Surrey Countryfile


Surrey

Anita Rani travels to Surrey to explore the revival of interest in growing hops there. Adam Henson is hoping for the right conditions to get the last of his wheat harvest in.


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Transcript


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The hop harvest is in full swing.

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The bines are being pulled.

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But these aren't the famous hop grounds of Kent.

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This is Surrey, a county which once had a hop industry to rival any,

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and if those guys have anything to do with, it soon will have again.

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I'll be looking at Surrey's hop revival and the part being

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played by one very special variety.

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I know it's not a competition but I prefer the Farnham White.

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-Do you?

-Yes, yes. I love it.

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It's really... You could wear that as a perfume.

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Now, there's a thought.

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Tom's looking at how one predator is helping red squirrels

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win the war against greys.

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How did it emerge that grey squirrels didn't like to live

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where pine martens were present?

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Well, there was some work done in Ireland recently and that

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showed that where pine martens were recovering, the grey squirrels

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went into decline and red squirrels were able to come back.

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Adam's got his hands full on the farm.

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A wheelbarrow full of pigs.

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With just a week to go before the Countryfile ramble for

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Children in Need, Matt's meeting a truly inspiring young person.

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-That's a first for you, isn't it, today?

-Yeah, it is.

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-How tough was that?

-It was very tough.

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-But I made it.

-You did.

-So I'm happy.

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And John's here with some big news.

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Out of many thousands of entries,

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these are the final 12 pictures in our photographic competition.

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But which one of them has been voted the overall winner?

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That's what I'll be revealing.

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Surrey - England's most wooded county.

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Autumn sunlight spills through the trees and over meadows.

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And right now, there's one very important harvest going on.

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Hops.

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I've come to Farnham, in the west of the county,

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once the centre of Surrey's hop-growing industry.

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At the industry's height,

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there were nearly 3,000 acres of hop grounds throughout the county.

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But by the start of the 20th century,

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disease had all but wiped out hop-growing in Surrey.

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By the 1970s, there were fewer than 30 acres still in production.

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Hop plants have been used in brewing for more than 1,000 years.

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Its pungent flowers give flavour to our beer,

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and growing them takes age-old skills.

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This is the last commercial hop producer left in Farnham.

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Puttenham hop garden, managed by Bill Biddell.

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Well, I've never seen hops growing so...

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Well, they're very different to a field of barley

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or a field of wheat.

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-So, this is it? These are hops?

-These are the real thing, yes.

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These are Fuggles hops, that's the variety we grow.

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This is what we're looking for.

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-OK.

-That's a very small example.

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That's it. Grab it together.

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-Push around and sniff it.

-Wow.

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And you'll get the bitterness coming through.

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Bitterness, but really fragrant as well.

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It's in the air, Bill. It's all around us.

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Yes, it's all around.

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And that's part of the drying process as well.

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How fast do they grow?

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Well, they grow very fast because in April,

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they're just starting down at the bottom in the ground.

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So they live in the ground all year round.

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Some of these plants, these are about 35 years old.

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And then, in April, they start growing very fast, and we want them

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on the top wire, up there, by 21st June.

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And if they're doing that, we're happy.

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In two months? They grow that high?

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-They're sort of supersonic runner beans.

-That's incredible.

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And is it very difficult to grow?

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Lots of maintenance? Do you have to keep an eye...

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It's very much hands on, yes.

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We need to actually train each hop plant to go up the string.

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So we have handily put a string in here.

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There's a coir string with lots of fronds on it, so the young hops

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at an early stage can actually hang onto those fronds

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and they start moving and twiddling round.

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So somebody has to come and do that? This is quite labour intensive.

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It's hugely labour intensive at various times of the year.

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Once the picking is done,

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it's over to the shed, where the bines are plucked.

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So this is the next bit of the process? This is quite impressive.

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This is where the bines...

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This is called the bine track and this is where they're put up

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individually in order to go through the plucking machine.

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And how long have you had this piece of technology?

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This wonderful bit of technology

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has been with us since, I think, 1962.

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-Fantastic.

-Would you like to have a go?

-It would be rude not to.

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-Couple of gloves.

-Come on.

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-So are you spending the whole summer doing this?

-Just September.

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September.

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-Do you get any nice perks? Free beer?

-Free beer.

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Free ice cream.

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Free ice cream? Done. I'm sold.

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The plucking machine separates the leaves from the hop flowers.

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Then the hops make their way along a series of conveyors,

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where they're sorted by hand and any waste picked out and discarded.

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Finally, they're bagged and transferred to an attic for

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probably the most important part of the process - drying.

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A gift of hops.

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-Do we just grab one?

-We just pull the bags off and drag them along.

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OK.

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'The man in charge of drying is Paul Thompson.

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'His family has been involved in hop-growing

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'and drying for generations.'

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Whoa!

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And in they go. So how are they dried in here?

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Well, they're dried by hot air.

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The air gets blown through the floor, the slatted floor,

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and then it just goes through the hops and out the top.

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-And out the top there?

-Yeah.

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So it's a system that works and has been doing for years and years.

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-Well, yes.

-And how many hours does it take?

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Well, eight hours in here and it reaches

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a temperature of 140 Fahrenheit, and then they're cooled down

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outside because you can't put them in the pockets warm.

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What are the pockets?

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Well, they are the bags you press the hops into.

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Right. Well, let's see that bit of the process.

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'The pockets are filled in a traditional way,

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'using a wooden scuppit.'

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Here we go.

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Oh! This is satisfying.

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-And I think it's filled up.

-Shut the door.

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Yeah.

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Right, and then push the green button on the side.

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That's it.

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MACHINE WHIRS

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The Puttenham Garden pockets bear the emblem of a church bell,

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a sign that they're from the Farnham area.

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It's all part of a tradition

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that stretches back to Surrey's hop-growing heyday.

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But there's an even more important

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part of Surrey's brewing heritage.

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And it's making a return.

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I'll be telling you what that is a little later.

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The red squirrel,

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one of Britain's best-loved animals, has almost disappeared

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but as Tom's been finding out, they might be making a comeback.

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The red squirrel.

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Famous for its fluffy tail and tufty ears, it's the star of many

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children's books, and a nostalgic symbol of Britain's past.

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It's one of our rarest woodland mammals.

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In fact, most of us have never seen one,

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as it's been muscled out of much of the UK

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by the invasive grey squirrel.

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But now it's hoped another species under threat, the pine marten,

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could be about to come to its rescue.

