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Isles of Scilly

The team head to the Isles of Scilly. Ellie Harrison looks at the problem of rats on the islands, while Matt Baker helps transport 50 ducklings to a duck farm.

The team head to the Isles of Scilly. Ellie Harrison looks at the problem of rats on the islands and the devastating effect they have had on the local seabird population. On one island, St Agnes, they have been running a seabird recovery programme which is the biggest island community project in the world - with all 72 residents on the island taking part. They believe that in 12 weeks they have killed 3,300 rats, so the birds will now be safe from predation.

At Penzance, Matt Baker boards a plane containing 50 ducklings, aiming to get them to the only duck farm on the islands. Matt also visits the only dairy farm on the islands, which supplies the only local milk. The farmer has ten dairy cows, but again it is a good way of keeping an income coming into the farm when the flowers have finished.

Ellie Harrison visits the beautiful, privately owned island of Tresco, where the signs of spring are all around and they have recently imported some red squirrels. The plan is to implement the rat eradication programme on Tresco, so Ellie finds out how they are going to protect the squirrels whilst they do this.

Tom Heap finds out why farming is one of the most dangerous British industries and looks at ways that we could make it safer.

Adam Henson visits a dairy farm where cows are not the order of the day. In this milking parlour, 2,500 ladies produce goats' milk every day. But what makes this farm special is that the farmer here has come up with an outlet for the billy goats too.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 28 Apr 2014 02:10

Flying ducks

Flying ducks

A new breed of passenger is taking a plane to the Isles of Scilly.  Matt Baker joins some newly hatched ducklings on their flight from Cornwall to Salakee farm on the island of St Mary’s. Once the ducklings have landed, Matt hands them over to part-time baggage handler, part-time farmer Dave Mumford whose farm is a short walk from the airport runway. Matt meets Dave’s partner Kylie who explains how the couple hatched a plan to rear ducks on the Isles of Scilly.


More about ducks

Scilly seabirds

Scilly seabirds

The Isles of Scilly are home to an internationally important population of burrowing seabirds and a project to protect them, by eradicating rats from the islands, has begun on St Agnes and Gugh. Ellie Harrison discovers one of the world’s largest island community projects and joins schoolchildren on a boat trip to learn more about this precious seabird population. On the island of St Agnes Ellie finds out how the community has successfully made the island rat free. But later, on Sampson Island, she sees for herself just how difficult it is to keep the rodents at bay.


Find out more about the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project

An island dairy

An island dairy

Miles from the mainland and isolated on the edge of the Atlantic, fresh milk can be difficult to come by on the Isles of Scilly - that is unless there is a dairy.  On the island of St Agnes Matt finds out how farmers Sam and Tim Hicks make their milk go a long way. Troytown is the only dairy farm on the Isles of Scilly. With a small herd of Ayrshire and Jersey cattle the Hicks supply most of the island’s 73 inhabitants on their daily milk round. But there’s a little leftover for Matt to make one last delivery to Bryher Island.


Find out more about the Island of St Agnes

Adam and the goats

Adam and the goats
Goats are one of our oldest domesticated breeds of livestock and almost three-quarters of the world’s population eat their meat.  However, it’s not commonly consumed in the UK which means male kids are often slaughtered soon after their birth.  Adam Henson visits a Somerset farmer who is raising 2,500 goats for milk and meat.  Adam gets to sample the milk and cheese before heading to a Bristol restaurant to meet a chef who loves having goat on the menu.


Find out more about British goats

Tom investigates farm safety

Tom investigates farm safety

Farming is one of the most dangerous industries in the UK today. Thousands of agricultural workers are seriously injured every year – and around thirty are killed. Tom Heap finds out how these incidents can change the lives of the people involved and asks why accident rates have fallen in other dangerous industries, but not in agriculture.


Find out more about farm safety

Tresco Abbey Gardens and Easter on St Agnes

Tresco Abbey Gardens and Easter on St Agnes

There are five inhabited islands that make up the Isles of Scilly. Tresco is perhaps best known for its spectacular Abbey Gardens, but some new inhabitants have arrived which are rarely seen on the mainland. Ellie visits Tresco Abbey Gardens and finds out more about the recently introduced red squirrels before taking a gift to add to the St Agnes schoolchildren’s Easter garden.


Find out more about the Gardens


Role Contributor
Presenter Matt Baker
Presenter Ellie Harrison
Presenter Tom Heap
Presenter Adam Henson
Series Producer Teresa Bogan