Image for 20/09/2009Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 55 minutes

John Craven announces the 12 finalists of the Countryfile photographic competition. The 2009 theme is Wild and Wonderful, and the winning photographs will feature in the Countryfile calendar for 2010, which is sold in aid of BBC Children in Need.

Katie Knapman joins the Wildlife Crime Unit in Scotland as they investigate the illegal shooting and poisoning of birds of prey.

Down on the farm, it is a busy time for Adam Henson as he takes his grain to the mill.

  • Biodynamic Farming

    Julia meets a farmer with an alternative approach to farming. He uses the position of the planets and the lunar cycle to help him farm holistically. Lewis Winter accepts that some people view biodynamic farming with a certain amount of scepticism, but he believes that it's based on sound scientific principles.

    Biodynamic Agricultural Association: Farming & Gardening
  • Newstead Abbey

    Matt heads to the former home of the notorious hell-raising poet Lord Byron. Here he encounters a project that might have kept the wayward younger Byron on the straight and narrow – if it existed in the 18th Century. Mick Leivers has managed to transform the lives of hundreds of socially deprived young people from the local area simply through fishing. In return for exclusive permission to fish the lake, the young people carry out conservation work for the estate and local community.

    CAST website: CAST at Newstead
  • Bird Ringing

    To celebrate the 100th anniversary of bird ringing in this country, Matt lends a helping hand to volunteers at Treswell Wood in north Nottinghamshire. Here, volunteers have been getting up at dawn every Sunday and ringing birds for around forty years. Matt hears some of the fascinating things they’ve discovered about bird populations and their behaviour as a result.

    British Trust for Ornithology website: Bird Ringing
  • Forest Activities

    Julia discovers how recreation activities in Sherwood Forest bring in much needed revenue that helps protect some of the most important ancient oaks in Britain. Matt then joins her, and both of them try to emulate the Forest’s legendary figure Robin Hood by having a go at field archery.

    Nottinghamshire County Council website: Sherwood Forest
  • Illegal Bird Killing

    Katie Knapman is on the west coast of Scotland, where Scottish Natural Heritage has been re-introducing some of the birds of prey that graced the Highlands and Islands in centuries past. Sadly though, increasing numbers of these rare birds are being found dead: the victims of deliberate attacks. Charlie Everitt from the Wildlife Crime Unit shows Katie how the culprits use poison or traps to kill the birds. One of the most recent victims is a sea eagle. The species was introduced to Scotland from Norway, after an absence of a hundred and fifty years after the species died out in the UK. Katie meets one of the crofters who believe that sea eagles are taking his lambs and threatening his livelihood. Willie Fraser doesn’t condone the killing of sea eagles, but he’s certainly not a fan of the bird.

    UK National Wildlife Crime Unit website
  • Adam’s Farm

    Once again, we go down to our resident Cotswold farm, and following the hard work of the harvest, Adam gets down to more routine work. There's been a litter of iron-age rare breed piglets and some of the Gloucester Old Spots are ready to be weaned. And in a desperate effort to get a return on his wheat, Adam visits his local miller to see if it’s good enough to make flour. If not, the wheat will have to be used for animal feed.


Julia Bradbury
Matt Baker
John Craven
Adam Henson
Teresa Bogan


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