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The Land

Episode 4 of 6

Revealing the transformation of East Anglia, which found its agriculture and landscape quickly industrialised to cope with the changes of the Second World War.

Turning back time and drawing on previously unseen archive footage and photography to focus on the dramatic transformation of Britain's cities, landscape and industry. Focusing on the period since the Second World War, Britain from Above explores the greatest period of change in the nation in the last 200 years.

Nowhere shows the transformation that has swept the British countryside in the last 60 years more than East Anglia. Aerial photographs taken by both the RAF and the Luftwaffe before the war show an isolated rural landscape of small fields, hordes of labourers and horse drawn ploughs. But all that changed. Sparked by the war itself, East Anglia became the crucible of a land revolution as its agriculture was industrialised faster and on a larger scale than anywhere else.

Today hedgerows, horses and farm workers have all gone. While the number of people working on the land has collapsed, rural villages have grown, bursting through their old boundaries as commuters arrive. New roads and new employers such as Stansted Airport have heated up an already fast growing economy and the impact on the landscape can be clearly seen from above.

Using hitherto unseen land-use maps of the 1930s, together with wartime aerial reconnaissance photos, the programme reveals how and why East Anglia, and by extension Britain's rural landscape, has been shaped the way it has. Today we see a landscape under ever greater pressure from new housing, crowded roads and the sudden surge in food prices which makes farmland ever more valuable.

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 23 Oct 2013 01:30

Farming from Space

Farming from Space

Millions of tonnes of grain are churned every year with harvesters that have pinpoint accuracy. How? They are controlled by satellite technology from space.

 

Watch the clip and browse more stories about both farming and East Anglia on the Britain from Above archive site

Credits

Role Contributor
Executive Producer Nick Catliff
Producer Nic Young

Broadcasts

  • Sun 17 Aug 2008 22:00
  • Sat 23 Aug 2008 02:35
  • Sat 23 Aug 2008 17:00
  • Sat 23 Aug 2008 18:00
  • Wed 15 Oct 2008 19:30
  • Wed 26 Nov 2008 20:30
  • Sat 17 Jan 2009 17:30
  • Sun 26 Apr 2009 19:35
  • Thu 23 Jul 2009 18:30
  • Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:00
  • Fri 25 Jun 2010 01:10
  • Thu 22 Jul 2010 21:00
  • Sun 15 Aug 2010 22:00
  • Fri 17 Sep 2010 20:00
  • Fri 25 Feb 2011 20:30
  • Mon 28 Feb 2011 19:30
  • Sat 19 Mar 2011 19:30
  • Fri 29 Apr 2011 16:00
  • Sun 31 Jul 2011 22:00
  • Sun 18 Sep 2011 23:00
  • Tue 22 Oct 2013 19:30
  • Wed 23 Oct 2013 01:30