This week Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison are in the uplands of north Cumbria. Matt meets photographer Ian Lawson, who has spent years photographing the hill shepherds and their herdwick sheep. Matt hears the tale of farmer Joe Relph, who’s leaving after a lifetime in the fells, and then catches up with the cooperative aiming to put herdwick wool on the fashion map.
Ellie is hoping to catch a glimpse of a black grouse lek – that strange courting dance that these rare birds do at the start of the breeding season. She also meets the farmers of the future at a special agricultural college, before finding out that there’s more to dry stone walls than meets the eye.
Countryfile‘s cameras have been granted exclusive access to the first ever excavation of one of our largest stone circles. Helen Skelton is on hand with her trowel and Adam Henson meets the second of our Farming Heroes.
Taking off-road vehicles into the countryside can be great fun, but it doesn’t always go down well with the people who live here – or with other visitors. Tom Heap finds out what is being done to tackle illegal off-roading and asks whether people who enjoy driving or riding through the countryside legally are being unfairly tarred with the same brush.