Image for 03/06/2012Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Countryfile visits Northern Ireland, where HM the Queen took her first official tour to celebrate her coronation. Now, almost 60 years later, Matt Baker takes the same train journey she did, and meets some of the local people who were there to welcome her. The end of his journey is Antrim, where he visits the castle and grounds and helps get them ready for a special jubilee ceremony.

Ellie Harrison is island-hopping around Lough Neagh, the largest lough in the British Isles. She is looking for local wildlife, including nesting herons, and she fishes for the local speciality: eels. John Craven is at one of his favourite locations, the north Antrim coast, where he explores Mussenden Temple and learns about the eccentric Bishop of Derry who commissioned it.

Tom Heap is out and about in Norfolk, finding out just how many things can get in the way of a great day out in the countryside; and Adam is on his farm in the Cotswolds, where he reveals the names he has chosen from thousands of suggestions for his Highland calves.

Last on

Tue 12 Jun 2012 00:30 BBC One Northern Ireland only

See all previous episodes from Countryfile

  • The Queen’s Coronation Tour

    The Queen’s Coronation Tour

    As Jubilee street parties, parades and pageants are held throughout the UK to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, Matt Baker takes a nostalgic look back at the Queen’s first official engagement - her 1953 tour of Northern Ireland. Nearly 60 years ago, The Queen went on a whistle-stop tour of the province by train from Lisburn to Lisahilly. Matt invites residents of Lisburn with their own memories of the Queen’s visit to join him to retrace the royal train’s route. And the timing couldn’t be better, as later this month the Queen returns to Northern Ireland as part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour.

    IMAGE: Matt gets some royal memories from Iris Andrews.

  • The Bishop’s Demesne

    The Bishop’s Demesne

    John Craven visits Downhill Demesne in County Londonderry to discover more about the eccentric ecclesiast Frederick Harvey, Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry. The Bishop was renowned for his Mediterranean tastes, his passion for art and his lust for life. His once great mansion now lies in ruins but local volunteers are helping to restore what remains. Whilst some volunteers get their hands dirty maintaining the physical structures, others have taken a more space-age approach, reconstructing the whole house with computer graphics. Plus John gets a surprise musical treat…

    IMAGE: John entertaining the crew.

  • Ellie On Coney Island

    Ellie On Coney Island

    During Countryfile’s visit to Lough Neagh, Ellie visits Coney Island, the only inhabited island on the lough. During her visit she discovers more about the world-renowned Lough Neagh eel fishing industry and joins local fisherman Owen Duran and his grandson as they catch some fresh water eels. Island Warden Peter McClelland also shows Ellie around the island as she learns more about Coney’s history, from its affluent past and prestigious visitors to its wonderful wildlife. There’s even time for a barbeque with chef Danny Millar.

  • Antrim Castle Gardens

    Antrim Castle Gardens

    The second stop on Matt’s jubilee journey is Antrim Castle Gardens. The gardens were once the preserve of the wealthy Viscounts Massereene. When the castle caught fire in the early 20th century the gardens were left to overgrow and lost much of their original character. After almost 10 years planning and pruning the gardens are almost restored to their aristocratic glory. But there are still a few jobs to be done, including final preparations for the planting of Antrim’s very own jubilee tree.

  • Rams Island

    Rams Island

    Ellie’s next stop on her island hop is the largest on the lough, Rams Island. Lord O’Neill purchased it in the early 19th Century for a hundred guineas from a local fisherman. Originally the island was only six acres in size, but after the lough’s water level was lowered the island grew into an impressive forty acres. No one has lived here for nearly a hundred years and nowadays it is leased and managed by a group of volunteers from the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association. They work hard to safe-keep the island for future generations.

    IMAGE: Happy but wet: Ellie with director Andrew Painten and cameraman Mark Smeaton

  • Adam Names Eric’s Calves

    Adam Names Eric’s Calves

    Several weeks ago the first of Eric the Bull’s offspring arrived on the farm and Adam Henson appealed to the viewers to help name them. The only rule was that they needed to begin with the letter ‘M’. On this week’s show he reveals his chosen names. Adam’s herd of Irish Moiled cattle are the first breed he introduced to the farm after taking over from his father. He only has a small herd and interbreeding can happen very quickly, so Adam is looking to add a new stock bull. He meets up with Chris Ball from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, who keeps one of the finest Irish Moiled herds in the UK - and has a sixteen-month old bull for sale. But will Adam want to buy him?

    IMAGE: Adam, Chris and a potential new addition to the farm.

  • Does Tom Have The Right Of Way?

    Does Tom Have The Right Of Way?

    Tom Heap is in Norfolk finding out why ramblers feel that not enough is being done to keep public rights of way clear. He discovers problems such as nettle-strewn paths, locked gates, overgrown hedges and styles with steps missing – and asks whether enough is being done to keep our thousands of miles of public rights of way clear. Tom also discovers another problem, one that could see many more official paths being created by the year 2026. That’s good news for some, but not so welcome when a new path goes right past someone’s bathroom window!

    IMAGE: Tom helps create a new path.


  • The Ramblers Association

    There’s lots of information here about the law surrounding rights of way, including what you can do if you find an obstruction. There are also more details on claiming an unrecorded right of way.

  • Directgov

    This is the government information site with lots of basic information on public rights of way and who has responsibility for them. It also gives details of the different laws governing rights of way in Scotland. When making a claim on an unrecorded right of way – or objecting against one – your first part of call in most cases should be your local authority, usually the county council. This page gives you details of how to contact them.

  • Defra

    This is where you find out more about the Defra consultation, which is seeking views on the process for recording, diverting and extinguishing public rights of way.

  • Natural England

    Natural England offers information about countryside access generally, including who is responsible for keeping rights of way clear and details of members of local access forums. There are also links here with details of the Paths for Communities scheme, which they administer. It allows communities to bid for funds to develop the public rights of way network.

  • The Open Spaces Society

    The Open Spaces Society represents people who use all types of rights of way. They can help with blocked paths, the claiming of rights of way and, in some instances, help in opposing new applications.



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


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