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So, are we on the verge of a red resurgence?

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From a high of around 3½ million,

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there are now fewer than 150,000 red squirrels left in Britain,

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mostly found in Scotland, with smaller populations

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dotted across the rest of the UK.

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The dramatic decline is down to the loss of habitat, disease and,

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in particular, competition from the introduction in the 1870s

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of the larger American grey squirrel.

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As an non-native species, it is illegal to release a grey squirrel

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into the countryside and if you do catch one, you have to destroy it.

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-Something's triggered it.

-Yes, they do sometimes trigger it.

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-Mice and things will trigger it.

-No-one at home?

-No-one's in.

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Dr Craig Shuttleworth is director of Red Squirrels Trust Wales.

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He also trains people how to kill greys humanely.

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This is a kill trap.

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Spring trap.

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'But today, his traps are empty.'

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That's presumably primed now, so you need to make that safe.

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Yes. I'll just do it on the ground here.

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Lucky for the grey squirrels today.

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Maybe less good luck for you, but how is it that greys harm reds?

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They do it in two different ways. I mean, we've known for a while

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that they have a competitive impact on them.

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They eat the same foods, they live in the same environment.

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There are more grey squirrels.

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It just simply finds it hard to survive.

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But now we have these viruses.

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Squirrel pox virus, for example.

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Grey squirrel carries it, causes it no harm,

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but when the red squirrel gets it, it's dead within three weeks.

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Grey squirrels have been here around 150 years.

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Don't they have the right to be considered native?

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I don't think they do. They are not part of our European fauna.

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They are putting immense pressure on forests.

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They're preventing red squirrel from being where it should be,

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which is distributed across the whole of the UK and instead

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of that, we have these isolated populations.

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Grey squirrels are blamed for causing up to £10 million worth

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of damage to our woodlands every year.

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But you won't find any grey squirrels running amok here

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on Anglesey in North Wales.

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Last year, the island declared itself a grey-squirrel-free zone

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after an 18-year-long battle.

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The reds, to use an anthropomorphic term, they are cute.

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There's no way round it, really.

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Local court artist Philip Snow

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has lived here on the island for 40 years.

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Give me a bit of the detail of the process of that,

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those years of getting rid of the greys.

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Well, the hard graft is the actual humane trapping.

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At the same time,

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they were putting red squirrels in huge cages in woodlands like this

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where they could breed and then gradually spread out.

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And the fact that it's worked in a controlled way in

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a relatively small area - Anglesey is about roughly 20 miles square -

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shows you that it can be done, which is tremendous.

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From being close to extinction, with just 40 red squirrels left

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on the island, today Anglesey is home to more than 700 and it's

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a success story the many want to see

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replicated across the rest of the UK.

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From early last year, landowners in some areas of England

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have been able to apply for EU funding to cull grey squirrels.

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And amongst other new schemes,

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the British Association for Shooting and Conservation are

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encouraging members in key areas to volunteer for free pest control.

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Critics of culling think it's a waste of time and money

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and say there's a big difference between eradicating squirrels

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from a small island like Anglesey

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and achieving the same result across the whole country.

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They say a woodland cleared of greys

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can be repopulated from the surrounding countryside

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within just ten weeks.

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It's always been thought that the grey squirrel was the nut

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that couldn't be cracked.

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But now there's hope - a way of controlling grey squirrels

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has been discovered which requires little expense and

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hardly any human intervention.

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Just gone six in the morning.

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The light is just coming up.

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I'm probably not quite as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

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as some of the animals in this forest.

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But I'm waiting to be taken to a secret location to meet a creature

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that could be a great help in the recovery of the red squirrel.

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-So, what if we got in here?

-A pine marten.

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'The precious cargo has been driven through the night by

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'Dr Jenny Macpherson from the Vincent Wildlife Trust.'

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Since the start of last year,

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Jenny has relocated 36 pine martens from Scotland in order to help

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reinforce the struggling population here in Wales.

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This really is a mystery site.

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-You wouldn't find this by mistake, would you?

-That's the aim of it.

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So it's important that the animals aren't disturbed while they

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are getting used to the new surroundings.

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'The pine martens are put into individual holding pens

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'before being released.'

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(Absolutely amazing.

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(It's so beautiful, so agile.)

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-Well, how does that feel?

-That's a nice feeling.

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The reason pine martens like this one could help the fortunes

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of our native red squirrel is that there is evidence to suggest

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they have a real appetite for greys.

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How did it emerge that grey squirrels didn't like to live

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where pine martens were present?

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Well, there was some work done in Ireland recently and that

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showed that where pine martens were recovering, the grey squirrels

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went into decline and red squirrels were able to come back.

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Do we know what it is about pine martens that grey squirrels

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don't like, so they scram?

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One theory is that pine martens will eat grey squirrels, and we've

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got some camera trap footage from earlier this year of one of

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-our martens eating a grey squirrel.

-Really? Is that one of the

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first times that's actually been seen, conclusively?

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Yes, it's the first time we've seen footage of it.

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Why don't pine martens affect red squirrel populations?

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Grey squirrels are much heavier,

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they spend more time feeding on the ground, so they're an easier prey.

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Red squirrels are smaller and lighter and able to escape

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along much finer branches that pine martens can't follow them on to.

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Could pine martens be the red squirrel's champion,

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that allows it to recover across England and Wales?

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I think it's a bit early to say for certain but, yeah, watch this space.

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-Optimistic?

-Quietly.

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Promoting one of Britain's most beautiful native species,

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the pine marten, in order to preserve another is easy to

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appreciate and the news has got many excited.

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But Dr Craig Shuttleworth remains cautious of the fanfare that

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some have made about this story. Are you slightly sceptical about

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some of the big claims for pine martens?

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I think that the headline writers have done science

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no favours whatsoever when they say that pine martens are going to drive

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grey squirrels into the sea without us having to do anything else.

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That's wrong.

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What we have is a very complicated ecological system that we

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don't really fully understand.

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So you don't think we should immediately jump on the cheerleading

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bandwagon for the pine marten, shouting, "The hero has returned"?

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Pine martens may have an impact in certain areas.

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Is the pine marten going to get rid of the grey squirrel from

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inner-city London, from inner-city Birmingham? Probably not.

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Remember that the pine marten's been missing from the landscape

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for decades, sometimes a century, and that landscape has changed,

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so there is a possibility that in some areas this animal's return

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may have some impact on other species,

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including barn owls and perhaps too on some local businesses.

