Episode 17 Landward


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Episode 17

Dougie Vipond meets the team giving eels a helping hand after their arduous migration, while Sarah Mack looks at the latest research into Scotland's tick population.


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Hello and a warm welcome at two Landward. I will be meeting those

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who need a helping hand on a journey to live. Also: we arrive on

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Eigg. Big chunks of sunshine and the mainland is horrible.

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latest research into a growing countryside problem. Stop. Turn the

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blanket over. And we meet the master blender of whisky with a

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nose ensued �4 million. Now, we want to finish off with structure

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and that arrogance you have in the The European eel has one of the

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most fascinating lifestyles of any freshwater fish. They migrate

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thousands of miles and their offspring return to Scotland. The

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little eels can find big obstacles in their way. When it comes to

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great swimmers, forget the great white shark. Forget the Atlantic

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salmon. You can even forgets Olympic hopeful Hannah Miley. If

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you want efficient swimmers, what about the European eel, it can swim

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4,500 miles burning up 2000 calories. That is less than I eat

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in a day. And I am not greedy. The eels make their once-in-a-lifetime

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swim back to their spawning ground in the sea. After spawning, the

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eels die off and their rates drift backwards towards Europe and the

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Gulf Stream, transforming into transparent glass eels on the way.

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When they enter freshwater, they change colour and become elvers.

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Later, they mature into eels. Since the 70s, eel numbers have dropped

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dramatically. By about 90%. The reason for the decline is complex

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but overfishing, pollution, climate change and obstacles on the return

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journey play a part. Imagine you are a little Elva, you have fought

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through wild currents, swum across thousands of miles of ocean and

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battled away up streams and rivers, you are weary but close to your

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That is it, your journey is over. This is Tongland damn. Since it was

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built, no eels have made it past this. It has a fish ladder but eels

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are not able to use it. So, Galloway Fisheries Trust are

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trapping the elvers and relocating them upstream. The young elvers

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cannot get up, and whilst it is good for salmon to get past, their

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strong swimmers. The eels have come in at seven metres long. We are

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checking the traps. The eels are attracted to the water, they make

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their way up and drop into the container. It is a very simple trap.

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This bag. They do not mind being out of water. Look at them. There

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is about 50. What to do with him? We transport them up a stream. We

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put them in small areas. Eventually, they come back down. We will be

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setting them free surely but why is it important they get upstream?

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Well, these elvers are destined to go to war with an alien species.

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people know, we have the largest crayfish population in Scotland

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around Loch Ken. One of the key things we have found in Dumfries

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and Galloway is the eels are a key predator of the very young fish.

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There is a huge problem in the river of rapidly expanding crayfish

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population. It is not a silver bullets but we hope the eel

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population when it is established will help to control the crayfish.

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The signal crayfish damage riverbanks by borrowing and they

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eat and displace native Scottish species. So, the elvers have an

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important war to wage. Why have you chosen this bird? We chose this

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because it is clear water, no pollution, lots of different sizes

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of stones. A range of eels so they want to bury underneath all buried

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behind. There is Cup on the Bankside and a bridge where it is

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They are so small, it is incredible Let's hope they are successful.

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Whisky is Scotland's number one export. The value of sales abroad

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is growing by a quarter in the first six months of this year. Nick

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will be meeting some of the people who make the industry tick. This

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week, drinking with a man who has a million pound knows.

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We becomes to whisky, I am a mild man, but 8% of all whiskies are

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single malt. The other 92% is blended. That is why I am

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travelling to the 9th floor of the Whyte & Mackay building to meet a

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man who can convey any with my own blended whisky. Level nine. Richard,

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a nice to meet you. Welcome to the world of whisky. It is part

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Aladdin's cave, part laboratory. This is a treasure chest weather

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lovely blended whiskies and single malts are put together. There are

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four regions, the lowlands, Highlands, Campbeltowns and islands.

