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Open Country
Sat  6.10 - 6.35am
Thurs 1.30 - 2.00pm (rpt)
Local people making their corner of rural Britain unique
This week
Saturday 5 August 2006
Listen to this programme in full
Farne Islands: Part 2 of 2
In the second programme Helen Mark explores the Outer Farnes, travelling to Longstone, Brownsman and Staple Islands. She meets:

John Walton, National Trust site manager for the Farne Islands and Northumberland Coast, who works closely with the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrew's University. Their monitoring of the grey seals uses mobile phone technology so they can "phone home" to say exactly where they are - and they travel far!

Christine Bell, the curator of the Grace Darling museum in Bamburgh, who recounts the famous rescue in which 22-year-old Grace rowed with her father, the lighthouse keeper, to save nine survivors from a shipwreck - an extraordinary feat when such a boat would normally be rowed by three men.

Grace's heroism drew international attention which may well have been the cause of her premature death just four years later, but her story is still told today in countries as far away as Japan.

Richard Bevan, of the Farne Islands Marine Research Group at Newcastle University, who is studying the 55,000 pairs of breeding puffins, recording them as they fly for up to 30 minutes to feed on sand eels, and tracing them as they dive, when they are actually using their wings to "fly" underwater.

Richard works alongside Alex Ash, one of the four wardens who live on Brownsman Island and who has been monitoring the puffin burrows this year. 
The Natural History Society of Northumbria

David Steel, Head Warden of the Farnes, who this week takes Helen to witness a rarely seen natural history wonder, as guillemot chicks, just over three weeks old, still balls of fluff that have yet to learn how to fly, jump into the sea from seventy foot cliffs, drawn by the calls of their parents. 

Farne Islands: Programme One

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