The team are at the Blenheim estate to celebrate the best of rural Britain at Countryfile Live. John Craven gets a glimpse into one of Blenheim Palace's greatest secrets.
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when our countryside is on show in all of its glory.
And it doesn't come more glorious than this -
the World Heritage-listed landscape of Oxfordshire's Blenheim estate,
of the biggest summer shows of them all...
celebrating the very best that rural Britain has to offer,
We're expecting more than 100,000 visitors through the gates.
Taking in some of the hundreds of stalls, demonstrations
And all with one very simple purpose.
To show country and city folk alike the rural world we all love.
we'll be bringing you the very best that there is to see.
I'll be getting a taste of the finest food,
Harvesting like this was very labour-intensive back in the day,
but with that comes this wonderful sense of community.
Adam's bringing the farmyard to the showground.
COW MOOS I know. It's fun here, isn't it?
John gets a unique glimpse into a forgotten part of Blenheim's past.
I don't think I've ever been into a room by boat before!
And it's Heap versus Henson, the rematch,
Well, there's so much to see and do here at Countryfile Live
and this place is particularly close to my heart.
It's called Farming In Action and it tells the story of farming
through the ages and where our food comes from.
It's a field full of invention and innovation,
centuries of engineering dedicated to a very important job.
Harvesting this from the field, so it can be turned into this
for your table. For hundreds of years,
all a farmer had was a sickle or a scythe to cut the fields of wheat.
But the days of Poldark ended at the 19th century, so I'll leave
those there and I won't be taking me top off for no particular reason.
The age of the machine sped things up quite a bit, especially
That's separating the grain and the straw, the wheat from the chaff.
One man who knows a thing or two about that is Andy Beasley,
from the Thames Valley Vintage Group.
This is such a wonderful bit of kit and it dates, what,
from around the middle of the 1900s? It does indeed.
This is a 1948 Ransomes, Sims Jefferies.
OK, so wheat's being loaded in at the top...
There's a feeder up there, he feeds it through the drum.
There's a big cast iron cylinder in there.
That separates the straw and the grain.
The straw goes out the far end on walkers and the grain comes out the
My next-door neighbour, still to this day, has one of these things.
So my childhood was spent up on a trailer like that and I love this!
I love it! And even the sound, you know?
Just takes me back to my childhood. It's the rhythms, you know?
The put-put-put-put. Can I go up there, Andy? Please do.
How are we doing? All right? We're doing well.
And then we'll just pop that straight up there
and like clockwork, just cut the knots, throw the wheat down into it,
What you've got to look around you, Matt,
is the amount of people it's taking.
So, traditionally, you'd have two people up here on the trailer. Yep.
You've got Francis down there on the tractor.
There'd be one person, just general clearing round
and two people on the far end of the baler.
Obviously, harvesting like this was very labour-intensive, back in the
day, but with that comes this wonderful sense of community
and togetherness and you know, at the end of the day,
you sit down, you have a good meal, you have a really good rest,
and then the next day, you do it all again.
'So, what do we get for all of this hard work?
'Beautiful bales of straw, used in animal feed
'and for bedding, and bags of golden grain.'
it's going to go to a well-known bread manufacturer. Oh, right.
And hopefully, you'll be eating the bread in a fortnight's time.
So, it's going through the full process. It is indeed.
And it's fascinating. Look at all these people.
It's fascinating stuff this, isn't it? To see the old process.
Would you like to come and have a look at this wheat?
Come and have a look. There you are. You can grab a handful of that.
And you can take that home. Isn't that lovely? There you are, mate.
And actually, just behind all of these people here,
you just look at that kind of trip through history, as you go,
because that massive combine harvester that's there,
that's the reality of today, Andy. That's the state-of-the-art, yup.
Indeed. So we've gone from wartime, up to modern time.
Andy, I've really enjoyed that. Matt, great stuff.
Thanks for coming. All the best. Keep smiling. I'm sure you will.
Modern farming may well have moved on, but thanks to these lads,
beautiful machines like this have a new job -
It's not only Matt who's getting well and truly stuck in to the show.
celebrating different aspects of country life.
I'm in my natural habitat. I'm down in the Wildlife Zone
and what I love about being down here is there are so many
hands-on features to capture young minds and imaginations.
Anita's enjoying traditional family fun on the village green.
