coast.
Acres of sandy beach.
Perfect for games, sandcastles, picnics and just relaxing.
Think Famous Five for the middle-aged.
In the lashing rain!
This is lovely. The perfect British summer. You can't beat it!
I've got a bikini on under here!
I tell you, all we need now is a bit of shelter.
-See up there?
-That is a really cute 1930s sea shelter.
But it needs a bit of tender love and care. It needs sprucing up.
Why don't we do it up? I'm all right with a bit of DIY.
I'm all right with a paintbrush.
-The locals will love it so they'll give us a hand.
I'm leaving the DIY to you guys.
I'm going to be taking to the water in search of the famous Cromer crab.
And I'll be on the water too,
celebrating the 100th anniversary of a famous nature reserve around here
that is renowned for seals and terns.
All too active for me.
I'll be testing my taste buds and seeing how much heat they can take.
-You know what else we should do?
-Have a celebration. A party.
OK. What are you thinking? A bit of music? A barbecue? Ice cream?
Of course, ice cream.
Guys, do you fancy an ice cream?
Golden sands, studded with colourful beach huts.
We're on the seafront at Cromer, a gem of the Norfolk coastline.
The town lies on the north Norfolk coast,
around 20 miles away from Norwich.
It's been a popular resort since the 1700s
and has much more to offer than its famous Cromer crabs.
It's a picture postcard seaside town,
sitting on a cliff top overlooking the coast.
Although for visitors this summer, it's been more about
the bracing sea breezes than sun-drenched sands.
We all love to be beside the seaside
but if you're going to indulge in this country,
you'd be wise to think of some shelter,
just in case the weather doesn't perform.
So we're rolling up our sleeves
and with our friends here in the north of Norfolk,
we're getting involved in a renovation project
to restore some splendour to this shoreline, whatever the weather.
The much-loved Marrams Shelter here on the Westcliffe Road
has been a feature of the seafront for more than 70 years.
Decades of standing firm against stiff North Sea wind and rain
mean it's starting to show a few signs of wear and tear.
Daren Payne, known as Billy to his mates,
is from North Norfolk District Council
and they've already made a start.
That's what I like to see, all hands on deck! Hi, Billy.
-Quite a lot of work to do then?
-We have got loads to do, yes.
Go on then. Talk me through the running order.
We are basically scraping, repairing, replacing and painting.
You've got quite a lot going on in your hair already!
Aside from the main paint job,
we're also going to add a bit of personality to the shelter
with some locally inspired artwork.
It's a bit of an artist's dream, this kind of project, isn't it?
This kind of project is what my job is all about. I love this.
For an artist, there's nothing better than doing a piece
that's going to be seen by the public.
That's what it's all about. Your art on show.
I'm looking at putting a very large collage together
and trying to put them on panels along the sides there.
Show me some of the stuff you've done before, so I can get an idea.
OK, to give you an idea...
-This is the kind of work I do.
-Wow! I like that.
Hopefully, a lot of the greenery we'll be doing
will be something like that with the layers as well.
That one is the rainforest. It probably won't look too good here,
-although we've had a lot of rain lately!
-We certainly have!
But what we'll be looking at is a collage like this one,
which has a lot of different designs of the areas.
So picture that and we're going to throw in some seals, some beaches...
-Poppies, churches, a nice bit of countryside.
-I can see it.
-I'm with you.
-Excellent. I'm so glad you like it.
This is an idea that I've been working on
but it will have much more than that
and we'll also be putting in a lot more things that you've done
like the Cromer crabs and lobsters and chilli
and everything else that goes along with it.
So the rough plan is a beautifully revamped sea shelter
complete with magnificent artwork by the end of the programme.
Simple! I'm going to get painting. Matt's in charge of woodwork.
I'm just down the road from Julia on the Gunton Park estate.
Its owner, Kit Martin, is providing the other half of the muscle.
We've made good progress, Kit.
The recent cold winters have sadly put pay to this beautiful oak,
so it's got to come down.
-Is that it?
-Yes, I think that will do. Do you?
-I think that's enough for now.
The good news is, this is the 21st century
and we do have a chainsaw on hand.
-Right, let's get the chainsaw.
There she goes!
-All our own work!
-Look at that!
-Some specimen this, isn't it?
-It's ideal, isn't it?
For what we need.
So you bought the house on this estate, through those trees,
back in the 1980s.
-We bought it and, obviously, it's a very beautiful place.
It was created by the Harbord family in the 18th century.
There's a house, there's the mill which we're going to explore today,
a magnificent chapel designed by Robert Adam.
When we came in 1980, everywhere was in a very derelict state.
So we restored the house.
But the really important thing is that, together with our neighbours,
we have restored 1,000 acres of the landscape park
to make this a beautiful place again.
And on the wood side of things then,
looking at this beautiful old oak, what will be happening to this now?
This will be cut up here. There is a good trunk on this.
This will go down to the mill and it will make planks, gateposts
and it will be reused in this part of Norfolk.
-Yes, all on-site.
So now it's off to the sawmill, but this isn't just any sawmill.
It's thought to be one of the oldest in the country
and maybe even the world.
And it's powered purely by water.
This all looks very intriguing.
The mill has been here since the 1820s.
It's a miracle that it has survived all these years.
But that is down to the team of hard-working volunteers
who have lovingly restored it.
