Sussex Countryfile


Sussex

Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison are in Sussex exploring Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood in AA Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories.


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Transcript


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Residing at the top of the High Weald in East Sussex is

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this spectacle, Ashdown Forest.

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It's an ancient, tranquil landscape of great ecological importance.

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Loved by many as the inspiration for AA Milne's Hundred Acre Wood

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in Winnie-The-Pooh stories, as I'll be discovering a bit later.

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And I'll be meeting a team who are protecting this landscape

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and keeping it open for all.

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Tom asks if turbines are a danger to our feathered friends.

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Since they were first introduced in and around our country

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more than 20 years ago, there's been concern about the impact that

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wind turbines could have on birds.

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But how much of a threat do they really pose?

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And Adam's finding out about the refugees being thrown

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a lifeline in Suffolk.

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The least I can do is to offer a day on the farm,

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because some of the people, they are from a rural background,

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and it is just for them to get reconnected with the land.

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From its spectacular coastline to the rolling

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chalk hills of the South Downs, the counties of East and West Sussex

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boast a rich, rural tapestry.

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Today, I'm exploring Ashdown Forest, a patchwork of woodland

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and heathland scattered across the East Sussex countryside.

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The name Ashdown Forest dates back to the 13th century,

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when the term "forest" was used to describe a royal deer-hunting park.

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These days, Ashdown attracts thousands of visitors every year,

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many of whom are hoping to

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follow in the footsteps of Christopher Robin

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and his friends, looking for adventure

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deep in the Hundred Acre Wood.

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But it's not the trees that makes this place so important.

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Because Ashdown Forest is home to one of the rarest habitats

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in Britain - lowland heathland.

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The conservation officer tasked with protecting

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this precious landscape is Steve Alton.

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Steve, what defines this place as lowland heathland? Because

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looking down the valley there, it seems that we are quite high here.

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We are actually, yeah, and technically we're

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about on the cusp of the borderline

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between lowland heathland and moorland,

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so we're talking about heather, gorse, bracken,

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purple moor grass that we are walking through now.

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Obviously, Steve, this is very difficult for us to get through,

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-but the place is home to some very, very precious species.

-It is, yes.

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There's a whole suite of species that are found in this habitat

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and nowhere else.

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The two bird species for which it has its international

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designation, which are the nightjar and the Dartford warbler.

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Very good for reptiles.

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We've got adders, we've got grass snakes, we've got lizards.

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A lot of invertebrates associated with the wet areas.

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Dragonflies, damselflies.

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And standing looking at the place from this viewpoint here,

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I mean, it is absolutely vast, isn't it?

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So how big is the area that those species have got to thrive in?

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The forest itself is about 6,500 acres,

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but roughly 60% of that is lowland heathland.

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The rest is woodland.

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The wild expanse of Ashdown Forest might look as if it's

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been left for nature to take its course.

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But like great swathes of our countryside, this environment

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needs sensitive conservation to retain its beauty and wildlife.

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As well as Steve, this responsibility

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also falls to his grazing officer, Caroline FitzGerald,

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who I'm meeting along with a few helpful friends

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in a specially fenced-off area.

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Very nice to see you. Exmoor ponies.

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So what's the story with these, then?

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We started with six,

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and therefore spot grazing, really, in our smaller enclosures.

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And they've been here all winter, these ponies.

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You can see what a good job they've been doing,

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how they have really taken it down.

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-And nibbling the gorse, then, as well.

-Yes.

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-Which seems, on the face of it, quite unusual.

-Yeah.

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We have a particular problem on the forest

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-because our main grass is the millennia, which is this.

-Right.

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And that's a deciduous grass.

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So, in the winter, the ponies get by on gorse.

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It is a really good plant for biodiversity, but very rampant.

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And it will just cover the whole place if you don't control it.

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Why is this area fenced off, then?

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Because the heathland habitat is not natural,

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it has been created over thousands of years, originally by

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large mammals like these guys, and then by the grazing of commoners.

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In order to keep the landscape the way it is,

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we need to keep that grazing. Stops it turning back into woodland.

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And is that because you just don't have the numbers of animals,

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-so therefore you need to graze more intensely?

-It is, yes.

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The numbers of grazing animals have varied over history.

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Sort of...end of the 13th century,

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there were probably 3,000 cattle on the forest.

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Just all the local villagers would have put their livestock

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out onto the forest.

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Today, hardly any commoners exercise their right to graze,

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so we have to supplement that.

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This habitat would have been created by large mammals

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before humans were here.

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So the ancestors of the Exmoor ponies - wild horses,

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wild cattle, deer - would have created these open areas,

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and then grazing by the commoners just continue that process.

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And we're just the next step in that succession.

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So, with careful management, these ponies will continue to graze,

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helping to maintain this heathland for years to come.

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It's been really nice to meet you. And carry on the good work.

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But I'm going to leave you now, all right? I'm going

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to head up to the woodland. See you later.

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Now, whilst Ellie and I are exploring Sussex, Tom's in Scotland

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to find out if wind farms really are a threat to birds.

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Britain is a bird spotter's paradise.

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Every year, hundreds of different species arrive

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and depart from our shores.

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But for the past 25 years, they've been sharing their territory

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with another more mechanical creature.

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When you count both offshore and onshore,

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there are almost 7,000 wind turbines in the UK.

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They produce 11% of our electricity,

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as well as providing jobs and millions of pounds of investment.

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In recent years,

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Government support for land-based turbines has declined dramatically,

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but at the moment, it still backs projects out at sea.

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Six new offshore wind farms are already being built this year,

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and construction is due to start soon on another five.

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Together, they'll nearly double the UK's offshore capacity

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and, supporters claim, bring in close to £6 billion of investment.

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But with them come fresh concerns about threats to birdlife.

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Is that fair, though, or are we

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demonising these giants of the green revolution?

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In the Firth of Forth,

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plans are afoot for more than 300 offshore turbines.

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They should create enough electricity to power nearly

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1.5 million homes.

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But it's an area where sea birds thrive.

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Gannets travel to Bass Rock from as far away as West Africa.

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And with 150,000 birds here at the height of the season,

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it's the world's largest breeding colony for Northern gannets.

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-So, welcome to Bass Rock.

-It is tremendous.

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Professor Keith Hamer has been studying the gannets here

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for two decades, and in recent years, he's been trying to work out

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the impact the proposed turbines could have on them.

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What an extraordinary spot to have as your lab.

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It's fantastic, isn't it?

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-What's this actual ground we are standing on?

-So this is

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actually our main study site now,

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and you can see, each of these little hummocks is where

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a bird will be nesting.

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So tell me about your work. What did you do, and how did you do it?

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So what we're doing was attaching devices to birds,

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so we first needed to catch them, which is what this is.

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So you just have a nice, smooth wire.

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We pop this over the bird's head.

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That then gets the bird under control,

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and then we put devices on the birds, so we have a GPS logger.