You'd make a great Countryfile presenter!
And John's the landlord of his own local,
where there are some very familiar faces.
It's a traditional old-fashioned pub and I am in charge.
AS JOHN: Well, I think you'll find, John,
that I'm the one in the charge of the Craven Arms.
With a great choice of beers, wines and spirits, and craft ales,
it's no wonder the business is booming. I must have a double!
That's a good idea, so join the real John Craven later,
when it'll be your round. LAUGHTER
There's a crafty feeling in the air at Countryfile Live this year, with
a whole area dedicated to artistic creations with a country flair.
There's one artist who takes inspiration from her
It's a passion that kick-started an a-moo-sing career change.
My day-to-day job is either painting from my studio in York or
I had a picture of a cow that I really liked and so I thought,
"Oh, well, it would be quite nice to have something in my kitchen
"that's a bit of a window back into my countryside roots."
My dad said, "Well I'll take it to be framed for you."
the guy who owned the framer owned a gallery.
He really liked it and he asked me to paint 20 cows,
so he could do an exhibition and I just kind of went, "OK."
CAMERA CLICKS Yeah, that's a good one. OK.
If you're lying in a field with a camera,
you get to see all the character in their eyes, you experience all
the humour behind it, and so that's always the best process, I find.
When you get that personality across in a painting,
I get a lot of farmers interested in my work,
I have people come and say, "Oh, do you have a longhorn?"
And suddenly, they see pictures of a longhorn,
"You never see paintings of a longhorn!"
You know, "Do you have a British white?"
Highland cows are always going to be a big favourite of mine
and they've just got natural character. All the hair.
And talking of Highlands, I've got a pretty big one coming up!
the subject of Lauren's latest masterpiece -
How has it gone at Countryfile Live? We're a few days in now.
How have people received your work? It's been really good.
It's amazing how many cow fans there are.
Cow fans in the crowd? Pictures of cows?
What's not to love? There's a few out there.
We set you a specific challenge, a Countryfile-related challenge.
How have you got on with that? It wasn't an easy one.
It was great and every cow has such a different personality that it's
just fun to mix it up and stuff and the guys could tell me
so much about him and of course, I know all about him
from the Facebook and Twitter and things like that.
This is the moment of truth. Surely, what you've been waiting for,
for weeks on end! Are you ready to do the big reveal? Let's do it.
Stand round, so you can take a look at this. Let's do it.
Here it is. Oh, my word! How about that?
Look at that! APPLAUSE
That's gorgeous! What do you reckon, everybody?
THEY CHEER Isn't he lovely?
Lovely little Archie! You've absolutely captured him beautifully.
That's his eye, that's his glint, and really lovely. Well done!
Right, where shall we start the bidding?
Get your chequebook out. You'll need to dig deep for this one!
Brilliant work! Thank you. Absolutely gorgeous.
Congratulations. Thank you. Beautiful piece of work. Well done.
but a whole host of animals Adam's got on show here this weekend.
And bringing an entire farmyard to the fields of Blenheim means
he's had a bigger challenge than most, making it to the show.
I've always taken great pride in showing our animals and although the
many livestock farmers jump at the chance at going to shows
and what better place to showcase ours than at Countryfile Live?
Come on, Archie. Let's get you washed.
Archie loves being the centre of attention
Given these Highlands are bred to withstand all sorts of weather
conditions, a cold shower won't do him any harm.
You'd have thought it would be easy to drench a bull, wouldn't you?
But because of the natural oils in his hair,
the water just beads up and runs off and that's how these Highlands
stay warm and dry up in the Scottish mountains,
when it's sleeting, about 1,000ft up.
I'm just trying to give a bit of a shine to Archie's coat,
but if I was preparing an animal for a competitive agricultural show,
the work would have started months ago.
There's shampooing, clipping, sanding horns, oiling feet.
The amount of work is just incredible.
I think he's going to look quite smart.
Archie is always popular when we put him on show, but as well
as looking good, our cows need to be on their best behaviour.
So I'm keen that they get used to being handled.
Another cattle breed we're taking are the Gloucesters
and they've got to be one of my favourites. This is Camilla.
She's a lovely old cow, great example of the breed,
lovely mahogany colour, big body, with a white line down her tail.
And with the animals at the show, temperament is everything.
There's going to be so many visitors there.
