May 102011

Countryfile came down to film me again a couple of weeks ago. It was aired last Sunday 8th May. 

Follow this link for BBC I player to see the programme.  It'll be on i player for another week and is about 20 minutes into the hour long episode:

Caroline on BBC Countryfile

They ran a story about Japanese knotweed, how it's such a problem down here in Cornwall, and how people are treating it to get rid of it.  Then the story concluded with them saying that there's a third way of treating it and that's to EAT IT.  They came to my house and filmed Julia Bradbury helping me make some japanese knotweed and custard tarts and we took the tarts along with some japanese knotweed ripple ice cream to Sennen Beach to find brave volunteers to blind taste the tarts.  They all loved it, thought it was rhubarb and were surprised to know it was Japanese knotweed (as expected). 

If anyone is going to eat Japanese knotweed they must be armed with the knowledge of the law.  It's an offence to grow knotweed or cause it to spread in the wild.  You must not drop any pieces of knotweed for fear of it spreading and you must find out if the knotweed you want to pick has been sprayed or not.  The season for knotweed is now over.  You must pick it when it's small and looks the size of asparagus.


  57 Responses to “Countryfile Re-visited”

  1. I have just discovered Japanese Knotweed on my land in a small area. Could you provide the information for the weed killer brand that was shown on the program, what it is etc.
    Hope you can help.

  2. People normally use glyphosate (Round Up) for spraying on knoweed. Good luck!

  3. Last night’s programme was Matt Baker was advocating drinking unpasteurised milk he appeared to be saying it was ok to drink?I If this is his opinion then he is more stupid than i think he is,Drinking unpasteurosed can lead to brucellosis which is a very unpleasant illness. I think you had better correct this in you next programme, I have a Cornish cousing who farmed in Cornwall some years ago who drank some untreated milk and he was very unwell, Matt Baker in my book is a total idiot !!

  4. Just viewed the latest edition of Country File. The weather reporter informed us about the heavy rainful this month in “Buteshire” ?. I would like to visit “Buteshire”. Is it any where near Skyeshire ? or maybe Edinburghshire?
    We must be told!

  5. Just been watching tonights episode of Countryfile (29th May) and Johns comments regarding the nightingale. Popped into my garden to move the hose and there was a nightingale sitting on the roof of my next door neighbours house, singing his heart out!He is still there as I type. We live in a village in South Oxfordshire, fairly rural but not isolated. Their song is just beautiful

  6. I watched the programme last night (29th May) and was very sad to learn that some areas in the country have little ‘bird song’! I live in a small town in East Lancashire which is quite an urban area but with many green spaces and some healthy gardens with trees & shrubs. We have plenty of native birds here and it’s wonderful to hear the ‘dawn chorus’! As far as I know there are no parakeets living in the wild around here (probably too cold & wet for them ‘up North’!). Although we have paving at the front of the house, we have left a ‘wild’ area at the side for birds and small animals and had many blackbirds nesting this year. Will try to listen out for the Nightingale in future, to monitor them around here.

  7. I have just watched Countryfile and was absolutely amazed that John Craven did not even mention that just maybe grey squirrels could be a threat to our garden birds. In this area they most certainly are – they rip nests out (including swallows) completely ruining the chance of a brood that season. As for magpies who go round in families at this time of year – they terrorise the local inhabitants, raiding nests etc. I don’t need a survey – I have seen it so often. The numbers of magpies and squirrels should be reduced most definitely.

  8. That Adam is only interested in money, all he talks about is money, that lamb should be worth about 180 quid.
    Hope the BBC pay him a lot of money!!!!!

  9. Regarding the piece about the pearl mussels below the Kielder Dam. It occured to me that since the spawning fish are taken above the dam and the young smelts are then caught and taken below the dam, the problem could be that the mussels do not receive the necessary food trigger to produce eggs. Since they are filter feeders, in a normal river, without a man made dam, they would injest spent milt and fish eggs carried down stream from the spawning sites. Because of the dam, this may not be happening. Something in their environment must cause them to produce eggs at the optimum time and in the absence of this food trigger they just wouldn’t react.
    I have no knowledge if this is correct or not but it seems an obvious possibilty to me.
    Tony Lucas

    I usually order several copies each year, one for myself and the others for friends and rellies. These I re-send after inserting a greetings card. Would it not make sense for you to provide this service, thereby saving on costs, carbon footprint etc. plus I’m sure you would sell many more?
    Dave Jupp

  11. Absolutely delighted to see TWO items on the programme supporting PV! Not only are we well behind in the UK – as compared with most European countries – but I am amazed at some folk’s hostility, born not just of ignorance but of an apparent scepticism of anything purporting to be ‘green’. The generous FiT brings ££££ signs to the eyes of some of these detractors, but still they seem to feel they are about to be conned. Hats off to go-ahead Wadebridge, I say! Ian

  12. can you tell me if I can send in photographs to the competition in Portrait format or must they be in Landscape.