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Single malts come from these areas but different characteristics. They

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blend them together, mixing grain whisky and malt whisky together,

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pure harmony. The industry is having a renaissance. It is really

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going great guns. They renew Distilleries opening. You have

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whetted my appetite. I am salivating at the prospect. Where

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do we start? Over here. Legon, maestro. -- lead

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on. Everything is monitored, we start with grain whiskies. We're

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not talking about one or two, maybe 20 or 25 single malts. It is

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fascinating to see how it is developing. Now, this is from this

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base side valley. Let's see how it is manipulated. Now, we want to

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finish off with a backbone, structure and the arrogance you

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have in the kitchen. Let me put one or two more in. Lots of different

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styles. This is alchemy, pure and simple. See the body and structure?

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The elegance and refinement. Look at the softness and you can feel

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the Sherif knows coming in. The way the whisky clings to the glass. It

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is 56.5% alcohol, strong and beefy. This will aid with distinguished

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leaders behind it. This is what whisky is all about. So, mission

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accomplished because I have never experienced the amazing taste and

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flavours and smells in this blended whisky, I have to confess I am a

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Still to come, making practical use of Scotland's native hardwood trees.

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These are fantastic woods. An oak tree droop -- gross for 100 years.

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The furniture will become an heirloom. Had we stop the toxic

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take making a walk in the countryside such a potentially

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harmful activity? How do we stop. It felt like aliens running up and

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After a disastrous start to his sailing challenge when he ran

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aground, UN is finally getting out of the harbour and setting sail for

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I have been sailing around the Hebrides for 30 years. I have never

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run aground before. But the one time I have a slight collision with

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a rock, there would have to be a film crew on board. Thankfully,

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myself, the crew and my yacht survived relatively unscathed so we

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could continue on our journey. That is asked sailing, this Gomis behind

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us. The open sea in front of us. A hint of sunshine. Perfect

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conditions. -- the open sea behind us. With me, the cameraman and

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Fiona, the director. And my expert tuition, they are learning. I am

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sailing around some of the Small Isles to meet the folks that make

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This is getting better, look at Eigg, chunks of sunshine and on the

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mainland horrible. Where we are In 1997, Eigg was bought by the

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community, a trust to run the island for the islanders. One of

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the first things on the agenda were setting up a reliable electricity

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system. There was no system, no connection to the mainland and

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everybody made their own electricity. For most people, they

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could only have power in the evening hours of darkness.

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islands now has a sophisticated system of wind, Soler and a big

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bank of batteries. What happens when you generate more than you

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need? Just renewables, you never get 24 hour power because they will

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be periods when the sun does not shy, when the wings does not know

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and when the rain does not fall. We back the system up with a bank of

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batteries, 96 of them, when there is less power being produced by the

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renewables, than the islanders can see me, power flows out of the

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batteries into the grid to make a difference. When there is a surplus

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the Powell flowed back into the batteries to recharge them. People

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come from all around the world to study the electric system. Schemes

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like this are bringing folk back to the island to stay. Since the

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islanders bought by the community, the population has grown. From 60

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in 1997, to around 90 people today. They're not just older people

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looking for an idyllic place to retire, many of the people coming

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here are young folk. They are Sarah Boden spent part of her child

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had on Eigg. Until recently, she was making as any -- working as a

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music journalist in London but she has given up the bright lights to

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become a farmer on new. It has been a steep learning curve. -- A farmer

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on that Eigg. I have learned to work. I have got two sheepdogs.

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There are two other farmers on the island who are very helpful and

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also on the Island of Muck, so I can ring them up and ask advice if

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I am struggling. But I am doing things like fence building and

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repairing, which is going to take at least five or six years to help

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get the basic infrastructure up to speed. Next stop, we are aiming for

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the Island of Muck. But you will be glad to hear we are not planning to

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roll of the hallway. -- to get there by boat. Go if you have a

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comment about anything you see on the programme, please drop us an e-

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mail. The weather here at Boat of Garten

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is sensational! What about the prospects for this weekend and

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Hello. A windy weekend across most parts of the country and a wet

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weekend for some of us. Here is the synoptic chart for tomorrow. We had

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some heavy fabrics of rain across the Western Isles and into western

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coastal areas. Strong winds tomorrow morning and through much

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of the day. Through parts of Aberdeenshire and parts of the east

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coast, it will be a dry day. The rain is coming your way later on.