And I'm just giving Camilla here a refresher course on the halter, just
to make sure she's nice and steady, but she's being a good girl.
We'll be taking a few of our Berkshire pigs too.
I've got three in here to choose from.
There's the boar, I'm going to leave him behind, and then two sows.
she's got to stay with the boar to get pregnant,
and then the little one here, she's got a really good temperament.
She's lovely and friendly, so I think I'll take her.
But unlike a cow that you put a halter on, a pig, I've got to try
and wangle her out from the others, using the temptation of pig nuts
and a board. It could be quite tricky, so wish me luck.
Go on, you go out that way. That's it! Perfect.
Made that look very easy, but now I've just got to get
her around into the yard and into the stable.
When you're moving a pig, if you have a board, they tend not
to go where they can't see, so you just put the board in their vision.
Just like the cow, we want them nice and placid and easy to handle.
And the Berkshire are known for their temperament.
They're known as a lady's pig, a nice little pig,
'Demonstrating to the public how we work with
'and handle farm animals is an important part of showing them.
'It's one thing getting everything ready in the familiar
'surroundings of the farm...' Come on, Dumbledore.
'..but of course that's only half the story.
'Everything has to be good to go on the showground by the time
'the weather's most definitely working against us.
'But the team battle on and get the pens up and the bedding down,
And here come the sheep for the shearing demonstration.
like the sow that I was getting into the loose box
back in the farmyard, and they're very friendly.
And last but not least, the cattle need unloading.
COW MOOS I know! It's fun here, isn't it?
It's always quite a nerve-racking moment, moving livestock.
And now Archie and his wife are in their pen
and they'll make a fantastic attraction.
The next morning, with the sun shining, it's showtime.
The gates open and the public pour in, and as predicted,
For me, this makes it all worthwhile,
a chance to see people learning more about the farming lifestyle I love.
Oh, now he's... Well, it's absolutely wonderful.
After all that hard work and a huge amount of effort,
you never quite know whether it's going to work.
It is all coming together beautifully.
The children, adults, are just loving meeting the piglets.
being gorgeous with all the visitors.
Countryfile Live's not just about farming
and I've got 60 seconds to show you just what else is going on.
top-notch, world-class Yorkshire chefs.
What have you cooked there? That's great.
It's salmon with asparagus and capers. That's gorgeous! No, er...
Or learn to make inedible food with top-notch troublemakers.
Right, let's get these mud pies on the go.
Be amazed by the tricks of show ponies. Woohoo!
Or dance up a storm on the village green. Thank you.
And if all that wasn't enough, you can
listen to the coolest new music from John Craven's boozer.
Our summer show sits within the grounds of the World Heritage site,
Palace and parkland, 2,000 acres of forest and woodlands -
the job of looking after Blenheim is very much a local affair.
Head forester and local lad Nick Bainbridge has
worked on the estate since leaving school.
I've always been an outdoor lad, so always wanted to do something to do
with the countryside, so I applied for a two-year apprenticeship
scheme back in 1986, so 30 years ago.
And you've never looked back since? Absolutely not, no.
'Nick does a lot of work with the community around Blenheim, giving
'some locals special permission to come and work in the forest.'
because these could help save your life one day.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service come to this wood about once
a month to practise their chainsaw skills.
These guys are part of a specialist rescue team and despite the big
red engine, fighting fires isn't actually their main job.
A very clean piece of felling there, Chris.
I'm surprised to see you guys with chainsaws, not hoses.
The main thing we actually do is road traffic collision.
You think of a car going down a verge into the trees or bushes,
we might use a chainsaw to gain entrance.
Trees on roads, trees on buildings, trees on cars, which is
We're the only chainsaw crew within Oxfordshire.
OK, so we've got a good relationship with Blenheim,
got quite a large woodland, so it gives us a large range of trees,
so it's good for us to get out and get hands on the saw.
I've brought my own gloves and helmet because I do like felling
trees and getting involved. Is there anything I can help with today?
I'm helping Chris and the lads fell a birch tree, using a rope,
That's great. That's pretty much dead in line with your line.
Yeah, it's done what we wanted it to do.
'It's more than about just training today.
'Blenheim are donating this timber to a very good local cause.'
It's not bad having the firefighters, a bit of extra
manpower in the forest. Absolutely. Wish they were here all the time.
'It's all hands to the pump, to get the logs piled up.