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That records where the bird goes at sea. And we have an altimeter.

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That measures barometric pressure.

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Using this kit, Keith could measure where the birds went,

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how high they flew and how deep they dived for fish.

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What did this tell you in relation to the turbines?

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So this tells us the birds were flying higher than people

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had previously thought.

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So, the received wisdom was that gannets flied

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about ten metres, which is below the height

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at which they're in danger of being caught up with the wind turbines.

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What we found was that when they're actively foraging,

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they fly higher than that. In fact, they fly at up to about 50 metres.

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Which is just at the wrong height,

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in terms of getting caught up in the blades.

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The research estimated that each month,

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300 gannets could potentially be killed by collisions with turbines.

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A total of 1,500 every breeding season -

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that's 12 times more than previously thought.

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But questions remain.

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There's two big areas of uncertainty.

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One is how good will birds be at avoiding the turbines?

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The other is, the population has actually been increasing

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by about 2,700 birds a year.

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We don't know that that rate of colony growth will be sustained.

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Even before Professor Hamer's discoveries,

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the RSPB had concerns over

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the risks posed by these turbines to sea birds.

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It took those concerns to the Scottish courts,

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which now have to decide whether these wind farms can go ahead.

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The RSPB and the companies involved aren't commenting

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while the judicial review is ongoing.

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However, one of the developers had expressed concern that having

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to wait for a decision could affect investment in the projects.

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Battles like this one here in the Firth of Forth have raised

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new questions about the dangers turbines may pose to birds,

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but for some, those questions should have been answered long ago.

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I've come down to the National Trust For Scotland's reserve at

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St Abb's Head in Berwickshire to meet Philip Taylor

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from RSPB Scotland.

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A little bit sparse today, but what has your trained eye been seeing?

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Yes. I mean, it is still quite early for the sea bird breeding season.

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There's some kittiwakes on the cliffs over there,

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-and there's a nice raft out to sea.

-Oh, yeah.

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Philip is the marine policy officer who does the charity's

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assessments of wind farm locations.

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We are, as an organisation, wholly supportive of renewable energy.

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We see that as part of our mitigation of climate change,

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adaptation to future climates.

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And in fact, we actually built a turbine on our own site.

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When it comes to the relationship with birds,

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what is it about the siting of wind farms that's important?

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For sea birds, there's two principal risks. One is collision.

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The second is displacement.

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So if the development is put on the foraging area for that sea bird,

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and in which case that foraging area is now no longer available

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to them, so for species like puffins and razorbills,

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that's actually often quite a big risk.

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The RSPB often advises on the siting of turbines, and objects to around

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7% of proposals, although not all of those are actually turned down.

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It believes there's still

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a gap in our knowledge about what's going on out at sea.

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We've had offshore wind in the UK for over ten years.

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And in that time, we haven't undertaken

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decent post-construction monitoring to answer simple questions

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for the next rounds of developments.

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And we really need to step up our game to come up with

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systematic monitoring, to understand

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how developments are impacting our birds, so that we can move

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forward with using our seas for renewable energies.

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However, RenewableUK,

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which represents the turbine industry, told us that...

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It says...

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..after construction, which includes...

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One of the industry's attempts to find out

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more about bird behaviour around existing wind farms is

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currently taking place seven miles off the coast of Kent.

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Thanet Wind Farm is made up of 100 turbines,

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covering 13.5 square miles.

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It's amazing when you get out here, the number of wind farms.

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-There's one in the distance over there.

-Yeah, that's right.

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Robin Ward is the lead ornithologist in charge of a team

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who are tracking bird behaviour around the site.

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The research is a multi-million pound project,

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managed by the Carbon Trust and funded by developers

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and public bodies, including the Crown Estate.

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-You need a lot of training for this?

-Seven days.

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Seven days training on all aspects of health and safety.

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-Just to be on the outside of the turbine.

-Really?

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A team of bird spotters can be stationed on the turbines here

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for up to seven hours a day.

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How on earth are you doing this?

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Birds are pretty small, the seascape is pretty big.

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We bring several technologies together,

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which includes radar, a day and night camera system.

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And we're using observers with military-grade range finders.

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This combination of technology has never been used

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in the world before for this purpose.

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We've got this radar set out,

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so the bird can be followed from as far as 6km out,

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but when it becomes within about 1km or so, we can then lock onto

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the bird using the rangefinder and then get

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a three-dimensional pattern.

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And in the end, what will happen to this information?

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What's its purpose?

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It will be used to improve the models that we use throughout

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all wind farms, and reduce

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the uncertainty in our understanding of how birds react to wind farms.

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We won't know the results of this work until next year, but it's

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exactly the sort of research the RSPB wants to see more of.

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So while there may not be agreement on whether enough research is

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being done, both the industry and the RSPB do feel that

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understanding the impact of offshore wind farms is vital if turbines

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and sea birds are going to continue sharing the skies around our coast.

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This is West Langley Marsh,

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just outside Eastbourne on the East Sussex coast.

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Once home to an important Bronze Age settlement,

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these days it's a flourishing wildlife habitat

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and a cherished oasis for nature-loving locals.

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Particularly for children.

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In fact, the 120 acres of marshland here are part of the grounds

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of West Rise Junior School.

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It's a regular state-run school, but this makes it far from typical.

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Every week of the academic year,

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children from the Forest School programme at West Rise

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head out of the classroom and across to the marsh.

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Mike Fairclough took over this once underachieving school 12 years ago.

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He saw the potential of the ancient marsh after

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hearing about its history

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from an archaeologist, and now he's a headmaster on a quad bike.

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-Hello, John, how are you?

-Never seen this before.

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THEY LAUGH

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-A lot of ground to cover here, haven't you?

-Yeah.

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So we got this about eight years ago,

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and decided to approach the local authority and said, "We'd like

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"to start to look at the Bronze Age

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"and explore history, using this bit of land."

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And this marshland must be a great learning resource for the children.

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Yes. There's a myriad of different things you can do.

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So we have animals onsite, like water buffalo and sheep.

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We also teach the children lots of skills, like fire making,

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making bows and arrows.

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We have a very, very large lake,

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which we're teaching the children boating on, so paddle boarding

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and sailing, and of course the archaeological side of things.

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So we've actually had a few excavations here as well.

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This school is all about hands-on experience,

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and today, as part of the curriculum, we're

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stepping back 3,000 years to experience the Bronze Age.

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You're the official Forest School teacher here, aren't you, Helen?

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What does that mean? This is just marshland, not forest.

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It's true, but Forest School is actually sort of an ethos.

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We take the children outside to learn,

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so we spend time here on the marsh.

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The children come back to the same place for a whole term,

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and they come every single year.

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Does that mean that you use subjects that children would normally

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have in class, like, you know, history, geography, English, things

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like that, and use the marshland to make it more interesting?

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Absolutely. So, today we're doing a Bronze Age day.

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So it's not just history.