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Across the south, highs of 12 degrees. The rain is working into a

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share and the north-west. The north-east is strange drier and

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brighter for longer. Behind that weather front, it is starting to

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Brighton. If you are walking or climbing, it will be wet. A

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southerly wind direction of around 40 mph and a steady speed. In the

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east, it will be drier but the winds will be stronger. It will be

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strong enough to blow you from your feet as it gets up to 80 mph. A

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rough sea state with the moderate visibility and there will be rain.

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In the Firth of Forth, gale force three to play the -- to force for.

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Into the evening and overnight, the rain shifts, leaving it dry and

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calm. As we move into Sunday, the pressure chart shows we are

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starting to get an area of low pressure off the south coast of

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Ireland. Its associated weather front are working their way up to

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us. In Caithness and Sutherland, dry, fine and even bright but the

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rain is moving in from the south with some strong winds. It will be

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staying breezy and even a windy for the next few days. To start next

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week, we can see the low-pressure continuing to move north. Tight

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isobars, so pretty strong winds. The rain confined to western parts

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of the country and elsewhere it is dry. Come Tuesday, the weather

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front is working its way further inland, so more rain for most of us

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and the rain will be heavy and slow moving. The Met Office has issued a

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yellow alert because we could see some localised flooding. The dark

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Blues here in decades the hoodie et rain. They are mainly across

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western and southern parts of the country. -- the heavier rain. On

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Wednesday, it turns brighter and a Less than 1% of the timber

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processed in Scotland comes from hardwoods such as oak. Most of the

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oak, ash, elm and birch is exported or used for firewood. In the final

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part of my series looking at our native woodlands, I have been at

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the Borders company set up to use these trees to make furniture. This

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week, I am at Real Wood Studios near Jedburgh, where something like

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this becomes something like this all in one site - and it is all

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done with sustainability in mind. Real Wood Studios is a whole but

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for furniture-makers to run their own businesses within a collective

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workshop. We work from a log coming in through the saw mill and we have

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our own drying system, and we also have the next stage from that which

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turns it into furniture. It is a treat to table operation. The ethos

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of the place is to use locally sourced to timber. Real Wood

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Studios was set up by Borders Forest Trust to combine the talents

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of young furniture designers with undervalued native hardwoods. How

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important are these native hardwoods to Scotland's economy?

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They are very important but they make up a very small percentage of

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water that we grow and produce - less than 10%. A lot of the hard

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words that we do produce get processed elsewhere it, so it does

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have the potential to be a great economic boom that for local

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communities and businesses like Real Wood Studios. People think

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about it in terms of green issues and environmental cost, and for us

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we have this resource - are some great old trees - and we prefer

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using the ones we have got rather than importing from overseas.

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is the attraction for you to work here? It is about creating things,

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to be honest. It is about taking a blank canvas and creating something

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which is going to be functional and loved by the owner, and which is

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going to last for generations. It is the antidote to mass-produced

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furniture, I suppose. The majority of the furniture made at Real Wood

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Studios is sold right here, but the best thing - apart from the beauty

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of the word - is that every piece of wood comes from a tree less than

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50 miles away. These are fantastic words. An oak

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tree grows for 50 years and though it deems it is going to produce on

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the furniture is going to become an heirloom. It is a fantastic product

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rather than a quick, throwaway product. We should be making the

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Ticks by a real problem for anyone who spends time outside, but for

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shooting estates they can have a real impact on the local impact.

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Sarah is finding out what it can be done to control these harmful bugs.

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Anyone who is frequently in the great outdoors knows what can be

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lurking in the undergrowth. These nasty bloodsuckers are waiting to

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pounce and cling on for life. The effects of tick Looe can be

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devastating, as Jane Thomson found out three years ago. She contracted

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to Lymes disease from one single tick bite. It affected my movement.

