Ellie Harrison and Matt Baker are in the Peaks in Derbyshire, looking at how the geology there gives rise to two distinct landforms - the Dark Peak and the White Peak.
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Two very different landforms that have shaped the county's landscape,
This fabulous limestone is what gives the White Peak its name.
Now these rocks are the relics of an ancient reef, weathered and eroded
over time but there are even greater treasures way down beneath my feet.
Where the limestone of the White Peak gives way to
the gritstone of the Dark Peak lives one of our most beautiful creatures.
Mountain hares, and at this time of year they're moulting their
The thing is, that could spell trouble for the population here.
Tom's also searching for an elusive animal.
I'm on the lookout for wild boar, which can be a bit hit-and-miss
to be over 1,000 here in the Forest of Dean,
that's quite a big patch and, as I'll be finding out,
not everybody thinks they are a welcome sight.
And Adam's taking a look at an essential piece of farming kit.
Modern-day tractors have got onboard computers and satellite navigation.
But, believe it or not, I learned to drive on a tractor
they've changed, even in my short lifetime.
The jutting crags and brooding moors of the Peak District in Derbyshire.
Visible signs of a tale that starts long, long ago.
Like all good stories, it's a tale of light and dark.
But it's not about good versus evil, dragons and knights,
The Peak District is divided into two halves.
The White Peak of limestone formed from marine creatures that
lived hundreds of millions of years ago when this land was underwater.
And the Dark Peak of gritstone and shale washed down from the Highlands.
The story begins with these two different types of rock,
how they've shaped the landscape, its wildlife, its industry.
And where better to begin than here near Castleton -
where the Yin of the White Peak meets the Yang of the Dark Peak?
And it's the ancient story of the white limestone
that fascinates local geologist Pete Lauder.
Of all the places in the Peak District,
Well, the reason, really, Matt, is because this is the best place
to have a look at a limestone reef in Derbyshire.
We're talking about an underwater reef.
Well, the water would have been just above our heads here.
Just lapping over the top of us. Yeah.
And the reef would have been going down out there into a very,
very deep basin. That was around about 350 million years ago,
in a period of time which we call the Carboniferous.
And you can see that the front of the reef curves all the way
round there, round towards Castleton and above Castleton over there.
This rock here was made up of microorganisms,
lime-secreting algae, along with lots of other reef-building things
that grew through that and supported the reef.
Just beyond that, behind us, would have been a very shallow lagoon
Measured in sort of metres. How far did this reef extend, then, Pete?
and probably the best way I can show you is on a map.
So we are here and the reef continues on round here...
You can also see it extending over here. Yeah, it is big, then.
So this is a series of reefs over a period of time
and that defines a very large lagoon about 35km by round about 25km.
I mean, there must be a huge amount of evidence of an underwater habitat,
otherwise you would have no idea that it was a reef.
and that's exactly the reason why I brought you here. A fossil hunt?
A fossil hunt. Oh, yeah, I'm excited about that. Let's go.
Don't forget your rucksack. OK, let's go, right.
And tucked away on a very windy ridge,
we find the proof that we're looking for.
So all these tiny little circles here, they almost look
like that could be erosion through rain or what have you, but how do you
know that these were sea creatures or some kind of marine life?
And here's one that I found in Indonesia. Oh, my goodness.
And you can see they're exactly the same. Yes.
So it tells us here that the corals 350 million years ago
formed in warm, clear, shallow, aerated waters.
So looking at this horseshoe shape that's right in front of us here,
would these corals stretch all the way around the outside?
Well, they would. All the way round the edge
Not just the corals, though, but here you can see that's
covered with these little fossils which are called crinoids.
That is just mesmerising. These are sea lilies. Right.
They're akin today to things like sea urchins.
OK, and it's very important, isn't it, to leave this kind of stuff here.
For anybody that's visiting the Peak District and thinks
and then put this on the mantelpiece...
Well, indeed, I bring my students here
and we like to have that left there for everyone to see.
So this is the reason why we brought these from broken slabs that
there are still greater treasures to be found right beneath my feet.
And later, I'll be heading underground to see them.
Now, it's often claimed it was here in the Peak District
that the last of our native wild boar was killed.
what we do know is that the wild boar is back in Britain and,
as Tom has been discovering, not everyone's happy about it.
The idea of reintroducing native wild animals
to our countryside sounds romantic and it's already happening.
Once on the brink of extinction in the UK,
red kites have become a common sight since we brought them back.
And released beavers have established colonies in Scotland.
Wildlife groups say these are success stories,
though some people, including farmers,
are worried about their impact on their life and the landscape.
The biggest controversy comes from plans to reintroduce
large mammals at the top of the food chain, like wolves.