'That's the fire crew done, but I still have some work to do.
'Rick Mower runs a social enterprise in nearby Oxford,
'It combines carpentry with community work,
'using woodcraft to help people overcome personal challenges.
'Rick has struck up a relationship with Blenheim.
'If there's wood going a-begging, he's ready to snap it up.'
We make a huge amount of tables and chairs and cabinets
and all kinds of things out of wood. The difference with us
is that 85% of our workforce come from different backgrounds,
perhaps, so people with offending histories,
And do you find that working with timber is particularly
good for skills and confidence? There's something very organic
about wood and it's very tactile and also you can teach somebody
how to make something very beautiful that a retailer or a private
customer will buy quite quickly, so they can make stuff that raises
their self-esteem very, very quickly.
It's another busy day in the workshop. Last year,
the team spent 3,000 hours creating nearly 800 wooden products.
Tim Farrant has been coming here for 18 months.
He and the team are making a bespoke coffee table
just for Countryfile Live, so I'm going to lend them a hand.
Well, we've already pre-done these holes, so it's pretty much
ready to go, so if you want to line those holes up there.
'Tim's a professional carpenter, but what brought him
'here in the first place was a dark time in his life.'
So, tell me, how did you get into this? A lot of history really.
I started off as a professional carpenter.
Unfortunately, I had to give up work to look after my elderly,
sick mother. Not so long after that, she passed away
and my mental health deteriorated quite a bit.
And not so long after that, I actually had a fit
and was diagnosed epileptic, so as a professional carpenter,
So I've been coming to the RAW Workshop for nearly 18 months.
12 months of that has been voluntary.
'Thankfully, Tim's epilepsy is now under control
'and he's back to being a full-time carpenter.
'Not only can he do the job he loves, he can help others too
'because everyone here has been through hard times.'
We're not just a carpentry workshop.
We are more of a community, a sort of family.
'Just one more job - to make sure it's a true original.'
This is such an inspirational place, packed to the rafters with
a kind of positivity and helped by wood from a World Heritage site.
I really feel quite chuffed to be a small part of it.
On the day of the show itself, the guys are busy selling their wares
and bringing some local community spirit to Countryfile Live.
MATT: From furniture to food, the sheer variety of what's on show
demonstrates how our rural world touches every aspect of our lives.
Now, there's nothing unusual in queuing up for food somewhere
like Countryfile Live, but we have met up with a chef who thinks
he's come up with a game-changer in the world of festival food.
Tom Godber-Ford Moore grew up with shooting.
He picked up a gun when he was a young man
It's a popular pastime in many parts of rural Britain
But for Tom, it's about more than just sport. It's about food.
Game for me ticks all the boxes that I want, in terms of buying
Pheasant, partridge, rabbit, and many more.
More than half the game stock shot in the UK is exported overseas
and Tom wants it to be sold and eaten on home soil.
The best thing about game meat for me as a lover of big,
strong flavours, is that it doesn't really get much stronger than this.
Because of the wild plants that it's been eating,
and the work that it's done during its life,
it develops vast amounts of flavour and texture within the meat.
Nobody wants to waste any element of anything when you're running
a business. However, when you're dealing with meat, it's even more
important. I mean, it's come from a live animal.
We started off using the breasts to make the goujons
and then of course, we were left with a load of thighs,
so they're quite a difficult meat to cook just as they are.
They require quite slow, long cooking,
so we mince them up and they've got this lovely yellow fat.
It's only natural to turn them into something delicious like a burger.
'Back at the show, Tom is cooking up what he prepared in his kitchen.'
Just tell me a little bit about where this meat's actually
come from, then. It comes from the middle of Exmoor.
I mean, it's all shot game over the shooting season.
so it's really important that you cook it quickly.
The breadcrumbs form a bit of a protective coating.
Do you often find that your customers are quite
intrigued in the way that the meat is harvested in the first place,
I don't think there's anything to hide in the game shooting world
when it comes to the meat that's by-product of that. Yeah.
If anybody does have any trouble with it, then I ask them
maybe, if they are a meat-eater, to look a bit closer to home,
'It's time to put it to the taste test.'
It's very tasty. Yeah, it's different. There you go.
Mm, it's really nice! That's the wild boar.
'Tom's food is giving people here today a taste of something
'they might never have tried before and he's not the only one.'
