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Matt Baker helps the Essex Wildlife Trust with their first ever winter fish survey on Fingringhoe Wick, a newly created stretch of saltmarsh.

Matt Baker and Margherita Taylor are in Essex. Matt is with the Essex Wildlife Trust on Fingringhoe Wick – a newly created stretch of saltmarsh. It's a race against the tide as Matt helps the team do their first ever winter fish survey. They continue their 'wildlife stock take' by monitoring the mammals that also call this place home.

Margherita Taylor hears about a project to preserve the spirit of the Dig for Victory campaign, before meeting Adrian Thomas from the RSPB. Adrian has done something that's never been done before in the society's 130-year history. Not only has he created the RSPB's first sound archive, but he also released a single using only birdsong!

Adam Henson meets a farmer feeding his cows charcoal in the form of biochar, and Tom Heap asks if enough is being done in rural areas to support our veterans.

54 minutes

Last on

Tue 19 Nov 2019 01:15

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:39


    The Long Road

  • 00:42


    Patient Love

Fingringhoe Wick

Fingringhoe Wick

Fingringhoe Wick is a relatively new stretch of saltmarsh. It was deliberately flooded to create more habitats for wildlife. But has it been successful? 

It’s a race against the tide as Matt helps the team from the Essex Wildlife Trust carry out their first ever winter fish survey. 

But fish aren’t the only thing they new reserve is attracting. Matt spends the day with the team doing a ‘wildlife inventory’ of the area. 

Dig for Victory

This year marks 80 years since the outbreak of the Second World War.  

A month after war was declared, the government launched the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign. 

It was instrumental in helping the nation to feed itself. The Royal Horticultural Society played a key role in educating the public on how to ‘grow their own’ during the war.

They wanted to celebrate the ingenuity and resilience of the time so earlier this year the RHS launched a call for people to dig out photos of their Second World War plots and the unusual green spaces that were turned over to feed the nation. 

Margherita hears the stories and relives the memories at the exhibition on display at Hyde Hall.

Veterans' Support

Veterans' Support

Tom investigates whether we’re all doing enough to support armed forces veterans living in the countryside.

The challenges trying to access health services, retraining and job opportunities can be a lot tougher in remote rural areas.

Tom travels to Dorset where he meets the veterans who come together from across the country in their very own hub.

And he hears how the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is spending £10m every year to help veterans. It's now looking at drawing up a new "map of need" to see where resources are best allocated.


At a time when many farmers are looking to reduce their environmental impact, Adam meets a man looking at farming practices from an earlier, pre-industrialised age. 

Richard Copley feeds his cows ‘biochar’ – a dietary supplement made from charcoal. 

He says it’s not only good for their gut health, by reducing methane but also their dung improves soil conditions by helping to lock in carbon.

Let Nature Sing

Adrian Thomas has had a lifelong fascination with nature and conservation and he has a passion for birdsong – so it’s no surprise that he ended up working for the RSPB!

But what is more surprising is that Adrian has done something that’s never been done before in the Society’s 130-year history…not only has he created the RSPB’s first-ever sound archive but he also released a single using only the birdsong contained within it!

This autumn the RSPB are staging a ‘Sound Takeover’. They want the whole country to be awash with birdsong, playing it in schools, football grounds even the London Underground!

The aim is to get people to think about what wildlife decline means to them.

Armed with his sound recording kit and some headphones, Adrian opens Margherita’s ears to a whole new language of nature!


Role Contributor
Presenter Matt Baker
Presenter Margherita Taylor
Presenter Adam Henson
Presenter Tom Heap
Series Producer Joanna Brame
Executive Producer William Lyons


Find out about the diversity of meadows and discover how to create your own patch with The Open University

Find out about the diversity of meadows and discover how to create your own patch with The Open University

Find out about the diversity of meadows.