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19 October 2008
11.00am - 12.00pm
The latest countryside and environmental stories.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the death of poet Laureate, Ted Hughes. John Craven visits the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire to find out how Hughes' work is being remembered and tours the stunning moors and countryside that provided so much inspiration for his poetry.
Hebden Bridge has completed a remarkable transition from traditional mill town to a place full of organic food shops and cafes. In the late 19th century this town, known then as Fustianopolis for its work with Fustian fabric, was a world leader in the production of ready made clothes. John meets one of the many hippies who moved to Hebden Bridge in the 1970s helping to make it the creative place it is today.
Miriam O'Reilly looks at whether current farming practices are killing biodiversity in the UK. With the abandonment of set–aside and a rise in commodity prices, farmers have begun to favour growing wheat. Together with an increased use of pesticide and the loss of natural habitat, biodiversity in our countryside is said to be at risk.
A House of Commons committee will soon report on whether the government has succeeded in stopping the steady loss of biodiversity. Natural England suggests that 60% of species and habitats are on the decline. A farmer tells us how difficult it is to remain profitable whilst preserving biodiversity.
Dormice — video diary
In June, 35 of Britain's best loved and most elusive mammals, hazel dormice, were released into a wood near Aysgarth in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The latest peek into their nest boxes reveals an astounding success. Despite the very wet summer, there were 58 dormice, including some well grown youngsters living in the boxes.
The countryside around the village of Chalford in Gloucestershire is pretty hilly, putting a strain on even the toughest person laden down with their weekly shopping bags. The local community have come up with an interesting solution, they have clubbed together to get a village donkey. The eco–friendly Chalford Donkey now delivers groceries up and down the local streets.
Taxidermy is the art of preserving, stuffing and mounting birds and animals in a lifelike manner. It was hugely popular in Victorian times when the explosion of interest in Natural History created a demand for specimens for close study. Since then, the popularity of taxidermy has waned.
A new generation of young artists are rediscovering this lost art and making taxidermy trendy. Michaela Strachan visits the London studio of young artist Polly Morgan whose work sells for thousands of pounds. She also visits Brighton's Booth Museum to see an exhibition of work by the famous Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter and speaks to one of only a handful of professional taxidermists still working.
Ampleforth in North Yorkshire is home to a famous Abbey and college. Occupied by Benedictine Monks since the start of the 19th century, this site of faith and learning is gaining a reputation for something altogether different, Cider. Juliet Morris finds out why and looks at the cider making process from orchard to press.
Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair, held near Blandford, attracts more visitors each year than the Glastonbury Festival. Steam gets a new convert when Adam Henson visits the Fair on its 40th anniversary. He looks at the valuable role the traction engine performed on the farm and has a go at driving a steam lorry.
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)