That's how you do it. Nice to see you. Hello, I'm Matt.
This is just mesmerising to watch, isn't it?
You could stand here all day just watching that blade go up and down.
Barry, you were involved in the restoration of this sawmill.
What state was it in when you started?
It was pretty much a ruin.
A lot of the woodwork had to be replaced for restoration
but a lot of the metalwork is original. That was OK.
The little gubbins down here,
which is feeding the log through the machine,
we had to invent something for that because bits were lost.
It's so clever. It really is. Who came up with this idea?
A chap called William Hayes designed the mechanism. He was a clockmaker.
I think you can see the similarity with what was going on.
It makes sense, yes.
The whole machine occupies a really nice slot
in our industrial history because prior to this,
it was two men with a pit saw sawing wood literally by hand.
Water power was around. It has come along and replaced that.
But it's not in for a very long time before that is replaced by steam,
electric motor and then the internal combustion engine.
So it's a very short space of time that this has survived from,
which is what makes it so unique.
It's delightful, is what it is. It really puts a smile on your face.
Yes, it's lovely.
The oak is a little bit too green to use for our shelter,
so Russell has kindly sorted us some reclaimed pine.
John is also with us on the north Norfolk coast
and he's helping to celebrate a very significant anniversary
for the National Trust.
Blakeney point. This wild expanse of shingle, sand and salt marsh
is being created daily by the wind and by the tides.
It's hard to know where the land ends and the sea begins.
This wilderness is in fact one of the most intriguing sections
along our entire coastline.
It's fragile and it's ever-changing.
Every high tide, this entire area is completely submerged.
But low tide reveals one of the largest stretches
of undeveloped coastline in Europe.
For decades, scientists have studied it.
And tourists have loved it.
And this year is special because the National Trust
has owned it for exactly 100 years.
Now, you can get there by land
but it's a four mile trudge through shingle
and I don't want to risk disturbing the wildlife
because it's breeding season.
So, there is another way.
I'm hitching a lift
with National Trust countryside manager Victoria Francis.
Seabirds and seals live alongside each other on the point
and the birds certainly make their presence felt.
Quite a din here, Victoria, from the seabirds.
Four species of terns regularly breed on Blakeney Point.
But by far the most obvious and the most noisy
that anyone can see are the sandwich terns.
This year is a bumper year for them. Absolutely fantastic.
But what really draws the visitors are the seals.
There are two species out here.
We've got 800-odd grey seals and 200 common seals.
How do the numbers compare to 100 years ago,
when the Trust first took this place all the?
It was very different to today.
You may have been lucky to see 50-odd common seals.
The first grey seal pups were only here in 2001. There were 25.
This last winter, 933.
The seals are protected by a whole raft of conservation designations
that just didn't exist 100 years ago.
And what about the future for these seals?
-Look, there's one right up close!
-Checking us out!
It's looking very good.
Hopefully this winter, we may have more than 1,000 grey seal pups
and fingers crossed it happens.
Today, we take Blakeney Point's conservation for granted.
But if the National Trust had not adopted it,
the future could have been very different.
How did the National Trust come to acquire Blakeney Point?
Back in 1908, it was all down to this gentleman,
Professor Francis Oliver.
He was a well respected ecologist from University College London.
He was amazed and fascinated by the array of vegetation.
And did Professor Oliver buy it for the Trust?
He was concerned about the future
and what he wanted to do was safeguard it.
He started a public appeal and they raised about £600 to buy it.
-It was a lot of money in those days.
-It was a lot of money.
In 1912, the deeds were signed over to the National Trust
and Professor Oliver helped set up a management committee.
This was probably one of the largest expanses of coastline they purchased
at the time and also the first national nature reserve in Norfolk.
What do you think fascinated him about this very bleak landscape?
Being such a keen ecologist,
he was fascinated by the array and diversity of the habitats here.
So from the shingle to the sand dunes to the salt marsh,
and just within an arm's reach here,
we've got various different types of vegetation.
We've got sea porcelain, four different types of sea lavender.
I think he'd be amazed to see how it's developed over the time.
But the major change Professor Oliver would see
is just how much the wind and the tides have extended the Point.
It's grown over half a mile westwards since 1912.
But in many ways, it remains unchanged.
The field lab he set up for his students is still used today.
The plantation he created is still a pit stop for migrating birds.
And for a select few, the professor's legacy is a way of life.
Four rangers live here full-time for six months of the year.
It's a sought-after job. Hundreds apply.
Home is this converted lifeboat station
and they have invited me round for a cup of tea.
For nature lovers, this must be a dream job.
It's not for everybody. Some people would run away, run a mile,
when they see the accommodation.
So when we interview, we bring them out here and show them
the rough and ready lifestyle and that often puts a few people off
and it's the ones who are suited to the lifestyle
that stay for the six months.
-Why do people want to do it?
-I find it a very inspiring place.
It's a very big open place. It gives you time to dream, time to think.
You can dream big.
It's just one of those special places which inspires you in life.
A phenomenal place to be.
Are you looking forward to going back to civilisation?
You always look forward to going back
but after a while, you start to miss this place.
There's nothing quite like it.
Today, we're in the seaside town of Cromer on the north Norfolk coast.
With its fine Victorian pier, grand hotels
and, of course, commendable crabbing.