There's been lots of speculation about what effect
the return of large animals could have
but there is already an example here in Gloucestershire - the wild boar.
They became extinct in Britain more than 300 years ago but,
in the 1990s, people imported them from Europe for commercial farming.
Some escaped and now people are reporting sightings
By far the biggest population is in the Forest of Dean,
where I've come to find out about the impact they are having.
First, though, I want to see one for myself.
They're very inquisitive, I liken them to cows.
They've got very bad eyesight, very good sense of smell,
they're very curious and, very often,
when they sense ourselves or a dog, they'll approach us.
David Slater has become skilled at spotting the boar
And he's going to help me to track one now.
The paths are quite worn here, do they follow some of the same tracks?
They roam around night and day and we're quickly on the trail.
Here are some trees where they've been rubbing up against.
This one, you can see they've taken a big chunk out of it.
What they do, they sharpen their teeth for fighting.
An adult male can weigh up to 200 kilos,
I'd say that's a few days old. Plenty of signs.
Suddenly, every tree stump is a potential boar shape.
Two hours in and the most promising sign yet,
I think even someone with limited tracking experience,
like myself, might have a chance of following this for a while.
We follow the trail deep into the woods.
Slightly losing the mud but there seems to be some
disturbance in the ground going off this way.
A lot of ground disturbance, you can see they have been here.
But it's gone four o'clock and getting dark.
Sadly we haven't seen any boar yet and night has fallen
but that isn't the end of our filming because we have an infrared
camera, which means you can see in the dark and we have a camera trap.
OK, Dave, where do you think we should put it?
These night-vision cameras are motion-activated,
so any animal passing this way should be recorded.
And, when we review the footage, there's plenty of wildlife,
We finally caught one on camera, an impressive beast back in the wild
but not everyone in the Forest of Dean
The presence of the wild boar is certainly causing a stir
It seems that, in the Forest of Dean,
everybody knows someone who's had a run-in with these beasts.
The boar rumours even include claims they've taken lambs,
something we've found no direct evidence for.
But there certainly have been some nasty incidents involving dogs.
Jane Morse nearly lost her springer spaniel Lily
No lasting damage? No. She's doing OK. Good, that all seems fine.
Lily's one of a handful of boar-injured dogs
vet Mark Hinds has operated on in recent years.
Tell me about the actual incident, what happened?
Well, we just took her out into the wood where we live and we've been
doing that walk for years and years and years
and the next thing we know, there was horrific squealing and noise
and, obviously, she'd disturbed a boar.
What did she look like when she came out? There was blood everywhere.
Across her stomach she had a piercing right through here
and I think she had about 10 or 12 stitches across her stomach.
Wow. I know, it was pretty horrific at the time.
How often do you see incidents like this?
We probably see one or two a year, not too many
but, when we do, they're pretty major injuries.
Its leg shattered by a boar. It's typical of stories from local vets.
Last year, more than 100 boar were killed in car crashes,
First thing I knew is all the airbags went off.
I didn't even see the boar initially,
just ploughed straight into it head-on.
All the airbags went off, ground to a halt
and then through a gap I could just about see this boar in the road
and wrote my car off and he walked away.
the boar are stumbling into another row,
as they churn up land in their hunt for food.
Boars can just roll up the turf like it was a piece of carpet,
rootling around beneath for worms, grubs, roots,
And it's not just an isolated patch. Look at that.
Roadside verges and gardens can all get the treatment.
Even the local community hospital's putting up a new fence after
And there are concerns they turn woodland into mudbaths,
destroying bluebells and other wild flowers.
It seems the boar are courting trouble every way they turn.
So how can a once extinct heavyweight wild animal
fit back into the 21st-century British countryside?
who want to reintroduce other wild animals like the lynx or the wolf?
ELLIE: Earlier, Matt was exploring the limestone country
I'm a few miles north in the Dark Peak.
This landscape is defined by gritstone, a brooding presence.
And, on a clear day, one of the best places to see it is up here
I've come up here hoping to walk a bit of the edge with
married couple Paul Besley and Alison Council.
so he should be able to guide us through this fog.
Paul, Alison, how are you doing? Hello. Hello. Good.
Worth that hike for this incredible view that I've been promised(!)
This is where we are here, so we're on what's called the Long Causeway
So, we've got the gritstone behind us, and in front of us,
this is the gritstone country we're stood in front of now,
and then beyond that you've got the villages of Eyam and Castleton,
and that's where the limestone country starts.
It's inspiring stuff, isn't it, Alison?
So lucky to be living close to the Peak District -
'Alison's an internationally renowned artist.'
'She draws inspiration from the rocks above her head,
'the ground beneath her feet and the maps she uses to explore it.