ELLIE: There's a whole host of foodie offerings here
and a whole lot more, and with the show in full swing, the crowds are
enjoying everything, from celebrity chefs to chainsaw sculptures.
But as I found out when I visited site a couple of days ago,
one of the main events was touch and go right up to the last minute.
Not that many people get to see this side of the show.
Now, there's less than 24 hours to go.
They're on to the last big push now, but there is still a lot to do.
It's a sprawling site and everywhere I go, there's activity.
I'm going to give you a sneak preview of one of the main
attractions here, the Countryfile Theatre.
They're just in rehearsals at the moment,
but quite soon, this is going to be full of acrobats,
there'll be animal antics, and of course, some familiar faces.
Cirque Bijou has been given the mammoth task of choreographing
the event. Last year, they set the bar high.
This year, they're aiming to raise it by reinterpreting
the opening Countryfile credits in acrobatic form.
At the moment though, rain has stopped rehearsals in their tracks,
with artistic director Julian Bracey.
What have we got lined up for this year's show?
You may remember, we've got the wild swimmer,
but he's going to be on a tightwire, suspended across the stage.
We're going to recreate the music with a live orchestra here.
We've also got a violinist who is going to fly through
the air on a crane. We've got acrobatic horses,
which are going to be somersaulting through the air.
So we've got a really action-packed show.
All we need now is for the sun to shine. I've been reliably informed
by the Countryfile weather presenters the sun is going to shine
throughout the whole festival. I love that optimism!
'For now, though, it's a total wash-out, as the rain sets in.
'With preparations on hold, I track down the performers
'and it looks more like dress-down Friday than a dress rehearsal.'
Here they all are. Not rehearsing outside in the rain.
What a nightmare. It's a bit of a worry, isn't it?
It has been a bit challenging this afternoon.
And Jake, you're up on the high line, can you rehearse at all
I did get up there today and it was really windy and I came
down thinking, all right, now I know what my limit is with the wind.
The line that I'm on, when it gets wet, it gets really stretchy
and it gets really heavy. And it also gets slippy.
so I have to make a decision about whether I can do that or not.
Fair enough. You're in charge of the music.
How does it challenge you when it's really pouring like this?
We've got wooden, very expensive instruments -
one of them's even a few hundred years old - on stage, so
if it gets wet in any way, it could potentially damage it permanently.
And then with the wind, we've got our music stands, which
act as lovely sails, so we've got to make sure we tape them to the floor.
But luckily, we've got a team of pros.
'It might be pouring down outside but the show must go on.
'Luckily, there's one man who is always a ray of sunshine,
'friend of Countryfile and show compere Jon Culshaw.'
Yes, we might as well embrace it, eh?
So what do you reckon some of our Countryfile faces would
AS JOHN CRAVEN: I think John Craven would love it.
It's Countryfile meets Glastonbury, with lots of reporting and talking
And Matt Baker, of course? AS MATT: Well, I think, you know,
in the rain, he'd be so chipper and, you know, looking towards the
camera like that and sort of pointing, trying to reach through
your telly, into your living room, cos it's warmer where you are.
the big question is, what will tomorrow bring?
just as the Countryfile weather presenters predicted.
The crowds arrive and the show goes on.
Please welcome, here they are, Cirque Bijou, ladies and gentlemen.
16 performances entertaining 32,000 people.
Jake hit the heights with his highwire,
the music soared and the horses went head over heels.
It was fantastic. Amazing. I enjoyed all the acrobatics. Yeah.
I saw it last year and I thought it was much better this year.
I thoroughly recommend it. Yeah, it's great.
ANITA: While the acrobats are getting all the applause
over in the theatre, out in the showground
it's the animals that are proving to be the stars of the show.
And I'm about to get more hands-on than most.
So I'm feeling a little bit nervous today. I can put it off no longer.
Today is the day that I perform in front of a live crowd in the
Dog and Duck Show. The what, I hear you cry?!
Well, it is exactly what it says on the tin.
It's kind of like sheepdog trials, but with ducks instead of sheep.
Luckily, I'm not alone in this endeavour.
I have the support of my instructor, Stuart Barnes, who I met
a few weeks ago, along with his four-legged and feathered friends.
Indian runner ducks are flightless and flock together like sheep,
so they're perfect for this kind of training.
