John Craven is on Dartmoor, where he’s exploring the working landscape both past and present. He joins the rangers restoring ancient leats – the old watercourses that powered mills, farms and tin mines. Hemeets the farmers carving out a living ‘on the granite’, as those who work Dartmoor call it – Andy Bradford and his daughter Jo are farmers who have diversified out into forestry and Nepalese-style camping pods. John also discovers a fascinating visual record of Dartmoor’s farming community going back decades. Photographer Chris Chapman has documented the highs and lows of farming life, from the beauty of newborn spring lambs to the horror of foot-and-mouth disease – he has trained his lens on all aspects of the life here. And for the big finale, John meets respected local folk musician Jim Causley, whose music captures the spirit of the working landscape – especially his ode to the old mines, The Cry of the Tin.
In this programme, we also show again the best items in which Countryfile has featured our working landscape, including Anita Rani blowing up tonnes of rock in a china-clay quarry in Cornwall, Matt Baker getting up close to one of our rarest breeds of working horse – the Suffolk punch – and Helen Skelton bouncing around in an underground amusement park in Snowdonia’s slate-mining region.
Learn a new skill
Sustainability course, Cornwall
Learn the art of running a smallholding on a course specially designed for both dreamers and realists
Willow weaving, Glamorgan
Sculpt living willow into hoops, hearts, baskets and gothic arches for your garden.
Pie making course, Cumbria
Learn the ancient art of pie making with food historian Ivan Day
Flint Knapping, Worcestershire
Countryfile presenter Jules Hudson rediscovers the skills of our prehistoric cousins on a course that teaches flint knapping, arrow making and fire starting