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
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
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
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
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?What else is Shropshire Wildlife Trust up to?
IMAGE: Julian and her ‘Olympic’ team ready for some rather wet games.
- Series Producer
- Teresa Bogan
- Matt Baker
- Julia Bradbury
- Adam Henson