'Her work takes its cue from Ordnance Survey maps,
'but instead of flat paper, she brings the land to life
'in three glittering and shimmering dimensions.
'Her first work can be seen in Sheffield's Millennium Gallery.'
And it looks amazing against the older pieces, too, doesn't it?
Quite abstract - what's it made out of?
It's made out of stainless steel. And what's your idea behind it?
I was very interested in photo etching -
I just sort of thought I'd try etching a map.
So, this is the first map I've done of an actual place.
I chose an area very close to where I live,
which is the bottom right-hand reservoir, Damflask. Right.
We can see the thing on the map, here... Yeah.
So, this is very local to where I live, and I used to quite regularly
kind of run and walk around this reservoir.
And steel because of the area we're in - cos we're here in Sheffield.
I love stainless steel as a material,
and I was interested in kind of making drawings into 3-D objects.
This stainless steel here's about a millimetre thick,
but you can still see there's quite a lot of detail in there,
with the reservoir being etched into it.
It's amazing - the detail on there, as you say,
it's quite extraordinary, given how thick it is,
and that gives it this almost draughtsman-like quality -
the accuracy of a map - and it can kind of, as you move around,
gives you a flight over the landscape
that you can't really get otherwise. Mm-hm.
From this, Alison has gone on to create
other areas of Britain in the same exacting detail.
Back in her studio, she's showing me how the metal maps are made.
I've got a simple grid, so I outline the grid,
and I enlarge it, which we see here. Oh, yeah.
I then select the contour lines that I'm going to put on the piece...
No. So, on this particular map, I'm doing it every 50m.
the whole map might kind of disintegrate, so it's...
Because they'd be too close together.
So, that gives you a printout of what we've got,
and I can then e-mail this for etching in stainless steel.
Alison's drawings are printed onto film...
..and chemicals are used to eat away at the metal,
It does - it comes back as a flat sheet.
Can I have a go at popping them out? You can do.
There's the actual map. Oh, it looks amazing.
Um, and obviously you've got to read your contours.
Shall I just do one to kind of start you off? Yeah.
so I would just hold it on each side of the contour...
You're pushing down? I'm pushing that one down, and that one...
Oh, because that one's high. ..that one's going to go up.
A bit of map-reading's in order, as well.
You do - you do need to know your contours. How amazing.
Oh, a wide variety of people - it could be just general map lovers.
People normally have some kind of association with the area, so...
because she'd met her fiance climbing at Malham Cove... Aww.
..and she was going to put it on his pillow
the night before they got married. Romantic! Really romantic.
because I've been so worried about breaking it... It won't break.
You're doing very well, there. I'll keep working on it.
You're doing very well. I'll keep lifting the land as I go.
Is this is where we were? Yes - we walked up there.
Oh, yeah! Yes, yeah. We walked up this little kind of valley, here...
Hey! ..and then were about to go up Stanage Edge.
There we go! So, that feels like a reward for the walk today.
'a striking memento of the Dark Peak.'
Now, as we know, the UK has taken a battering
with flooding in parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland,
One area that was particularly badly hit was Cumbria,
where they had to cope with record amounts of rainfall.
We've been there to see how the rural community is managing.
This film contains images some people may find upsetting.
Cumbria, a land of hill farms, villages and market towns.
Last weekend, it was hit hard by record amounts of rain.
Nature has turned this beautiful rural county upside down.
There are 33 severe flood warnings in place across the UK,
and Cumbria Police have declared a major incident.
Carlisle and towns like Kendal were hit hard,
but the floods also brought chaos to the countryside.
Destruction, devastation - there's nothing left, you know?
We didn't even know if we were going to survive it.
Fierce water - not just still water, raging. Raging water.
For many farmers, the damage has been devastating.
John Richardson farms Swaledale sheep near the village of Dufton.
His family have been here for four generations.
There was news warnings on the Friday
that the weather was going to be a little bit bleak.
We made sure all the sheep were put onto high ground.
John received a worrying phone call from his neighbour.
He says, "You're going to have to come quick -
"there's some sheep on the way down the river,"
and where the sheep had been sheltering,
it had all given away and washed them into the river.
The sheer volume of water had caused a landslide,
dragging down everything in its path.
but altogether we had 41... missing.
There's nowhere else for them to have gone.
And for John and his son Ben, it's now a recovery operation.
The water was - well, you can see, on the rock face, there.
the river lays bare the tragedy it inflicted.
It's our livelihood, and we've put all the work in -
lambing them, picking the rams to get them.
But we can't leave them in the river, or the riverside.
It's only six months since I had a packet of them pinched, you know,
and flood's come and IT'S pinched them, now, so...
You just don't recover overnight. It takes a long while.
You miss those best bloodlines, and it's... That's the big worry.
