22/07/2012

Image for 22/07/2012Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 55 minutes

Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury journey to Shropshire to find out how the landscape has inspired people for generations to get out into the countryside to live a healthier life.

Matt is in Much Wenlock to learn more about William Penny Brookes, a far-sighted Victorian who thought more people should get out and about to get fit. It was an idea that was to give rise to the biggest show on Earth - the Olympics. A century or more later, Matt meets a local girl aiming for gold in archery at the Olympics in 2020.

Julia learns you do not have to be an athlete to get something out of this landscape; children's author Malcolm Saville also saw the merit in exploring rural Shropshire. His books encouraged children to seek adventure in its wild places. Julia meets Saville's daughter, who spent her formative years as an evacuee in the county. It was whilst here that she received the chapters that were to form her father's celebrated Lone Pine series about a bunch of children going wild in Shropshire.

Down on the farm, Adam's Highland bull Eric has a much-needed pedicure, and Adam visits a Lancashire farm where the dairy cows milk themselves.

  • Much Wenlock’s Olympic History

    Much Wenlock’s Olympic History

    It’s not long now until London 2012, but without William Penny Brookes, a doctor from the small Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, it might never have happened. William devised his own sporting event back in 1850 and it was after seeing this that a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin decided to revive the Olympic Games as an international competition. Matt Baker finds out more about the history and tries his hand at archery with the help of a young Olympic hopeful.

    Who was William Penny Brookes?
  • Endangered Pearl Mussels

    Endangered Pearl Mussels

    Freshwater pearl mussels can live for more than a hundred years and are key to telling us how clean our rivers are but, as Julia Bradbury discovers, they are in serious danger. Julia joins a team from the Environment Agency as they look for mussels in the River Clun. Then she meets a farmer who’s stopped his cows drinking from the river in the hope it will improve the tiny creatures’ chances of survival.

    Why are freshwater pearl mussels so important?
  • Matt Goes Gliding

    Matt Goes Gliding

    Gliding nearly became an Olympic sport for the first time in 1940 but, because of the war, those games never took place. Matt meets members of one of the oldest gliding clubs in the country on top of the Long Mynd - one of Shropshire’s most beautiful landmarks. He helps put together an Olympia, a glider which was designed especially for the 1940 games. Will he make it into the sky or will his efforts be scuppered by the weather?

    Find out more about gliding
  • Adam Discovers Robotic Milking

    Adam Discovers Robotic Milking

    This week on his farm Adam Henson is halter training some of his rare breed rams, ready for a show later in the year. If they can win a rosette and get breed champion they will fetch a premium price. Meanwhile, Eric the Bull has been having problems with his feet, so Adam gets in specialist foot trimmer – also called Eric - to have a closer inspection. Using a homemade contraption, Eric (the Bull) is tilted onto his side so they can safely inspect and trim his foot. Finally, Adam visits Lancashire dairy farmer David Talbot who has recently invested in some robots that will milk his herd of 180 cows. This high-tech equipment will both milk the cows and monitor their performance.

  • Adventure In The Shropshire Hills

    In Shropshire you’re never short of hills to climb, valleys to explore and secret places to find. A generation of children were inspired to explore this landscape by the author Malcolm Saville. You might not have heard of him but he was writing at the same time as Enid Blyton. He wrote around ninety books, but is best known for his stories about the adventures of a group of children in wartime Shropshire. Julia meets his daughter Rosemary, now 81, and hears how she and her siblings were the first to read his stories while they were living in the county during the Second World War.

    Find out more about Malcolm Saville
  • Countryfile’s Eco-Olympics

    Countryfile’s Eco-Olympics

    As Countryfile has a bit of an Olympic theme this week Julia is staging her own games with a green twist – and with the help of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. It may be raining and rather muddy, but that doesn’t stop two teams of local schoolchildren battling it out to be crowned ‘eco-victors’. But, with archery as the final event, will Matt’s practice session earlier in the programme give his team a boost?

    IMAGE: Julian and her ‘Olympic’ team ready for some rather wet games.

    What else is Shropshire Wildlife Trust up to?

Credits

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

Broadcasts

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