Stuart paired me up with Border Collie Stripe.
'Was my brief foray into the bird herding world enough to
'There's no ducking out of it now. It's the big day.
'Stuart's dogs and ducks are rescue animals and natural performers.'
Oh, they're so gorgeous. Do you think Stripe remembers me?
Of course, yeah. She has a very good memory. Aw, good.
I mean, this is going to be great entertainment.
But there is a serious point to why you do this, isn't there? Of course.
Most of the dogs I have are ex-pet dogs gone wrong,
so I rehabilitate them and I'm trying to get the message out
there about understanding dogs a little bit better than we do.
No-one has ever trained a Collie dog to run around sheep or ducks
or geese, they do it instinctively, so what
we do is just put commands on it and take advantage of their instincts.
'Well, let's put those instincts to work.
'We're off to the central ring and I need to drum up support.
'Stripe and I have to get the ducks to go through a tunnel
'and down a slide, into a lovely paddling pool.
'All but one straight through the tunnel. I'm happy with that.'
'persuading the quack pack to go down the slide.'
I've actually lost my confidence now. I can't even get them up there.
All right, let's see if I can do it with Stripe. Left.
Stripe, right. You're doing great. We've nailed it, every single duck!
Last one up's a chicken! There he goes! We've got them all in!
We'll take a team effort! Well done. Phew. I was so nervous!
That's a big weight off your shoulders! Nervous.
JOHN: A few hundred yards away from the showground lies the jewel
in the crown of this estate, Blenheim Palace.
A masterpiece of British architecture, set
in a stunning landscape designed by the renowned Capability Brown.
Visitors flock here from across the world to experience its beauty
But within the shadows of this great house lies another structure
It's the magnificent Grand Bridge. It's one of my favourite bridges.
I've passed it many times and like everyone else,
I never knew that inside that bridge there's a secret world that's
been untouched, unnoticed, for centuries.
'I'm taking a closer look with my guide, Roger File,
'who is Blenheim's property director.'
What's the history of the bridge, Roger?
Well, the bridge was built in the early 18th century,
It was designed by Vanburgh and sat astride the River Glyme
and was used as a folly, effectively, for the family to
So, just using the outside of the bridge, was that, then?
No, inside the bridge, there are about 30 different rooms. Never!
Some larger, some smaller. Really?! Yes, yes.
So they could entertain properly in the lavish way the Georgians
liked to. Goodness me! So this was a real fun bridge. Yes.
Yeah, it was a party bridge. And what happened to it? Well,
when Capability Brown came along at the end of the 18th century, lakes
were an important central feature of all of his landscapes,
so he decided to flood the River Glyme valley,
built a dam at the end of where the lake is now,
and the bottom third of the bridge is now fully submerged.
So, what, for maybe more than 200 years, it's been derelict inside?
'I'm about to join one of only a handful of people who've set
'since they were abandoned more than two centuries ago.'
This room, a large amount of the original plaster is still intact.
What do you think this room might have been used for?
It will have been one of the rooms for entertaining.
No, this has been built up over the years. Rubble has been put in here.
But we're probably standing on at least six or eight
so our heads are up close to where the original cornice
mouldings would have been round the edge of the building.
So, a much taller room with a fantastic ceiling.
Never would I have dreamed that this place was inside the bridge.
If you look through here, we can see some more partially submerged rooms.
Yeah. And this gives you a good idea of the impact that the flooding
and the creation of the lake has had on the bridge.
It's almost like a sort of bizarre swimming pool. Yes, it is.
Fantastic, isn't it? And what are your plans for it now?
Being exposed for the best part of 300 years has taken its wear
and tear, so we are putting together a project at the moment to
restore the main structure, to restore the external elevations.
'With the bridge slowly deteriorating,
'so Blenheim has brought in cutting-edge technology to help
'preserve this handsome structure and unlock the secrets of its past.'
What's going on here, then? Hiya, John. Nice to meet you.
How are you revealing these secrets of the bridge?
Well, we're essentially creating a 3-D map of the inside
and outside of the bridge with the fancy equipment we've got here.
You've just come up the spiral staircase, along the corridor
and turned the corner and we're situated here now.
So you're actually seeing what this bridge
looked like from the inside 200-odd years ago?
We've captured all the graffiti that has been left here over
So it's quite an amazing project. Fantastic.
required by the architects to come up with their proposals
and their specifications for the full restoration of the bridge.