  13. What a pity that the researchers for the otherwise interesting segment of last Sunday’s programme on the Large Blue in Gloucestershire didn’t go back to original sources. Admittedly not quite as up-to date as that provided by the excellent Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, the information the nineteenth naturalists have on the Large Blue in this county is fascinating. Try ‘The Fauna and Flora of Gloucestershire’ by Witchell and Strugnall (pp.244-248) published in 1892 in Stroud, just a couple miles down the valley from the supposedly ‘secret location’. As they say ‘The most prominent Gloucestershire butterfly is undoubtedly the large blue (L. Arion).’ Edward Newman’s ‘Natural History of British Butterflies’ is somewhat earlier, but equally interesting as to distribution and sightings. Then there are the numerous volumes of the Cotteswold Naturalists Field Club. More background than ‘fifty years ago’ would have given a proper dimension to a conservation topic such as this.
    Huw Jones

  14. Regarding the comment made about speices sightings in sunday 3/7/11 programme, the picture were it was stated that the insect was a moth was actually a common skipper.

  15. Can someone please tell me what the name of the music +artist used to back the Countryfile photo competition?
    Best wishes
    Jim Wood

  16. Countryfile should reflect both sides of the argument on carbon emissions in grassland and animal production. To highlight the benefit of traditional flower meadows highlights only one side of the coin. How about the benefit of the latest high-sugar grasses, and the role that they have to play in reducing carbon emissions?? The increase in animal production from these grasses is far superior to the production from traditional meadows resulting in less methane being produced. Digestibility of traditional/wild flower meadows compared to state of the art new HSGrasses?? 55-60 v’s 75-80+. Please present a balanced argument on your programme.

  17. Great to see Claire Balding joining the team on 07/08/2011, I hope she is a permanent replacement for the annoying Julia Bradbury. Also James Wong should be given a higher profile, he is very knowledgable. Adam Henson and John Craven are also very well suited for this type of programme

  18. The programme on 14th Aug suggested on more than one occasion that Wessex was a county invented by Thomas Hardy for his writings. No it wasn’t. winchester was, I belive, once the capital of Wessex.
    The Kingdom of Wessex ( /ˈwɛsɨks/) or Kingdom of the West Saxons (Old English: Westseaxna rīce) was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great’s conquest of 1016, from 1020 to 1066. After the Norman Conquest there was a dissolution of the English earldoms, and Wessex was split among the followers of William the Conqueror.

  19. Counrtyfile (21/08/2011) ran a report on reducing food waste to help reduce the use of landfill. One area the UK government is pushing is the use of green waste recycling plants. The report did not reference the known health risks to people and animals in close proximity to these sites. This is particulalry important where these sites are being proposed within residential areas as part of local Council activity to reduce waste going to landfill. Farmers may recognise ‘Farmers Lung’, now medically known as Aspegilliosis as the health side affect. Environment Agency licencing is based on the known health risks. The BBC should have mentioned the known side affects to balance the report because the view presented was this industrial composting process is the answer to our food waste problems. It’s not!
    UK Gov has discussed this industrialised composting many times along with other agencies and residents are fighting local battles with planning applications. Yes the composting does work but in the right location, away from housing.

  20. I have been watching country file since the beginning but I am getting fed up with all the repeats, especially Adams farm it is now turning in to a SOAP & DON’T WATCH SOAPS THEY ARE FOR PEOPLE THAT DON’T HAVE A LIFE.
    Please get back to proper programs.

  21. Can someone please tell me what the name of the music +artist used to back the Countryfile photo competition?
    Best wishes
    Jim Wood
    Can anyone helpf with this please? Seems google doesn;t understand “organ music going da, de-da, da-da de-da da 🙁

  22. Jim, we have success!!

  23. Hi Guys, My family and I enjoy the Countryfile show. Watching the latest show 28/08/11 and Adam showing the viewers his harvest from the `rape oil seed`, would it be a good idea to show `how it all started`. That is from ground preperation, ploughing, sewing the seed, right through to the harvest, also as with other crops grown such as Wheat, Sweetcorn, Maze, Kale, Barley etc etc.
    It has to be educational especialy for the younger viewers.
    I used to work on a local farm while at school and really enjoyed the outdoor life which I still do.
    Regards. Steve Young.

  24. I have to say that Clare is one of the worst presenters on TV.

  25. 18 September 2011: the idiot boy claimed that the water in the rapids travels at “10 knots per hour”. A knot is speed not a distance:the “per hour” converts it to a measure of acceleration

  26. This week we saw Adam completing the harvest and ploughing the land. No mention of weedkiller though. Since there is not a weed in sight in the crop I imagine some went on at some point! Around here I am frightened to walk my dog in case he picks up the chemicals they slosh about liberally. Perhaps we could have an article on this. Whilst I’m at it, please could they stop jumping backwards and forwards to the same article and keep repeating themselves. Please do one thing at a time and stick with it.

