Episode 24 Landward


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Episode 24

Dougie Vipond examines the implications of proposed changes to the way farmers across Europe are subsidised. Plus, Nick Nairn deconstructs a Christmas turkey.


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Transcript


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Hello, and a very warm welcome to Landward, exploring the issues at

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the heart of the Scottish countryside. In a moment, Euan will

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have the first of two films looking at the European Common Agricultural

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Policy and what proposed changes may mean for Scotland, but first,

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here's what else is coming up on the programme. The Shetland ponies

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preparing for their version of the Grand National. I never thought you

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would quite get there. You always dream about it and think, it would

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be so good to get there, but you never think you will. I take a trip

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into Scotland's largest sea cave. Every drop of rain that falls here

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comes down that waterfall. We have to be pretty careful here. This

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cave floods very easily, yeah. Nick pulls a turkey apart. I am

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going to strip down the carcass. I am going to get some bones to make

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a beautiful, rich stock. I am going to keep the trimmings and leftovers

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to make a rich, hearty turkey broth. The Common Agricultural Policy

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which governs how farming is managed across the EU and how

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farmers are subsidised to produce food is to undergo substantial

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reform. The proposals will be hotly debated across Europe over the next

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year or so until the final package is delivered in 2013. In the first

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of two films, Euan looks back at how the CAP has evolved.

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European farming subsidies - it might not sound like the most

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exciting topic in the world, so why should you care? Well, for one

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thing, you pay for it. It costs the average family of four in Britain

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�426 every year. Almost half of the entire EU budget

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is spent subsidising farmers, and farmers represent just 5% of the

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European population. So why do we spend so much subsidising so few?

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Well, to understand that, we have to look back.

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Before World War II, Britain had become more and more reliant on

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imported foods from the Commonwealth, like wheat from the

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vast Canadian prairies. Then the war changed everything. During the

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Second World War, the danger of relying on imported food became all

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too obvious. Twice Germany nearly beat us by sinking our food ships.

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We learned that farming is every much as bit a part of our defence

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as guns, planes and ships. Have we forgot about the foods in our

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shops? After the traumas of the war, Britain was determined to become

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more self-sufficient, to help our farmers develop and become more

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productive, the British Government began subsidising them. Then in

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1973, we joined Europe. OLD NEWSREEL: The Gulf between

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Britain and Europe has shrunk to the three paces' width of the

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carpet of Brussels under one roof. In signing the accession treating,

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we were signing up to the Common Agricultural Policy, known as CAP.

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The Common Agricultural Policy has been part of the European Union's

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policy since its inception, the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Back at that

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time memories of food shortages, even starvation in parts of Europe

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in the Second World War were still very vivid, so really the policy

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was brought in to stabilise markets and increase production. In the

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'70s under CAP, fruit, vegetables and meat all had a fixed price.

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Farmers were told we'll give you a guaranteed price for your produce.

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How much do you want to supply? Understandably, the answer was lots

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- mountains of it. Beef, butter and milk powder

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mountains grew as the EU had to store surplus produce. In 1980, the

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money programme explained why it was happening. The wholesale price

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of butter outside the common market is 34p per pound, but inside the

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market, the price of butter can be fixed much higher without being

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undercut. At the moment, it's 80p. Why so much higher? Because 80p is

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the price the nine agricultural Ministers reckon will give Europe's

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farmers a reasonable income. Understandably, the higher the

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price, the more the farmer will produce because high prices are an

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incentive to production, but higher prices mean the consumer can't

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afford the buy, so it's not surprising if Europe produces more

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butter than she can eat. Farmers had done exactly what they were

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asked to do - produce more food and make Europe more self-sufficient.

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But it was costly, and surplus was never the aim of the policy.

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Something had to change, and it did. There was a succession of reforms

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in the 1990s, and then a big change in 2004. When the link between what

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farmers produced and what they were paid was largely broken.

