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Sunday 15 March 2009
11.00am - 12.00pm
John Craven is in County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, to explore the UK's first geopark and its famous rock formations.
Juliet Morris meets the householders who say they are under threat from decades-old mining rights, and Michaela Strachan continues her walk around the coastal paths of West Wales.
Plus, Adam Henson takes a trip into the dark to discover the vegetables that that are harvested in the depths of winter.
This week John Craven visits County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, home of the world’s first International Geopark. The geopark includes the Marble Arch Caves and stands in the shadow of the Cuilcagh Mountain. It was granted special status in 2001 in recognition of its geographical, historical and cultural importance.
John also explores the Neolithic tombs and pedestal rocks of the Burren Forest and finds out more about how the infamous potato famine affected the area.
Permission to quarry for minerals in some of the country’s most beautiful locations - including national parks, may have been granted at any time within the last sixty years. A quarry may have lain unused for most of that time, but anyone who owns the mineral rights could in theory drive their diggers in tomorrow. Rural campaigners describe this phenomenon of old or dormant planning permissions as a ‘ticking timebomb’ for the countryside.
Quarrying firms argue that they are merely exercising their rights, and providing much needed jobs in rural areas. Juliet Morris investigates.
This week’s video diary comes from Debbie Rippon - a former insurance broker from Northampton who set up her own Alpaca farm in Northumberland two years ago with just 3 females. She currently has 32 and is expecting 16 new arrivals.
Even though many farmers' fields are currently bare, for some lesser know home-grown vegetables its harvest time. Adam Henson visits growers in Lincolnshire who are currently lifting seasonal crops like jerusalem artichokes, celeriac and chicory from darkened growing rooms. Adam sees them being packed and processed before sampling these vegetables cooked in the farm kitchen.
Countryfile rejoins staff at Wildwood in Kent, where they work to replenish woodland by breeding endangered wildlife. Set in 40 acres there are animals from over 50 species and one day the conservationists would also like to see some long lost predators return to the UK, like the Lynx.
CEREDIGION COAST PATH
Michaela Strachan continues her journey along the Ceredigion Coast Path in West Wales. The route is the latest stretch of coastline to be opened up to walkers as part of the plan to link all 800 miles of Welsh coastline by a continuous footpath. It’s a spectacular walk which takes in the stunning countryside which provided inspiration to the poet Dylan Thomas.
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