On Countryfile this Sunday the team explore the watery east of Northern Ireland.
Matt Baker discovers the Irish hares who have made a rather unusual location home – Belfast International Airport. RSPB reserve Portmore Lough is the first site in the country to offer a year-long residential volunteer programme. Matt meets the volunteers who put him to task with all aspects of practical work on the site – from fenland management to feeding the hardy konik ponies.
Helen Skelton takes to the coastal waters at Ardglass harbour to find out how the remote communities in the area have come together to share their boat-building skills. Helen joins them in the water to race their handmade boats. She also explores the beauty of Strangford Lough and meets an artist who’s lucky enough to call this place home. Finally she discovers a remarkable marine habitat unlike any other.
Adam Henson‘s in North Yorkshire, where he discovers how farming has shaped the limestone landscape for thousands of years. He meets farmer Neil Heseltine, who explains how his prized belted galloway cattle are helping preserve it.
Every year millions of people flock to the almost unspoilt landscapes of British national parks, but preserving pristine countryside comes at a price. As Tom Heap discovers, it is claimed that cuts to budgets are now threatening the future of these areas.