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Farmers used to get paid per head for the livestock, per hectare for

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the crops. That is still the case, but it's not in relation to the

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number of animals or area they grow. Today farmers are largely given

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what's called a single farm payment. It's not linked to how many cows

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they produce or tonnes of grain they harvest. In Scotland, the size

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of the payment is largely based on the total subsidy they historically

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received under the old system regardless of what they now produce.

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With no guaranteed prices, overproduction and the food

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mountains have gone, but we still spend �47 billion every year on CAP.

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So why does farming deserve to be subsidised at all? Well, the

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argument goes because it's totally different from any other industry.

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It produces one of the most essential ingredients for life -

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food. The vast majority of farmers in Scotland would struggle to be

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viable without that support coming from Europe. However, you always

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find farmers who are bucking the trend and who are out there and are

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making good returns without relying on support quite as heavily as some

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of their peers. It's also worth remembering that Europe isn't the

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only place where farming subsidised. In the United States, often

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considered to be the standard bearer for liberal economics,

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farming is massively subsidise. If we abolished them here, then our

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farmers would simply be exeeght with subsidised farming from across

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the Atlantic, so where to we go from here?

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That's what I'll be looking at later in the programme. The Common

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Agricultural Policy is up for reform again, and I'll be speaking

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to the Government Ministers, farmers and conservationists about

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what they think should happen next. Last week, Nick cooked a Christmas

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turkey with all the trimmings. This week in his quest not to waste an

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ounce of the bird, he's going to show us how to make some good stock

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We're all living in difficult economic times, and the Christmas

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budget has never been under more pressure, so this year, I'm going

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to show you how to make the most out of your turkey. Not one little

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bit is going to go to waste. A last week I cooked the perfect Christmas

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dinner. This week I'm going to start work on the left-overs.

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Now, when I said that we weren't going to waste any of the turkey, I

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really meant it. This week, I'm going to strip down the carcass.

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I'm going to get some bones to make a beautiful, rich stock, and I'm

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going to keep the trimmings and left-overs to make a rich, hearty

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Now, to make the stock, we need the bones, the skin, everything that

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you would normally chuck out, and we take that and put that into a

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big pan, and at Christmas, you can never have a pan that's big enough.

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And now I'm going to cover the bones with cold water.

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MUSIC I'm going to prep the veg, but it's

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incredibly important that you don't let this boil. Otherwise, you'll

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ruin the stock. Back to the veg - onion, celery, carrots - the

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carrots, you need to peel them just as they are.

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If you let the pan come to a rolling boil, the turbulence of the

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water will carry this coagulated protein and fat that's risen up

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down into the liquid, and it's going to be muddy and cloudy, and

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it's not going to taste great. You've got to get this skimmed off

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now, so I'm going to use a ladle and just skim the coagulated

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protein and fat and remove that, and when I add the vegetables on

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top, they'll act as a filter for the stock, and the stock will wise

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and fall through the vegetables, and as it does, it purifies itself.

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So the stock has been ticking away now for about two-and-a-half hours,

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and when I dip my spoon in, I get this heavenly scent and see that

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lovely clarity we've got. There is no greasiness. There is no

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cloudiness. There is no heaviness, and it tastes fantastic. Now, if

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you don't use the stock all at once, of course, you can always freeze it,

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and it keeps for up to three months in the freezer. Now that we've got

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a really nice turkey stock, making a great broth is very easy. I'm

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going to dice up some vegetables - some onions, carrots, celery, a bit

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of leek, then in go the veggies into the pan. Now, it's really

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important not to fry the vegetables. We don't want any Carmelisation or

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colour in the veg. We just want to soften and sweeten them. That takes

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about three or four minutes. Once the vegetables start to look nice

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and translucent, I add the stock. While we're letting that come back

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up to the boil again, I'm going to dice up some of the turkey

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leftovers. That's been cooking for about ten minutes now, and the

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vegetables are still al dente, so it's time to add the turkey. I also

