Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
Millions of lambs are born every year in the UK, making lambing week one of the biggest and most hectic events in the farming calendar.
In a ground-breaking series, presenter Kate Humble will follow the life and death drama of lambing week as it unfolds on a 900-ewe sheep farm in South Wales.
Lambing is a test of skill and endurance and Kate will be getting her hands dirty from day one, as the Beavan family teach her the essential skills to help during this round-the-clock event. Throughout the series, Kate will reveal the compelling back-story of the lambs' conception and birth over the crucial months leading up to lambing.
Joining Kate on the farm, presenter and accomplished sheep farmer Adam Henson offers expert advice and examines the wider issues facing sheep farmers. From agriculture and history to economics and veterinary science, Adam discovers more about farming in Britain, past and present.
Jimmy Doherty goes in search of the hidden lives of the farmyard animals that everyone takes for granted.
As a pig farmer, Jimmy has never had any doubt that his pigs are pretty clever, and he is on a quest to find out more. Do cows have best mates? Can chickens tell the time? And do pigs' grunts mean anything? Jimmy is convinced that these apparently "dumb" animals are sentient beings with complex private lives not understood by humans – and he's out to prove it.
Each episode will be based on a "home farm" in a different part of the UK. With the help of the farmer, the local vet and top experts, Jimmy will use scientific experiments combined with natural history observational filming to reveal what animals get up to when the farmers are not looking.
Jimmy's journey will also take him beyond these "home farms", as he investigates what has been lost or gained through domestication. Jimmy will visit the wild cattle of Chillingham; spend time with the feral pigs of the New Forest; and, in an attempt to reveal just how closely its bird-brain resembles that of a human, he will conduct an MRI scan on a chicken.
Visible from space, Africa's Great Rift Valley runs for 4,000 miles from the Red Sea to the mouth of the Zambezi. It is a diverse landscape of erupting volcanoes, forest-clad mountains, spectacular valleys, rich grasslands, vast lakes and mighty rivers.
Home to the greatest concentration of animals on Earth, including lions, crocodiles, elephants, hippos and flocks of flamingos, and semi-nomadic farmers such as the Maasai, it's a land in constant geological turmoil.
Using state-of-the-art HD filming techniques, this three-part series investigates the forces that have shaped this turbulent landscape and its remarkable wildlife.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
From the paradise beaches of the Caribbean, through the Sahara desert, braving the monsoon rains of India and the rainforests of East Asia and finishing on Hawaii, explorer Simon Reeve embarks on his most ambitious journey yet. Circumnavigating the globe, following the line that marks the northern edge of the Tropics, Simon visits some of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth.
In Mexico, he is put through his paces by a masked female wrestler, while in the Bahamas he encounters the suffering of Haitian refugees. North Africa is full of surprises, from a long-forgotten civil war to a vast scheme to draw millions of gallons of water from beneath the desert. In the jungles of Burma he meets villagers struggling to survive under brutal oppression.
The Tropics is a region in flux, facing the challenges of climate change, population growth and mass migration. But throughout Simon revels in the hospitality of the extraordinary characters he meets.
Jimmy Doherty sets out to discover how the world's farmers plan to keep the world fed. Demand for food is expected to double within the next 40 years – but the climate is changing and resources like water and fuel are under threat.
From the new farming frontier of Brazil, to the parched wheat-belt of Australia; from the hi-tech mega-farms of America, to the subsistence plots of Africa, Jimmy wants to meet the men and women who believe they can find new techniques and new technologies to help meet these challenges.
Along the way he'll reveal sometimes uncomfortable truths about what it may take to keep providing the food that people expect. But his journey will also reveal the remarkable achievements and inspiring stories of the farmers who are committed to getting the best from the planet's fragile farming lands.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
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