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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 4th October
Repeated Thursday 9th October
Listen to this programme in full
Matt Baker with Robert Wicks of Westerham Brewery
Matt Baker is in Kent exploring how hops and beer have shaped the very fabric of the county.

Matt Baker explores how one of the essential ingredients of a pint of beer, the hop, has shaped the Kent landscape. He discovers how hops are harvested at the Scotney Castle estate, which is one of a tiny handful of farms still using a traditional oast house to dry the hops. The English hop growing industry has been in serious decline, but Matt learns at one local brewery how renewed interest in real ale has contributed to increased prices for farmers, who are starting to replant redundant hop gardens. 'Hopping Down in Kent' was an annual ritual for hundreds of thousands of Londoners, before hop picking was mechanised. Matt meets Joyce Dutton, whose family have picked hops for more than a hundred years and continue to work in the hop gardens today.

Links:
Westerham Brewery
Brenley Farm

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