John's not alone - other farms lost livestock, too,
and a huge amount of rural property and land
But the Cumbrian community is rallying round.
An old fire station in the market town of Penrith
to where we're organising the donations...
Anne Marie Lynch is one of the volunteers
helping to get aid to isolated rural areas.
They have no power, they have no water.
An area of Appleby last night received no help whatsoever,
We have people in Patterdale who are very hard to reach,
and we're actually using the army and mountain rescue to get to them.
Volunteer Kerryanne Wilde is off to deliver care packages
to some of the smaller villages and hamlets in the county.
All the houses down here are uninsurable,
so when they are flooded, they absolutely lose everything.
Driving through Keswick and seeing people's homes, full homes,
the dirt and the sewerage that's been left behind,
It's really hard to be professional when it's your own county,
it's your own people that have been so badly hit and affected.
First stop is Sue and John Dust in the village of Tebay.
Those garden walls that you can see across the road,
it was basically level with those walls.
You could have put a boat on it. It was a horrendous sight.
Sue's 68-year-old neighbour Joan Smith
also became stranded by the rising water.
and within less than half a minute - and I mean half a minute -
it was completely all across, right the way through the bottom floor.
I said to my husband, "There's some candles in there,"
so he grabbed some candles, and I was out there trying to light them,
and my son said, "Mum, we've got to go, Mum, we've got to go.
But trudging through that water from here up to my son's car...
But there you go - what did they say in the war? "Keep calm and carry on."
Amongst all the heartache, it's great to see how the community
and the emergency services in Cumbria have rallied round
even in the most isolated rural areas.
But many now want to know why this happened,
and whether they'll be protected in the future.
It's an issue we'll be returning to in the new year.
Earlier, Tom was on the trail of wild boar.
These once-lost animals now seem to be on the loose all over
the British Isles, and causing some concerns.
So, are there lessons to learn about reintroducing wild animals
Escapes from boar farms have resulted in sightings
and here, in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire,
a perfect habitat seems to be leading to a population explosion.
There are said to be over a thousand here,
but their apparent success isn't going down well with everyone.
The wild boar root up pasture and the roadside verge,
have run-ins with dogs, and are even blamed for car accidents.
So, have all of you guys got stories about boar?
We've had instances of boar in our garden.
They've broken through our garden fence
and managed to turn over the whole garden,
so it looks like a vegetable patch, now.
It's been rotovated all the way over,
so we let the dogs out to try and shoo him away,
and he chased all three dogs back into the house,
is when they get onto the cricket pitches, the football pitches...
So, just if I can go round - I mean, if I can ask you, sort of,
leave them alone, fewer or none at all, what would you say?
Get rid of them. LAUGHTER
'It seems the boar are making rather a meal of this comeback.'
Some locals are so annoyed they've taken the law into their own hands,
and there are reports of attacks with crossbows and air guns -
and Gloucestershire Police say they get a call
about illegal boar hunting most weeks.
But there is an official way to control the boar population.
Shooting boar - with the right gun and the landowner's permission -
Felix Bihlmeier gets called in to do just that
when wild boar stray out of the forest and onto farmland.
I've come to private woodland on the edge of the Forest of Dean
that the boar have come back to the British countryside?
Er, well, I'm an old romantic - I think it's wonderful.
Us hunters like pursuing it, it's a very old tradition,
however, boar and man will create conflict,
It's a prolific breeder, and the breeding time bomb is ticking.
This point you make about - you welcome them,
but they need to be managed - do you think that need to manage
the species applies to other things people are thinking
of reintroducing, I don't know, like, lynx or wolf or beaver,
but then you probably need compensation schemes
for livestock that is going to get killed, et cetera, et cetera.
With the necessary amount of public protection, it can be done.
You can't just introduce them and sort of forget about it,
and hope that everything will rub along OK?
Er, it won't. You will end up with a huge problem.
'The body trying to prevent that kind of problem with the boar
'is the Forestry Commission, which owns most the woodland here,
'and culls increasing numbers of them every year.'
They want to limit the population to under 400 -
the trouble is, the fast-breeding boar keep producing more young
but they say the population went up by 200.
think that cull may not be needed at all.
with photographer and boar-lover David Slater.
but it seems that the problem is with a minority of residents here,
who, for one reason or another, don't like the mess they cause.
So, for you, no need for a cull in the forest?
No, I think that the core area should be left alone as,
like, a preserve for the wild boar to become natural,
and natural behaviour, and marksmen should be brought in
on high chairs to shoot them once they've left the forest.
Right, so, within the forest, a sanctuary - but beyond there,
if they're causing problems on farmland, you can cull them?
Oh, yeah, yeah - I think most of the public here do support the boar.
