The team are in rural Cheshire. Matt Baker is finding out about agricultural apprentices. He follows Jason, a young farmer, as he goes about his daily tasks on his dad's busy dairy farm. Here he gets the chance to put into practice everything he learns in the classroom at Reaseheath College. With the help of one of the college assessors, Matt puts Jason through his paces in a practical examination on the farm.
Ellie Harrison is at Tatton Park, where she's hoping to spot the elegant courtship ritual of one of the county's finest feathered friends, the great crested grebe. She also visits Quarry Bank Mill, where she discovers what life was like for Victorian mill apprentices and meets a modern-day heritage builder apprentice working on the site to restore it. Ellie help hims re-hang the bell in the mill's clock tower.
John Craven visits a seasonal spectacle at Rode Hall, where the masses flock to see the beautiful blanket of white. The snowdrop's arrival reminds us that spring is just around the corner.
Getting your own home in the countryside can be tough. Wages tend to be lower - and property prices higher. Tom Heap asks whether we should be solving the problem by building more affordable houses in rural areas.
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|