Win a seven-night stay for two people at Blakeholme Bay View, Windermere

Here's your chance to win a seven-night self-catering stay for two at a luxury Blakeholme Bay View lodge in Hill of Oaks Park, Windemere. 

Hill of Oaks nestles on the slopes of an ancient woodland with exclusive lake frontage for almost one mile along the shore of Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park.

This idyllic holiday location is perfectly located for access into the main areas of the Lake District National Park, with extensive facilities on site including wildlife walks, five private jetties for boat launching and a licensed shop.

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COMPANY OF THE MONTH | St Brides Bay Cottages

Quality self catering holidays in North Pembrokeshire. Come and enjoy your perfect Pembrokeshire break!

Tel: 01437 720 027

How to enter the Countryfile Photographic Competition

Last night’s episode of Countryfile saw the launch of the Countryfile Photographic competition. Here's everything you need to know to enter your images. 

Last night’s episode of Countryfile saw the launch of the Countryfile Photographic competition.

John Craven met brand new judges Charlotte Uhlenbroek and Bill Bailey at Greenham Common, to launch the 2014 competition – and it’s theme, Animal Magic.

Once all the pictures have been entered, the best 12 photographs – selected by our judges – will take pride of place in the Countryfile Calendar for 2015, one for each month.

What are the alternatives to HS2?

Recently, Countryfile investigated the issues surrounding the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link that is proposed between London and Birmingham. Supporters of HS2 say that it will make journeys from London to Birmingham and the north of England far quicker while also adding much needed capacity to the rail network.


But there is huge opposition to HS2 for a variety of reasons but most centre on the cost, the noise and disruption to local communities along the route, and the impact on the countryside and its wildlife. In a recent poll on this website "Do you believe HS2 should be built?" 92 per cent of those who responded said "no".


However, demand for rail travel is growing – the National Audit Office estimates that 1.27 billion passenger journeys were made in 2008-09 compared to 0.74 billion in 1994-95 and this is only going to increase although current services are fully stretched "nearly half of all passengers arrive at London between 08:00 and 08:59 on services that are either full or over-crowded". The Office for Rail Regulation found that there were 600 million more passenger journeys in the UK in 2013 than in 2003.


In 2012, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for High Speed Rail found that demand for rail travel was increasing at 5-6% per year and the Dept of Transport has projected that by 2043, demand will be double that seen in 2008. The latter projection is disputed by some opponents of HS2.


So if demand for rail travel increases as expected, are there viable alternatives to HS2?


What do you think?



Countryfile Magazine's May Quiz!

Attempts allowed:Unlimited
Pass rate:60 %
Backwards navigation:Forbidden

Do you know a thing or two about the British countryside? Are you always in tune with what's on the grapevine? Test yourself on all things wild and wonderful here...

Start quiz

If you had to choose between fracking or wind turbines to produce energy in your area, which would you go for?

Fracking hit the headlines this week with Prime Minister David Cameron confirming his strong support for the process of extracting shale gas from deep underground. Fracking – hydraulic fracturing – uses high pressure water to fracture rocks to reach the gas within or beneath.


Supporters claim that the gas would meet many of our future energy needs while keeping our bills down. It would also reduce our dependence on supplies from other – sometimes turbulent – countries.


Opponents say that the drilling sites would blight the countryside – a charge levelled also at wind turbines. They also claim that fracking could pollute the natural environment including water supplies. Meanwhile, shale gas is a fossil fuel and its extraction and then burning would do nothing to prevent climate change – and may even make the situation worse.


So we wanted to gauge what our readers thought about fracking when compared with that other controversial source of future energy: wind turbines.


Advocates of wind turbines claim they produce renewable energy without emitting greenhouse gases while opponents argue that the turbines spoil the look of the countryside and say that they are inefficient.


If you had to make a choice, which would you go for?

How to buy the 2014 BBC Countryfile Calendar

The Dell by Bill Robinson has been voted as the winner of the 2013 Countryfile photographic competition.

The results are in and after a record number of votes, you have chosen The Dell by Bill Robinson as the overall winner of our annual photographic competition. This stunning image of bluebells in Coombe Wood will appear on the cover of the 2014 Countryfile Calendar. Bill is “overwhelmed and quite humbled” that his photo has been chosen as the winner from more than 55,000 entries. Bill also wins £1,000 worth of photographic equipment.

The Countryfile Photographic Competition 2013

The Countryfile Photographic Competition has now been launched and this year’s theme is Our Living Landscape

**PLEASE NOTE** This competition is now closed. Many thanks for all of your entries and enquiries. The over all winner and judges' choice winner will be announced on Countryfile on 6 October. 


The best 12 entered photographs will make up the 2014 annual calendar, which will be sold in aid of the BBC’s Children In Need appeal.

The Countryfile Food Lovers’ Tour of Great Britain

This essential new guide takes you on a mouthwatering journey around England, Scotland and Wales.

Join us as we sample the most delicious British food and drink, from golden Cornish pasties to sparkling fresh oysters from the North Sea. Traditional, homely dishes such as the Bedfordshire clanger and Welsh bara brith will sharpen your appetite. Alongside these delicious dishes are mellow West Country ciders, award-winning wines from the sunny south and rich Speyside malt whiskies to finish.

Along the way, meet some of the finest food producers in the land – and learn about where real food comes from.