16/12/2012

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Duration: 1 hour

Countryfile visits the Norfolk coast for a seasonal spectacle. Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury are at the RSPB bird reserve at Snettisham finding out why this stretch of coast is so popular with tens of thousands of over-wintering birds. They are joined by Autumnwatch colleague Richard Taylor-Jones, who is helping to capture all that bird life on camera. Matt also meets up with the family keeping the first ever Wildlife Trust reserve at Cley Marshes in good order.

Meanwhile, Julia takes a walk on the wild side to photograph Norfolk's seals. The number of seals born on local beaches has doubled so far this season. No-one is sure why they are so successful there, and it is hoped that identifying individuals will help experts understand more.

John Craven is at a Bristol city farm discovering just how Children in Need spend the money that is raised by projects like the Countryfile calendar. Tom Heap investigates whether enough is being done to keep the countryside open to ethnic minorities, while Adam catches up with the changing seasons down on the farm.

  • Wild goose chase

    Matt & Julia

    The north Norfolk coast boasts big skies, deserted beaches and one of the best places in the UK to view thousands and thousands of beautiful birds. Julia Bradbury and Matt Baker head to Snettisham RSPB reserve to learn about the waders and wildfowl that spend their winters in this exposed part of eastern England. There’s one bird they’re particularly keen to spot: the pink-footed goose. These geese arrive here in their thousands every Autumn, roosting in safe havens like Snettisham by night and feeding in local farmers’ fields by day. Julia employs local farmer and wildlife enthusiast David Lyles and Autumnwatch cameraman Richard Taylor-Jones to help her follow these shy geese from dawn until dusk. The question is, will this very special gaggle of geese come home on cue? 


    Find out more about Snettisham RSPB Reserve

  • Baby boom

    Julia & Edward

    Julia has been given exclusive access to Blakeney Point, a National Trust reserve that is fast becoming one of the best places in Britain to see grey seals.  Around 40% of the world’s population of these seals breed in the UK and it seems that Blakeney is one of their favourite places. Ten years ago just 50 seal pups were born on this exposed peninsula of saltmarsh, shingle and golden sand. This season, warden Edward Stubbings and his team are expecting ten times that number! Julia learns about Edward’s brand new photo ID project and why it’s important for the public to give the seals a wide berth. Most importantly she helps him with his twice-weekly count of all the cute new pups.

     

    IMAGE: Edward and Julia prepare to count the babies in the colony

     

    Find out more about Blakeney National Nature Reserve 
  • Adam’s winter farming

    Adam & Boo

    This week Adam is looking back on his farming year and getting on with some seasonal jobs. At this time of the year some of the cattle need housing because the grass is in short supply and the conditions are starting to get too wet. His white park calves are ready to be weaned from their mums and moved into the shelter of the barns for the winter. The highlands are a hardier breed and get to stay outside all year round, but they still need some TLC. Adam’s Gloucester old spot pigs also live outside during the winter. They have thick skin and hair that help to protect them. To keep them warm at night Adam provides them with a good layer of straw. But it is not just livestock that Adam farms. He also has a thousand acres of arable crops. After this year’s adverse weather conditions, Adam will be looking back on the growing year.

     

    Find out more about winter farming

  • Matt and the marshes

    Matt Snettisham

    Matt explores the UK’s very first Wildlife Trust reserve at Cley Marshes. This coastal haven is full of fresh-water marshes and brackish pools that birds absolutely love. But it’s not just the wildlife that attracts the visitors, there are some very special people too. Cley Marshes’ warden Bernard Bishop was born and raised here. He’s the third generation of Bishops to watch over the place. Matt meets Bernard and his family and learns about the unusual ways they are managing this rare habitat for many more generations to come.

     

    Find out more about Cley Marshes

  • Rural minorities

    TOM and DAVID MWANAKA

    Britain is a multi-cultural society, but venture out into the countryside and that diversity begins to rapidly disappear. Tom Heap asks why such a small proportion of black or Asian people live in or visit rural Britain. He meets an Asian woman who is trying to create rural champions. The people she trains spread the message about the pleasure that the countryside brings to minority communities. Tom also meets one of Britain’s handful of black farmers. He’s been questioned by police while digging is his fields, but says it is purely because seeing someone from an ethnic minority farming is such an unusual sight.

     

    IMAGE: Tom with farmer David Mwanaka

Credits

Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Matt Baker
Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
Julia Bradbury
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
Tom Heap
Presenter
Tom Heap
Presenter
Adam Henson
Presenter
Adam Henson
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Series Producer
Teresa Bogan

Broadcasts

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