Selling Off Our Forests
Plans to sell off vast swathes of publicly-owned forest have met with widespread criticism. John Craven reports from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire where 3,000 protesters gathered recently to make their feelings known. The protesters have since claimed a victory after the Government revealed this week that the Forest of Dean and the New Forest in Hampshire will be exempt from any sell-off. Instead this woodland will be offered to charities for future management. Elsewhere in the country though the picture isn’t quite so clear and campaign groups fear that their access rights could be denied if forests end up in private hands. They're also concerned what private developers might do with the woodland. The Government says access rights will be protected but campaigners at Rigg Wood on the banks of Coniston Water in the Lake District was sold by the Forestry Commission last year and the public car park and picnic area there has since been closed-off. Campaigners say this could happen at other sites and want the Government to re-think its plans which they say are an exercise designed to make money. The government argues it wants to give the forests back to the people who use them.Click here to read about the Save our Forests campaign
Forests - What Happens Next?
On Thursday, January 27, the Government unveiled its plans for a sell-off of England's publicly owned forests. Click on the link below to read the plans in detail.What the Government Proposes
The Penistone Line
Stretching from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire to Sheffield in the South, the Penistone line passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in Yorkshire. But, as Julia discovers, there’s more to this commuter train than meets the eye. Once a month the train takes on a cargo of beer and a bunch of musicians who play all the way down the line. The train’s been so successful that it’s sprouted other groups running activities from stations along the line.Click here to learn more about the Penistone Line
Matt and Wentworth Castle head Gardener Michael Klemperer don ballistic suits to explore the crumbling Victorian glasshouse in the grounds. There are plans to restore the building (pictured below) at a cost of around £3million. Matt also visits the grounds of Wentworth - the only grade one listed landscape in South Yorkshire -to find out how those too are being restored. The site of Wentworth Castle was bought by Sir Thomas Wentworth in 1708 as the result of a bitter family feud. Find out more on Sunday's Countryfile.Click here to 'Explore Wentworth'
Wentworth's Victorian Glasshouse
This beautiful glasshouse was built in the 1880's. But like many others built on estates around the UK at the time, it has since fallen into disrepair. Now though there are ambitious plans to restore the building to its former glory - at a cost of £3m.
Nestled between seven hills, Sheffield has a long history of heavy industry which has provided a living for the people who live there. The city gained an international reputation for steel production during the nineteenth century but this heavy metal manufacturing left its toll on the environment. By the 1960’s the river Don was one of the most polluted in Europe. Matt finds out how this city is transforming itself from one of our grimiest to one of our greenest. And at the heart of the change is the River Don, which is fast becoming a popular spot for fishermen.Wildlife Along Sheffield’s Rivers
Knurr and Spell
You might not have heard of it but 40 years ago the game of Knurr and Spell was all the rage in this part of Yorkshire. Played by colliers, the aim was to hit pottery balls as far as possible, launching it from a sprung ‘spell’ with ‘pommels’ – or sticks. Julia and Matt rediscover the game with the help of local enthusiasts and discover it’s tougher than it looks.Video – the rules of Knurr and Spell
For those lucky enough to own a car in the 1930's there was but one travel companion of choice - the Shell Guide. The county travel guides (an early Oxfordshire edition is pictured above) were as bold and as modern as the artists and writers who worked on them. Katie Knapman hits the open road in Oxfordshire to discover how these beautifully illustrated guides were essential to getting the most out of our motoring.A History of Shell Guides
- Series Producer
- Teresa Bogan
- Matt Baker
- Julia Bradbury
- John Craven
- Adam Henson
- Katie Knapman
- Executive Producer
- Andrew Thorman