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We're doing pond dipping, that's our science.

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We do a lot of English,

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so we'll write recipes for the campfire cooking that we've done.

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Children love coming to Forest School, and we love teaching them.

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And they, by the look of it, have quite a bit of fun as well.

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Yeah, absolutely. And that goes for all of us.

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We all have a lot of fun and we love being out here.

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So what's going on here, Maisie?

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At the moment, we're just making our own moulds.

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-You doing a bit of smelting, are you?

-Yeah.

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You can pick it up and then what you do is you place it in there

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and then it just... That will pump.

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Yeah. The air goes straight through.

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And it makes the fire hot.

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-You're making Bronze Age bows, are you?

-Yeah.

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-Have you ever done anything like this before?

-No.

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So how are you doing it?

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-So we tie a knot at the top.

-Yes.

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And then move that down onto there.

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And move that down here, yeah.

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An activity you certainly wouldn't have found in the Bronze Age

0:20:130:20:16

is clay pigeon shooting.

0:20:160:20:18

It's taught here under the watchful eye of

0:20:180:20:20

The British Association For Shooting And Conservation.

0:20:200:20:24

GUNSHOT

0:20:240:20:25

Not only are your pupils learning how to make bows and arrows,

0:20:250:20:30

they're learning the modern equivalent of how to use a shotgun.

0:20:300:20:34

We teach the children about responsible use of a shotgun,

0:20:340:20:37

the legal consequences of misuse

0:20:370:20:41

and its proper use within the countryside.

0:20:410:20:44

But I'm sure there'll be some people who think that there's

0:20:440:20:47

no place for shotguns in a primary school.

0:20:470:20:49

There are 40 independent schools across the UK

0:20:490:20:52

who do clay pigeon shooting routinely.

0:20:520:20:55

We're the only state school who do it.

0:20:550:20:58

There's never been any criticism of any independent school

0:20:580:21:01

using shotguns. So I think that's just prejudice

0:21:010:21:05

on the part of the people who have that opinion.

0:21:050:21:07

West Rise was the first school in the county

0:21:090:21:12

to have its own farm animals, but when it comes to livestock,

0:21:120:21:15

this is not a school to stick to the norm.

0:21:150:21:18

Alex Richards is school caretaker,

0:21:210:21:23

but is also the farm manager.

0:21:230:21:25

Among his stock on this boggy marsh - six water buffalo.

0:21:250:21:29

How have they settled in, then, the buffalos?

0:21:290:21:31

They've settled in very well.

0:21:310:21:33

We had a few fun and games when they first arrived.

0:21:330:21:35

-No escape bids?

-Erm... I'm not telling.

0:21:350:21:39

THEY LAUGH

0:21:390:21:41

What about the children, do they get involved and whatever?

0:21:410:21:43

The children get involved,

0:21:430:21:45

in respect of, come out and feed them, they write about them.

0:21:450:21:48

So, therefore, that goes into the education side of things.

0:21:480:21:52

Yeah. What's the reaction of local farmers? Do they help you at all?

0:21:520:21:55

The support I get is second to none.

0:21:550:21:57

If it weren't for the farming community,

0:21:570:22:00

this project wouldn't be able to happen.

0:22:000:22:03

This marshland, its creatures and its fascinating history have

0:22:030:22:08

all combined to create a classroom like no other.

0:22:080:22:12

I have a fragment of pottery here,

0:22:120:22:14

which has the fingerprints of the makers of it

0:22:140:22:18

from 3,000 years ago.

0:22:180:22:21

So the children making their pots can actually put

0:22:210:22:25

their fingerprints into this pot and almost be travelling back in time.

0:22:250:22:29

-Connected to the past.

-Absolutely.

-Why don't you do it?

0:22:290:22:32

Put your finger where the potter in the Bronze Age put his or hers.

0:22:320:22:38

-What does that make you feel?

-Cool.

0:22:380:22:40

Cool.

0:22:400:22:43

I suspect that there are lots of parents watching this programme,

0:22:430:22:46

who have children in junior schools,

0:22:460:22:48

who wish that their children were doing this kind of thing.

0:22:480:22:51

-Is it possible to spread this idea?

-Absolutely.

0:22:510:22:53

We are very fortunate because of the specific nature of the site.

0:22:530:22:56

We're on the second-largest Bronze Age settlement in Europe.

0:22:560:22:58

Every place in Britain has an amazing quality about it.

0:22:580:23:02

There'll be somewhere within nature that people

0:23:020:23:05

-can connect with locally.

-So it is possible?

-Absolutely.

0:23:050:23:08

For every single school and every single child.

0:23:080:23:10

West Sussex - a rich and diverse landscape,

0:23:220:23:26

from its wooded uplands, to the shelter of the Arun Valley.

0:23:260:23:31

And that makes it ideal for a host of wildlife,

0:23:330:23:36

particularly here at this reserve, which is a haven for wetland birds

0:23:360:23:41

like widgeon, teal, shoveler and pintail.

0:23:410:23:44

But Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve is much more than a wetland habitat.

0:23:470:23:53

With its woods and heathland, this 500-acre site is nestled

0:23:540:23:59

in some of the most biodiverse landscape in the country,

0:23:590:24:03

making it ideal for tree-nesting and ground-feeding birds,

0:24:030:24:07

including all three species of our native woodpecker -

0:24:070:24:10

the green, great-spotted and lesser-spotted woodpecker.

0:24:100:24:15

And that's just what I'm hoping to see today.

0:24:150:24:18

But woodpeckers are shy, so can be pretty hard to spot.

0:24:180:24:23

Helping me in my search is Julianne Evans, the reserve manager.

0:24:230:24:26

-Julianne, how are you doing? Nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you too

0:24:260:24:30

-Good! Let's find some woodpeckers.

-Yeah.

0:24:300:24:32

It's very much ears and eyes with woodpeckers, particularly listening.

0:24:340:24:38

Absolutely, yes.

0:24:380:24:39

At this time of year, I'll be listening out for drumming.

0:24:390:24:42

-Yeah.

-That's how they communicate with each other.

0:24:420:24:45

Both sexes do the drumming.

0:24:450:24:46

Is that marking out territory or trying to find mates,

0:24:460:24:49

-or a bit of both?

-A bit of both, yeah. Mainly marking out territory.

0:24:490:24:52

-And just generally communicating with each other.

-Yeah.

0:24:520:24:55

DRUMMING

0:24:550:24:57

Yeah!

0:24:570:24:59

Do you think that's close enough for us to try and get eyes on?

0:24:590:25:03

I think it could be. I think it was just through there.

0:25:030:25:06

Shall we have a look?

0:25:060:25:07

Let's go and see if we can get closer.

0:25:070:25:09

DRUMMING

0:25:150:25:16

Yeah, it must be right on this tree here.

0:25:160:25:19

That is tantalisingly close.

0:25:190:25:22

DRUMMING

0:25:220:25:23

Why can't we see it? It's so loud.