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A pine marten resurgence isn't going to please everyone.

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There are going to be losers.

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But is that the price worth paying to see our native reds thrive

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once again?

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There is a fairy-tale quality about this story.

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Heroic protector returns to defeat a foreign foe and save

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a species in distress.

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The truth will probably be a little more complex,

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involving compromise and argument, but there's definitely a sense

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that we're turning a page towards a happy ending for the red squirrel.

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Right. That's it. All the votes are in and we have our winner.

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So, here's John to reveal who you voted top in this year's

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Countryfile photographic competition.

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The theme for this year's photographic competition is

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From Dawn Till Dusk.

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The challenge - to capture on camera the British countryside in

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all its ever-changing glory.

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We had more than 21,000 entries and, as always, the standard was

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incredibly high, but eventually, it came down to these final 12 and

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each one will have its own page on the Countryfile calendar for 2017.

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To choose them,

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I was joined by wildlife cameraman and presenter Simon King,

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and Deborah Meaden, from Dragons' Den,

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and we all had our particular favourites.

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-It's a really dramatic image.

-It is.

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-But I'm not sure I would want that on my kitchen wall.

-I would!

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I'd like to see something with a bit of human intervention.

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"I love bees"?

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No? Oh, all right.

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But we got there in the end.

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And the favourite of all three judges was this one,

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for the month of February, Twilight Hunter by Tony Howes from Norwich.

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And Tony gets to choose £500 worth of photographic equipment,

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so many congratulations to you, Tony.

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But it was up to you at home to pick the overall winner,

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the photograph that stars on the cover of our 2017 calendar.

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And it is this one.

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Berry Brunch, the picture for October, of a water vole,

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taken by Dean Mason from Wareham in Dorset.

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Now, Dean gets to choose £1,000 worth of photographic equipment,

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but he doesn't yet know that he's won.

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I'm off to see him now, but I'm not going to tell him straight away.

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Dean's an amateur photographer with a passion for wildlife.

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Earlier this year, he quit his job in the timber industry and

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set up a little business,

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hiring out a hide he'd built to other wildlife photographers.

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What we've told him is that I'm filming background pieces with some

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of our finalists, finding out how they came to take their pictures.

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-Hello, Dean.

-Hello.

-Look what I've got here for you. How about that?

0:20:070:20:11

-Oh, wow! Fantastic!

-A blown-up version of your fantastic photo.

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It looks good large, I've got to admit.

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And what have we got here, then?

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Well, this is our wildlife reflection tool.

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We allow other photographers to come in, take photographs.

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From inside that hide there, it must look incredibly natural.

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I try and make it as natural as possible, so it looks like

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you're actually out in the wild, taking images of woodland birds.

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And this picture, did you take this around here, then?

0:20:360:20:39

No, that was taken at a water vole site in Kent.

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I spent approximately 24 hours over a period of two days,

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-sitting in the water, full chest waders.

-Right.

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But well worth the effort, and when he eventually turned up, I took...

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It's an amazing picture because he's peeping around the corner

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to have a look at you.

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When he actually appeared,

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his face was hidden behind the berries themselves,

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so what I did, I just clicked the shutter button once and the noise

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attracted him, and I managed three or four images of this expression.

0:21:090:21:14

I mean, I just couldn't believe it.

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-Sticking his tongue out at you.

-Well, that's how it appears.

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-That's how it appears.

-Shall we go into the hide and see if

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-we can see anything arriving?

-Certainly. After you, John.

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It took Dean almost a whole day to get his winning shot,

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but I don't have to wait long at all before the birds start to arrive.

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And a blue tit just dropped on the back, there.

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So your technique is to let it come to you, rather than you go to it.

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For me, personally, with photography,

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I want to see them at eye level.

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And here we are. Two of them.

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-A pair of green finches.

-And the reflection as well.

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-Maybe I should take a picture.

-And the reflection's there.

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CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS

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-Did you get it?

-No.

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No. THEY CHUCKLE

0:22:050:22:07

That's what I mean.

0:22:070:22:08

'This is the first photographic competition Dean

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'has ever entered, urged on by his wife Steph,

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'who works for a charity for the disabled.

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'She knows just how vital is the grant it gets from

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'Children in Need, but what she too doesn't know is that he's won.'

0:22:190:22:24

-Hello, Steph.

-Hi.

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I hear that you were responsible for Dean sending in his picture.

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Yes, I am.

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Well, you've got a lot to thank Steph for, because I've got

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a big surprise for you.

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-Revealed for the first time is the Countryfile calendar.

-Wow!

-For 2017.

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-With your image on the front!

-You've got to be joking!

-How about that?!

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You've got to be joking! Oh, my gosh! That's your fault!

0:22:460:22:51

THEY LAUGH

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-That's a fantastic moment.

-Oh, that's just rotten. That's rotten.

0:22:540:22:59

Does that mean that's actually won the competition?

0:22:590:23:02

It has won the competition. You are the overall winner.

0:23:020:23:04

-Have I got to pay for it?

-No, no.

0:23:040:23:06

It's Children in Need, so we should be paying for it.

0:23:060:23:09

-You can pay for it if you like.

-I'll pay for it, whatever it is.

0:23:090:23:11

-That's wonderful!

-That looks fantastic! Absolutely fantastic!

0:23:110:23:15

Palpitations now!

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Whether you sent in photos, persuaded someone else to,

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or voted for your favourite,

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we'd like to thank everyone who's been part of this year's

0:23:250:23:28

photographic competition, and especially those whose

0:23:280:23:32

wonderful images make up the calendar.

0:23:320:23:34

And if you'd love to buy a copy, hot off the presses,

0:23:360:23:39

here's how to do it.

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It costs £9.50, including free UK delivery.

0:23:410:23:45

You can go to our website,

0:23:450:23:47

where you'll find a link to the order page.

0:23:470:23:50

Or you can phone the order line on...

0:23:500:23:53

If you'd prefer to order by post, then send your name,

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address and a cheque to...

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And please make your cheques payable to...

0:24:140:24:17

A minimum of £4 from the sale of each calendar will be donated

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to BBC Children in Need.

0:24:220:24:25

Thanks to your generosity,

0:24:260:24:28

the 2016 calendar raised more than £2 million for Children in Need,

0:24:280:24:32

that's the highest total in the history of our competition.

