29/01/2012

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Duration: 1 hour

Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison head for Guernsey in the Channel Islands, where it is ormer season. Ellie joins islanders hunting for these highly-prized shellfish, while Matt discovers why the demand for cheap milk could threaten the future of one of our most iconic breeds of cow: the Guernsey.

Back on the mainland, John Craven investigates whether there is anything that can be done about European countries failing to keep up with Britain on new rules on animal welfare. Plus Adam Henson follows in the footsteps of the farmers of yesteryear when he moves a herd of sheep along a traditional droving route.

Last on

Wed 8 Feb 2012 00:45 BBC One Northern Ireland only

See all previous episodes from Countryfile

  • The Guernsey Cow

    The Guernsey Cow

    Matt Baker finds out why the Guernsey cow is such an iconic animal and has a close encounter with some cattle as he does. He also meets one shop owner who is challenging age-old milk import laws that were brought in to protect the industry on the island. Matt takes a journey from cow to consumer to find out how local people feel about this break with tradition.

    Find out more about the history of Guernsey cattle at the WGCF website
  • Ellie Helps Clean Up

    Ellie Helps Clean Up

    More than forty years ago a huge oil tanker called “Torrey Canyon” ran aground off the Cornish coast releasing 120,000 tonnes of oil into the sea. That oil made it all the way to Guernsey and, extraordinarily, residue from the spill is still a hazard to the island’s wildlife. Ellie Harrison joins the Guernsey version of the RSPCA – the GSPCA - to help tackle the remains of the oil. She also goes on a ‘ride-along’ in their animal ambulance discovering the other work the team do on the island.

    Find out more about the work of the GSPCA on their website
  • Jules and the Victorian Walled Garden

    Jules and the Victorian Walled Garden

    Jules Hudson finds out about a garden restoration with a difference. A group at the Guernsey Botanical Trust are restoring a Victorian walled kitchen garden at Saumarez Park, as accurately as they can. Members even dress up in period costume to do it. Jules also gets involved in the old tradition of vraic mulching - an event involving a horse & cart, a beach, a wooden wheelbarrow and lots and lots of digging!

    Find out about activities at the walled garden on the Guernsey Botanical Trust website
  • Picking and Packing the Clematis

    Picking and Packing the Clematis

    Guernsey has a long and successful commercial growing industry, from grapes to tomatoes to cut flowers. These days there are only a few of these growers left on the island, but Jules meets up with someone who is putting the old greenhouses to good use. Paul is one of the world’s biggest clematis suppliers and Jules is challenged by the nimble fingered workers to help them to pick, pot and pack the plants ready for shipping. Can he keep up with their rate of around 3000 plants an hour?

    Find out about the history of the Guernsey growing industry from a former resident
  • Ellie Goes in Search of Ormers

    Ellie Goes in Search of Ormers

    Ormers, or abalone, are not pretty, not easy to catch, and not available to harvest except on certain tides and when the moon is in the right phase of its cycle. Some even say they’re not particularly tasty! But on Lihou – a small island just off the Guernsey coast, harvesting these shellfish is a long established tradition. Local Mark Tabell takes Ellie on the hunt for the perfect ormer. Later Tony Leck, a local chef, gets Ellie involved in the traditional method of cooking them. Will they be worth the time spent in the cold water?

    Find out more about the Ormer from the BBC Guernsey site
  • John Craven Investigates Animal Welfare Standards

    John Craven Investigates Animal Welfare Standards

    On January 1st this year new legislation came in banning the use of old-style battery cages for chickens across Europe. As the bells rang for midnight, the UK still had 1% of its cages to convert, but in some EU countries as many as 30% of their farmers were not complying with the new law. British farmers say it’s putting them at an unfair disadvantage. So is anything being done to ensure everyone complies with the law – and will the same situation arise again when sow stalls are banned for pigs at the end of this year? John’s been investigating.

    Find out more about the battery cage ban from the defra website
  • Adam’s Farm: Following The Ancient Drovers

    Adam’s Farm: Following The Ancient Drovers

    Adam is heading to Wales to herd a flock of sheep along an ancient droving route that ended up in the hamlet of Rhewl. The droving of sheep goes back well over a thousand years and the network of tracks and roads that criss-cross our countryside are still evident today. The heyday of sheep droving came in the 18th and 19th centuries when Britain’s rapidly expanding cities needed feeding and demand for mutton soared.

    BBC: Find out about the last long distance drover in Wales

Credits

Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Ellie Harrison
Presenter
Ellie Harrison
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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