'It's fascinating to see what lies inside this bridge.
'So many little clues around every turn.
'But Roger has saved the best room till last and he assures me
We'd like to show you, John, before we leave the bridge... Here?
At water level? Yes, we call this the Sunken Room. Right.
You can only access it today on the water.
other than the way we're going in now.
I don't think I've ever been into a room by boat before!
How many people do you reckon have been in here since its heyday?
I think not more than a dozen. I feel very privileged then, Roger!
The Georgians liked to show things off, they liked to have
decadent displays, and this is sort of part of that, I think.
'What a great honour it's been to reveal the secrets of this
'Although the rooms will stay 'hidden to the public, the
'Grand Bridge itself will now be preserved and remain forever grand.'
MATT: Back at the showground, I've also been delving into our pastoral
past and have come up with some surprising revelations of my own.
Well, vintage is very fashionable these days and some
farmers are going back to the traditional ways of producing food.
Well, one dairy farmer is going right back
and resurrecting a recipe from the days of the Mongolian Empire.
I'm Jason Barber. I'm a dairy farmer.
And I've made the first pure milk vodka, it's made entirely from milk.
My family have been milking cows for over 300 years.
The milk goes into the cheese and then, what's left,
I knew that Genghis Khan used to milk his horses into a spirit
and as I'm a dairy farmer, I thought I'd better make mine out of milk,
Jason's boozy bovine drink may at first seem radical,
but it's following in the footsteps of his family's farming
tradition of diversifying to meet demand.
Jason's own 21st-century dairy diversification involves
turning the milk from these moos into booze.
And if you're wondering how it's done, here's the sciencey bit!
The milk is separated into curds and whey.
The whey contains a sugar that is used to create the alcohol.
The milk sugar is fermented to make a milky beer.
This beer is then distilled into a pure spirit.
It's then blended, filtered and distilled -
Is this a viable idea for the future of other dairy farmers,
Well, back at the showground, I'm catching up with Jason to find
out more about his take on dairy diversification.
Jason, how are we doing? Good to see you. Not too bad.
Everything all right? Very good indeed. This is the famous vodka.
This is the vodka. Have you tried it before? No, I haven't.
I can't believe actually how clear that is.
Because I guess most people would think it's going to be milky,
it's going to be a little bit cloudy.
When you feed your cows something different,
does the vodka taste slightly different?
Because with our goats, when we give them something, cabbage,
By that time, you've taken the cheese out and you've taken
So every batch is going to taste exactly the same? It should do.
'I cannot believe that this is from a cow.
'And it's got me wondering whether anyone else would have a clue.
'Time to find out.' Have you done your performance yet? I have, yes.
So you're all right to have a little taste of this, Mr Morris Man? Yes.
And I'd be interested to know what you think it might be made from.
Animal or vegetable? Go for it and tell me what you think.
All made from milk? Yeah, there you go. Made from milk, you say? I do.
100% milk. And it's actually alcoholic? Well, you tell me.
'Well, it might not be to everybody's tastes, but
'I've spotted some familiar faces in the crowd, who I might be able to
'tempt with a tipple, weather folk Carol Kirkwood and John Hammond.'
Here we are. How are we doing? All right. Yeah. Are you all right?
Would you like to try some vodka? Do you fancy it? Oh, twist our arms.
I think so, Matt. OK, go on. You can have...
I've got a few left, so go for it. Thank you. And do you know what?
We're just about to go into the weather forecast actually.
So why don't we do this as a weather link? Sounds like a plan.
Can you combine your taste with a bit of a weather forecast for us?
Ooh, I think there's a bit of a warm front coming on.
There is a blizzard going on in my mouth right now, Matthew! Yeah?
Now, here's the five-week weather forecast.
My eyes firmly fixed on the wet weather and 19 degrees. Can I shift
it, the wet weather is still close by. We have pushed the wet weather
through England and Wales. No longer the potential for 26 or 27. Not far
away from the North of Scotland or back towards northern Scotland.
Still signifying low-pressure is very close by in the British Isles.
And Thursday on into Friday, a slow drift of area into low-pressure and
into the North Sea. It's only just there in the far south-west. And
many of us are still wrapped up in the circulation of low-pressure. I
think Friday a combination of sunny spells and showers, not a write off
by any means at all, but certainly not warranting a postcard home for
many. Warmer for a time in the coming week. The driest of the
weather is in the southern areas and wettest in the north and west.