0:24:320:24:36

So, let's make the 2017 calendar an even bigger hit and that in turn

0:24:360:24:40

will mean that even more children in need can be

0:24:400:24:43

helped throughout the country,

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and you're going to have some glorious pictures to brighten up

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your wall throughout the year.

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Time to get buying.

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Deep in the Surrey countryside, something is stirring.

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You'll find them in harvest fields,

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in hedgerows and by riverbanks,

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IF you're lucky.

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I'm talking about harvest mice,

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one of our smallest and best-loved creatures.

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Golden in colour, lighter than a penny,

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the little harvest mouse will tell us big things about our environment.

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I just have to find one now.

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Here, beside the River Wey, the Surrey Wildlife Trust is

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working with local volunteers in a pioneering study

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that's looking for genetic links between harvest mice populations.

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Jim Jones from the Trust is leading the project.

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We're looking for disused harvest mice nests,

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the best proof that mice are around.

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If we come down here, what you're looking for...

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Does it have a little red door?

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It doesn't have a little red door,

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but what you'll find is, it's a tennis ball sized nest.

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Commonly in this... what we call the stalk zone.

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If it's there, your eyes will see it.

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Anything there?

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Patience is the key with this one.

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-Ha-ha!

-Have you got something?

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Anita, I've got one over here.

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It's a bit old, but nevertheless we can really see it.

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Oh, look at that!

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-Isn't that wonderful?

-That's fantastic.

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So this is a harvest mouse nest.

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You can just see actually there is a front door.

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It's not usually like that, and it's not red.

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It's not red, but there is a little space.

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There is a little space for the animal to get in.

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'Fur samples are sent for DNA analysis.

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'The results are helping build a picture of genetic similarities

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'between spread-out populations.

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'And this matters because closely related populations

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'show that important wildlife corridors are doing their job.

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'To collect fur samples,

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'Jim's team have placed live traps at various points along the river.'

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So it's up high. I was expecting to see it on the ground.

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Well, what we have here is we've got

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-a trapping station and two traps.

-Oh, yeah, there's one there.

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So there's one on the floor and one on the post.

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What we normally do first is check if the trap is open or closed.

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So you can just look in there, and if the door's down,

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-that means you've got an animal inside.

-No, it's open.

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-If you want to look at the bottom one.

-The door is down!

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You can just pick it up

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and we can take it back to the processing station

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because it's so wet out here,

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we need to get all the traps right back to the processing station.

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What's in there? That's the question.

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So, this is live trapping. We're using Longworth traps,

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this doesn't hurt the mammal at all inside.

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It's important to have this bedding in there.

0:27:510:27:54

-And you can just see...

-Oh!

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So, this is... You can see this animal has got a very wiffly nose.

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We like to call it "wiffly" anyway.

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So this is a shrew.

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This is an insectivore and he's absolutely beautiful.

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Very common for this part of... for this kind of wetland habitat.

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What we're going to do now is weigh him.

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Can you read off a number there if you just let him go?

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-19.

-Yeah, 19, fantastic.

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So then I hand it over to Lucy, who's going to go and release that.

0:28:210:28:25

-Right, thank you, Lucy.

-Then we'll process the next one.

0:28:250:28:28

'The rain hasn't dampened the spirits

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'of these two young volunteers.

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'They've just caught another riverbank resident.'

0:28:390:28:42

-What did you find in your trap?

-A wood mouse.

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Shall we have a good look?

0:28:440:28:46

-There we go.

-Isn't that fantastic?

-Really fantastic.

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You can really tell that this is different from the shrew.

0:28:490:28:51

Look at those massive great ears.

0:28:510:28:53

We need to release the mouse as quickly as possible,

0:28:530:28:56

so we'll process it, get it out,

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the welfare of the animal is really important to us.

0:28:580:29:01

'The creatures found today all offer valuable data.

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'But it's the elusive harvest mouse that's key to the study.'

0:29:060:29:09

Should we be worried that we didn't find any harvest mice?

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I don't think we should be worried this time.

0:29:130:29:15

We've monitored this site before,

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we know there are good harvest mice populations on the site.

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What could be happening is that populations this time

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may not have established over winter.

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The big die-off over winter,

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difficult to come back this year,

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but next year, we'll have harvest mice coming into the site

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and we'll have a new site re-established.

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I'm leaving Jim and his team now

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to head to the British Wildlife Centre,

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where there's a special harvest mice breeding programme.

0:29:420:29:46

The centre's Matt Binstead will tell me more.

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Matt, it's absolutely adorable. Is it a he or a she?

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This one's a little male.

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He's one that we use for photographic sessions and things,

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so he's perfectly used to being in front of the camera.

0:29:570:30:00

I wasn't expecting the tail to be quite so elaborate.

0:30:000:30:02

-And the feet look quite big as well.

-They really are amazing animals.

0:30:020:30:05

And for such a small size,

0:30:050:30:07

there's so much adaptation packed into this one.

0:30:070:30:10

So the tail you mentioned there is prehensile,

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so they can use that tail almost like a fifth limb to help

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anchor themselves as they climb through the barley,

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such as he is here.

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And those hind feet, the thumbs, the toes, on those hind feet,

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are opposable, so just like we'd use our thumbs to grip onto things,

0:30:220:30:25

they can use that as well.

0:30:250:30:26

-Why breed them?

-Well, they're very important for biodiversity.

0:30:260:30:30

We have a 26-acre nature reserve here

0:30:300:30:32

that we created from redundant farmland.

0:30:320:30:34

So we breed over 200 of these mice every year,

0:30:340:30:37

release them out there, and they are a good indicator species.

0:30:370:30:41

-Why should we care about the harvest mouse?

-Because they're lovely.

0:30:410:30:45

They're lovely little things!

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We find here, even with people that have a slight fear of mice,

0:30:460:30:50

they still fall in love with the harvest mouse cos it's smaller,

0:30:500:30:53

it's arguably cuter, softer features, nicer colour.

0:30:530:30:56

So it's lovely to be able

0:30:560:30:58

to do something with them and put them back.

0:30:580:31:01

An incredible little creature, isn't it? And this one's so cute.

0:31:030:31:07

And I just think it's wonderful

0:31:070:31:09

that they are part of our great British countryside.

0:31:090:31:12

Hello.

0:31:120:31:14

The saying "a farmer's work is never done"

0:31:200:31:22

couldn't be more true as the harvest comes to an end

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up and down the country.

0:31:260:31:27

Many farmers have been working double-time to get crops in

0:31:270:31:30

whilst the sun shines. And the same goes for Adam.

