26/06/2011

Image for 26/06/2011Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury head to the vast chalk grasslands of Salisbury Plain. These great bare uplands were once at the heart of a prehistoric civilisation so powerful it drew people from all over Europe. Those days are long gone but there are still remains that lie hidden. Julia finds out how to keep archaeological remains safe when there is farming and wildlife to contend with, and she discovers the lengths people go to protect the country's heritage.

Matt is helping spruce up a more recent addition to the landscape - the Cherhill horse. Also on Salisbury Plain, Katie Knapman's flying high, getting a forecaster's view of how to map the weather.

Elsewhere, John Craven investigates whether British farmers will make money from the global beef boom, and Adam Henson goes in search of some rare breed White Park cattle to add to his herd.

  • SALISBURY PLAIN’S BARROWS AND BADGERS

    SALISBURY PLAIN’S BARROWS AND BADGERS

    IMAGE: One of the ‘barrow badgers’ caught by our night vision camera.

    Salisbury Plain and the surrounding area have an abundance of fascinating heritage, including world renowned archaeological sites such as Stonehenge. This week on Countryfile, Julia discovers some of the plain’s Neolithic burial mounds, called ‘barrows’. There’s a higher concentration of round and long barrows on Salisbury Plain than anywhere else in Britain. But that causes a problem and Julia finds out about the efforts to protect these ancient burial mounds from farming and wildlife, including some rather persistent badgers.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ANCIENT BARROWS IN WILTSHIRE
  • GREAT BUSTARD AND DECLINING FARMLAND BIRDS

    GREAT BUSTARD AND DECLINING FARMLAND BIRDS

    IMAGE: Julia and project officer Tracy Adams look to see if specially planted crops have provided food for the ‘Arable 6’.

    Countryfile has been following the reintroduction of the Great Bustard to Salisbury Plain since 2004. On this week’s programme, Julia revisits the project and discovers an amazing success, with new chicks hatching in the wild. But can that sort of success be achieved with other birds? Julia finds out about a new project to halt the decline of six other farmland birds, called the ‘Arable 6”. She discovers how farmland is being adapted to provide more food and better nesting habitats. Plus how many of the six birds will Julia recognise when she is challenged to a birdsong quiz?

    MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE SOUTH WEST FARMLAND BIRD INITIATIVE
  • KATIE FORECASTS THE WEATHER

    KATIE FORECASTS THE WEATHER

    IMAGE: Katie and the film crew prepare for their flight above Salisbury Plain.

    It is a 100 years since the death of Sir Francis Galton, the man who invented the weather map. In celebration of his work, Katie visits the Middle Wallop Met Office site on Salisbury Plain to discover how it provides a daily forecast for Army Air Corps training. It’s a big responsibility as she has been given the duty of forecasting herself and then briefing trainees for about the day’s weather. So, just to make sure her observations are correct, Katie gets the chance to take to the skies in one of the army’s Lynx helicopters.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE MET OFFICE
  • MATT’S WHITE HORSE CAPERS

    MATT’S WHITE HORSE CAPERS

    IMAGE: Matt re-chalking the Cherhill White Horse, with the help of some local scouts.

    Across Wiltshire there are numerous huge white horses cut into the chalk of the downs. Every two years the Cherhill White Horse undergoes a re-chalking process and Matt’s been recruited to help out the local team of volunteers to restore it to its full glory. He also uncovers the history behind local traditions and brings to life an unusual story about naked highwaymen. But will these ‘cheeky’ robbers spare Julia’s blushes?

    MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WILTSHIRE’S WHITE HORSES
  • ADAM’S FARM: WHITE PARK CATTLE

    ADAM’S FARM: WHITE PARK CATTLE

    IMAGE: Distinctive and distinguished: a potential purchase for Adam?

    Now that Adam’s farm is clear of Bovine TB, it’s time for him to replace the White Park cattle that he lost last winter. He takes a day out to visit a farm in Devon that specialises in this breed. The White Park itself has been native to Britain for around 2000 years, but came to the brink of extinction in the 1970’s, since then its numbers have steadily grown. While he’s in the South West, Adam checks out a White Park bull and finds out about a herd of White Parks that are used for grazing the culm grassland.

    A HISTORY OF WHITE PARK CATTLE
  • JOHN CRAVEN INVESTIGATES: THE BEEF BOOM

    JOHN CRAVEN INVESTIGATES: THE BEEF BOOM

    IMAGE: Can British Beef become a success around the world?

    The global demand for beef is growing by six hundred thousand tonnes every year. Prices are rising and for Britain’s beef farmers it’s a great opportunity. But, as John discovers, British farmers are struggling to compete with the rest of the world on price. Strict regulation is just one of the factors pushing up costs at every stage of the production process. John investigates whether, despite these obstacles, British farmers can still capitalise on the global beef boom.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BRITISH BEEF INDUSTRY

Credits

Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
Katie Knapman
Presenter
Katie Knapman
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan

Broadcasts

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