They find it a thrill to go out in the forest, now.
Previous to that, it was just deer and foxes which you already saw,
and your day in the forest was a bit drab, actually.
Now there's something actually to go out and find.
The possibility of meeting a 200 kilo wild boar
certainly adds a frisson to a walk in the woods.
But will the reaction be "welcome back" or "watch out"?
Reinstating native species is generally welcomed
as evidence of us redressing the balance with nature and wilderness -
and preventing that spiralling into undue suffering -
for us or, in this case, the boar - requires management and tolerance.
The story back here in the Peak District
is one of rock, and time, and the actions of elements.
to take fantastic limestone formations like these for granted,
but this view - well, it's just a moment in time
which has taken 350 million years to get here.
But how can something as simple as rain on rock cause
Pete, my geologist guide to the Peak District,
has a simple experiment to show how this happens.
and you can see limestone, as we've said,
..and the shells are also calcium carbonate.
is you can see these joints in here - that's very, very important.
Right, so, we'll get the goggle down for this bit... Yes.
..and pick up this bottle of hydrochloric acid.
Indeed - this is dilute hydrochloric acid,
and I'm going to pour it on the limestone here,
and I want you to see what happens. OK.
Oh, there's a definite reaction there, then - it's fizzing.
It's fizzing - and what's coming off there is carbon dioxide gas...
Mm-hm. ..and this is what happens to limestone.
Limestone, when you put acid on it, it will effervesce,
it will fizz - and this is weathering.
Of course, it's rain - rain, also, is slightly acidic,
it starts to weather away the limestone.
You also notice it's going down the cracks, here,
and the joints on the rock, and, of course,
this limestone is very, very jointed,
and so what's happening is, as the water goes down,
it weathers away the rock and erodes away the rock,
and this is why we have such fabulous caves
right beneath us here in the Peak District. Yeah!
I am going to be going and having a look at.
from looking back 350 million years into the past,
to looking forward to 365 days in the very near future.
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The British countryside is forever changing,
moulded by the force of nature and by farming -
but the land needs to be worked to provide us with food.
It's something Adam knows only too well.
There's one machine that's not only shaped our landscape
more than any other, but also changed the future of agriculture.
As a kid, I had a fascination with tractors -
and why wouldn't I, growing up on a farm?
And it was always on the top of my Christmas wish list
to have a toy tractor just like this one.
But as I got older, it was out with the toys
I've owned about 20 different tractors over the years,
and, like many farmers, I couldn't live without one.
Tractors might have all the mod cons these days,
but the latest technology isn't for everyone.
Patrick Edwards from Little Clanfield in Oxfordshire
has, well, just a slight obsession with vintage tractors.
My word, what a beautiful traction engine. Thank you very much.
It's built in 1899 - Charles Burrell and Sons.
It's a seven-horse single traction engine
which would have been used for agricultural work.
hearing it chuntering away in the background? Yeah, yeah.
How long does it take to get it going, then?
From pulling out a shed, you're about three,
four hours before you can go to work. Oh, goodness me!
Most farmers would have turned the key and done half the farm by then!
That's right. That's right, yeah, yeah.
So, big effort. Shall we take her for a spin? Yes, no problem.
HE LAUGHS Always wear your hat, do you?
Always wear my bowler hat when I'm on the engine.
Hang on, I'm on the steering wheel - does that matter? That's fine.
Oh, this is exciting - it's a first for me!
And when these things first appeared on the roads,
it must have been an amazing scene. Well, it must have been -
because obviously the transport then, in 1899,
A horse could plough an acre of ground in a day,
and, you know, ploughing engines could probably plough
Wow, so it really was a step in mechanisation. It was.
And you've got quite a collection of old tractors, haven't you?
if you'd like me to show you round an old tractor or two,
I can do that, that's no problem. Yeah, I'd love to do that.
I'm just thankful I didn't bring my chequebook.
LAUGHS: My word, Patrick! How come you've got so many?
Well, it started as a hobby 35 years ago,
and then we started buying and selling tractors,
and it became a business which we're running today.
Some lovely classics - a little Fergie, there.
Yeah, the little grey and gold 35, yeah - it's a classic.
I worked away on Chatsworth Estate for a year,
and that was my tractor, a 135. Was it? Incredible, yeah. Yeah.
I was very proud to be driving it at the time.
Lots of people learn on a little 135.
I've got an old standard Fordson, which was my first tractor,
which was my hobby, and that was when I was 14,
so I can show you that, if you like. Still got it?! Still got it!
So, this is your first tractor - it's lovely, Patrick.
Yeah, this is it. Why did you go for a Fordson?
Well, as a seven-year-old, I came over to your farm,
and your dad let me sit on his old standard Fordson.