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add the turkey in the last two to three minutes of the soup's cooking,

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and that way you keep the tuxure of the meat. In goes the parsley. I'm

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just going to stir that through. The parsley always goes in at the

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last minute to keep the colour and flavour, and that looks and smells

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salt, just a little pinch of salt in there, and some more freshly-

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ground black pepper, and there you have it - my turkey Christmas broth

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made with stock from the bones with a little bit of the diced leftover

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meat through there. It smells delicious, and as ever, those

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recipes are on the Landward web page. Next week I'll be using some

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of the stock and leftover meat to creation a sensational turkey

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Still to come: I take a trip into the spectacular.

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If I want to explore the inner chambers I have to go on a boat

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ride. My job from month to month is to try to make these proposals

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better so they'll work better for Scottish farmers, English farmers,

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Northern Ireland and Welsh farmers. The London International Horse Show

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will take place at Olympia next week. One of the highlights of the

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event is the Shetland pony Grand National. I went to meet two of the

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ponies and riders as they prepare Shetland ponies are not generally

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known for their speed and agility, but here in Aberdeenshire, there

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are two very special ponies - you Dollar and Flynn are the only

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ponies from Scotland to qualify for the Shetland Pony Grand National

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this year. The ponies will be ridden by dedicated young riders

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Sarah and Megan, who worked hard all year to qualify for the event.

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Well, what do you think about going to Olympia? Great. Amazing,

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undescribable. Yeah? I never thought I would quite get there.

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You always dream about it, and you think, it would be so good to get

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there, but you never think you will. It's only my first year racing, and

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I didn't expect to get through my first year. It's just amazing.

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Flynn was so good. He helped me all the way. Come on, boys. The founder

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is Marie Brooker, who has been breeding Shetlands for over 50

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years. Oh, they're very clever. They're cleverer than a lot of

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people, and you really have to have your wits about you if you're going

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to really use them. If you can ride on a Shetland, you can learn to

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ride on anything after that. They're not fat little slobs to be

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dragged around on the end of a lead rope. They love to work. That's

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when they come into their own, when All of the ponies bred here are

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worked regularly. Some are ridden by the children while others are

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used for carriage driving. That is absolutely exhausting, and very,

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very exhilarating. That was magic! The International Horse Show at

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Olympia is one of the highlights of the equestrian calendar. And the

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Shetland Pony Grand National is much loved by riders and spectators

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alike. The course is a mini-version of the Grand National course at

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Aintree. Scaled-down versions of famous jumps like The Chair and

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Beechers Brook have been faithfully recreated in miniature, and the

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jockeys are all dressed in racing silks was that just to be there

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would be excellent, even if I didn't win a race, it would still

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be awesome to take part. And if you want to see Sarah, Megan, Dollar

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and Flynn in action putting on a show, they will be performing every

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night at Olympia from Wednesday next week until Monday the 19th.

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If you have a comment about anything you see on the programme,

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or have a wonderful story to share with us, please send us an e-mail.

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You can probably tell by the brolly, but the weather here at Stirling

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Castle is a wee bit soggy. But what about the prospects for this

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weekend and beyond? To find out, here is Christopher with the

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As we going to the weekend it looks like we will have an East-West

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split for Saturday. It will be better in the East than in the West.

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-- as we go into the weekend. To start the day tomorrow there will

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be wintry showers in Sutherland and the Western Isles. It will be a dry

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and bright day for many parts of the country. As we head towards the

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afternoon we do have this weather front trying to push in from the

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West. For much of the mainland it will be dry, bright and cold. In

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the East, particularly across the north-east, dry and bright. It will

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be a cold day, perhaps just two or three Celsius. If you are out and

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about this weekend it will be cloudy in the West with a chance of

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some sleet or snow showers. Further east it will be drier and brighter

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for longer. Still a risk of some sleet or snow over the Cairngorms

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or Perthshire hills. Wind will be from the West or South West. If you

