Image for 09/01/2011Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Julia Bradbury and Adam Henson head for Lancashire to find out what it takes to get one of our newest nature reserves ready for its big opening, and why leftover potatoes are proving a big hit with whopper swans visiting the Martin Mere bird reserve.

John Craven investigates why 2011 is going to be a challenging year for the poultry industry, and what the spiraling costs of producing eggs and chicken could mean for shoppers.

Jules Hudson takes to the waters of the Solent to explore the historic sea forts which are being given a luxury make-over and it's a tense time for Adam back on the farm as his animals are tested for TB. But will they go clear?


    The Forest of Bowland is a 312 square-mile area characterised by rugged heaths and heather moorland broken by patches of ancient woodland. The ‘forest’ name goes back to medieval times when this was an enclosure set aside for royal hunting. Since then game-keeping has had a big influence in this part of Lancashire and it’s helped to shape the landscape. At this time of year gamekeepers have to make sure that grouse and other birds have enough to feed on. Julia joins ones gamekeeper in the forest and looks at how the landscape has been influenced by the traditional skills of coppicing and hedge-laying.

    The Forest of Bowland website
  • Adam in Lancaster

    Adam in Lancaster

    Adam meets goat farmer Sharon Peacock near Lancaster. She's one of the few breeders in the country who rear the animals for their meat.


    Most of us have heard of goat's cheese or goat's milk but the goats that we found near to Lancaster aren’t bred for their dairy produce. Sharon Peacock is just one a handful of farmers in the country who sells goat meat and says there are more uses for it than just making a curry! Adam learns why this meat is becoming a popular choice with consumers and then takes it to Lancashire chef Nigel Haworth who prepares a Sunday roast with a difference.

    Goat Society website
  • Countryfile at Brockholes Nature Reserve

    Countryfile at Brockholes Nature Reserve

    Julia Bradbury and the Countryfile team filming at the visitor centre being built at the new Brockholes nature reserve in Preston, Lancashire.

  • Brockholes Nature Reserve

    It’s not often we find ourselves on a building site on Countryfile! But in the spring, Britain’s newest nature reserve will open its doors to the public. Countryfile goes behind the scenes at Brockholes Wetland and Woodland reserve near Preston and adjacent to the M6 motorway. So why pick a site like this? Lancashire Wildlife Trust tell Julia the reserve will allow the urban population access to wildlife on their doorstep. And with 27-million drivers passing by each year, this is an opportunity for everyone to see nature up-close.

    The Story of Brockholes
  • Countryfile at Brockholes

    Countryfile at Brockholes

    Julia meets visitor centre architect Adam Khan at the Brockholes Nature Reserve which opens later this year.

  • Potato-Loving Swans

    When Martin Mere nature reserve in south Lancashire opened in the 1970's the whooper swan population was dwindling with less than 10 birds nesting on site. Now with a secure roost and a plentiful supply of food there are nearly 2000.
    The increase in numbers is owed, in part, to the efforts of Lancashire farmers like Robert Webster. He donates his leftover potatoes to the swans. Winter’s a tough time for the birds so they need the extra assistance and, as Adam discovers, feeding time is a great spectacle to observe!

    Martin Mere live webcam
  • On the farm with Adam

    On the farm with Adam

  • Adam’s Farm

    It’s a stressful time down on Adam’s farm. His rare breed cattle are about to be tested for bovine TB and if they fail the entire herd will be shut down. Any infected animals will have to be slaughtered and others confined to the farm. Adam is no strangers to disease – like thousands of other farmers up and down the UK he’s had positive tests that have had devastating consequences for his business. The last two tests on his farm have proved negative so Adam has every reason to be confident. It doesn’t stop him, his dad and his staff approaching the day with some trepidation though. Will they get the all-clear?

  • John Craven Investigates

    The poultry industry in the UK is facing some of its toughest challenges. Both the egg and the chicken meat industry are under pressure – and this could impact on UK consumers. John Craven investigates why the UK’s favourite meat will cost more in 2011 as farmers have to pay more for feed and how some egg farms are going out of business because they can’t afford to comply with new EU regulations on cage sizes.

  • Sea Forts in the Solent

    Jules Hudson explores the Solent and in particular the granite sea forts built in the 1860’s to protect Portsmouth Harbour from the threat of attack from the French. The fort’s canons however, were never fired in anger and were sold off after the Second World War. Now though, as Jules discovers, there are radical plans to bring the forts back into use – as exclusive apartments and even wedding venues.

    History of the Solent Sea Forts


Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Adam Henson
Ellie Harrison
John Craven
Julia Bradbury
Jules Hudson
Executive Producer
Andrew Thorman


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