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It affected my legs, which were very painful when I could feel them

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- sometimes they were not really there. The best way to describe it

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is that it felt like there were aliens inside my legs, running up

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and down, which is the nerve activity. I was extremely tired and

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was slipping for about 14 hours a day. I had no energy, no strength

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and could only walk up half the stairs without having to stop and

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have a rest. But they are not just a problem for us humans and our

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dogs. By anys can contain -- can cause havoc for all types of

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wildlife that stumble across them. This can be a problem for estates

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that rely on a good number of chicks every year. This man has

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been the head keeper for Gannochy Estate 40 years and has seen the

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damage they can cause. The highest number I have counted on a grouse

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chick was 147 on a four day old chick. There is no way the chick

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can survive. To control it is a major thing. You might not know

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this, but the tick is part of the spider family. It is a cross

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between a spider and a vampire. Not the most endearing combination, but

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what do we do about these gritters? The key is to find out how they

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operate. -- critters. David in bushes and a long grass and wait

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for possible prey to pass. In this case, an unsuspecting runner. The

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tick has no eyes but has a highly developed sense in hits -- in its

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legs. It is just a matter of waiting for the right time to

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attack. Laura Taylor is a scientist

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specialising in ticks and she has been researching the effectiveness

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of sheep as pest control. She has been sweeping this Angus Campbell

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land with her blanket, accounting tick numbers. We normally leave it

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out for 10 metres and usually it is a slow walking pace to mimic a

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sheep going through the heather. Just stop. Turn the blanket over

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and have a look. We will see if we can find any ticks. We have got one

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here. This is quite a small one. It is a middle-sized tick that you get.

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We have got some examples of some other ticks. I can hardly even see

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this! This is an adult female here. You can see that is a lot bigger.

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Unfortunately, the tick not only sexual Blood but its saliva can

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carry a range of diseases. -- socks your blood. When treated with

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pesticides, they can help to kill these nasty beasts.

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By gather these sheep are part of the tick solution. A Yes, we use

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them as tick mops on the hill. We treat them with acaricide and treat

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them on the hill and as they move around, the ticks jump on to them

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and get killed by the acaricide. This has helped us cut the number

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by approximately half in five years. Although the trials have shown that

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sheep mopping can be effective, it depends on the local circumstances.

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For victims like Jane, a solution to the tick problem could not come

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too soon. So, 3, four years on, how are you

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feeling? I would say 90% better. Still quite a week in my legs. I am

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fine walking on flat surfaces but as soon as I go up hill, I have no

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power at all. I am not sleeping so much and I have got more energy and

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I can walk. I have done two sponsored walks this year, so I am

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better than I was. As it stopped you from going out and enjoying the

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outdoors and the countryside? just check myself very carefully

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and night and make sure I have got no ticks. It should be noted that

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not every tick bide will result in Lymes disease, but there are some

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things you can do to reduce the risk. Wear trousers and tuck them

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into socks. Avoid overhanging vegetation. Use a repellent. Carry

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a bonny remover all very fine tweezers, gripping the tick at the

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very top of its head. Do not squash or burn the tick, because this

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could cause them to regurgitate back into your body. If you did

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develop a rash and start to feel unwell, call your GP.

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The ongoing battle against the dreaded tick. As the clock ticks

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towards the end of the programme, I have time to tell you what is

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coming up next week. A Sarah finds out about the

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challenges of setting up a deer farm. Experts say we should be

:28:06.:28:10.

producing an extra 100,000 tonnes a deer. If that was to come from the

:28:10.:28:18.

farming sector, we would need about 500 new farms. And our reporter is

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up against the clock on his sailing adventure. Hart is thumping a bit

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coming in here! It is quite straightforward but some of the

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Dougie Vipond meets the team giving eels a helping hand after their arduous migration. Sarah Mack looks at the latest research into Scotland's tick population, and Nick Nairn visits an auction of rare and very expensive whisky.