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are out on the water, you can expect a westerly force five. It

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will be dry and bright in the East for much of the day. On Saturday

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night at the rain quickly crosses the country from West to East. The

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cloud will keep things mild. One or two inland areas will be down to

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freezing. There will be a relatively brief period of calm

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weather on Sunday. It will start to turn wet and windy next week. On

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Monday there will be a little high pressure, meaning it is not too bad

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in terms of weather. The low pressure in the Atlantic will start

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to show its hand. Looking at the pressure chart, we can see at low

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pressure pushing him towards us. The worst of the winds it will be

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in the North of England. That is Over the next few weeks, I'm going

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to be visiting three of Scotland's most spectacular caves - each with

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a fascinating history. This week I'm in Caithness for a trip into

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For thousands of years people have been exploring caves. Some have

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simply been used as a shelter from the elements, while others have

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been seen as a gateway to the nether world. This week I'm

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visiting Smoo cave in Durness, which, according to legend, has

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more than a few hidden secrets. This massive chamber makes Smoo the

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biggest sea cave entrance in the UK, but if I want to explore the inner

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chambers I have to go on a Smoo cave was formed over many

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thousands of years, carved along the line of a weak fault. Inside

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their inner chamber, which can only be reached by boat, a waterfall

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cascades through a massive hole in the ceiling. There is a huge area

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here, 10 square miles, and every drop of rain that falls there comes

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down that waterfall, so we have to be pretty careful here. This cave

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floods very easily. Serious ducking, That's good, that's good. Okay,

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Dougie. If you first stand here, on today's rock, you can pull. That's

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good. Is that okay? Perfect. This was a neolithic quarry. There's no

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flint in the Highlands. It doesn't exist up here. What you find is

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chert, and this is what neolithic people used, the same way that

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everyone else used flint. We found everything made from this - arrow

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heads, spear points, everything. Also you can make a fire with it.

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Wow! And that would have been very handy to a neolithic guy. And this

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is called chert? Yes. It only exists in the Durness limestone.

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That is why you might not have heard of it before. It is because

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you will only find it up here. But this whole cave shows signs of

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being a neolithic chert quarry. With any sea cave and place that

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has been around for a lot of time, there is usually a whole lot of

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myths and legends floating around us up yes. There is a story about

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one man. But there is no myth or legend, he was a seriously bad man

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was up he was the illegitimate son of the clan chieftain Mackay. He

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would do all of Mackay's killing for him, so if you fell out with

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the clan chief, he would send Donald round to sort you out. And

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the story goes that he killed 18 men by throwing them down at what a

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fall. -- down that waterfall. He was a seriously bad guy. So you

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cannot find any remnants of the 18 men that he murdered in the water?

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Fortunately not! In 1814 Sir Walter Scott visited here. He wrote, a

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water kelpie or evil spirit with aquatic propensities could not have

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found a fitter abode. Well, I hope they keep themselves to themselves

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today! Earlier in the programme we saw how

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the European farming policy has evolved over the last 40 years.

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With reform under review, Euan looks at how some of the proposals

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In 2013 the common agricultural policy will change. The European

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Commission have put a number of proposals on the table, their plan

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of how the CAP should be reformed. But these proposals are only a

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starting point. The problem with the common agricultural policy is

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that agriculture across the 27 countries of the EU often has very

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little in common. Secretary of State Caroline Spelman will be

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negotiating on behalf of the UK. sit between Malta and Estonia

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around the council table. You can immediately see how diverse the

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agriculture is in Europe. My job is to try to make these proposals

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better so that they will work better for Scottish farmers,

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English farmers, Welsh and Northern Irish farmers and to get a good

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deal for them and for our taxpayers and consumers, and for the

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environment. The debate will centre on the key reforms suggested by the

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EU. Today we will look at a few of them. One problem with the current

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system is so-called slipper farmers, an anomaly which allows some

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landowners and retired farmers who don't actually farm anything to

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continue to claim subsidy. It is quite literally money for nothing.

