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Lanarkshire

Matt Baker explores the rise and fall of the Clyde valley in Lanarkshire as a major force in Scotland's food industry. Ellie Harrison meets an urban beekeeper.

The Clyde valley in Lanarkshire was once known as the 'fruit basket of Scotland'. Matt Baker explores the rise and fall of what was once a major force in Scotland's food industry. The orchards are in danger of being lost from the countryside, so locals throughout the valley are bringing them back to life.

Ellie Harrison meets Warren Bader, an urban beekeeper who fills Lanarkshire's scraps of green with beehives, renting them out to local companies and training their staff in beekeeping skills. His pollination plan aims to improve the wellbeing of people as well as bees and is a hit with local businesses from hotels to construction.

Ellie also takes a wild walk along the Falls of Clyde, which has some of the oldest ancient woodland in Scotland. At this time of year the forest floor is a carpet of wildflowers, each one telling a story about the ecology of the landscape. But it is birds she is here to see. The fast-flowing water here is perfect for dippers who, because they depend on water invertebrates like caddis fly and mayfly larvae, are an indicator of clean rivers.

Sean Fletcher is just downstream from Ellie on the River Clyde at New Lanark Mill. The area wasn't just famed for fruit but also for textile production. Sean reveals how the landscape shaped the vision and powered the mills that still stand here centuries later - still creating yarn on the original machinery. We hear how the river powered the people and textile production.

Adam Henson and Charlotte Smith visit a housing estate in Newport Pagnell to meet a young townie who is carving out a successful career in agriculture. They are searching for Countryfile's Young Farmer of the Year - part of the BBC's Food and Farming Awards.

Tom Heap is looking at the growing problem of microplastics in the oceans, but is there an even bigger problem much closer to home?

1 hour

Last on

Tue 30 May 2017 02:00

Heritage orchards

Heritage orchards

The Clyde Valley in South Lanarkshire was once known as the ‘Fruit Basket of Scotland’. Matt Baker explores the rise and fall of what was once a major force in Scotland’s food industry. The orchards are in danger of being lost from the countryside.  Matt meets Tom Clelland, a fourth generation fruit grower who tells Matt about the once thriving industry. Then Duncan Arthur from the Clyde Valley Orchard Group shows Matt how to identify different heritage trees and survey the orchards.

Learn more about Lanarkshire's orchards 

Dippers & Peregrines

Dippers & Peregrines

Ellie takes a wild walk along the Falls of Clyde, which has some of the oldest, if not the oldest ancient woodland in Scotland. She meets Steve Blow, the Reserve Manager who helps her identify the wildflowers growing in the woodland. But it’s not wildflowers that Ellie is here to see, it’s birds! The fast flowing water here is perfect for dippers who are a great indicator of clean rivers. But this gorge is also hunting ground to a less comic predator, the peregrine falcon. However they don’t choose to nest in this tranquil valley but in a secret location nearby.

Lanarkshire's best spots for birds

Microplastics

Microplastics

Tom Heap’s investigating microplastics. These tiny pieces of plastic are building up in our oceans and are causing concern across the globe. But as Tom discovers it’s not just our seas that we need to worry about. Farmers have been unknowingly spreading them across their fields for decades and it is only now that scientists are beginning to realise. But as Tom finds out, there are certain things we can all do to try and reduce the problem.

What are microplastics? 

New Lanark Mill

New Lanark Mill

Just downstream from Ellie, Sean Fletcher’s on the Clyde at New Lanark Mill. This area wasn’t just famed for fruit, but also for textile production. Sean learns how the landscape powered the mills that still stand centuries later and still create yarn. He meets Andy Diamond whose job it is to keep the technology running. Jane Masters is New Lanark’s Heritage Manager, she explains to Sean how much of our social history, was pioneered at New Lanark.


Beehive adoption scheme!

Beehive adoption scheme!

Ellie’s meeting Warren Bader, an urban beekeeper who fills Lanarkshire’s scraps of green with beehives, renting them out to local companies and training their staff in beekeeping skills. Today he’s installing two hives at a local school. Ellie meets the pupils and their maths teacher Colin.  He’s hoping the bees will teach them not only about ecology but also business, economics, art and a range of other subjects.

Tips on how to keep bees 

Countryfile Young Farmer Award 2017

Countryfile Young Farmer Award 2017

Adam and Charlotte are meeting the second finalist of Countryfile’s Young Farmer Award.  He’s 23 year old Tom Addison from Buckinghamshire.  When Tom decided to get into agriculture, he didn’t just get a job on a farm, he brought home some lambs and started his own business, rearing sheep and selling locally produced meat direct to the public. And he took on work with more than 20 other farmers to help fund the project.

The award is aimed at highlighting the hard work and dedication of our young farmers. The winner will be announced at the BBC Food and Farming Awards later this year. 

Tasting through time

Tasting through time

Matt visits the blossom festival at Kirkfield Bank where he meets folk singer, Billy Stewart. He’s captured the oral histories from all around the area. Also at festival is Heritage Project Assistant Karen McCusker. In a celebration of the revival of the orchards, she’s compiled an historical cookbook of local family recipes that use the fruit the area is so famed for. Matt gets a taste of Lanarkshire through the ages, washed down with some local apple juice.

Find all of Karen’s recipes, including fish and apple pie, here

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Matt Baker
Presenter Ellie Harrison
Presenter Sean Fletcher
Presenter Adam Henson
Presenter Charlotte Smith
Presenter Tom Heap
Series Producer Joanna Brame
Executive Producer William Lyons

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