0:31:300:31:34

It's been a tense time waiting for the ideal conditions

0:31:340:31:37

to bring in the last of the harvest.

0:31:370:31:39

My day starts just like anyone else's.

0:31:440:31:46

A quick breakfast and a cuppa before heading out to work.

0:31:460:31:50

It's very easy for people to forget about where their food comes from.

0:31:500:31:54

But not for me as a farmer.

0:31:540:31:56

I'm very aware of the ingredients and where it's been sourced.

0:31:560:31:59

Take my breakfast, for example.

0:31:590:32:01

The cereal, made from wheat,

0:32:010:32:02

the toast from flour, from wheat as well.

0:32:020:32:05

So what I'm consuming is a constant reminder

0:32:050:32:08

of what we're trying to achieve out in the fields.

0:32:080:32:10

We grow 300 acres of wheat at home

0:32:140:32:16

that our arable team have been nurturing for the past 12 months.

0:32:160:32:20

All we need now are the perfect conditions

0:32:210:32:24

to finish bringing in the harvest.

0:32:240:32:26

We've already got about 700 tonnes of winter wheat

0:32:260:32:30

safely in the shed back at the farm.

0:32:300:32:32

And it's good-quality milling wheat, so it's going for making bread.

0:32:320:32:35

Ideally, we want to be harvesting this crop

0:32:350:32:38

at about 16% or 17% moisture.

0:32:380:32:40

We then take it back to our grain-drier

0:32:400:32:42

and then bring that moisture down to 14%,

0:32:420:32:45

so it can be stored safely in the shed without going rotten.

0:32:450:32:48

Anything over 16% or 17%

0:32:480:32:50

and it costs us a fortune to dry it down.

0:32:500:32:53

So what I'll do is just pick a few heads here

0:32:530:32:56

and then I can rub the grain out and test the moisture.

0:32:560:33:00

I've got this machine here that will measure the moisture of the grain.

0:33:050:33:09

I've got a cupful now.

0:33:090:33:11

Pour it into the top.

0:33:110:33:13

And then, very cleverly,

0:33:140:33:16

it allows it to trickle over the top of it.

0:33:160:33:20

OK.

0:33:210:33:23

On.

0:33:230:33:24

Measures all sorts of different crops, so this one's wheat.

0:33:240:33:27

And we want the moisture.

0:33:290:33:31

There we go, that's come up at 18.6%,

0:33:320:33:35

so that's just a little bit too wet.

0:33:350:33:38

But the forecast is good, the sun is shining,

0:33:380:33:40

there's hardly a cloud in the sky and the wind is blowing,

0:33:400:33:43

so hopefully nature will dry this crop out a little bit more

0:33:430:33:47

and we should be able to get

0:33:470:33:48

the combine harvesters in this afternoon.

0:33:480:33:51

Fingers crossed.

0:33:510:33:52

So work on the arable land is on hold for the moment.

0:33:540:33:58

But our livestock need constant attention, come rain or shine.

0:33:580:34:01

Most of our animals are raised out in the fields,

0:34:010:34:04

and today, some piglets are about to get

0:34:040:34:06

their first taste of the great outdoors.

0:34:060:34:08

There's a good girl.

0:34:090:34:11

This is one of my Gloucestershire Old Spot sows

0:34:110:34:14

and she's had a lovely litter of ten piglets.

0:34:140:34:16

They're about three or four days old now,

0:34:160:34:19

so what I'm going to do is load the sow up into the trailer first

0:34:190:34:22

because if I catch them while she's still in here,

0:34:220:34:24

they'll squeal and she'll probably try and bite me.

0:34:240:34:27

I'll try and tempt her with this food.

0:34:280:34:30

There's a good girl.

0:34:390:34:41

Made that look easy!

0:34:410:34:43

It might look amusing, but moving lively piglets in a wheelbarrow

0:34:460:34:50

is my tried and tested technique.

0:34:500:34:52

Whenever you pick piglets up,

0:34:520:34:53

they always squeal like that, calling for their mum.

0:34:530:34:56

It's not hurting them, they're just a little bit frightened.

0:34:560:34:59

'It's far easier than trying to carry them.'

0:34:590:35:02

I've lost one!

0:35:020:35:03

SQUEALING

0:35:050:35:07

There, that's it.

0:35:070:35:09

A wheelbarrow full of pigs.

0:35:110:35:13

It's just a quick drive to their new home.

0:35:290:35:32

But in this short time, the piglets have managed to escape

0:35:360:35:39

and make their way into the compartment with their mother.

0:35:390:35:42

Go on, then. Go on.

0:35:420:35:44

The sow needs little encouragement to leave the trailer,

0:35:440:35:47

but the piglets need more of a helping hand.

0:35:470:35:50

The sow is so busy grazing,

0:35:540:35:56

she's not worried about her squeaking piglets, thankfully.

0:35:560:36:00

She's such a lovely, quiet sow.

0:36:060:36:08

She's lived out in this field before with piglets,

0:36:080:36:10

this is about her sixth litter in her life.

0:36:100:36:13

So, in a day or two,

0:36:130:36:14

the piglets will come out and venture round the field.

0:36:140:36:17

They'll stay on the sow until they're about eight weeks old,

0:36:170:36:20

then they'll be weaned off and be ready to go to market

0:36:200:36:23

when they're about six months old.

0:36:230:36:25

There you go, they're in there, missus.

0:36:250:36:27

We have a flock of 500 breeding ewes that I need to get

0:36:300:36:33

into the handling pens.

0:36:330:36:35

We've had sheep on this farm all my life.

0:36:360:36:38

And sheep farming, as far as profitability goes,

0:36:380:36:41

is a bit of a rollercoaster, it has its ups and downs.

0:36:410:36:44

And last year, the prices weren't very good

0:36:440:36:46

and we were thinking about downsizing the flock.

0:36:460:36:49

This year, lamb prices have lifted, and now,

0:36:490:36:51

with the pound being weak, our export opportunities are

0:36:510:36:54

better than they usually are and the price is holding up well.

0:36:540:36:57

I'm just putting these ewes in the pens to do some work on them.

0:36:570:37:01

These are our breeding ewes.

0:37:070:37:09

And with the day length getting shorter,

0:37:090:37:11

the ewes come into season,

0:37:110:37:13

ready to accept the ram to get pregnant for next year's lambing,

0:37:130:37:16

and we want the ewes to be in really good condition.

