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Sunday 9 November 2008
11.30am - 12.30pm
The latest countryside and environmental stories.
This month marks the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day, which brought the horrors of the First World War to an end. To mark the occasion John Craven visits Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, a symbol of peace and remembrance with two cemeteries dedicated to Commonwealth and German servicemen who lost their lives on British soil.
During the First World War Cannock Chase was a very different place to the pine forests and heathland we recognise today. Bleak and desolate, it was the site of two enormous army camps where half a million men, destined for the trenches, received their basic training. Rows of huts and windswept rifle ranges were often their last memories of England before being shipped off to Flanders.
Cannock Chase remained an important military base during the Second World War when hundreds of aircraft engineers received their technical training at RAF Hednesford. It was then used for National Service until finally being closed in the 1970s. The landscape is now carpeted with heather and pine trees, which is managed for conservation and recreation, making it a popular destination for mountain bikers and 4x4 drivers.
Nearby Shugborough was home to the late Patrick Lichfield who loved photographing his family estate on the edge of Cannock Chase.
Nine percent of the UK's population is made up of people from ethnic minorities, yet less than one percent of people from these communities visit the British countryside. Barnie Choudhury brings a personal insight to the question of why the countryside is predominantly white. The National Parks organisation is actively targeting ethinic minorities to try and tempt them into the countryside. But Barnie asks what other organisations are doing and what is preventing everyone from enjoying what the countryside has to offer?
Cow portraits – video diary
Milestone birthdays can be a turning point in many people's lives. Sue Moffitt not only decided to change her career at 40, she also found a renewed love for an animal which her family had been tending for generations. She runs a rural art gallery on her family farm in Northumberland and we went out and about in the fields and at milking time to see where she gets the inspiration for her cow portraits.
With rationing and food shortages during World War Two people made far more use out of what food they could find, eating parts of an animal that we wouldn't dream of touching now. But with the current credit crunch forcing everyone to rethink their spending habits is it time for us to rethink what cuts of meat we put on our plate?
Get the recipe for pig's cheeks with vegetables, featured in the programme.
The 1930s were a boom time for building lidos. A new wave of pleasure-seekers wanting something a little more continental and exotic flocked to these elegant new pools with their flamboyant modern architecture. 178 lidos were built in Britain in the '30s, but just a handful of them remain. Tinside Lido in Plymouth and the Jubilee Pool in Penzance are two prime examples. Both fell on hard times, but have since been lovingly restored to their former glory.
Rural projects – Children in Need
Since we began producing the Countryfile calendar in 2000 we've raised just over £1.4m for BBC Children in Need. We visit just one of the many rural projects who've benefited from the proceeds of the sales. Fyne Court Nature Reserve is situated in the Quantock Hills and is also an education centre used by the Somerset Wildlife Trust. The Trust has received just under £45,000 from Children in Need which helps towards the cost of teaching children with complex educational needs at the reserve. We follow children from Elmwood School in Bridgwater as they take part in a conservation project at Fyne Court and find out what difference these weekly visits had made to their lives.
The Home Guard was the public face of Britain's defence in the event of a Nazi invasion during the Second World War. Most people believed they – and the English Channel – was all that stood between us and a mighty German army. But little did they know a secret army, the Auxiliary Units, was being trained in the heart of the countryside to disrupt Hitler's plans if he ever landed on British soil. Their job was to cause mayhem through sabotage and guerrilla warfare. Their life expectancy was less than a fortnight. Three top-secret battalions formed along the east coast of Britain. Most of them were farmers and rural workers and details of their existence as soldiers only came to light in the 1960s. Adam Henson heads to Scotland and uncovers the secrets of the resistance at their former head quarters at Melville House.
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)