0:25:230:25:25

DRUMMING

0:25:270:25:28

-THEY LAUGH

-It's crazy.

0:25:280:25:31

It's a completely bare tree, right in front of us, but we can't see it.

0:25:310:25:34

It's probably round the back, isn't it?

0:25:340:25:37

How rare is it to have the three different woodpecker species

0:25:370:25:41

that we have in this country in the same spot like this?

0:25:410:25:44

It is fairly unusual.

0:25:440:25:46

Although, they do all like the same habitat.

0:25:460:25:49

You know, with big mature trees, plenty of dead wood.

0:25:490:25:52

You know, that kind of thing.

0:25:520:25:54

-They've got what they need right here.

-Yeah.

-Fantastic.

0:25:540:25:58

We may not have seen one yet,

0:25:580:26:00

but Julianne has spotted signs that they are close by.

0:26:000:26:03

So, up here, you can see where they actually have been.

0:26:030:26:08

What they're looking for is insects underneath the bark

0:26:080:26:11

and in the rotten wood.

0:26:110:26:13

So with those sharp beaks of theirs,

0:26:130:26:15

they're flicking the bark off and looking underneath.

0:26:150:26:18

-We've got quite a fresh bit.

-Oh, yeah.

-Just up there,

0:26:180:26:20

you can actually see the channels where they've been digging around.

0:26:200:26:23

For the saproxylic insects, aren't they? The deadwood insects.

0:26:230:26:27

That's right, yeah. Yeah, yeah. That's right.

0:26:270:26:29

Amazing, yeah. They've definitely been here.

0:26:290:26:31

DRUMMING

0:26:340:26:35

This is where it's about eyes as well as ears, cos you've

0:26:370:26:39

just got to see that slight movement behind a branch or on a trunk.

0:26:390:26:44

The thing is, they'll often work their way around the other

0:26:440:26:47

-side of the branch, won't they?

-Yeah.

-And then just out of sight.

0:26:470:26:49

It's almost like they know that you're watching. Shall we get a bit closer?

0:26:490:26:53

Yeah, let's do it.

0:26:530:26:55

They're so near, but are still playing hard to get.

0:26:550:26:58

The greater and the lesser-spotted woodpeckers both drum,

0:27:010:27:03

-but how can you tell the difference?

-Well, it is quite subtle.

0:27:030:27:06

The lesser-spotted woodpecker drums for slightly longer

0:27:060:27:09

and it's slightly quieter.

0:27:090:27:12

But because you don't see them very often, let alone hear them

0:27:120:27:16

very often, it does make it tricky to know the difference.

0:27:160:27:19

-To learn the difference.

-Yeah.

0:27:190:27:21

DRUMMING

0:27:210:27:23

-WHISPERS:

-Oh, it's going to be right there.

0:27:230:27:25

DRUMMING

0:27:250:27:26

Stop. Just there, quick.

0:27:260:27:29

-Oh, yes, yeah.

-Just going up there.

0:27:300:27:33

And it's gone. Short and sweet.

0:27:330:27:37

-Yes!

-We saw it, though.

-That's great.

0:27:370:27:40

-They're really smart birds, aren't they?

-Yeah.

0:27:400:27:42

It was incredible to spot one in the wild at the reserve,

0:27:440:27:47

but, unbelievably, the cameraman saw another great spotted woodpecker

0:27:470:27:52

on the tree right outside the visitor centre.

0:27:520:27:54

Well, I caught just a glimpse of a greater-spotted woodpecker,

0:27:540:27:59

but far more importantly,

0:27:590:28:01

I heard lots and lots of springtime drumming.

0:28:010:28:04

After a along, wet, windy winter, it is

0:28:040:28:08

a welcome sound and one that I love at this time of year.

0:28:080:28:11

Now, recently, we asked some well-known faces from athletes...

0:28:180:28:22

..to comedians...

0:28:240:28:25

Oh, it's quite refreshing after a while.

0:28:250:28:28

..actors,

0:28:280:28:30

to chefs...

0:28:300:28:31

Bon appetit!

0:28:310:28:33

..what part of our magnificent countryside was special to them.

0:28:330:28:38

This week, we're in Bedfordshire with England

0:28:430:28:46

Test Cricket Captain Alistair Cook.

0:28:460:28:48

He doesn't have to travel far to find his rural retreat,

0:28:480:28:51

as it's on his wife Alice's family farm.

0:28:510:28:54

'He's made 200 in a Test match against Australia.

0:29:010:29:05

'That is a wonderful achievement from Alistair Cook.

0:29:050:29:09

-Here, Tess.

-HE WHISTLES

0:29:090:29:12

'It's all over.

0:29:120:29:14

'And England have won their first series in Australia for 24 years.'

0:29:140:29:19

-Here, up.

-HE WHISTLES

0:29:210:29:23

'And Alistair Cook becomes England's all-time leading

0:29:230:29:26

'run scorer in the history of Test Cricket.'

0:29:260:29:30

My day usually starts 6.30 to 6.45.

0:29:400:29:43

We're just starting lambing now, with the ewes.

0:29:450:29:47

This one's just been born.

0:29:490:29:51

There's about 600-odd acres. It's mainly arable stuff here.

0:29:530:29:57

There's probably about 3,000 sheep around.

0:29:570:29:59

I first came up here when I was 18, when I came to see Alice.

0:30:010:30:05

We met at school.

0:30:100:30:12

I used to come down the farm and potter around

0:30:120:30:14

for an hour, an hour and a half,

0:30:140:30:16

not really knowing what I was doing, but just doing little jobs.

0:30:160:30:19

It was a big release for me,

0:30:190:30:21

in terms of... You know, I wasn't thinking about cricket 24/7.

0:30:210:30:24

The more time I spent up here and the more integrated that

0:30:260:30:29

I got into the family and the more I understood about farming,

0:30:290:30:33

the more it became a lifestyle, rather than a release.

0:30:330:30:37

It's a serious farm, a serious operation.

0:30:390:30:42

This is what I do when I'm not playing cricket.

0:30:420:30:44

Trying to help out on the family farm,

0:30:440:30:46

trying to be more useful than not.

0:30:460:30:49

I feel as if I now know what I'm doing.

0:30:490:30:51

I can't quite see her head, but normally they come out

0:30:530:30:56

and they tuck their noses in front of their hooves at the front.

0:30:560:31:00

Yeah, she's not going to be too long off.

0:31:000:31:02

I do love it.

0:31:120:31:14

Of course, there's days when you're electric fencing in the cold or

0:31:140:31:17

you're strawing stuff and thinking, "Oh, I'd rather be somewhere else."

0:31:170:31:21

That's part and parcel of it.

0:31:210:31:23

I think farming does help my cricket,

0:31:250:31:28

in the way that I'm not lying on the sofa thinking,

0:31:280:31:30

"Oh, what's my technique doing here?"