0:37:160:37:19

And what Ellen is doing is scanning their ears,

0:37:190:37:23

they've got an electronic chip in their ears, and she can tell

0:37:230:37:26

which ewes give birth to just a single lamb last year.

0:37:260:37:29

We want every ewe, ideally, to give birth to twins.

0:37:290:37:33

They've got two teats, so they can feed two lambs.

0:37:330:37:36

And for the ewes that just gave birth to a single,

0:37:360:37:39

we're giving them this mineral drench.

0:37:390:37:41

That should boost their energy,

0:37:410:37:42

make them feel in really good condition,

0:37:420:37:44

then they'll ovulate well and have plenty of eggs

0:37:440:37:47

for the rams to fertilise.

0:37:470:37:49

We did it last year and it worked really well.

0:37:490:37:52

So we're trying it again this year.

0:37:520:37:54

That's you done.

0:37:560:37:58

Back out in the arable fields,

0:38:010:38:03

the combine has started to make progress.

0:38:030:38:06

But unfortunately, not with the wheat.

0:38:060:38:08

We were really keen to get into the winter wheat.

0:38:080:38:12

But it just wasn't dry enough.

0:38:120:38:14

Unfortunately, if it gets rained on again, it'll start to lose quality.

0:38:140:38:18

But the barley is dry enough.

0:38:180:38:21

And Dave up there, with his 35-foot header here,

0:38:210:38:24

is just eating it up.

0:38:240:38:26

And this spring barley is grown on contract.

0:38:260:38:29

It's a malting barley for producing lager.

0:38:290:38:32

Well, the clouds are building again,

0:38:430:38:45

there's a danger that rain might stop play.

0:38:450:38:47

But at least at the moment the combine's cracking on

0:38:470:38:49

and getting through the barley harvest.

0:38:490:38:52

And the sample it's producing is really lovely,

0:38:520:38:55

there's no rubbish in here.

0:38:550:38:56

The combine cuts the plant off, thrashes it up,

0:38:560:38:59

all the straw and chaff falls out the back,

0:38:590:39:02

the straw will be used for animal feed and bedding,

0:39:020:39:05

and then the seeds, the berries of grain,

0:39:050:39:07

end up in the tank that we put in the shed.

0:39:070:39:10

Hopefully it'll make the grade and make very good quality malting.

0:39:100:39:13

There's only a few more fields of wheat and barley to combine

0:39:220:39:25

and then this year's harvest is over, which is a great feeling.

0:39:250:39:29

But we've already started planting crops for next year

0:39:290:39:32

and thinking about lambing in the spring.

0:39:320:39:34

There's not a spare moment.

0:39:340:39:36

No time to stand still.

0:39:360:39:38

I've been visiting the last commercial hop-grower in Surrey.

0:39:440:39:48

Hop-growing was a big industry in the county

0:39:480:39:50

during the 18th and 19th centuries.

0:39:500:39:53

Now only a few acres remain.

0:39:530:39:56

But that could all be about to change because of this.

0:39:560:40:00

Now, it might look like an ordinary hop,

0:40:000:40:02

but this is the stuff of legends -

0:40:020:40:04

the Farnham White Bine.

0:40:040:40:06

The Farnham White Bine was once considered

0:40:080:40:11

the finest of all English hops.

0:40:110:40:13

It was the most sought-after and commanded the highest price,

0:40:130:40:16

and it made Farnham the hop capital of the country.

0:40:160:40:19

But it was prone to disease,

0:40:200:40:22

and in the 1920s had all but disappeared from its native soil.

0:40:220:40:27

Now it's growing again.

0:40:270:40:29

Just down the road from the commercial hop farm,

0:40:290:40:31

Rupert Thompson, owner of the Hogs Back Brewery,

0:40:310:40:34

is on a mission to bring this piece of Surrey's heritage back.

0:40:340:40:38

Rupert, why White Bine? Why grow it here?

0:40:420:40:44

White Bine has a particular characteristic

0:40:440:40:47

which I'd say is quite earthy and it's kind of...

0:40:470:40:51

would be described as grassy perhaps,

0:40:510:40:53

but it's got a lovely gentle aroma

0:40:530:40:55

and it's got good, gentle bitterness.

0:40:550:40:58

I use the comparison with French wines

0:40:580:41:02

and their sense of terroir.

0:41:020:41:04

And hops do reflect very much the land in which they're grown.

0:41:040:41:08

And so there is a distinction between each hop,

0:41:080:41:12

just like there is between grapes.

0:41:120:41:15

-This is Farnham White Bine.

-OK.

0:41:150:41:17

And these are actually quite small ones, but if we take one of these,

0:41:170:41:20

-just open it up first of all, and you see the yellow powder?

-Yes.

0:41:200:41:25

That is what we're after, that's actually an oil.

0:41:250:41:27

And it's a very complex oil, in fact.

0:41:270:41:29

-It's so fragrant and lovely, isn't it?

-It is.

0:41:290:41:32

OK, so that's the Farnham White Bine.

0:41:320:41:34

And then you have another variety.

0:41:340:41:36

Yes, we have. In fact, over here, let me just...just around here.

0:41:360:41:40

-This is the English Cascade hop.

-Well, it feels different.

0:41:400:41:43

-It's smaller, it's a bit tighter.

-Still got yellow powder.

0:41:430:41:46

Open it up again, it looks similar,

0:41:460:41:48

but smell that and then actually what you do, really, Anita,

0:41:480:41:51

is rub your hands like that and then... Do you want to just...?

0:41:510:41:55

-Yeah, it's really different.

-It is.

0:41:550:41:57

And actually, Cascade will be more aromatic.

0:41:570:42:00

But this hop, the Farnham White,

0:42:000:42:02

gives a beautifully balanced, traditional ale.

0:42:020:42:05

I know it's not a competition, but I prefer the Farnham White.

0:42:050:42:09

-Do you?

-Yes, I love it. It's really...

0:42:090:42:11

You could wear that as a perfume.

0:42:110:42:13

-Now, there's a thought.

-Attract all the wrong characters.

0:42:140:42:17

I think you might do. I think you might do.

0:42:170:42:19

But the real proof is the tasting,

0:42:190:42:22

which is just what I'll be doing later.

0:42:220:42:25

The walking boots are broken in

0:42:280:42:30

and the blister packs are at the ready.

0:42:300:42:32

It can only mean one thing.

