14/08/2011

Image for 14/08/2011Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

John Craven is in Thomas Hardy country, finding out how the landscape of the South West of England inspired this great British novelist. He uses some newly discovered paintings to see how the countryside has changed since Hardy's time. Meanwhile, Matt Baker heads out to sea for a sailor's view of the Isle of Wight's biggest boat race.

On Adam's farm it is harvest time, but will the dry spring mean he comes up short? Plus Tom Heap asks another crucial question: should farmers continue to be subsidised?

  • JOHN CRAVEN VISITS ‘HARDY COUNTRY’

    JOHN CRAVEN VISITS ‘HARDY COUNTRY’

    IMAGE: John finds out about plans to restore Thorncombe Woods.

    This week John is in ‘Hardy Country’ discovering the landscape and traditions that motivated the writer Thomas Hardy. Thorncombe Woods and heathland are the inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s fictional ‘Egdon Heath’, which is featured in his novel “Return of the Native”. John meets a local ranger who is stripping back some of the woodland and encouraging the return of heathland – restoring the area to the way it was in Hardy’s day.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THORNCOMBE WOODS
  • REDISCOVERED PAINTINGS

    REDISCOVERED PAINTINGS

    IMAGE: One of John Everett’s rediscovered paintings, “Puddletown Heath”

    Recently a collection of paintings by John Everett, a local artist who probably knew Thomas Hardy, was found in a dusty cupboard in the Dorset County Museum. John has a chance to see these works of art on this week’s Countryfile.

    For more information and works by Everett you can now visit a new BBC website called “Your Paintings”. The BBC is currently working in partnership with the Public Catalogue Foundation to list around 200,000 publicly owned oil paintings. The “Your Paintings” site not just shows the pictures themselves, but also tells you their back story and where you can see them for yourself.

    SEE THE WORKS OF JOHN EVERETT ON ‘YOUR PAINTINGS’
  • RESTORING TRADITIONAL SHEPHERD’S HUTS

    RESTORING TRADITIONAL SHEPHERD’S HUTS

    IMAGE: ‘Scribblings’ on the wall of an original shepherd’s hut.

    Shepherds’ huts were commonplace in Hardy’s time. Gabrielle Oak uses one in ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’. This week, John meets Eileen whose father was a shepherd and can still remember him using huts like this when she was a young girl. He then goes to see Richard and Jane who are building new huts and restoring old ones. On the wall of one of the original shepherd’s huts John discovers the scribblings - or graffiti - left there by its previous occupants.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HARDY COUNTRY
  • JOHN RECREATES THE WEYHILL FAIR

    JOHN RECREATES THE WEYHILL FAIR

    IMAGE: A carousel draws the crowds at the Weyhill Fair.

    The Weyhill Fair, depicted in Hardy’s ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’, is one of the oldest recorded fairs in Britain and existed until the 1950s. All that remains of the fair today are the hops stores, now converted into craft shops. John meets Mike Dixon from the Hardy Society to talk about the importance of the fair in Hardy’s time. He then helps to recreate a smaller, more modern version of the fair, especially for Countryfile.

    FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE WEYHILL FAIR
  • TOM HEAP INVESTIGATES FARM SUBSIDIES

    TOM HEAP INVESTIGATES FARM SUBSIDIES

    IMAGE: Tom asks Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice, about farm subsidies.

    This week, as part of our series on the future of farming and food production, Tom Heap looks at the issue of farm subsidies. Although some get millions, farmers in the UK get an average of ten to twenty thousand pounds every year. An increasing amount of that money goes towards looking after the natural environment, but the majority still supports food production. Tom meets people with very different views on the need for farming subsidies, and learns about proposals to change the current system.

    Scroll down to see the results of the Countryfile survey on farm subsidies. Plus, you can find out more about subsidies by tuning into Farming Today on BBC Radio 4, every morning at 05:45 from Monday 15th August.

    LISTEN TO FARMING TODAY ON BBC RADIO 4
  • COUNTRYFILE FOOD AND FARMING POLL QUESTION 3: FARM SUBSIDIES

    Countryfile has commissioned a national poll to find out more what you think about some of the biggest issues affecting the future of food and farming in Britain. For this week’s programme we asked the following question about farm subsidies…

    Farmers and landowners in the UK receive EU subsidies to help food production and support wildlife. Which of the following best describes your view about whether these subsidies should continue or not?

    63% think they should continue, for both food production and supporting wildlife.

    15% think they should continue, but only to help look after wildlife habitats and the environment.

    8% think they should continue, but only for producing food.

    9% think they should not continue, because they don’t agree with subsidies for farmers and landowners.

    5% didn’t know.

    The poll was carried out by ComRes on behalf of the BBC. They contacted 1004 people across Great Britain by telephone over a three day period in July. Next week we’re asking this question about food waste...

    “Thinking about food that has gone off or reached its best before date, rather than food scraps, how much would you estimate that your household throws away or recycles each month?”

Credits

Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
Adam Henson
Presenter
Adam Henson
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Presenter
Tom Heap
Presenter
Tom Heap

Broadcasts

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