We're here trying to add some sparkle to a faded old sea shelter.
The paintwork is looking pretty swish on this sea shelter now.
Almost ready for Matt's woodwork.
Hopefully, the new-look shelter will give the summer holidaymakers
something to talk about.
But Cromer wasn't always a tourist hotspot.
Back in the late 1870s,
it was nothing more than a sleepy fishing village.
Fast forward to the 1880s and this quiet corner of rural England
was thrust into the limelight and it became the most cosmopolitan
and fashionable place to hang out in.
If Will.I.am and Kate Moss had wanted to come somewhere cool
for the weekend in the 1880s, they would have come here with me.
And it was all down to one man. Clement Scott.
Travel writer, theatre critic and all-round London luvvie.
He soon became captivated by Cromer and wrote a series of rave reviews
about the area that he referred to as Poppy Land.
Peter Stibbins is a local historian who knows all about it.
So why Poppy Land?
This very influential travel writer and theatre critic, Clement Scott,
arrived in Cromer in 1883,
probably with a free ticket from the Great Eastern Railway.
He arrived, couldn't find anywhere to stay in Cromer,
set off along the cliff tops towards Overstrand,
and passed masses of poppies blooming in the fields.
-And he put this place on the map.
It did just what Great Eastern Railway wanted.
It brought people flooding up here.
And they were rich, they were powerful,
they were really the stylish people of their day, weren't they?
Absolutely. There was huge investment in hotels.
If you had been here up to the Second World War you would have seen
three or four great hotels on the seafront here.
How long did it remain a fashionable destination?
It was hugely fashionable in the 1890s into the 1900s
and it probably lasted through until the period between the wars.
But the heyday was just before the First World War.
Do you think Cromer's success is down to Clement?
I think to a very large extent,
there's a huge amount that carries right on
from his time when he wrote then.
Clement Scott not only sought refuge here
but also cashed in on the place. He created a Poppy Land industry.
Before long, the Victorian glitterati
came to see this idyllic seaside town
that he had written so fondly about in the London papers.
Fishermen milked the tourist's shilling
by offering boat excursions.
The lifeboat crews demonstrated their expertise.
The beaches of north Norfolk buzzed with the excitement
of seaside holidays.
A Poppy Land brand was born and before long,
everything was displaying the flower
that Scott had made synonymous with the area.
I'm off to the local museum to see what's left of the Victorian legacy
that wasn't just teacups and trinkets.
Its curator, Alistair Murphy, can tell me more.
Daniel Davidson, who was a chemist, and an important person in the town,
developed the Poppy Land bouquet that he sold.
This is an unopened bottle that we have in the collection.
-So this is it? This is how it was boxed and packaged?
If you were coming to Cromer and you wanted a souvenir for your mother
or your wife, this would be the thing to get.
You'd go down to Jetty Street, which is down near the sea,
and buy yourself a bottle from Daniel Davidson himself.
And what did it smell of? Not poppies?
We have his recipe book here and this is the recipe for this perfume.
And he's got writing like a doctor.
You can hardly decipher anything, which I guess is the idea,
but I can make out lily of the valley
and violet something or other.
-We know that it was quite potent.
-Yes. I'm sure it was quite smelly.
I'm not sure it would smell too good after all these years though!
This is Jetty Street where Davidson once had a shop.
I've decided to try and recreate the past
and come up with a modern version of his perfume.
A sort of up-to-date aroma of Cromer, if you will.
Careful with those crabby base notes.
Diane Vial is a local aromatherapist
who's been cooking up some fragrant ideas
based on Davidson's original recipe.
What have you got in it then?
We have to find, for a perfume, you have to have a base note,
the middle note and the top notes.
So we started off with the base note, which we already have on the recipe.
That was violet.
Then we went to the middle notes, which is jasmine
and also lily of the valley.
A bit of lemon as a top note and give it a stir.
When you first smell a perfume, that's what you get.
You'll get the top notes. Then that evaporates into the air
and that leaves you with your middle notes and your base note.
And this is it?
-That is it. Until you add...
-The vodka then dilutes the perfume a little bit.
-I like it!
Already, I like it!
But what will the punters make of this modern-day aroma of Cromer,
as inspired by the Poppy Land bouquet?
-Have you ever heard of the Poppy Land bouquet?
-Have you heard of Poppy Land?
Well this is a re-creation of the original perfume. It is very fresh.
-What do you think?
-I think we're in business.
-Very good. There we go.
It seems like the Poppy Land brand
could still make a few quid out of the holidaymakers in town.
I hadn't heard of Poppy Land before today
but the one thing I've always associated with Cromer is its crabs.
Ellie is finding out if it's still a thriving industry.
Oh, he likes it!
Cromer crab, the first thing that springs to mind
at the sheer mention of this town.
You're probably thinking about something much bigger
and juicier than this particular crab,
but it's taken me so long to get it.
I'm not putting it back just yet.
Everywhere you look, there are signs this is a Mecca for crab lovers
and Cromer crustaceans are thought to be some of the very best.
Traditionally, summer is the time to catch them.
But there's a problem.
Just as in farming, the average age of the fishermen
is getting older and older.
There's one lad though who's bucking the trend.
David Hare is only 22. He started fishing in his teens.
I'm going out to sea with him
and his skipper for the day, John Davies.
-Not a bad day.