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Nobody wants to see land sitting idle and people claiming support on

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that land. We need to make sure that the support payments go to

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those who are doing the job. Therefore it is important that the

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new system ensures that those that nowt miss out. The EU also wants to

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limit the total amount of money that one farm can get. The last

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year that figures are available for revealed that this farm received

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over �1,200,000 in subsidy. The EU wants the maximum any farm can

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receive to be set at 300,000, that is about �260,000. That is not

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supported by the UK government or the National Farmers' Union of

0:25:230:25:25

Scotland. The principle of capping is something we are opposed to.

0:25:250:25:29

Every euro is of value to Scottish agriculture and, if it is delivered

0:25:290:25:32

in the right way and is attached to activity and the delivery of

0:25:320:25:39

outcomes, then it is perfectly justified. The EU also wants the

0:25:390:25:44

cash to be dependent on certain environmental criteria. Seven per

0:25:440:25:51

cent of farmland would have to be devoted to conservation. Permanent

0:25:520:25:54

pasture would have to be maintained and a greater diversity of crops

0:25:550:25:58

grown, at least three. All things that are believed to benefit

0:25:580:26:05

wildlife. But the reforms do not go far enough for some wildlife bodies.

0:26:050:26:07

The RSPB is actually really disappointed with the reform

0:26:070:26:11

proposals brought forward. The commissioner said that it needs to

0:26:110:26:14

be reformed, they have got to justify the 435 billion of money

0:26:140:26:17

they are going to spend on agriculture over the next seven-

0:26:170:26:27
0:26:270:26:27

year period. What they have done is not going to do that. The RSPB

0:26:270:26:30

would like less money to be paid directly to farmers and more are

0:26:310:26:33

available as grants to those farms that undertake environmentally

0:26:330:26:41

friendly projects. These are just some of the reform proposals.

0:26:410:26:44

Others include more support for young farmers starting out,

0:26:440:26:46

simplifying payments for very small farms, and more funding for

0:26:460:26:52

research and development. But the fundamental principle of paying

0:26:520:27:00

farmers is not up for debate. reality is that our farmers at the

0:27:000:27:02

moment are not competitive with their counterparts in other parts

0:27:020:27:05

of the world that maybe have cheaper labour costs, not such

0:27:050:27:12

strict welfare criteria for livestock production. All of those

0:27:120:27:15

things at present mean that our farmers will continue to need

0:27:150:27:20

direct payments for the present time. The question is how we help

0:27:200:27:22

the industry becomes more competitive, more market oriented,

0:27:220:27:25

and to continue to produce food of a very high standard at a

0:27:250:27:33

reasonable price. The common agricultural policy it

0:27:330:27:35

is expensive, controversial and fundamentally affects the shape of

0:27:350:27:38

our rural communities. If you care about the countryside, you should

0:27:380:27:48
0:27:480:27:49

care about ate. -- CAP. Over the coming months, as the proposals are

0:27:500:27:52

negotiated and renegotiated, we will bring you the updates.

0:27:530:27:56

The future of farming, which just leaves me time to tell you about

0:27:560:27:58

the future of Landward, namely next week's programme for stop will

0:27:590:28:03

Scotland's curlers get the big freeze they crave? In 1979 the

0:28:030:28:06

grand match was on, there were a few portable toilets, the ice was

0:28:060:28:11

marked and we had a great day. We cannot do that now. We have health

0:28:110:28:15

and safety issues. And I will visit the former home of Scotland's best

0:28:150:28:19

known cannibals. One word of warning, young man, you might going,

0:28:190:28:29
0:28:290:28:29

but not everybody comes back it. got very scared there!

0:28:290:28:32

Dougie Vipond examines the implications of proposed changes to the way farmers across Europe are subsidised. Nick Nairn deconstructs a Christmas turkey and Dougie visits Smoo Cave near Durness.