The Fairford Estate
Fairford Estate is one of the many of Ernest Cook’s investments in the British countryside. Ellie discovers the history of the man behind this charity and that he left very little behind apart from these magnificent estates and the legacy of his trust. Steve Boulton is the woodman at Fairford and has worked on the estate for many years. Ellie finds out what the daily duties of the woodman involve and why he loves working there so much.FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE FAIRFORD ESTATE
An Outdoor Education
Ellie visits the trust’s woodland classroom to see how the curriculum is brought to the outdoors in the estate’s forest school. The children from St. Christopher’s get busy building stick houses and exploring the woodland areas before planting some trees and collected the dead sticks to help build a fire for some tasty treats.FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ERNEST COOK TRUST’S OUTDOOR EDUCATION
Tatton Park harvest
Tatton Park is a prominent feature on the East Cheshire landscape. Countryfile takes a look at how the modern day estate is a model of conservation farming. From the broad range of apples available in the enchanting walled orchard to the very best examples of seasonal vegetables, we deliver the homegrown produce to the estate’s historic farm for inclusion in the vibrant traditional harvest festival. A centre of excellence for rare breeds conservation, Tatton Farm has plenty for Matt to get involved with: he's introduced to the newest member of their Clydesdale herd, shears a particularly hairy Angora goat, and witnesses the age old tradition of blessing the animals in preparation for the festival.
The Holker Estate
The Holker Estate is at the heart of seventeen thousand acres of rural Cumbria. It covers a major part of the Cartmel Peninsula, at the centre of Morecambe Bay. The estate, which is owned by the Cavendish family, prides itself on its close relationship with its tenant farmers – many of whom farm right up to the shoreline. Matt meets one farmer who has overcome the challenges of the hostile marshland environment to graze sheep on the salt-loving grasses. The salt-marsh lamb has been lauded by top chefs for its distinctive flavour.
The Ashridge Estate
Ashridge Forest lies on the outskirts of Berkhamsted and consists of 4,500 acres of woods with views across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. The old spelling of 'Asherugge,' meaning a hill set with ash trees, suggests that ash was once predominant - but the area has since become better known for its pollarded beech trees. During the 18th century, the estate came into the ownership of Francis 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, father of canal building. Julia finds out how the landscape has been historically shaped by our ancestor’s demand for furniture. Being so close to London, Ashridge gets a lot of filming requests too - it’s been featured in Harry Potter, Sleepy Hollow, and several TV dramas.
The Lees Court Estate
Ellie meets Lady Sondes, a New Yorker by birth who inherited the Lees Court Estate and the privately owned Swale Estuary - a beautiful location where millions of rock oysters lie hidden from view. Ellie finds out from a local fisherman how his great environmental work and pioneering oyster growing have helped to preserve the estuary and create a sustainable local delicacy. But Ellie’s not too keen on oysters, so can anyone convince her to try one?
Castle Howard is one of the most imposing landmarks in the Howardian Hills. The stunning stately home at the heart of the estate took more than a century to complete, and has been home to the same family for 300 years. Adam Henson meets the latest of the Howards who call this grand mansions home, and a tenant farmer whose family have been working on the estate for the past four generations. Adam spends an afternoon with some of the most unlikely labourers to help maintain this northern beauty spot - a herd of Exmoor ponies.
Dunham Massey near Altrincham in Cheshire is a stately Georgian pile set in a 300-acre deer park. Strolling around the grounds of the house you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a period drama. But just what does it take to keep the estate in pristine condition? Katie Knapman (pictured) finds out by going upstairs and downstairs to meet the loyal workers who keep Dunham Massey looking immaculate for the thousands of visitors who come here every year. She also discovers the estate’s secret weapon for creating a new rose garden – former battery hens!
- Series Producer
- Teresa Bogan
- Julia Bradbury
- Matt Baker
- Ellie Harrison
- Adam Henson