-It's a sunny day but it's going to be a little bit choppy,
-so I hope you've got your sea legs.
-I've got them on!
David has been going out fishing since he was 14-years-old
and the draw of these waters is still strong.
I was quite excited the first time. I couldn't sleep.
I was itching ready to go, thinking, what's it going to be like?
Do you know many other people your age doing this kind of thing?
-Not many. Maybe two or three.
-Why is that?
Why don't young people want to get into this?
Obviously, the 3:00am starts and weekends.
They want to go out clubbing and stuff like that.
So you don't mind the 3:00am starts?
I just think about how much money I'm going to have left in my wallet!
And it's not long before we reach our first pots.
Here we go.
Eighth generation fisherman, John Davies,
has been fishing the Cromer coast for more than 30 years
and he taught David everything he knows.
It's looking like quite a good haul, is it?
That can be deceiving, trust me. This time of year.
So although the shell is big,
there won't be much in the way of meat in there.
That will be empty. He'll be back for a free meal again tomorrow!
That one might just about be long enough, which it is.
It is, it just squeezes in there.
Here we go with the next one. Blimey!
How is David getting on then?
He's doing OK. He's a good lad. A very rare find nowadays.
Why is it then that there are so few young people coming into it?
There are easier ways of making a living.
-It is a very physical job. It's hard graft, isn't it?
-Yes, it can be.
You need to enjoy the job and like the job.
So what about the future of the Cromer crab,
which is so important for Cromer?
It's very important for Cromer, not just as a business
but as a tourist attraction and everything else.
A lot of people go to Cromer for the weekend and take a crab home for tea.
My mum said, "Come back with some crabs"
-once she found out I was coming here.
-Good on your mum!
But it's not just crabs we're after.
-That's a keeper.
As we head for dry land, the crew set the pots
so they can do the same again tomorrow.
Waiting to meet me back on terra firma
is Michelin-starred local chef Galton Blackiston.
He's going to cook us up a seafood feast.
We've got Galton here for you, John.
-We're ready for your crabs and lobsters.
-How are you doing?
-I'm all right. You?
-There are two or three lobsters there.
-And a boxful of crabs.
-What makes the Cromer crabs so special?
I think the smaller Cromer crab are far sweeter
and far more intense of flavour than the big Southwest crab.
That's my opinion.
I would put a lot of the taste of our crabs down to the sea bed.
We've got a chalky, flinty seabed here. That's why we're here.
It's fresher, cleaner water.
-We'll soon sort you a couple of female crabs there.
Just be a bit careful. They don't like the sunshine.
-That's great. Thanks, John.
'I can't wait to taste them, but while Galton
'prepares these crabs, I'm off to find more about the chalk that
'gives these seas such rich pickings.
'The underwater reef which lies just off the coast shares the same
'geology as the cliffs overlooking the beach.
'It's where I'm meeting Rob Spray, who's dived the reef many times.'
Why have you brought me here of all places on the beach?
So we could show you a bit of the reef virtually up above the water.
This is the chalk that's the reef's made of.
The crabs like to burrow in it.
Because the chalk's localised to this area,
that's what's brought the crabbing industry in.
It's unusual because it's 20 miles long.
-It's the longest chalk reef in Europe.
It's three miles wide in places.
Can you give me a quick geology lesson on the chalk being here?
This is all plankton from 100 million years ago,
laid down, compressed and it's formed rock.
-This arch is about one million years high.
This stuff apparently gives the crabs that Cromer crab taste.
What else, other than the Cromer crabs,
can you get to see wildlife-wise out on the reef?
We get lots of other kinds of crabs.
We get sea toads, scorpions, spider crabs, lots of fsh.
We've got lumpsuckers here at the moment.
People are always catching mackerel.
Lots of food for them there and the ecosystem starts from the bottom up.
You've got seaweed,
you've got the simpler animals.
-We've even got our own purple sponge that's unique to Norfolk.
-A new find?
-Apparently completely new to science. Not even named yet.
Wow, that's exciting. Maybe get a sponge named after you, Rob.
The crabs are some of the biggest animals on the reef and
the top predator here is the lobster, so they're kings of the reef.
It's just spectacular. It feels Mediterranean.
Because it's not dived much, you'll have it to yourself.
It's a brilliant place to be.
Fishing is a massive thing here.
Does that have any conflict with the reef?
Are the fishermen respectful of it?
I don't know how much the fishermen know about the reef
but the fishing is at a low level.
It's subsistence that's gone on for as long as anyone can remember.
Potting is low-impact and this has been protected from trawling
for 100 years so the reef's in pretty good condition.
The fishermen do have a vested interest in it staying that way.
You've painted a beautiful picture.
I'm going to see if Galton's done well with our crabs.
Thanks very much, Rob. Cheers.
-Crab is cooked.
-Crab is cooked, hopefully.
I love this beach kitchen. This is hilarious.
This is all right, isn't it?
This s what you want, all this brown meat.
The thing about these is that, with the Cromer crab,
you don't get the yield that you get with the Southwest crabs,
but you get a fantastic flavour.
'So that's the brown body meat. Now for the white from the claws.'
A mallet's a good implement to use.
What sort of thing would you serve crab with?
Crab is best served very simply. I don't want to mess about too much.
I want you to taste the succulent sweetness of the crab.
I'm an advocate of simplicity.
