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Sunday 18 January 2009
11.00am - 12.00pm
John Craven takes to the slopes of the highest, coldest and snowiest plateaux in the British Isles, the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland, to assess the ski season and taste the local whisky.
Amidst calls for hundreds of thousands of deer to to culled, Charlotte Smith investigates how to keep their numbers manageable in order to protect habitat and make the roads safer.
Also, Adam Henson is also in Scotland, trying his hand at Nordic Skiing, an olympic sport which many think does not get the recognition it deserves. But will there be any snow for his first attempt?
This week Countryfile heads north of the border to the Cairngorms National Park, which is famed for being the coldest and most windy place in the UK. John Craven investigates how this year’s ski season is fairing, and asks if skiing at Cairn Gorm has a future with milder winters becoming the norm.
John also takes a trip to the Macallan distillery on the river Spey, to find out how the Scottish whisky industry is bucking the credit crunch and investing for the future.
Research by the Deer Initiative shows that there are approximately 2 million wild deer roaming the British Isles, the largest number for 1000 years. Between 1995 and 2005 the deer population doubled, and it’s likely to double again between 2005 and 2010.
Five years ago, a Deer Action Plan was created to deal with the increasing population. This revealed that the number of wild deer in the UK was underestimated, and consequently The Deer Initiative suggests that another action plan now has to be developed in order to deal with the dramatic increase in habitat destruction and road traffic collisions caused by the animals. Charlotte Smith investigates.
Many of us have enjoyed the delights of watching One Man and His Dog, but for one individual, it was a show that changed his life.
Nij Vyas was so inspired by the show that when he moved here from Uganda as a child, he decided that he too would love to be involved with the competition.
A chance meeting with Welsh farmer Gwyn Morgan 20 years ago allowed Nij to fulfil his dream. Gwyn helped Nij to learn the skills involved in sheep herding, and in 2006 Nij represented England in the International Sheepdog trials. He now trains his own dogs at the Caudals Estate in Leicestershire.
The Wildwood Trust in Kent is hoping to reintroduce some of the UK’s lost wildlife back into Britain’s traditional woodland habitat. Countryfile follows three of the team on their 800 mile drive to Bavaria in Southern Germany, where they hope to collect a new beaver family. Ultimately they will live in a defined and secured area of Kent fenland, where their impact on the UK countryside can be studied.
Nordic Skiing, also known as Cross Country Skiing, is one of the most challenging athletic pursuits. It has been an Olympic sport since the 1920s, with skiers racing across open country covering distances of up to 50km. The sport has been dominated by the Norwegians since it began but now a new crop of British juniors are challenging their supremacy, and they’re impressively achieving this in a country where winters can be totally snow free.
Adam Henson travelled to Aberdeenshire for a day’s training with the junior members of the British Nordic Ski team ahead of next months European Youth Olympics in Poland.
A little-known rural tradition called Plough Monday which died out in the 1950s, has been revived in the East of England. The event allows farm workers to take an extra day off after Christmas so they can collect donations from the public to support their families during the lean winter months ahead. They also perform Molly Dancing, an unusual folk dance where men dress up as women.
Intrigued, Juliet Morris went along to a Cambridgeshire village to watch its revived Plough Monday celebrations.
Some of the other rather spiffing shows available now and always if you signup free @ www.TheBox.bz:
Comedy: The Office, Peep Show, Coupling, Chef, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, Nathan Barley, Young Ones, Monty Python, Blackadder, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Coupling, Little Britain, Mr Bean, Extras, Green Wing, Mighty Boosh
Drama: Casualty, Holby City, The Bill, Hustle, Skins, Shameless, Ashes To Ashes
Game/Quiz Shows: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Have I Got News For You, Deal Or No Deal (UK), Q.I.
Education/Documentary: Planet Earth, Horizon, Panorama, Mark Thomas (Comedy) Product
Food: Hell's Kitchen, Jamie Oliver, The F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, Great British Menu, Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong
Home/Property/Garden: Property Ladder, How Clean Is Your House?, Changing Rooms, Grand Designs, Homes Under The Hammer, To Buy Or Not To Buy
Motoring: Top Gear, Fifth Gear
Music: Top Of The Pops, Jools Holland, Glastonbury
Reality: Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here!, Any Dream Will Do, Grease, Pop Idol, Wife Swap, X Factor, Badger Or Bust, Apprentice UK, Dragons' Den, Britain's Got Talent
Sci-Fi: Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Torchwood, Primeval
Sport: Football (Soccer), Cricket, Rugby, Snooker, Darts, Formula One (F1GP)