Oxenhope

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Duration: 50 minutes

Ellie Harrison and John Craven are in and around Oxenhope in West Yorkshire. They see how the county is gearing up for the start of the Tour de France. Ellie gets on her bike and lends her wheels to the artist using the Yorkshire hills as a canvas. John Craven talks to the farmers about what it means to have this giant art in their fields and then hooks up with the cycling artist who has immortalised England's steepest incline in glass.

Ellie also tells the tale of a world-beating woman cyclist who took on the men back in her day and beat them. Meanwhile, Adam travels back to Snowdonia to meet the young farmer who won the farm!

Plus, more than a year since the European Commission decided to restrict the use of an insecticide that's thought to contribute to the decline of the British bee, Tom Heap investigates the impact of this controversial decision on farmers and asks whether the evidence for a ban is any stronger twelve months on.

  • Ellie’s art tour

    Ellie's Art Tour

    Ellie Harrison takes to her bike to explore the route of the Tour de France, which is coming to the roads around Oxenhope in West Yorkshire in a couple of weeks’ time. She discovers that the fields here are being turned into almighty artworks. Along the route of the Tour farmers and artists are getting together to create a gigantic spectacle to welcome the cyclists, using the hillsides as their canvas. Ellie helps local school children create the image of a huge leaping lady in the landscape, using mountain bike tyres to churn up the ground and draw out the figure.

     

    Find out more about the Tour de France

  • One giant man and his dog

    Man and Dog

    One of the twelve gigantic pieces of landscape art around Oxenhope is entitled “One Man and his Dog”, created by artist Simon Manfield.  It features a vast shepherd whistling to an equally huge sheep dog. John Craven meets local shepherds who’ve embraced this art project and allowed their land to be used as a massive canvas. Matt Baker better watch out though, as John tries his hand at commentating on a dog trial when local sheep dog trainer Ian Ibbotson makes the artwork come alive. But have Ian and his dog got the skills to pen their sheep in the palm of the giant shepherd?

     

    Find out more about the land art

  • Beryl Burton

    Beryl Burton

    Ellie learns that these windswept hills were once the training ground for a now forgotten cycling phenomenon. From the 1950s to the 1980s one woman ruled these moors and dominated British cycling. She was one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes and her name was Beryl Burton. Ellie speaks to Beryl’s husband Charlie and her daughter Denise to find out more about this Yorkshire working mother who smashed world records, gathered golds and racked up both national and international titles. Beryl was not only famous for beating the women in her field, she also beat the men!

     

    Find out more about Beryl Burton

  • Welsh young farmer

    Welsh Young Farmer

    Last year, Caryl Hughes won a unique scholarship run by the National Trust and the Welsh Young Farmers Club. The 23-year-old was given the chance to manage a beautiful and remote Welsh hill farm for a year. With this daunting task ahead of her, Adam Henson went along to give her some tips. Now Adam returns to the heart of the stunning Snowdonia landscape to see how Caryl has been coping on the farm. He gets the chance to help her move a flock of sheep up a mountain for the first time in 25 years – and hears about her mixed feelings now that her scholarship is coming to an end.

  • The bee ban

    Bee ban

    Bees are a vital part of arable farming in the UK. But has a ban on pesticides called neonicotinoids, which was set up to protect these pollinators, made life harder for British farmers? Tom Heap discovers that, after using seeds coated in insecticide, many are now being forced to go back to spraying alone. The National Farmers’ Union says it’s needlessly giving farmers more work and is far from convinced that neonicotinoids are harming bees at all. Tom asks whether, a year on, the evidence to support the ban is any stronger – and discovers that there’s no way of measuring if it has been a success.

  • Cragg Vale

    The longest continuous incline in England will come alive when the Tour de France comes to West Yorkshire. The Cragg Vale Hill Climb is 272 metres long, but local cyclist Jane O’Neill is more than up to the challenge. Jane has been cycling up Cragg Vale for many years and her enthusiasm, and excitement about the tour, has also inspired her to create some works of art. John meets Jane at the top of Cragg Vale to find out all about the trials and tribulations of the climb. He then visits Jane’s studio to see how the landscape and the tour have come together in her artworks.

     

    Find out more about the Cragg Vale hill climb

Credits

Presenter
John Craven
Presenter
Ellie Harrison
Presenter
Adam Henson
Presenter
Tom Heap
Series Producer
Joanna Brame
Executive Producer
William Lyons

Broadcasts

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