When you've got something that has been caught out there...
-But hours ago.
-..why do you want to completely mask it?
-This is the cheffy serving bit.
-I'm not going to make it too cheffy.
I wouldn't play about with a white crabmeat at all.
I would literally just pop it on a plate.
The brown is only just cooked but that's quite nice.
'A classic dish - unadulterated crabmeat served with
'a simple salsa and fresh warm bread.'
Something so simple like that, in my opinion, works so well.
That looks amazing. I would happily go for that. Lovely.
'Also on the menu, Cromer lobster fresh from the sea
'and onto the plate.
'With a simple accompaniment of minted new potatoes,
'mangetout, green beans and samphire.'
And after a day's fishing, exploring and cooking,
I can't wait to tuck in.
-Here we go, lobster.
-Here you go, lobster. Local lobster.
-It is really nice.
I used to go on holiday round here, you know.
-Yeah, every year as a kid.
-Not something quite as elegant as this,
a pint of prawns usually that we had to shell ourselves.
Now, we're doing up this sea shelter and we're hoping to mark it
with a bit of a celebration, a bit of a shindig.
-I've got a favour to ask you that is way beneath your skills...
How would you feel about doing some burger-flipping for us?
-Sorry about that.
-You're asking me to cook burgers?
-Afraid I am. Can you do something elegant with them?
-Yeah, no problem.
We're on the north Norfolk coast, giving a bit of a face-lift
to the Marrams sea shelter.
It's been a feature on the seafront in Cromer since the 1930s,
a time when gents in one-pieces
and ladies in rather fetching swimming hats filled the beaches.
With Cromer being one of the first resorts to allow mixed bathing,
who knows what passions stirred beneath those modest bathing suits.
Maybe that young girl finished knitting her jumper
in the Marrams shelter.
Maybe she stole her first kiss.
Love was definitely in the air for Jeanette Risebrow back in 1953.
When my boyfriend and I were going out together,
we used to walk along the cliff tops here to see the sea
and one particular night we sat in there and he suddenly said,
"Would you marry me?" And I hesitated for a moment.
I thought, "Gosh," and he said, "Could you, do you think?"
I said, "Oh, yes, I could. Yes, please."
So that was his proposal and we got engaged on Coronation Day.
The shelter was always kept in pristine condition
but now it needs a bit of tender loving care.
And that's exactly what it's getting.
Mick, that paint job's coming along OK.
What about you - where has your creative drive put you?
Here we now have one of the scenes which you are going to be doing
-and you're going to start colouring this in.
-YOU are going to start colouring this in.
-For me, this is colouring by numbers almost.
-I hope so.
No problems at all!
You don't want to mess it up cos it's kind of permanent!
I'm going to keep that close by, at my feet. There we go.
My first masterpiece seems to be drawing quite a crowd already.
He's the artist, I'm just painting by colours.
That's two of the artwork panels underway,
just the small matter of the gloss on the seating to go.
-Ah, the smell of new paint!
-Hello, hello, hello.
Is that my wood?
It is, I have your 3 x 1 here
with the slightly planed edge as requested.
-Lovely job, very nice!
-You like that?
-Good work, Baker!
-Nice smell. What is it, pine?
-It is pine, yeah.
My role in all of this - as instructed by boss Bradbury -
is to replace some of the old, rotten seating slats.
I thought things were going great guns until I've seen the back.
Julia, should this be glossed as well?
We've got to clear all this first
and we've got a bit of artwork to finish.
-"Yes" is the answer?
-Just get on with your...
Why have you put the green paint down?
-You know me, I like to do AT LEAST three things at once.
-Got any screws?
-Billy's your man.
There's still quite a lot in store for the shelter
over the next couple of hours.
Here's what's coming up for you in the rest of the programme.
'Adam and Ellie go head-to-head in a chilli sauce challenge.'
-He's a wuss!
'And after the week's weather forecast,
'we'll be revealing the finished sea shelter.'
Well, while Matt and Julia are busy up at the shelter,
I've found my own way to make Cromer's beach shine.
-And I've recruited a band of helpers. Are you ready for it?
Almost half a million people flock to Cromer's sandy beaches every year
and some like to leave their mark.
An average of 2,700 pieces of litter are found on every mile of UK beach.
My name's Lauren and I work for the Marine Conservation Society.
Does anyone know what we are going to be doing today?
Ooh, lots of hands. Yep.
-Picking up litter.
-Is everyone ready?
OK, gang. Off we go.
This beach looks pretty clean to me, but let's see what we can find.
-Do you think that's natural or...?
-Is that shredded skin?
It looks like it is, doesn't it? Yeah. It could be from an orange.
Oh, no, that's definitely a bit of rubber or something, isn't it?
It very much looks like it's the end of a balloon...
-This is the balloon stop here, where the balloon sits.
What do you think happened to the rubber of the balloon, then?
It could be still out at sea, it could have blown back inland.
We just really don't know but animals can eat them
and they can end up in their stomachs
and cause them real problems.
-The problem is that
it takes such a long time to break down.
-How long do you think it might last?
-Two or three years?
Oh, it's a good guess, but I'd say much, much more than that,
-probably 30 years, maybe, if it ended up in the sea.
-The balloon thing, I think.
It's amazing what you can find on the beach, isn't it?
I suppose sometimes they don't really realise
what they're doing, do they?