You probably didn't know that. No! No, what a connection!
And that inspired me to want a Fordson -
and when I was 14, I bought this tractor, and restored it, and...
OK, shall we start her up? We can try!
Yeah. I'll turn the handle, shall I? I'll do the controls, here.
where's the satellite guidance, has it got any of that?
I'm afraid it hasn't got any of that!
Oh, it's just beautiful. Really lovely.
Today's tractors offer a whole new level of technology,
which even as a farmer, I'm struggling to keep up with.
I'm visiting the largest tractor factory in the UK.
This site in Basildon, Essex, has more than a mile of assembly line.
It's staggering to think a brand-new tractor
rolls off the production line every four minutes.
From here, the machines are shipped all over the world.
Plant manager Bob Shirley is on hand to tell me more.
This is incredible, Bob. What's going on here, then?
The transmissions and the axles start over here,
we then put them onto the auto-guided vehicles,
they take them, then, into sequence in this production process,
They then go to the beginning of the production line.
then it joins onto a continuous process for the next 2.5km.
It's a full-on production line, isn't it? Absolutely, for sure.
And this is one element where we need the people content
This is where we now marry the cab to the chassis,
and it's very much a teamwork effort.
There's four people in four corners of the cab,
drop it down onto the chassis in a safe way.
It's really lovely - it's when the tractor sort of comes altogether
Next, the tractors are tested on a dynamic rolling road -
and I've been given the chance to put this one through its paces.
The electronics on these modern machines are just incredible.
All done through a hi-tech computer on board.
Gone are the days if you could drink cider and use a scythe,
farming was for you - you've got to be a techno-wizard nowadays.
These modern day tractors are designed for operator comfort -
but, also, the technology on here is just unbelievable.
Everything's at your hand - touch screen,
all on a joystick, press buttons to go up and down through the gears,
and the engine is working out its optimum capacity
for fuel consumption and torque and drive - just amazing.
That was a lot of fun, driving that tractor on the rolling road -
and it really brings home to me how much technology's on these tractors.
I mean, it's like being in a helicopter or a jet.
and how long before we don't need drivers any more?
but certainly we're going in that direction -
the same as we are in the auto world.
But clearly we've got auto guidance within the tractor,
we're going to precision farming, where we can actually...
You can put the tractor within one or two centimetres,
year on year, in exactly the same position in the field.
And what sort of cost are we talking about?
Again, the T7 range, which is one of the larger tractors here, that range
is between ?150-180,000, so the price of a very expensive Ferrari.
Depends on whether you want to earn money or not, for sure!
Well, I might not get to take home a brand-new tractor,
but I have been given the opportunity to drive
the latest model off the end of the production line.
it's just brilliant the way these machines have evolved -
and who knows where they're going to be in the next 20 or 30 years?
I think the future for agriculture is really exciting.
While I'm in it, I wonder if anybody will notice
ELLIE: The Peak District in winter can be an unforgiving place.
The wind howls, it's damp, it's dark.
The feeble sun, shrouded in cloud, provides little warmth.
and I'm heading up onto the second highest peak in the area -
This is Bleaklow, and it's easy to see how it gets its name.
It's a plateau of peat bogs and open, exposed moorland,
and at this time of year, it's windy, cold and undeniably bleak.
To make your home up here, you'd have to be as hardy as they come -
and this is its last outpost in England.
An animal that, at this time of year,
undergoes an amazing transformation.
and, I really hope, to help me spot one -
They're well adapted to this tough place, aren't they?
They are - they're small, and they look cuddly,
but they're extremely tough little animals.
for thousands and thousands of years.
They were here following the last ice age -
brown hares were introduced much more recently by people,
but the mountain hares are able to survive in the upland,
where brown hares really don't do so well.
And this time of year they're going through this moulting process.
One of the really interesting things with mountain hares,
and it's something we don't really see
is that they change from the summer coat,
which is a sort of dull brown, to white,
and it happens about this time of year,
through the winter, and then they start to change back in March.
Their thick coat and small ears help stop heat loss.
Big back feet make walking on snow easier,
and that white coat makes them almost impossible to spot
and even though there's no snow on the ground today,
Phil reckons we'll be lucky to see one.
Their Latin name - I'm going to ask you to pronounce it.
Lepus timidus. "Timidus" - is that the clue that sort of tells us
that it's not going to be an easy day finding them?
I think that's probably a decent hint, yeah - they like to sit tight,
and quite often you come across them when you're walking across the moor,
and they'll jump up from underneath your feet.
but with the weather closing in, the chances are slim.
God, I can't believe our binoculars picked that up, even!
Agh, disappointing! Little bit embarrassing, as well.
That must happen a lot, though. It does, yeah.