0:31:300:31:33

Cookie was going through a very lean patch once,

0:31:330:31:36

but the farm was brilliant.

0:31:360:31:39

He came and got completely stuck in.

0:31:390:31:41

He was tagging sheep, he was up at 4.30 loading the lorry.

0:31:410:31:45

He then went on to score 290, which I think my dad

0:31:450:31:48

and all the local farmers took a huge amount of credit for.

0:31:480:31:51

I've never let him live it down.

0:31:510:31:52

Whenever he has a bit of a rough time, that's all he gets.

0:31:520:31:55

You know, "Get on the farm and you'll be all right.

0:31:550:31:57

"Forget batting practice."

0:31:570:31:59

So we're marking up some sheep.

0:32:040:32:05

Obviously they've been in here now for 24, 48 hours.

0:32:050:32:08

So I'm worming them.

0:32:080:32:10

I'm giving them a bit of a general MOT.

0:32:100:32:12

We're ringing their tail, giving them a number,

0:32:140:32:17

matching with their mother.

0:32:170:32:18

That allows us to identify them when they're in the field.

0:32:180:32:22

The sheep won't talk to you about cricket.

0:32:250:32:27

I think, in any elite team, the environment is pretty brutal,

0:32:270:32:31

because you're expected to win.

0:32:310:32:33

To me, it was that release. It was the getting away from the pressure,

0:32:330:32:37

I suppose, of playing international cricket

0:32:370:32:39

and doing something totally different.

0:32:390:32:41

So you're not always thinking about cricket.

0:32:410:32:43

Good girl.

0:32:460:32:47

We've got a young daughter, called Elsie,

0:32:470:32:49

who's coming up to two in April.

0:32:490:32:52

It's an incredible place for Elsie to grow up.

0:32:520:32:56

Alice talks so fondly about her childhood, growing up on the farm.

0:32:560:33:00

Mum and Dad would be working and we'd just run about in the shed.

0:33:000:33:04

And now Elsie is lucky that she has the same thing.

0:33:040:33:08

Cookie and I are in here working, she just potters with the dog,

0:33:080:33:11

the lambs, her wheelbarrow.

0:33:110:33:13

Alice's grandparents are just there, her mum farms just round the corner.

0:33:150:33:19

You know, her brother's there. It's such a family environment.

0:33:190:33:23

I feel really privileged that that's here.

0:33:230:33:25

We're in a great environment for Elsie to grow up in.

0:33:250:33:28

We're loading the ewes and lambs up to finally take them

0:33:380:33:41

out in the field, where they're going to stop for the summer.

0:33:410:33:44

We'll put them out on the lorry.

0:33:440:33:46

Done. The job's a good 'un.

0:33:480:33:51

-Who's in here, Elsie?

-Baby lambs.

-Baby lambs?

0:34:020:34:06

The future is really interesting.

0:34:070:34:09

Who knows what's going to happen with the cricket?

0:34:090:34:11

Hopefully I've got three or four more years left at the top.

0:34:110:34:15

That would be brilliant.

0:34:150:34:16

But knowing we've got something here which I love doing anyway

0:34:160:34:19

and we can get bigger, is really exciting.

0:34:190:34:22

I feel we're really lucky.

0:34:220:34:24

We've just bought a little small holding, five minutes away,

0:34:240:34:27

and we're really excited to expand on that.

0:34:270:34:29

Cookie is quite interested in doing more with cattle.

0:34:290:34:32

At the minute, we have a few.

0:34:320:34:33

Cookie actually bought me two for our first wedding anniversary.

0:34:330:34:37

Quite an odd one, but brilliant. My sort of present.

0:34:370:34:40

Shoo them on, Else Shoo them on.

0:34:400:34:43

There's so many good things about farming, about the community,

0:34:440:34:47

which I love. And, obviously, it is challenging.

0:34:470:34:51

Cricket has been my life for so long and it's given me

0:34:520:34:54

so much that I'd love to stay involved.

0:34:540:34:57

But if I could combine cricket and farming at the same time,

0:34:570:34:59

that would be absolutely ideal for me.

0:34:590:35:02

They're both my passions. And not many people can say

0:35:020:35:05

what they do for their job or their life is what they love doing all the time.

0:35:050:35:09

I pretty much love everything to do with them.

0:35:090:35:11

Now, on last week's show

0:35:140:35:16

with Radio 1 DJs Scott Mills and Chris Stark,

0:35:160:35:19

we asked you to send us your F-elfies,

0:35:190:35:21

photos of you with a farm animal.

0:35:210:35:24

Well, thank you, because you e-mailed and tweeted us hundreds

0:35:240:35:26

and hundreds. Here are just a few.

0:35:260:35:30

Now, Adam has taken time off from his farming duties

0:35:590:36:01

in the Cotswolds to visit

0:36:010:36:03

an extraordinary East Anglian farm that's making a big difference

0:36:030:36:06

to the lives of people most in need.

0:36:060:36:08

This scene has become all too familiar.

0:36:150:36:18

The refugee crisis sweeping across Europe

0:36:180:36:22

has left millions homeless and in desperate need of support.

0:36:220:36:26

But there are some small glimmers of hope.

0:36:260:36:28

I've come to a rather special farm on the Norfolk-Suffolk border

0:36:300:36:33

where it is not all about growing crops and animals.

0:36:330:36:36

This farm is being used to make a difference to people's lives.

0:36:360:36:39

It's a Care Farm.

0:36:410:36:42

Here, vulnerable people can spend their time as a kind of therapy,

0:36:420:36:46

but now it has thrown open its doors to refugees

0:36:460:36:50

from war-torn regions such as Kurdistan and Sudan.

0:36:500:36:54

The driving force behind it is Dutch farmer Doeke Dobma,

0:36:540:36:57

who has personal reasons for wanting to help those in need.

0:36:570:37:00

Nice to meet you.

0:37:000:37:02

I grew up in the Netherlands,

0:37:020:37:04

and my mum experienced an horrendous experience

0:37:040:37:07

during the Second World War.

0:37:070:37:09

Watching on telly what is happening in Syria is really distressing.

0:37:090:37:14

So because your mum suffered so much during the Second World War -

0:37:140:37:17

she was almost a refugee herself -

0:37:170:37:18

you decided to help the people today?

0:37:180:37:20

Some people had businesses, they were farmers,

0:37:200:37:23

they were teachers.

0:37:230:37:25

The least I can do is to offer a day on the farm,

0:37:250:37:29

because some of the people, they are from a rural background,

0:37:290:37:33

and it is just for them to get reconnected with the land.

0:37:330:37:36

-And do you find it rewarding yourself?

-Very much.

0:37:360:37:40

It is like, just as a small person in the world,

0:37:400:37:43

being lucky that we were born here

0:37:430:37:45

and not in the situation where they are,

0:37:450:37:48

the least we can do is show them compassion and friendship.

0:37:480:37:52

-Shall we meet them?