-No, they just forget about wildlife.
Chucking these cans and bottles, like, up the cliff, on the beach.
Looks like a belt thing.
-Thrown off of a boat, probably.
-They should really take more care, shouldn't they?
Be honest with me, girls, have you ever dropped litter on a beach?
-No, I always...
-Cross your heart?
What do you think about people who just dumps things
without even thinking?
They're being cruel to nature.
It's sort of killing the planet, really.
The children today seem incredibly enthusiastic about it.
Yeah, it is all about trying to change people's attitudes
and their behaviour, that's one great first step.
The other steps that we use are, you know,
we must collect as much data as we can.
We've got thousands of volunteers
out on the coastlines all over the UK
doing exactly what the children are doing here today,
and if we can try and build that data set up,
we've got the evidence then to shape campaigns
to try and solve the problem
and use it to make change up at high levels
and also within industry practices as well.
-What's the most worrying thing that you find?
Plastics are very, very bad.
They make up over half of what we find on UK beaches everywhere.
They are so sturdy, they will just get smaller and smaller and smaller
and they're collecting in large areas,
way out there in the ocean, in big sort of litter soups
and one of them, which is the largest in the world -
there's five -
the largest, in the North Pacific is the size of Texas,
so it's causing not only problems on the beaches here
but also out at sea.
-Goodness me, what's that? A sock?
-Two, in fact.
-We found a T-shirt.
All he needs now is a pair of shorts and he's got a full outfit!
11 children, one hour, one beach and three full bags of rubbish.
-What's your reaction to that, then?
Well done, team. You've done a great job today.
Just one bit of bad news, you've got to put it all back into bags,
but then I've got a treat for you.
Right, kids. Ice creams! You've all washed your hands, haven't you?
After that dirty work.
'If you want to get involved in a beach clean like this,
'go to our website for more information.'
Well, come to think of it, this could come in very handy later on.
Off we go! Bye!
'With John's ice cream, a bit of music from these guys
'and a couple of burgers, it looks like we're in for a good night.'
It's all happening here now.
These lads have turned up to help us celebrate.
Yep, the boy band are warming up!
We'll have a bit of a singsong and something to eat, but actually,
-what is happening with the barbecue?
We do need something to spice the barbecue up a little bit.
Who better to do that than our own fiery redhead, Mr Henson?
Deep in the heart of the Norfolk countryside,
someone is cooking up a tropical storm.
'Glyn Kirpalani is the hottest thing to come out of Norfolk
'since English mustard.
'He makes chilli sauce and it's seriously hot.'
I knew this would happen.
Of all the people to go and check out some chillies, it had to be me.
I'm not a great man for spice.
When I go for a curry, I have an omelette.
'Not only does he make his own sauce, he grows his own chillies.'
-Good to see you.
-Nice to meet you.
My father's from Trinidad and he used to give us
his own version of hot sauce every weekend with a Sunday roast
or a Caribbean curry and we got addicted.
Well, in my family, the closest we got to hot sauce was gravy,
so I'm not a great one for heat.
Can you tell the grade from mild through to very hot?
There is a Scoville scale that scientists have devised
to measure the heat of chillies.
It varies from nought to 16 million,
which is chemically refined chilli oil.
-Crikey! There's one here that says "Police Pepper Spray!"
-The bulk of my sauces are made
with Scotch Bonnet chilli peppers,
which are commonly grown in the Caribbean and Africa
and they are pretty hot.
Yeah, you wouldn't want to eat it raw like an apple.
Why did it all come about?
It seems ridiculous eating something that's so hot.
How did people introduce chillies to food?
In the days of African slavery in the Caribbean,
the slaves weren't given the best of...
scraps of meat and what have you, by the plantation owners.
They used to flavour their food with hot spices, hot chillies.
Consequently, they started developing hot sauces
using locally available Scotch Bonnet Caribbean peppers
and also English mustards, which the plantation owners
would take out with them from England,
often made in Norfolk and... So I've brought it back.
-Incredible, an amazing history.
-Yes, there is history to it.
Glyn has recently launched a community growing scheme.
He sells his seedlings to growers with more space than him.
He then buys back the fruits of their labour to make his sauce.
Where are these going?
These two trays have to go over to Holkham, which is a lovely old estate
-and they're going to grow them for me in their ancient orangeries.
Yeah, but before they go, I want you to taste my hot sauce
and show what kind of man you are.
Well, I struggle with mashed potato with too much black pepper on it,
goodness knows what your sauce is going to do to me.
I'll toughen up, I'll give it a go.
So Glyn wants me to try his chilli sauce.
All I need now is some poor,
unsuspecting individual to share my pain.
And I think I know just the person.
-It's the lovely Ellie Harrison.
-Now then, Henson.
-How are you, all right?
-All right, you?
-What's all this?
-This is the Chilli Challenge.
-Glyn is Mr Chilli of Norfolk.
He makes these amazing chilli sauces
and I'm a complete wuss when it comes to hot things.
I'm an omelette boy,
so I needed a bit of support. How about you, do you like hot food?
I'm a korma girl, that's as far as it goes.
I've got the most pathetic palate. Oh, dear!
-We're going to have a bit of a taste-off here.
-A bit of a Chilli challenge. Ladies first.
-This is our very hot sauce.
-OK, nibble away, I say.