There's lots of things that look a little bit like a hare
Oh, sneaky. Let's keep looking. All right, let's keep looking.
And just when we're about to give up,
a flash of white from right under my feet.
Within moments, it's gone - a blur in the distance.
So, that's absolutely typical of the way that you'd see most hares.
But the hares here could be under threat.
A changing climate might affect their habitat.
The moorland here is part of a huge conservation project
to restore peat bogs and the uplands the hares love.
Sarah Proctor from Moors For The Future
How are you doing, you all right? Yeah, good, thank you.
Tell me about your community science project.
So, the community science project is encouraging people,
in the Peak District and South Pennines,
to tell us when and where they see mountain hares,
So, we're looking for them to tell us when they've seen them,
where they've seen them, how many of each animal,
and, for the mountain hares, we want to know what colour they are -
because mountain hares turn white in winter.
is whether or not there was snow on the ground when you've seen them,
because that's quite an important thing to know, as well.
What is the trigger for them moulting and changing colour?
We think it's day length, which means that in future,
if we continue to see a change in climate,
will we see a change in the mountain hares?
If they're bright white in winter and there's no snow... Yeah.
..then they're quite vulnerable to predation.
Much easier for predators to pick them off, then.
Much easier for predators to pick them off, yes.
It's a bitter irony that the very adaptations
that help these hares survive in these harsh surroundings
could threaten their existence if the climate were to change.
I'm happy to do my bit and record my sighting.
So, I've seen one... Great! ..and it was very much...
Well, it wasn't fully white, but it was as good as,
so I'm going to stick that down as an A.
And then...no snow. Great. Just a lot of rain. Brilliant.
I'll take this with me, in case I see any more. Great, wonderful.
All right, cheers! See you later. All right, bye!
Though we continued searching until the sun was low in the sky,
which makes even the fleeting glimpse I had all the more special.
Let's hope there'll be hares here for many more years to come.
It's not very often I find myself wishing for bad weather,
but if it helps these amazing animals,
I'm willing to put up with some colder days ahead.
To find out what nature has in store for the rest of us this week,
here's the Countryfile five-day forecast.
We have colder air across Scotland at the moment and snowfall to come
tonight but the forecast this week is one again which is out of step
with the season. Unusually mild weather at times throughout the
week, breezy too. But with the depepgs of south-west England and
parts of Wales, not as wet as it has been. -- but with the exception. You
saw Adam in Cumbria earlier. The exceptional rainfall and floods.
Let's put it into context. Since 1st November we have seen 90 cms of rain
in Shap, representing six months of rainfall in six weeks. And after
last weekend you can understand the extent of the flooding.
This is all being fired by a strong jet stream. Unusually mild
conditions, both combined to make things wet. The jet stream is weaker
but there is mild air with us, pushing northwards behind the
weather front, hitting the cold air now across Scotland and through
tonight across parts of the southern Highlands. Further south
temperatures continue to rise through the night. Most away from
that part of Scotland will be frost-free but a grey, murky start
to Monday for many. Patchy rain and drizzle around, he extensive mist
and hill fog. The damp weather through the central strip fades
away. Through the latter stages of the morning and afternoon,
south-west England and Wales will see outbreaks of rain on a
strengthening breeze. Those areas hit by the floods a dry day in
prospect and temperatures by the afternoon, 5-12. Through Monday
night, bouts of rain pushing northwards and generally fizzling
out. Not a strong enough jet stream to push the areas of low pressure
which are lingering to the west at the moment. Because they are staying
there, we are stuck with a south to south-easterly flow much that's
important for parts of western Scotland, Northern Ireland,
north-west England and north-west Wales, affording a bit of shelter
from the rain. There won't be too much rain for many on Tuesday. Damp
and drizzly for many to begin. Lots of cloud around. Brighter breaks in
the north-western corner of the UK but later in the day, more rain to
parts of south-west England and Wales. This time strengthening
winds. All linked into a push of low pressure across England and Wales,
and particular into the night on Wednesday. The winds easing down but
a wet and windy start it the day on Wednesday. South-easterly winds mean
it'll be east of the Pennines seeing highest rainfall totals. Given the
fact the ground is saturated and river levels high, we have to
monitor things closely. Temperatures above where they should be for the
time of year. They'll rise further through Wednesday night into
Thursday. Low pressure pushing towards Iceland and we drag in wibds
all the way from the south. -- winds.
