Furness Peninsula

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Duration: 1 hour

The team visit a little-known corner of Cumbria. Julia Bradbury is flying high over the Furness Peninsula for a unique insight into how this landscape has been shaped by nature and man over the centuries. Meanwhile, Matt Baker takes to the water on board a century-old schooner called Hearts Of Oak. She is the last of her kind, and Matt finds out what it takes to sail her.

James Wong is also on the peninsula; he is in the sand dunes, discovering the plant life which thrives there, and also the science behind what makes the perfect sandcastle. Tom Heap is in Yorkshire investigating how the year's poor weather has had devastating consequences for the countryside.

And Adam Henson is on a trip away from his farm in the Cotswolds as he visits the Orkney Islands, hoping to see a very rare breed of cattle.

  • An Ice Age Peninsula

    An Ice Age Peninsula

    Julia Bradbury takes to the air over the dramatic mountains of the Lake District to discover the ice age beginnings of the Furness Peninsula. Back on terra-firma she meets local boy Colin Waters from the British Geological Survey. With the help of a giant UK map – created out of sand - Julia and Colin chart the glacial origins of the geology beneath their feet. It’s not just the rock that’s on the move, Colin also explains the never-ending battle against the shifting sands which threatens to push the island back towards the mainland.

    Find out more about the rocks beneath your feet
  • The Cost Of Our Wet Summer

    The Cost Of Our Wet Summer

    Summer 2012 looks like being the wettest for a hundred year, but how much has that cost Britain’s delicate rural economy? Tom Heap looks at the impact of the torrential rain, not only on properties that have been damaged by floods and storms, but also on the UK’s farmers and tourist industry. To see for himself how difficult things have been, Tom volunteers to try and sell ice cream, but with little success. He also gets his calculator out to find out just how costly the wet weather has been.

  • The Dunes Of Sandscale Haws

    The Dunes Of Sandscale Haws

    To the north of the Furness Peninsula is an area dominated by sand dunes that are driven by the wind and sea currents. James Wong finds out how the plants that have colonised this area are essential in holding the sand together. As old dunes collapse into the sea, new formations are created in this ever-shifting landscape. The instability of sand may be essential to the dune system, but it has frustrated generations of sandcastle builders. But James thinks he may have the solution thanks to some groundbreaking ‘sand science’.

    Find out more about the dunes of Sandscale
  • Adam And The Wild Cattle

    Adam And The Wild Cattle

    Adam Henson keeps all sorts of rare breeds on his farm but this week he’s hoping to see some beasts that you definitely won’t find in the Cotswolds. Adam heads up to Orkney to visit the deserted island of Swona, home to a rare bunch of wild cattle. This particular herd is made up of the descendents of livestock that used to be farmed on the island. But these days they are not used to human contact and Adam has to give them a wide berth. Then, back on the farm, Adam checks on his own troublesome bull – new arrival ‘Cracker’.

  • The Oysters Of Walney Island

    The Oysters Of Walney Island

    At the southernmost point of Walney Island, Julia is exploring the largest oyster hatchery in Europe. It is capable of producing 100 million of the little creatures every year. If you’ve eaten an oyster in the UK, chances are it started life in the bubbling tanks and ramshackle sheds that sit among the dunes here. Julia mucks in to ensure the next generation of this chic shellfish are clean and healthy. These oysters may be headed for top-class restaurants, but they can only survive here thanks to a substance that’s rather less appetising. It’s the droppings of Walney’s resident seagulls that keep the water here rich in the algae that feeds the oysters. However, with gull numbers falling, how long can this unique relationship last?

    IMAGE: Julia washes the droppings from the oysters

    Try some oyster recipes
  • A Proud Shipbuilding Tradition

    A Proud Shipbuilding Tradition

    While Julia is way out west, Matt Baker is on the east of the peninsula, discovering the area’s proud shipbuilding heritage. Today, it’s the submarines of Barrow that take centre stage but a century ago, nearby Ulverston was home to a booming boat building industry. Matt tracks down the last boat to be launched from Ulverston, ‘Hearts of Oak’, and is shown the ropes by those who helped to save her. He then sails towards the tiny Piel Island to meet the only two permanent residents - the King and Queen of Piel!

    Find out more about Piel Island

Credits

Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
James Wong
Presenter
James Wong
Presenter
Tom Heap
Presenter
Tom Heap
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan

Broadcasts

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