That's We're in Oxfordshire, in the grounds
of the Blenheim estate, for our very own country show,
celebrating all things rural. The crowds seem to be
having a good time, but for two of our team,
things are about to get serious. Every year, we have a Countryfile
clash of the sandy-haired titans, and Tom Heap go head-to-head in a
test of strength, speed, and sanity. Adam was first to the top and
claimed victory. 2016 was just as gruelling,
with a wood sawing competition. So it's 1-1. Now, in 2017,
who is going to take the lead? This year, we've swapped
wood for water. To the riverside! So, here we are at the waterside
for the first-ever There's a fantastic
atmosphere here today, Keen, but clueless, they'll need
some coaching, and who better than the kings of the kayak,
Olympic silver medallists Liam Heath Serious! Have they got motors
in the back of those things? Wow! Liam, Jon, goodness me!
That's serious! Nice to meet you.
Came in there so quickly. Goodness me, good to meet you, Jon.
I'm Tom, nice to see you. What are we doing?
It's your turn next. Any of you guys been in a kayak
before? Any paddling? I have, yeah. I'll be honest.
I have been in a kayak before. Once or twice, but not much.
And I was fairly hopeless. So I'm making
excuses before we get going. Two strong lads here. I think
it's going to be a good race. Before we make complete
fools of ourselves, we've got to congratulate you for
everything you've achieved. Absolutely unbelievable.
Look at this, Team GB. I know. And his pectoral muscles are
bigger than mine, even though It's all about technique,
don't worry. First,
you've got to learn some technique. All they have is a quick crash
course to get them race fit. So we're going to let Tom tire
himself out with lots of short, What I want to see from you is long
ones, it's all about reach. Twist with your right hand
and loose with your left. The key thing to balance
is your head. OK. If you start throwing
your head all over the place, The main thing is you want to plant
the paddle in as solid as you can and move the boat past it.
That's what generates the speed. With their Olympic masterclass over,
it's time to... Oh, dear.
..gracefully get on the water. Out that way, under the bridge,
round the corner, do a turn, It's quite a long one, I'm afraid
to say. 700m today. Goodness me! That's not just a sprint, is it?
Not just a sprint, no. Launching from the pontoon,
the boys will head under the bridge, one paddling either side
of the reeds. They'll cross over at the top
of the course and head back again. First one over
the finishing line wins. as Heap and Henson take
up their starting positions. OK, paddles in the water.
Ready, set, go! It's a strong start for Tom, but
Adam's veering wildly off course. but can he get himself straight,
to close that gap? hunting for each other through
the reeds. Rounding the corner.
And they're head-on! I can't believe it!
Tom's showboating for the crowd! Well, he may regret this because
Adam's bearing down on him now. Adam has made a valiant comeback
but will it be enough? After getting a whole
HEAP of trouble at the start, There we go. My boat was completely
out of control, Tom. Yeah. I just didn't know
how to keep it straight. Look, there's a little motor button
here. Did you not find that? It's obvious! You had an engine!
It looked like you had an engine. I tell you what, Tom, I think
I'm a man of the land. See you later. See you.
CHEERS AND APPLAUSE Well, let's welcome in Team Kayak,
shall we? Just a little bit soggy. Unlucky,
Adam. Well done, Tom. Thank you. Well, that is all we've got time for
from this year's Countryfile Live, it's certainly finished these
two off. Yes, it has indeed. Next week, we'll be on the beautiful
Llyn Peninsula, exploring the wonderful
world beneath its waves. So until then,
from all of us...bye-bye! Phone went,
and it was my sister, Jane, and she said, "It's looking quite
serious, really serious." A short while ago,
Buckingham Palace confirmed
In the Countryfile Summer Special the whole team head to the Blenheim estate in glorious Oxfordshire countryside for a celebration of the best of rural Britain at Countryfile Live. Matt Baker explores the best food, drink and farming on offer, Ellie Harrison meets an aspiring actress turned accidental cow artist, Adam Henson brings the farmyard to the showground, Tom Heap finds out how the forests of the Blenheim estate help the local community, and John Craven gets a unique glimpse into one of Blenheim Palace's greatest secrets.