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OPEN COUNTRY
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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 22nd September 2007
Listen to this programme in full
Wicken Lode Cambridgeshire
Helen Mark explores Steep Holm in the Bristol Channel - an island which has been occupied since the 12th century yet shows few signs of human habitation. 
Steep Holm, in the Bristol Channel, is the only place in Britain where the native wild peony grows. It's also home to poisonous henbane and Munjac deer; although there are no rodents, rabbits or hedgehogs. Over the years its been used by Vikings, Romans, Augustine brothers, warreners, Victorians, and soldiers in World War II. Now two wardens, on behalf of the Kenneth Allsop Trust, live there. Although each settlement has left its mark on the island,  it remains curiously unspoiled and wild. With the island archaeologists Helen finds out about skeletons which have been buried since the 12th century; she hears how the Tommies entertained themselves during the war - and she tries to avoid the killer plants.
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