-I've just gone for mainly biscuit.
-Look at that, you're a total cheat!
All biscuit. Dig in, come on. Oh!
-That hot already?
-There's some tissues there
if you want to bathe your blisters that have just formed on your lip.
You've got a sweaty top lip, very elegant(!) Come on, keep it coming.
-He's a wuss!
-My mouth is on fire but that is great.
-I'm enjoying the flavour.
-You dig in.
-I've nearly eaten it all!
I know, I'm done. I'm done with the chillies, thank you.
I'd like to announce...
cos I'm the judge of this as well as a contender...
-..that I win the Chilli Challenge.
A bit biased, I think, perhaps. Fair enough.
Glyn'd like these plants delivered to the local estate,
they're going to a nearby farm.
-They're going to Holkham.
-Where are you off to?
If you take those, I'm off to look at some cows.
Very nice. I'll have some yoghurt on the way! Thanks very much.
-See you later.
Well, as loser of the Chilli Challenge,
I'm now on delivery duties,
so these are going to Holkham's head gardener.
Holkham is one of our grandest country estates
and has surveyed the north Norfolk coast since the late 1700s.
Glyn's chillies are destined for the original Georgian walled garden.
The man responsible for this curious collaboration is Tim Marshall.
-Here you go, Tim.
-Ooh, brilliant. More Scotch Bonnets.
-Palm them off on you.
-I'm not a big fan of chillies.
Oh, I don't know how you can go wrong with these,
they're beautiful, beautiful.
Why is Holkham involved in Glyn's community growing scheme?
Well, it's just the pleasure of growing plants
and trying some new varieties and types of sauces, really.
-I love the hot sauces.
It seems quite extraordinary having what I guess would be considered
quite a modern fruit in this beautiful glasshouse.
In these structures they did grow
some quite unusual plants in the past,
things like pineapples, melons, cucumbers
because the greenhouse we're in at the minute
is a sunken greenhouse,
so it's very easy to regulate the temperature
because it's a good insulator.
-So ideal for the more tropical things like pineapples.
-Pineapples in here to service the Great Hall.
-Yeah, for the hall.
In the 19th-century, it'd have been a great delicacy.
All the head gardeners would have been competing with each other
to grow these exotic fruits.
Gosh, I wonder what they'd have made of chillies back then.
I don't think they'd have been too popular, to be honest.
Well, Glyn...job done.
But as well as tending to Glyn's chillies,
Tim's spent the last three years painstakingly restoring Holkham's
vast walled garden
and I can't resist taking a peek before I go.
This must be the grandest walled garden I've ever seen,
it's beautiful, isn't it?
Yeah, it's a pretty big size, it's six and a half acres
and usually gardens with these houses,
the larger the garden, the bigger the house
because this was to produce food for the workers and estate owners.
-And Holkham Hall is huge.
-It is a big size, it's a good-sized house.
What sort of things are you growing here?
Now we are growing more aesthetic, pretty flowers
because we just haven't got the labour to fill it up with veg
like it would have been in the past.
-But it's not just the walled garden that needs managing at Holkham,
nearly 24,000 acres are farmed here, so I can't pass up the opportunity
to have a look at their marshland-grazed cattle.
Stockman John Smith has a reputation for being
one of the best in the business.
He single-handedly looks after more than 500 beef cattle,
which is no mean feat, I can tell you.
-'I'm helping John take his bull away from the cows.'
They're listening to you, they're coming.
Let's get them through, they're doing well.
You certainly need well-behaved cattle
if you're looking after 500 all on your own.
Got a couple of helpers just to get them across the road.
Go on, then! Go on, girls. There's a good girl.
What a fantastic looking bull. Come on then, fella.
-Goodness me, John, that was very easy.
-It were, yeah.
And you're taking the bull out now, why?
He's been in now for ten weeks, so with a bit of luck
he should have all these in calf by now,
so it's time for him to come out.
And in your eyes, what makes a good stockman, then?
I always think observation.
You should be able to stand, like we're doing now -
probably people don't think we're working -
but if you can stand looking at cows, that is how you learn.
I'm sure you're right. You learn to have an eye for it, don't you?
You can spot a problem in amongst a herd very quickly
and spot good animals and not so good ones.
That's right, yeah.
-Let's get him out, shall we?
This Angus bull is getting a bit fired up
because there's a neighbour next door roaring,
so he's ploughing into the weeds there,
he's got burrs all over his head now.
Steady, fella, steady. They are powerful animals.
I'm glad I'm this side of the fence. Lovely job.
The bull's nearly a ton of pure muscle,
so John and I are on our mettle
as we guide him into the trailer and away from his harem.
-Go on, fella. Oh, he's lovely and quiet, isn't he?!
That's fantastic, all of your animals are so...well-behaved.
They have their moments.
As we've got all these ladies in,
it's a good opportunity to treat them for parasites.
This fly spray keeps the flies off the cows that irritate them
and the flies can get very active when the weather warms up,
and they can cause infections like mastitis,
which is an infection in the udder, where the udder swells up
and becomes very sore and they can get into the animal's eyes
and then you get biting lice and mosquitoes as well.
It should protect them against all of those things.
As a farmer, you drive around the countryside looking over the hedge,
wondering what other people are getting up to
and it's lovely for me to come here and meet John and see what he's up to here on the marshes,
which is very different to my farm at home.
