What’s on in June 2020? Here is our pick of the best countryside TV, film and radio to enjoy this month
Chris Packham, Gillian Burke and Iolo Williams present Springwatch from their local patchesBBC
26 May – 11 June
Taking a fascinating look at the impact the lockdown is having on Britain’s wildlife, this latest series documents nature from the presenters’ local patches, as Chris Packham, Gillian Burke and Iolo Williams broadcast live from their homes in the New Forest, Cornwall and mid-Wales respectively. “This Springwatch will be a series like no other,” says Chris Packham. “As the country experiences lockdown, the natural world offers solace to so many. I’m delighted that through the magic of modern technology, the team will be able to share the splendour of spring with the nation again this year.” It will be fascinating to see how the native wildlife of the UK has adjusted to life in both towns and in the country without the presence of people.
Puffins on Skomer Island in A Wild Year (BBC/Ben Cherry0
A Wild Year
Friday 3, 10, 17 July
Focusing on three distinct regions within Britain – Pembrokeshire Coast, North York Moors and the Fens – A Wild Year captures the rhythm of these unique habitats over the four seasons. The first episode focuses on the sea-spritzed coastline of Pembrokeshire, home to spectacular wildlife from grey seals to colourful puffins. The Atlantic ocean shapes the seasons here, in a region where farmers grow the earliest potatoes while sheep graze clifftop pastures.
The BBC will pay tribute to Glastonbury Festival on what would have been its 50th anniversary
BBC Two, BBC Four, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds
The BBC will attempt the ambitious feat of bringing the spirit of Glastonbury to the small screen, despite the festival’s cancellation this year. Highlights of previous years at Worthy Farm will air on BBC Two and BBC Four, including David Bowie, Beyonce and Adele, while more than 60 classic sets over the past 50 years will be available to view on iPlayer.
Why are weasels so often associated with villainy? In an effort to reveal their true nature, this film follows the adventures of Twiz, an orphaned weasel, and visits a garden in Yorkshire where a first-time stoat mother tries to raise her family .
Larry and George Lamb explore the land on two wheelsChannel 5
Britain by Bike with Larry and George Lamb
In the second series of this laughter-filled travelogue, Larry Lamb and his son George explore more of the country’s best cycle routes, excavate Roman ruins, encounter exciting wildlife, and even sleep in a spooky haunted castle, uncovering some family history along the way. Episode one sees father and son in Northumberland where they cycle beside Hadrian’s Wall before joining an archaeological dig, then ride on to Craster for kippers. In the next episode, the pair load their bikes on the ferry to tour the tropical Isles of Scilly, where they make fudge using local gin before heading to St Mary’s to row in the oldest pilot gig on the Isles. A race through the Peak District is next, with a stop for some springtime sheep washing, then it’s on to Snowdonia in Wales for an exhilarating zip-wire ride. In Northern Ireland, the Lambs spot seals in Stangford Lough, and in the final episode, the pair land on soft white sand on Barra in the Outer Hebrides to take on the epic 185-mile Hebridean Cycle Way.
Lloyd Buck with his golden eagle Tilly in a Natural World episode celebrating eaglesBBC
Natural World: Super-Powered Eagles
This study of the eagle examines the science behind the bird of prey’s formidable abilities. Bird specialist Lloyd Buck puts his golden eagle Tilly to the test in a series of experiments; and viewers can follow the dramatic story of a family of bald eagles.
Helen Mark observes whooper swans on the estuary in Closed Country: Changing Seasons
Closed Country: Changing Seasons
Helen Mark looks at the changing seasons on her family farm near Limavady on the edge of Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland. She climbs up a steep embankment through yellow gorse to take in the view over the saltmarsh, where birds gather at the water’s edge, and discusses the salmon smolt.
Father and son John and William Dawson, farmers at Bleak Bank in the Yorkshire DalesChannel 4
The Yorkshire Dales and the Lakes
What’s it like to work in the national parks of Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District? Three series of this documentary programme worked hard to find out, capturing the stories of its people, from scarecrow festivals and livestock auctions, to competing microbreweries, mountain rescues and wild swims
The Farmer, Bitzer and Shaun with the flock in Shaun the SheepBBC
Shaun the Sheep
With parents across the country struggling to entertain their littles ones, we can’t recommend Shaun the Sheep highly enough. Yes, it’s a golden oldie, but it’s a golden goodie, and iPlayer has plenty of episodes to keep the whole family amused and occupied, with all of series three and a few episodes of series two currently available. Aardman Animations brilliantly bring to life the speechless antics of smart Shaun, loyal underdog Bitzer and the hapless Farmer. The sixth and latest series, first aired in March 2020, is currently available on Netflix.
David Attenborough reads JA Baker’s highly regarded work of 1967BBC
David Attenborough reads from The Peregrine, a classic of British nature writing written more than 50 years ago, in which JA Baker records his obsessive attempts to follow, study and understand a pair of peregrine falcons as he walks the fens landscape of the Essex coast.
Witness the highs and hardships of fishing the Cornish coast
Cornwall: This Fishing Life
This six-episode series follows the fortunes of the fisherfolk of Cornwall, introducing viewers to the fishing families of Megavissey, the Newlyn fleets that compete to catch the Cornish sardine (formerly known as the pilchard) and the big and small boats that fish the coast. What will the future hold for these communities post-Brexit?
Sean Fletcher explores the Welsh coastline in Wonders of the Coast Path on ITVITV
Wonders of the Coast Path
Presented by Sean Fletcher, this new six-part series explores the fascinating regions along the Wales Coast Path, from the marine wildlife of Cardigan Bay to copper smelting in the ancient Great Orme Mines in Llandudno. Sean walks the paths and meets the people who help to make these places so special, while sampling beach cookouts and spotting local wildlife. The series offers a great opportunity for an armchair adventure, as Sean leads the way around this spectacular coast.
Kurtan and Kerry Mucklowe return for more offbeat adventures in series three of This CountryBBC
Returning for its third and final series, this mockumentery set in a Cotswold village catches up with its heroes, hapless cousins Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe and ever-hopeful local vicar Reverend Seaton. In episode three, an infamous Mucklowe family member returns to the village, causing Kerry to re-evaluate her living arrangements. Meanwhile, the vicar and Kurtan help Len get back on his feet.
Discover the eco-pioneers who have changed our view of the world in Green Originals (Getty Images)
This wide-ranging series asks today’s green thinkers to talk about the people who have inspired them, the pioneering scientists, campaigners and communicators of the last 60 years who have swum against the tide to influence our opinion and behaviour on the environment. Profiles of Rachel Carson and James Lovelock sit alongside those of Joni Mitchell and Margaret Thatcher.
Does the grey squirrel deserve its reputation as a remorseless invader?
Nature’s Great Invaders
In this five-part series, Derek Mooney examines Britain’s non-native invasive species and the complicated attitudes they engender, from the ubiquitous grey squirrel and the ring-necked parakeet to Japenese knotweed and ash dieback fungus.
Adrian Chiles and Mahreen Baig present Our CoastBBC
Presenters Adrian Chiles and Mahreen Baig explore four coastlines linked by the Irish Sea, beginning with the Merseryside Coast, stretching from Sefton Sands to the Wirral. This is a gentle coastal tour with amiable company, featuring the people who live and work along these shores, exciting encounters with wildlife, and beautiful shots of these dramatic landscapes.