0:42:320:42:34

On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October,

0:42:340:42:37

our aim is to fill the countryside with Countryfile viewers,

0:42:370:42:40

all walking together to raise money for a cause close to our hearts.

0:42:400:42:46

We'll be leading the way on our own rambles,

0:42:460:42:49

which will celebrate the best our countryside has to offer,

0:42:490:42:52

forest to hills,

0:42:520:42:54

coastline to countryside on the edge of our cities.

0:42:540:42:58

But we are not alone.

0:42:580:42:59

Thousands of you have already downloaded sponsorship forms,

0:42:590:43:03

worked out your route and are getting ready to ramble.

0:43:030:43:06

I'll be doing my ramble

0:43:090:43:10

through the rugged landscape of the Lake District

0:43:100:43:13

with a remarkable girl who had the toughest of starts to life.

0:43:130:43:17

Every year, Children in Need help thousands of young people

0:43:200:43:24

throughout the UK.

0:43:240:43:25

I've come to Tewkesbury

0:43:250:43:27

to meet my walking partner on this year's Countryfile ramble.

0:43:270:43:31

I'm just about to meet Levana,

0:43:310:43:33

who, at the age of 15, has already achieved an incredible amount.

0:43:330:43:37

And as she just also happens to be an accomplished swimmer

0:43:370:43:39

who represents her county,

0:43:390:43:41

this seems like a pretty good place to start.

0:43:410:43:44

What's even more incredible is that since Levana was six months old,

0:43:450:43:49

she's been a double lower leg amputee.

0:43:490:43:52

Look at that, straight into butterfly.

0:44:020:44:05

I find butterfly just the most exhausting stroke.

0:44:050:44:08

And look at her just cutting through the water.

0:44:080:44:12

The charity Meningitis Now paid for Levana's swimming lessons

0:44:130:44:16

and supported of the whole family,

0:44:160:44:18

with vital funding from Children in Need.

0:44:180:44:21

That was impressive.

0:44:210:44:22

Very good. Very good. I'm delighted I have

0:44:230:44:26

a very determined partner to go rambling with.

0:44:260:44:28

HE LAUGHS

0:44:280:44:31

Levana went through a huge trauma as an infant,

0:44:310:44:34

so it's even more impressive how much this young athlete

0:44:340:44:38

has achieved in her life already.

0:44:380:44:40

Mum Glenda remembers the night her little girl became ill.

0:44:400:44:44

I put her to bed as normal.

0:44:450:44:48

And in the morning, Levana had slept in

0:44:480:44:50

and I thought that's not like her, she's always an early riser,

0:44:500:44:53

so I just went in and took her out of her cot

0:44:530:44:57

and she was all floppy and she had blotches all over her body.

0:44:570:45:01

And by the time I got to the hospital,

0:45:020:45:05

20 minutes, if that, she was black,

0:45:050:45:08

she was just dying in front of me.

0:45:080:45:11

And that's when they took me to the room and said

0:45:110:45:13

she's really, really ill and just be prepared,

0:45:130:45:16

she's really not going to make it.

0:45:160:45:18

Levana had contacted a life-threatening form

0:45:200:45:22

of meningitis B.

0:45:220:45:24

The infection caused permanent damage

0:45:240:45:26

to the blood vessels in Levana's skin.

0:45:260:45:29

And although thankfully she survived,

0:45:290:45:31

she paid a very heavy price.

0:45:310:45:34

Her legs were...were dead.

0:45:340:45:36

So the doctor did suggest amputation.

0:45:360:45:39

Levana needed dozens of operations to reconstruct her damaged skin,

0:45:390:45:45

leaving her with extensive scarring.

0:45:450:45:47

As she's got older, Levana has become an expert in the water,

0:45:470:45:52

but used to find getting around difficult

0:45:520:45:54

on her old prosthetic legs.

0:45:540:45:57

'She's recently been fitted with a new pair that have more flexibility.

0:45:570:46:01

'So we're going to practise walking off road together

0:46:010:46:04

'before she takes on the big challenge

0:46:040:46:06

'of our ramble in the Lake District.'

0:46:060:46:08

-Right, how does that feel?

-Good.

0:46:080:46:11

'But as I'm about to find out, nothing seems to hold her back.'

0:46:110:46:15

Is this your first off-road walking experience in those legs?

0:46:150:46:19

Yes. It's very different.

0:46:190:46:21

-It's a good different, though.

-Is it?

-Yeah.

0:46:210:46:25

Beforehand, how far would you walk before you wanted to stop

0:46:250:46:29

and sit down or find something to grab hold of?

0:46:290:46:31

Well, with my old legs,

0:46:310:46:34

I could usually walk for about five to ten minutes.

0:46:340:46:37

-Right.

-So this is all new.

-Yeah.

0:46:370:46:39

Well, we'll take it very steady.

0:46:390:46:42

When did you first realise that you were a little bit different?

0:46:440:46:48

I think it was at school, at my primary school.

0:46:480:46:51

All the people in my class used to have their friendship groups

0:46:510:46:56

and used be running around playing.

0:46:560:46:58

And that's something I couldn't do,

0:46:580:47:00

so I was kind of just sat on my own in the corner of the playground.

0:47:000:47:04

I used to question, why am I different, why am I not like them?

0:47:040:47:08

-A lot to cope with, then, for a little girl?

-Yeah, definitely.

0:47:080:47:13

Your mum was telling me, Levana,

0:47:140:47:16

that you've had a lot of operations in your life.

0:47:160:47:19

-I have.

-How many are we talking about?

0:47:190:47:21

Probably round about...

0:47:210:47:24

60?

0:47:240:47:25

And do you envisage that you are just going to keep

0:47:250:47:28

having more operations throughout your life?

0:47:280:47:31

That's a possibility. I don't think it's ever going to stop.

0:47:310:47:34

'Today, we've walked maybe a quarter of a mile,

0:47:340:47:37

'just a fraction of the distance that we'll be attempting

0:47:370:47:40

'in the hills of the Lake District.

0:47:400:47:42

'This short walk is a massive milestone in itself.

0:47:420:47:45

'And I'm blown away that after everything Levana has been through,

0:47:450:47:49

'she's so determined. What an inspiration.'

0:47:490:47:52

That's it. We're done.

0:47:520:47:55

You're back.

0:47:550:47:56

Let me get the boot, love.

0:47:560:47:58

Very good work. High five.

0:47:590:48:01

Look at where we've come from.

0:48:010:48:03

Oh, my God!