He's got a good herd here. They're lovely cattle.
Because these cows are grazed on the marshland,
they make for great-tasting beef.
I reckon a few burgers from the Holkham Estate would go down a treat
at our celebration party - that's if we finish the shelter, of course.
'Back at the sea shelter, the undercoat's on,
'the wood's replaced,
'and now it's my turn to get artistic.'
I think it's quite nice, don't you?
-If you do that with your head.
-Yeah, it looks better when you do that.
Yeah, that looks good.
-Have you decided which panel yours is going on?
Maybe one round the back.
-Whatever you might say,
-mine is much further along than yours at the moment.
Thomas the Tank Engine!
Yeah, it is very Thomas, you're right.
'I'm sure Thomas and his friends would welcome an original Baker
'in their engine shed!'
-Hey, guys. You'll never guess who this is.
-Hello, my name's John Craven.
-We need a stand-in.
He's so busy, sometimes we need somebody else. Can you do it?
Are you available?
I always tell my colleagues I'm much better looking than he is.
And I must say, a nice, similar line of sweaters going on!
Well, the weather's on the turn
so time really is of the essence if we want this paint to dry.
We could have predicted it,
look at this, it's coming down in bucket-loads,
but to be honest, that is why you need a shelter.
John Craven's still here. John, come on in and do the weather link for us.
There we go, straight down that camera.
Here's the Countryfile weather forecast for the week ahead.
-It really is John Craven.
-You've got the job!
'In the space of just a couple of days,
'we've helped turn this much-loved but sadly neglected sea shelter
'into something more befitting Cromer,
'the jewel in north Norfolk's crown.'
'Julia's been busy with a paintbrush
'and I've used local wood to replace some of the rotten slats.'
'And what we have now... well, see for yourself.'
'We've got our boy band, local fishermen,
'the Sheringham Shantymen to gee us along.
'They're so weather-beaten, nothing can dampen their spirits.'
'And these Michelin award-winning chefs are a hardy bunch,
'even if it's only to flip burgers in the rain,
'Galton Blackiston is determined to feed up these shantymen.'
'And, of course, no unveiling would be complete without bunting.'
-Not the weather for ice cream, Adam.
-Oh, it really isn't.
My cones are soaking!
What you need to warm yourself up
is some of this hot Norfolk chilli sauce.
How hot is it? I'm not very good with chilli.
It's going to blow your socks off. Take a bite.
-I need some ice cream now!
-It's warm, isn't it?
'Ellie's been charged with keeping the shantymen happy,
'burgers should do it but go easy on the sauce.'
Happy summer holidays, everybody. Here you are, shantymen.
-Can I offer you a soggy burger?
-Thank you very much.
-One for all of you.
-'Well, it may be a bit soggy but it's still posh nosh.'
-Good to see you.
-How are you, sir? Nice to see you.
Here we are, a Michelin star chef flipping my burgers.
-Have a look at this.
-I'm keen to taste them.
-Here comes Ellie with some buns.
-Soggy buns and some condiments there.
-'That chilli sauce really could floor an ox.'
A good burger.
Good chilli sauce. Serious chilli sauce!
Are your eyes watering yet, or is that the rain?
It's a bit of both.
Maybe I shall eat this slowly. Very slowly.
-'But there's no such thing as a free burger,
'so with full tummies all-round, it's time for the shantymen
'to get to work and cheer us all up with a seaside number.'
Well, to be honest, Jules, if it was sunny and dry,
nobody would be using our lovely titivated shelter.
You are right, it would all be in vain
and that would be a dreadful waste!
Indeed. More the merrier but nobody sit down because the seats aren't dry.
-I tell you what,
we'll never forget our summer in Cromer, will we?
I never forget my adventures with you, Matty. Always a pleasure...
-Never a chore.
-Come on, then.
'But no party's complete without the whole team together.'
# Sing ho for a brave and a gallant ship
# And a fast and favouring breeze
# With a bonny crew and a captain too and carry her over the seas
# To carry her over the seas, me boys
# To me true love far away
# For I'm taking a trip on a government ship
# Ten thousand miles away... #
# Then blow, ye winds and blow A-roving I will go
# I'll stay no more on England's shore
# To hear the fiddler's play
# I'm off on the morning train... #
How're your burgers, love? Nice?
# I'm on the move to me own true love
# Ten thousand miles away. #
-Bye from Cromer!
-Have a lovely summer, everyone!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Countryfile heads to the north Norfolk coast. After a rather wet start, they set about restoring a much-loved quintessentially British sea shelter. It's stood proudly overlooking the coast for more than 70 years but has fallen into disrepair so Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury join the local council in an attempt to spruce it up. Matt is sent to find local timber in an historic saw mill to replace some of the shelter's seating whilst Julia meets a local artist who helps her add an artistic touch to the shelter. Meanwhile John Craven is further along the coast helping the National Trust celebrate the 100th anniversary of Blakeney Point and he meets up with some local school children to clean the beach. Ellie Harrison goes fishing for the local delicacy of Cromer crabs and tries to find out why young people are so reluctant to take up fishing for these tasty crustaceans. Adam Henson also has food on his mind as he meets up with a local chilli grower who makes very hot chilli sauce. He also visits the Holkham estate to see how they manage their beef cattle who they graze on the salt marshes.