-Yeah. Right.

-OK.

0:37:520:37:55

The refugees are involved in all sorts of activities,

0:37:580:38:01

from apple tree pruning to tractor driving,

0:38:010:38:05

and working with animals.

0:38:050:38:07

And there's plenty to do.

0:38:070:38:09

These cattle are being bedded down with fresh straw,

0:38:090:38:12

which gives me a chance to meet some of the refugees.

0:38:120:38:14

Mohammed comes from a rural background in Kurdistan.

0:38:160:38:19

A lot of people there live in the countryside

0:38:190:38:22

and look after sheep, cows...

0:38:220:38:24

-So it reminds you of home?

-Yeah.

0:38:240:38:26

-And I would love to live in a place like that.

-Yeah.

0:38:280:38:31

And why did you leave Kurdistan?

0:38:310:38:33

Every single night, people shooting,

0:38:330:38:36

people...

0:38:360:38:37

And people missing, people kidnappers...

0:38:370:38:40

And that's why I come to here.

0:38:400:38:42

And what about family?

0:38:420:38:44

Have you got some, still, back home?

0:38:440:38:46

Um...

0:38:460:38:48

I have got some, but they are all different place.

0:38:480:38:51

To be honest with you, I don't even know where are they.

0:38:510:38:54

So they just all moved away?

0:38:540:38:56

Yeah, moved away because there was war.

0:38:560:38:58

And there is still war in Iraq.

0:38:580:39:00

You know, I woke up at five o'clock in the morning for this.

0:39:000:39:04

Excited?

0:39:040:39:06

Exactly.

0:39:060:39:08

Let's go and get the cows back in.

0:39:080:39:10

There are smiles all round, and there is a happy atmosphere.

0:39:100:39:14

Martin Simmons is from Suffolk Refugee Support,

0:39:140:39:17

who organise the farm visits.

0:39:170:39:19

Martin, are there a lot of refugees worldwide?

0:39:190:39:22

Well, I think the latest UN figures suggest there are

0:39:220:39:25

more than 60 million people displaced globally.

0:39:250:39:29

That is the population of Britain.

0:39:290:39:31

It is pretty much the population of Britain, yes.

0:39:310:39:33

It is an incredible number,

0:39:330:39:35

and I think the most since the Second World War, if not ever.

0:39:350:39:38

Goodness me.

0:39:380:39:40

When refugees arrive in the UK, they very often end up

0:39:400:39:44

in urban centres, in big towns and cities,

0:39:440:39:47

because that's where they're housed,

0:39:470:39:49

that's where the support services are and the refugee communities are.

0:39:490:39:53

So what does bringing them to the farm help them with?

0:39:530:39:55

Just getting them into the great outdoors

0:39:550:39:57

and putting a smile on their face, or is it more than that?

0:39:570:40:00

I think that is the main thing they have been telling me,

0:40:000:40:03

just how free they feel when they leave the town

0:40:030:40:07

and all its hubbub and noise, and get out in the open air

0:40:070:40:11

and, you know, see the horizon. Just that is therapeutic for them.

0:40:110:40:16

People who have been through a lot of traumas and difficulties,

0:40:160:40:20

it has a real positive, psychological benefit.

0:40:200:40:24

Many of the refugees already have useful skills,

0:40:260:40:29

but the farm offers them a chance to learn new ones.

0:40:290:40:32

Ali was a truck driver in the oil industry

0:40:330:40:36

back in his native Kurdistan.

0:40:360:40:38

He has been learning how to handle a tractor.

0:40:380:40:42

-Well done. Hi. I'm Adam.

-All right?

0:40:420:40:45

-Good driving.

-Yeah. I'm a good driver, yeah.

0:40:450:40:47

And do you like coming to the farm?

0:40:470:40:49

Um... Definitely, I like it.

0:40:490:40:52

I get fresh air,

0:40:520:40:55

I am happier, really, with that,

0:40:550:40:58

because I am in Ipswich...

0:40:580:41:00

only I see the car, the noise and hum.

0:41:000:41:04

There's houses... I came out,

0:41:040:41:07

I feel really happy when I come outside, to this farm.

0:41:070:41:11

Let's get this bale rolled out for this pig, shall we?

0:41:110:41:14

-Ready?

-Yeah.

0:41:150:41:18

That's it.

0:41:240:41:26

THEY LAUGH

0:41:270:41:30

You OK?

0:41:310:41:32

Yeah. He is happy.

0:41:340:41:35

With 143 acres, Doeke has enough space to help allcomers,

0:41:370:41:41

including vulnerable people from the local community,

0:41:410:41:44

like Malcolm, who has dementia. It is busy in here.

0:41:440:41:48

Yeah. As you can see, we are doing a lot with compost

0:41:480:41:51

and just getting prepared for the new season.

0:41:510:41:55

-We've got Malcolm here.

-Hi, Malcolm.

-Hello.

-Good to meet you.

0:41:550:41:58

-Pleased to meet you.

-Shall I give you a hand here?

-Yeah.

0:41:580:42:01

-So what are you doing?

-Putting the compost in pots

0:42:010:42:03

-to sow some broad beans.

-OK, lovely.

0:42:030:42:05

-Hopefully we'll get a good crop during the spring time.

-Yeah.

0:42:050:42:09

And how long have you been coming here?

0:42:090:42:11

-Six years.

-Do you enjoy it?

-Yeah, I like it.

0:42:110:42:14

And what about these refugees that you're working with now?

0:42:140:42:17

-What do you think about that?

-A good idea.

0:42:170:42:20

They have farms in their country, and that, you know,

0:42:200:42:23

-that can bring them back to life, really.

-Yeah.

0:42:230:42:27

It's easy for people to say they shouldn't be here,

0:42:270:42:31

but I don't think people live in the real world.

0:42:310:42:34

They don't know what it is like to be in a war-torn country,

0:42:340:42:37

and things like that.

0:42:370:42:39

I think it is a good idea, a brilliant idea.

0:42:390:42:41

So what do you think to Doeke? He's not bad, is he?

0:42:410:42:44

He has his moments!

0:42:440:42:46

He's Dutch, ain't he?!

0:42:460:42:49

He's a good bloke, really.

0:42:490:42:50

A smashing man.

0:42:500:42:52

-Yeah.

-Well, lovely to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

0:42:520:42:55

I reckon it is going to be the best crop of beans

0:42:550:42:57

you have ever had now, eh? Good luck with it all. Bye-bye.

0:42:570:43:01

See you later, bye-bye.

0:43:010:43:03

MALCOLM LAUGHS

0:43:030:43:05

As the day on the farm comes to an end,

0:43:050:43:08

Doeke has one last gesture for the refugees.

0:43:080:43:11

So what's going on now, then, Doeke?

0:43:110:43:13

We have got produce left over on the farm

0:43:130:43:16

and we had some local people come this morning,

0:43:160:43:20

bringing some books and clothing for the refugees to take back home.

