03/07/2011

Image for 03/07/2011Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury are in Gloucestershire on the hunt for one of Britain's rarest butterflies, the large blue. Plus Julia travels through some of the Cotswolds' most beautiful areas of woodland in search of dormice. John Craven investigates how farmers and foresters are coping after one of the driest springs ever. And Adam gets to grips with some rare breeds of poultry.

  • ADAM’S FARM: RARE BREED POULTRY

    ADAM’S FARM: RARE BREED POULTRY

    IMAGE: Adam and his friend, a rare Pekin Bantam.

    Last week Adam was dealing with his new delivery of White Park cattle, this week we meet another significantly smaller rare breed. Adam has several types of chicken on the farm and, although he keeps flock numbers up by hatching out their eggs, he also has to buy in more rare birds to avoid inbreeding. So, Adam goes shopping for Cornish Game hens and a couple of varieties of Pekin Bantams. He also meets a breeder who keeps Rheas – a South American bird similar to an ostrich.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RARE BREED POULTRY
  • BRINGING BACK THE LARGE BLUE

    BRINGING BACK THE LARGE BLUE

    IMAGE: Dr Jeremy Thomas tells James about the Large Blue Butterfly on Collard Hill.

    James Wong heads to Collard Hill in Somerset to meet Dr Jeremy Thomas, who is working on the reintroduction of the Large Blue butterfly to the UK. This incredibly rare creature is still one of the world’s most threatened species, but Jeremy is hoping to change that. Using Large Blue butterflies from Sweden, Jeremy and his colleagues have created the longest running and most successful insect conservation project anywhere in the world. As James discovers, the British reintroduction was based on major scientific breakthroughs, and the development of a pioneering model for insect conservation.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE LARGE BLUE RECOVERY PROGRAMME
  • MATT AND JULIA’S BUTTERFLY SEARCH

    MATT AND JULIA’S BUTTERFLY SEARCH

    IMAGE: Julia challenges Matt to find a Large Blue Butterfly before she does.

    After James finds out about the Large Blue Recovery Programme, Julia and Matt are set a challenge – to find one of these rare creatures for themselves. They go searching in part of the Cotswolds where there have been no reported sightings of the Large Blue for around half a century. As usual with Matt and Julia, it turns into a bit of competition. Both of them are determined to find the first one – but will either of them actually succeed?

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE LARGE BLUE ON RADIO 4’S “SAVING SPECIES”
  • DORMICE ON THE GOLDEN VALLEY WALK

    DORMICE ON THE GOLDEN VALLEY WALK

    IMAGE: A sleeping dormouse in a nesting box on the Golden Valley Walk.

    The Golden Valley Walk encompasses four beautiful nature reserves in Gloucestershire. Julia finds out there is a lot to see and do along the walk and has a close encounter with an exceptionally rare little mammal. The dormouse has already become extinct in many UK counties, but Gloucestershire is lucky enough to still have a stronghold. Siccaridge Wood was one of the first places in the country to be included in the National Dormice Survey and Julia meets one of the local trained and licensed dormouse volunteers to find out more. She also stumbles across the first dew pond to have been built from scratch in Gloucestershire for hundreds of year.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE NATIONAL DORMOUSE MONITORING PROGRAMME
  • JOHN CRAVEN INVESTIGATES: DROUGHT AND FOREST FIRES

    JOHN CRAVEN INVESTIGATES: DROUGHT AND FOREST FIRES

    IMAGE: The firefighters’ view of the Swinley forest fire.

    Much of Britain has just had one of the driest Springs on record. This week John investigates the problems caused by this unusually dry weather and asks if, with climate change, we should be preparing for it to happen again. First, he discovers the disastrous effects of this year’s forest fires and finds out what’s being done to help our woodland both recover and cope with similar fires in the future. Then he turns his attention to farming and hears that while some crops have suffered, others have been given a boost by the Spring heatwave.

    Find out more about drought.

Credits

Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
Adam Henson
Presenter
Adam Henson
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan

Broadcasts

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