The Countryfile team are in Cheshire, where John Craven looks into the history of silk in the area. It all started with farmers making buttons for extra cash, and developed into an industry supporting 70 mills along the rivers. Helen Skelton is also in the county, meeting renowned fantasy author Alan Garner OBE. Cheshire born and bred, Alan's work has been inspired by the landscapes of the county.
Jules Hudson is at Beeston Castle. On a clear day the stunning ruin looks out across nine counties. Jules looks into the history of the fortress and hunts out some of the wildlife species who live there. John Craven is also be at Jodrell Bank Observatory, seeing how telescopes in farmers' fields are leading the way in the technology we take for granted.
Four years ago, the government announced plans for a national path around the whole of the English coastline. Tom Heap investigates why less than 1% of this project has been completed, and travels to Wales to discover why their own coastal path has been such a success.
Adam Henson is on the Mendip Hills in Somerset on a family dairy farm with a difference. They produce 14,000 tonnes of cheese a year, and it is all run on 100% green energy.
John Craven climbs the world-famous Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory. Sir Bernard Lovell developed the idea for its construction whilst working on radar systems during the Second World War. Built in 1957, at the time it was the biggest telescope in the world. John meets the scientists using it to research outer space - plus he is given special permission to drive the telescope himself.
Helen Skelton meets Alan Garner, the author of fantasy novels including ‘The Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ and ‘Elidor’. She visits Alan’s historic Cheshire home, part of which dates back to medieval times. The house is just a stone’s throw from Jodrell Bank, where his latest book is set. Alan takes Helen on one of his favourite walks and explains how the Cheshire countryside inspires his work.
John follows the Macclesfield silk route and discovers the industry’s links to the Cheshire countryside. The town was once one of the world’s biggest producers of finished silk. John visits Paradise Mill, the last weaving factory, which closed in 1981. Following the River Bollin, he then heads to the village of Langley to see one of the last remaining silk factories in Cheshire using traditional printing techniques.
Jules Hudson explores Beeston Castle on the Sandstone Trail in Cheshire. Built by the Earl of Chester in the 13th century, its towers look out over eight counties. The craggy rock on which it stands was inhabited as far back as the Bronze Age, but is now only home to some rare creatures. Jules searches underground for the castle’s most elusive resident, the lesser horseshoe bat – and encounters some creepy-crawlies along the way.
In 2009 plans were announced to create a continuous path around the coast of England by 2019. Four years on less than one percent has been completed. Tom Heap asks why the schedule has slipped so badly and travels to Wales to discover the huge benefits the coastal route there has brought to the nation. He also hears from a landowner who is already unhappy with the way that the English coastal path has been set up on his land.
Adam Henson is in Somerset, visiting a family which farms 1,300 dairy cows and produces 14,000 tonnes of cheese every year. It’s a big operation that uses lots of power, but amazingly this farm is run on 100% green electricity. There is little waste and even the slurry produced by the cattle is as important as the milk - it helps power an anaerobic digester that produces enough electricity to power the farm. After Adam helps with the slurry shovelling he is rewarded with a taste of the cheese it helps create.
|Series Producer||Teresa Bogan|