0:43:200:43:25

Wonderful.

0:43:250:43:27

And I think, just on a personal level,

0:43:270:43:29

it reminds me of stories from my mum

0:43:290:43:31

where farmers and people in the countryside

0:43:310:43:34

helped her and her family to survive,

0:43:340:43:36

so I think this is just a gesture...

0:43:360:43:39

-Very fitting, isn't it?

-Very much.

0:43:390:43:41

It is touching to see people doing this, yeah.

0:43:410:43:44

And it is wonderful, the work you're doing. Long may it continue.

0:43:440:43:47

Yeah, thank you and, yeah, we will.

0:43:470:43:50

-Thanks very much. All the best. Bye-bye. Good luck.

-Bye. Thank you.

0:43:500:43:54

Today, Ellie and I are exploring Ashdown Forest.

0:44:020:44:06

I'm visiting Twyford Farm,

0:44:080:44:10

which sits on the edge of this striking landscape.

0:44:100:44:13

Two years ago, farmers Bob Felton

0:44:180:44:20

and Liz Wallis took on the ten-year tenancy here,

0:44:200:44:23

and like many forward-thinking farmers,

0:44:230:44:26

they are making big changes.

0:44:260:44:28

But the big difference on this farm

0:44:310:44:33

is the ethos that drives it forward, and that comes from the landlords.

0:44:330:44:38

The Countryside Restoration Trust owns this farm,

0:44:400:44:43

along with seven others and three smallholdings across England.

0:44:430:44:47

Its founder and chairman is Robin Page.

0:44:480:44:50

And if you're thinking you recognise him from somewhere,

0:44:530:44:56

this might help jog your memory.

0:44:560:44:58

MUSIC: One Man And His Dog theme

0:44:580:45:01

Here we are, after eight weeks, the two finalists -

0:45:010:45:03

Bute here, aged ten, and Nap here, aged nine.

0:45:030:45:07

So, Robin, you started the Countryside Restoration Trust,

0:45:080:45:11

-what, 23 years ago?

-Yeah, 1993.

0:45:110:45:14

We were fed up with wildlife disappearing from farmland.

0:45:140:45:19

Right.

0:45:190:45:21

We were fed up with farmland being ignored,

0:45:210:45:24

fed up with people saying the future is national parks,

0:45:240:45:29

and now we have got nearly 2,000 acres -

0:45:290:45:33

eight farms, three smallholdings.

0:45:330:45:35

So when you're talking about these farms

0:45:350:45:37

and this acreage that you have, then,

0:45:370:45:40

is that the Trust's, and then you invite people to work on that land?

0:45:400:45:43

I mean, how does it actually work?

0:45:430:45:45

Well, first of all, we started buying land,

0:45:450:45:49

and land that had been industrially farmed,

0:45:490:45:52

and we changed the system

0:45:520:45:54

and we changed it to a mosaic of crops,

0:45:540:45:59

with beetle banks

0:45:590:46:00

and grass margins, and the key to it all is

0:46:000:46:04

we want people working the land,

0:46:040:46:07

we want them farming with wildlife-friendly farming,

0:46:070:46:12

so that you can be on the fields, you can hear skylarks,

0:46:120:46:17

you can see barn owls, you can have the brown hare...

0:46:170:46:21

Farming and wildlife together, we think that is the future.

0:46:210:46:26

Listen, I was going to ask about the relationship

0:46:260:46:28

and how you then work with you farmers that are looking after

0:46:280:46:31

your properties, but I think we'll have a word with Bob about that.

0:46:310:46:34

Yeah.

0:46:340:46:35

Now, then, Bob. How are things?

0:46:390:46:41

-All right. Welcome to Twyford.

-Thank you very much.

0:46:410:46:44

How long have you been here on this wonderful property,

0:46:440:46:48

and how did you end up with it, Bob?

0:46:480:46:50

The property was put on the market for tender

0:46:500:46:53

approximately two years ago.

0:46:530:46:55

We liked the ethos of the Countryside Restoration Trust.

0:46:550:46:58

I had been in intensive dairy most of my life...

0:46:580:47:02

-Right, so you knew...

-..so the idea of backing off a bit appealed.

0:47:020:47:07

Is it a lot more hard work for you to farm in this way?

0:47:070:47:11

No, I wouldn't say it is a lot more hard work.

0:47:110:47:13

-You have to think before you move.

-Yeah.

0:47:130:47:16

The landscape and the ground doesn't lend itself to real flat-out

0:47:160:47:20

commercial production, and we don't want to do that now.

0:47:200:47:23

Hopefully we are setting an example.

0:47:230:47:24

I wouldn't be quite as bold to say we are, but we're trying.

0:47:240:47:28

But you're passionate about what you're doing,

0:47:280:47:30

-and it feels right for you.

-It feels right and you have to be to do it,

0:47:300:47:34

otherwise it doesn't work.

0:47:340:47:36

Bob and Liz have started a range of Trust-endorsed schemes here.

0:47:370:47:41

Right, that will do.

0:47:410:47:44

Today, they are working on their latest project.

0:47:460:47:49

With the help of some volunteers,

0:47:490:47:52

they're planting a wildlife-friendly hedgerow.

0:47:520:47:55

You've got 12 different species.

0:48:010:48:03

Yeah. Don't ask me to list them all!

0:48:030:48:06

Yeah, but the ultimate goal obviously being...

0:48:060:48:09

To provide seeds and habitat for birds and other wildlife.

0:48:090:48:13

It is going to be quite something, though, isn't it,

0:48:130:48:16

-in ten years' time, with that kind of variety?

-We hope so.

-Yes.

0:48:160:48:20

So when you finish planting this hedge, what's next on the job list?

0:48:320:48:36

-We're taking up the commoner's rights and putting some cattle on the forest.

-Right.

0:48:360:48:40

So doing your bit for the lowland heathland

0:48:400:48:43

-that is so precious around here?

-Absolutely.

0:48:430:48:46

It all ties in with the Trust and the forest and everything else.

0:48:460:48:49

Yeah. So the future seems bright for the farm,

0:48:490:48:52

for the forest and for the wildlife.

0:48:520:48:54

BIRDSONG

0:48:590:49:02

We've been exploring Sussex.

0:49:020:49:04

Now I am heading to Ashdown Forest

0:49:040:49:06

in search of its literary claim to fame.

0:49:060:49:09

Sitting on the sandy ridge of the High Weald, Ashdown Forest

0:49:160:49:19

with its wide vistas and wooded walks is a stunning setting.

0:49:190:49:23

But it also has an enchanting quality,

0:49:250:49:27

because this beautiful place goes by another name,

0:49:270:49:30

the Hundred Acre Wood.

0:49:300:49:32

It was the real-life inspiration for the adventures

0:49:340:49:38

of one of the world's most famous bears, Winnie-The-Pooh.