Through the night, temperatures may not dip below the mid-teens in some
parts. Only lifting a bit throughout the day. A cold front pushing
eastwards. A shift on and not too much in the way of rainfall but any
wave on that delaying its progress could push things over the edge so
minor flooding could be possible. It turns quieter for a time through
Thursday night into Friday. A ridge of high pressure moves N enough of a
breeze. Breezy conditions to stop mist and fog in the morning. A
little bit of sunshine around, perhaps one of the brighter of the
days before more wet and windy weather towards the west. In Friday,
active jet stream I'm in the White Peak of Derbyshire -
limestone country. Earlier, I saw how the actions
of time and the weather have carved out
this landscape, but these forces
didn't just shape the scenery, they shaped the lives of the people
here and their industry. Now, below my feet
are tunnels and caverns They're rich in minerals,
glittering in the darkness. In the 18th century,
men ventured deep into the earth to extract metal ores
from under these hills. Here, near Castleton,
the prize they were after was lead. 'John Harrison looks after
Speedwell Cavern, a former lead mine, 'where miners went to extraordinary
lengths to raid the earth.' I thought we'd have to do
quite a bit of crawling. Watch your head, cos it's very low
and very uneven. Hence the hard hat. Is that a hard cap you've got on
there? It is. Oh, right, yeah. So, all this, then,
that's above our heads, so they used black powder,
pickaxes and chisels and it's 400 metres long,
took five years to blast through. You can see all the pick marks,
can't you? You can, yeah. you can see the grooves
from the blast holes. This tunnel was driven
to hit a specific point, where they could then use the
rivers, the water from the rivers, to flood the tunnels and bring
the lead out by boat. Yeah. as you're clanking your way through
it to get to the point? And you think that they were just,
you know, A very unpleasant place to work.
Yes. Only four men
worked on a shift down here and they did that with the aid
of a young lad from the age of about seven,
who was known as the bellows boy, and he would sit
in a little alcove down here, pumping a pair of blacksmith's
bellows, to circulate to help the men breathe
and work all day. 'Finally, there really is
a light at the end of the tunnel.' Right, so here we go.
If you follow me off, Matt. Yeah. John, it's the final destination,
then, of these miners? This is it - formed on one of these
east-west running faultlines It's these faultlines that have
filled up with the minerals, such as lead, sphalerite, fluorspar,
calcite. And I can see... Is that a ladder, then? That's
a ladder working all the way up, so the miners have followed
the vein up the side of the wall. That is galena, lead sulphide,
from this mine. These subterranean chambers
still draw people deep underground, but, these days, you're more likely
to see tourists than lead miners... ..and they come to see this -
fluorspar. Right, where do you want me
to start, then, John? 'Normally it glistens like a jewel,
so when the crowds have gone, Quite beautiful, isn't it,
when you see it close up? It really is, close up. You can see
little lines of lead crystals running through it and all sorts.
Yeah. Slowly come down the vein now
and rinse all that dirty water off. Job's done, I think.
You've done a cracking job. You've got to know when to stop.
This is... You've got to know
when to put that down. Oh, no, you just... Hey, you get
yourself back down that tunnel. Go and get me a cup of tea,
I'll be quite happy. It will be cold by the time
you get out. Come on. Well, it might be a jet wash
instead of a pickaxe, but when working underground,
it's easy to imagine the people who lived their lives in the shadow
of the mighty White Peak. I could quite happily stay down here
jet washing for a while, so I'm going to say
goodbye from here. Listen, that's all we've got
time for from the White Peak. Next week, we're going to
be in Cornwall in a place where they celebrate Christmas
in a big way. We'll be helping get the tiny
fishing village of Coverack Hope you'll join us
for a real Christmas treat.
Ellie Harrison and Matt Baker are in the Peaks in Derbyshire, looking at how the geology there gives rise to two distinct landforms - the Dark Peak and the White Peak. Matt is in the White Peak discovering that the limestone that characterises the region is the remnant of an ancient tropical reef. He ventures underground to see how the action of rainwater down the millennia has carved fabulous forms and caverns, which gave rise to the area's chief industry - lead mining.
Ellie is in the Dark Peak, where it's gritstone that marks out the landscape. She takes a walk with an artist who maps the land and creates three-dimensional maps in metal. Ellie then ventures further north to catch a glimpse of England's last remaining population of mountain hares. At this time of year they shed their dull coats for cloaks of white. But, as Ellie discovers, this could make them vulnerable in a changing climate.
Sean Fletcher is at Haddon Hall helping with some of the restoration of this famous building. He visits the quarry where they get the gritstone to make the repairs, and he gives Haddon's fabled gargoyles a wash and scrub.
Also in this programme, Adam Henson recounts the story of the tractor, from its origins in the age of steam to the hi-tech GPS-guided self-driving tractors of today. And he gets to try his hand at building one.
Wild boar had been extinct in Britain for at least 300 years, but now they are back. In the Forest of Dean alone there are now thought to be more than 1000. But, as Tom Heap has been finding out, not everyone is pleased to see their return.