0:48:030:48:05

What is your mum going to say when she sees that?

0:48:070:48:10

-She won't believe it, will she?

-No, I don't think she will.

0:48:100:48:13

-That's a first for you, isn't it, today?

-Yeah. It is.

0:48:130:48:16

-How tough was that?

-It was very tough.

0:48:160:48:19

-But I made it.

-You did.

-So I'm happy.

0:48:190:48:23

Before I had Levana, "proud" is just a word

0:48:280:48:31

because I couldn't achieve what she's done,

0:48:310:48:34

half of what she's done.

0:48:340:48:36

You know, the people staring at her, the people pointing at her.

0:48:360:48:40

You know, she's been bullied on the park, she's been pushed around.

0:48:400:48:44

Sometimes I get annoyed and she'll put her hand on my leg

0:48:440:48:47

and she'll go, "Don't worry about it, Mum, it's fine."

0:48:470:48:51

There's something special about that girl. She's lovely.

0:48:510:48:56

Well, as you've just seen, meningitis is devastating.

0:49:030:49:06

And often, cruelly, it's children who are most at risk.

0:49:060:49:09

The funding that Children in Need provide through Meningitis Now

0:49:090:49:13

is vital in giving families the support when they need it most.

0:49:130:49:17

Now, even if you can't take part in a ramble,

0:49:170:49:20

you can still help others, like Levana and her family,

0:49:200:49:23

by donating right now.

0:49:230:49:26

Thank you.

0:49:570:49:59

I'm in Surrey, where I've been looking at

0:50:070:50:09

the revival of the county's hop-growing industry.

0:50:090:50:12

And here at the Hogs Back Brewery near Farnham,

0:50:120:50:15

each new season's beer is greeted in time-honoured fashion,

0:50:150:50:19

with a grand tasting.

0:50:190:50:21

And today is the big day.

0:50:210:50:23

All these people have gathered here to drink tea.

0:50:230:50:26

Yep, that's right, tea.

0:50:270:50:29

Rupert Thompson, the brewery owner, is going to tell me all about it.

0:50:290:50:33

-So, Rupert, what's tea?

-Tea is traditional English ale.

0:50:350:50:39

And this is traditional English ale with green hops added,

0:50:390:50:42

so they came from Puttenham, we picked them in the morning

0:50:420:50:45

and we added them straight into the boil.

0:50:450:50:47

-Do you want to try it?

-I'd love to. So you don't dry it?

0:50:470:50:50

No, what this gives it is, it gives it a lovely, softer, slightly...

0:50:500:50:55

There we go.

0:50:550:50:57

-There we go. I think you should have one too.

-No, I'm going to try one.

0:50:570:51:00

-Yeah, definitely. So, you don't dry the hops.

-We don't dry them.

0:51:000:51:03

They've come from Puttenham where I was this morning.

0:51:030:51:06

-It smells lovely, it smells really fruity, doesn't it?

-Yes, it does.

0:51:060:51:08

-Cheers.

-Cheers, good health.

-Good health.

0:51:080:51:11

-Mmm! It's good, it's really good.

-Good.

0:51:110:51:14

-It's really easy to drink, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:51:140:51:17

There's a kind of slightly lilac-y character to it.

0:51:170:51:20

It's very easy to drink...

0:51:200:51:23

A little bit too easy. That's delicious. And is it popular?

0:51:230:51:26

Well, this is the first time we've brewed this,

0:51:260:51:29

-so you'll have to find out.

-Oh! Well, I will.

0:51:290:51:31

Also sampling this new release

0:51:310:51:33

are members of the Tongham Traditional English Ale Club.

0:51:330:51:36

So what do they make of this brand-new brew?

0:51:360:51:39

-Does it taste good?

-It tastes very good, yeah.

0:51:390:51:42

And are you saying that because you're biased?

0:51:420:51:44

I'm not biased, I'm local.

0:51:440:51:46

It just has a nice fresh taste to it.

0:51:500:51:52

-It's very easy to drink, isn't it?

-I know, that's the trouble!

0:51:520:51:55

'The green tea is a hit. But it's another I'm keen to try -

0:51:550:52:00

'the Farnham White - made from the fabled White Bine hop,

0:52:000:52:04

'the plants they hope will put Surrey back on the hop-growing map.'

0:52:040:52:08

-It's got a nice head on it.

-Yeah, it does.

-Lovely.

0:52:080:52:12

Good colour. Golden.

0:52:130:52:15

-Cheers.

-Good health, Anita.

0:52:180:52:20

-Nice to see you.

-Yeah, love this...

0:52:200:52:23

-Mmm! I like it.

-What do you think?

0:52:250:52:29

It is delicious, but the question is,

0:52:290:52:31

is it as tasty at the bottom as it is at the top?

0:52:310:52:34

Whilst I out find out, here's John with a reminder of how you can

0:52:340:52:37

get your hands on a Countryfile calendar for 2017.

0:52:370:52:40

It costs £9.50, including free UK delivery.

0:52:430:52:46

You can go to our website

0:52:460:52:48

where you'll find a link to the order page.

0:52:480:52:51

Or you can phone the order line on...

0:52:510:52:55

If you prefer to order by post, then send your name, address

0:53:020:53:05

and a cheque to...

0:53:050:53:07

And please make your cheques payable to BBC Countryfile Calendar.

0:53:160:53:19

A minimum of £4 from the sale of each calendar will be donated

0:53:190:53:23

to BBC Children in Need.

0:53:230:53:24

That's it, and I seem to have found myself at the end of the day

0:53:260:53:29

in a drink-up in a brewery. Fancy that!

0:53:290:53:32

Hope you can join us next week where we'll be discovering

0:53:320:53:35

how our waterways have shaped our life and land.

0:53:350:53:38

-Cheers, everyone! ALL:

-Cheers!

0:53:380:53:40

Anita Rani travels to Surrey to explore the revival of interest in growing hops there. She meets the brewers bringing back the county's fabled white bine hop, helps to get the hop harvest in and gets to sample an unusual brew made with fresh undried hops. She also joins Surrey Wildlife Trust, who are carrying out a survey of small mammals to see how effective wildlife corridors are.

Adam Henson is hoping for the right conditions to get the last of his wheat harvest in, and John announces which photograph the public voted winner in the Countryfile Photographic Competition.

Tom Heap is on the trail of one of the UK's most loved animals, the red squirrel, and finds out what can be done to halt its decline.


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