0:49:380:49:42

These woods were home to Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger,

0:49:420:49:46

and it was here that they played

0:49:460:49:48

with a little boy called Christopher Robin.

0:49:480:49:52

"Through copse and spinney marched Bear,

0:49:540:49:56

"down open slopes of gorse and heather,

0:49:560:50:00

"over rocky beds of streams,

0:50:000:50:03

"up steep back banks of sandstone into heather again,

0:50:030:50:07

"and so, at last, tired and hungry, to the Hundred Acre Wood."

0:50:070:50:12

Now I am hoping to find the places

0:50:160:50:18

where those adventures really happened.

0:50:180:50:21

Written by AA Milne for his son Christopher Robin, Winnie-The-Pooh

0:50:230:50:27

is a series of stories about the magical forest adventures

0:50:270:50:31

of a young boy and his imaginary animal friends.

0:50:310:50:34

This year is the 90th anniversary of the day that Pooh, Piglet

0:50:340:50:39

and their friends stumbled into our lives.

0:50:390:50:42

But with just this map to guide me,

0:50:420:50:44

it's not easy to find my way around.

0:50:440:50:47

Where is the enchanted place?

0:50:470:50:50

Luckily, Chris Sutton, the forest ranger responsible for looking after

0:50:520:50:56

the real Hundred Acre Wood is on hand to guide me.

0:50:560:50:59

Chris, do you get many people coming here looking for Winnie-The-Pooh?

0:50:590:51:03

Oh, yes. You get families with their children coming up

0:51:030:51:06

and they love it and you can say,

0:51:060:51:07

-"I've just seen Tigger bouncing away into the undergrowth."

-Aw, great.

0:51:070:51:11

How do you think the landscape has changed since the time of AA Milne,

0:51:110:51:14

when he was here getting inspiration for the stories?

0:51:140:51:17

The vegetation has got a lot taller,

0:51:170:51:19

because there would have been a lot of grazing out here

0:51:190:51:22

from the commoners' animals,

0:51:220:51:24

but he would recognise the features that are here.

0:51:240:51:27

All these features here on the map in the book,

0:51:270:51:30

how have you managed to identify them?

0:51:300:51:32

I found the ones which are on the top of the forest that are obvious,

0:51:320:51:36

and then, some of the others, I had used a bit of poetic licence.

0:51:360:51:39

But then, AA Milne would have done the same.

0:51:390:51:41

He would have seen the features and drawn the stories around them.

0:51:410:51:44

Excellent. What's the closest one to where we are now?

0:51:440:51:46

-The heffalump trap, which is just round here.

-Oh, right, let's take a look at that.

0:51:460:51:50

Oh, yeah. You can actually really tell where that big tree is placed,

0:51:500:51:55

and the big hole in the ground.

0:51:550:51:57

Catch those pesky heffalumps, trying to eat Pooh's honey.

0:51:570:52:00

-It was good.

-What else have you got near here, then?

0:52:000:52:03

We have got the sandy pit where Roo played,

0:52:030:52:05

-and it is just back up the track.

-Lovely. Let's take a look.

-OK.

0:52:050:52:08

-It's a big sandpit.

-Oh, it's fantastic.

0:52:130:52:15

It is where Roo would have played.

0:52:150:52:17

It would have been sandy 90 years ago,

0:52:170:52:19

but it is overgrown now because it is an old quarry site.

0:52:190:52:22

I'm looking for the enchanted place. Can you tell me where to find it?

0:52:220:52:25

Yes, it's back up the track, up to the top of the trees,

0:52:250:52:27

and then you turn left and it's right on top of the forest,

0:52:270:52:30

a lovely clump of trees.

0:52:300:52:32

Ah!

0:52:370:52:38

Could this be it?

0:52:400:52:42

It's a circle of trees.

0:52:430:52:46

63, could be 64 of them, and I could comfortably sit down, no prickles.

0:52:460:52:52

CHILDREN GIGGLE

0:52:520:52:54

And I can hear children,

0:52:540:52:56

so this MUST be the enchanted place.

0:52:560:52:59

"I think we all ought to play pooh sticks,

0:52:590:53:02

"so they did, and Eeyore,

0:53:020:53:05

"who had never played it before, won more times than anybody else.

0:53:050:53:10

"And Roo fell in twice,

0:53:100:53:12

"the first time by accident and the second time on purpose.

0:53:120:53:16

"And he knew he'd have to go to bed anyhow."

0:53:160:53:19

Aw, that's lovely.

0:53:190:53:21

What is it about the stories, do you think, that captivates the children?

0:53:210:53:24

I think it's just really magical

0:53:240:53:27

and I think because parents have grown up with it,

0:53:270:53:29

and the children,

0:53:290:53:30

it's a very familiar thing, especially around here,

0:53:300:53:33

because we are on the doorstep of the Hundred Acre Wood

0:53:330:53:36

and we are really lucky, we can come up here, we can

0:53:360:53:40

go for lovely walks, it gets children outside in the fresh air.

0:53:400:53:43

-Does anybody know the game pooh sticks?

-CHILDREN: Yes!

0:53:430:53:47

-Yes? Does anybody want to play pooh sticks?

-CHILDREN: Yes!

0:53:470:53:50

-Shall we go and warm up and do it?

-CHILDREN: Yes!

0:53:500:53:53

All right, let's do it.

0:53:530:53:54

We need some sticks on the way, don't we?

0:53:540:53:56

Look out for the best sticks.

0:53:560:53:58

"So they went off together,

0:53:580:54:00

"but wherever they go and whatever happens to them on the way,

0:54:000:54:04

"in that enchanted place on top of the forest,

0:54:040:54:08

"a little boy and his bear will always be playing."

0:54:080:54:12

-Hello!

-I've got world champions.

-Well, it is lovely to see you all,

0:54:120:54:17

because that is all we have got time for this week.

0:54:170:54:19

Next week, we'll be in the three counties of Herefordshire,

0:54:190:54:22

Gloucestershire and Worcestershire,

0:54:220:54:24

where I'll be learning local traditional skills.

0:54:240:54:26

I'll be exploring the ultimate in wildlife gardens. We'll see you then.

0:54:260:54:29

-Everybody ready?

-This is it. Come on, team, here we go!

0:54:290:54:32

And go!

0:54:320:54:34

Oh...

0:54:340:54:36

Let's find out who's going to be the winner.

0:54:360:54:39

-Oh!

-There it is!

0:54:390:54:42

Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison are in Sussex exploring Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood in AA Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Matt also visits a farm belonging to the Countryside Restoration Trust, which promotes wildlife-friendly farming. Ellie is on the hunt for woodpeckers - easy to hear, but harder to spot. John Craven is at West Rise, the state junior school with a difference: it has a bronze-age settlement and buffalo roaming its marshlands. Tom Heap is in Scotland where there's fresh concern about the impact that wind farms could have on birdlife. But how much of a threat do turbines really pose? And Adam Henson meets the farmer opening his farm to help refugees.


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