  27. I cannot understand the programme structure. You give us a few minutes of one topic, then break away and return to it later. I find it very irritating- why on earth do you do it? is there a specific reason? Surely it would make more sense to complete one item and then go on to the next. Grr!

  28. John Craven Investigates;Sea Wind Turbines ; no discussion on the possible disturbance of marine life! Sea Bed erosion,mammal and bird life disruption. I live in Nth Devon an Area of Outstanding Beauty, Lundy Island Marine conservation area .BUT we are facing the incoming of 400 Wind Turbines!!!!! Taller than Lundy Island with red alert lights which will disturb the newly acquired Exmoor Dark Sky status!I think this needs investigation . can you help. Jan Ayliffe

  29. John Craven got it wwrong in his piece last Sunday on wind farms. Having established that winds are variable, he then chose to question what happens when there is too much and how one deals with the surplus energy. He should have dealt with the far more important issue of what backup is needed to supply power when the wind stops.

  30. Last night we saw on BBC TV Country File the massive offshore wind farms being built off Sheringham and the London Array with electricity costing £140/MWh compared with average current wholesale cost of £50/MWh – £90/MWh of subsidy. The Norwegian developer indicated that they make a reasonable profit – it is probably 12% IRR and RPI inflated. Nowhere else can you get such a good return all paid for by us consumers out of the Renewables Obligation. There was no mention of onshore being less costly to support £40/MWh subsidy. Nuclear will easily go forward on such generous subsidies. We cannot afford such generosity or hasn’t anyone noticed we are broke?

  31. PS 15th August BBC TV News – Vattenfall’s Ormonde Irish Sea wind farm off Barrow – Belfast assembly timelapse video link & Dieter Helms comments on video playback
    Professor Dieter Helm, an economist from the University of Oxford, told the BBC he doubted a large expansion in offshore wind power was affordable. He said: “Offshore wind is one of the very few things that makes nuclear power look cheap.”
    The Government should at least make sure that the next round of offshore wind farms are built with a lower subsidy than £90/MWh as the Norwegian developer said should be possible!Incidnetally the subsidy lasts for 25 years so our grandchildren will be still paying it!

  32. Hey,
    Please let me know how I can Voltaire in that place ?

  33. Could anyone tell me if the winning picture for this years calendar is the Grand Western canal in Tiverton in Devon.

  34. Countryfile Bias
    I wonder how many viewers, apart from myself, were taken aback at the biased implication by a presenter on Countryfile, Sunday 23rd September 2011? We were shown a Welsh farmer being interviewed about the possibility of electricity pylons crossing the beautiful Powys countryside and being asked why he objected to pylons on his door-step. This question alone would have been innocent enough, but not the other questions such as, “How do you expect electricity to reach your home ?” and “How do you expect to get electricity to where it is needed?” The implication being that Wales and the rest of the UK need hundreds and hundreds of more pylons and power routes to get electricity to our homes, which of course is utter nonsense! Some of the existing Grid towers and cable might need maintenance, upgrading etc., but there is no intelligent reason to turn the countryside into a huge web of power lines! Indeed, the fundamental reason for additional power routes and pylons is to get the sporadic energy generated from ineffective wind farms to an already existing Grid. To be sure, how did this silly presenter think our lights come on at the moment…is the power coming through the air? And why did this presenter mention wind and nuclear power in the same breath, when they are worlds apart in every sense…was he hoping viewers would think that wind farms produce the same (by magnitude), uninterrupted power as a nuclear power station?
    Then he had the gall to talk of Nimbyism to a Welsh farmer when Wales already exports large quantities of power to England, not to mention the building of a new 2000MW gas-fired power station in Pembrokeshire and a 800 MW power station in Uskmouth…who does this ill-informed and biased Countryfile presenter think will use all this power…Wales is awash with electricity?
    As far as I am concerned this programme is fast losing its credibility.

  35. Having watched the last episode of countryfile where Adam is looking round the farm which has set aside wildlife areas; it was good to see all the hedges full of berries. Contrast that to what I saw yesterday and today, workers on mechanical hedge cutters hacking off the tops of the hedges and spraying the road with clippings (I was cycling past at the time and lucky not to puncture) Can’t countryfile campaign to stop councils hacking down hedges at this time of year? If they were left there would be hundreds of miles of hedges with berries for the wildlife.

  36. We enjoy watching Countryfile but would find it even more enjoyable if Adam didnt refer to everything as My FARM, MY ANIMALS MY LAND etc,its not HIS programme is it.

  37. Hello All, This is a complete stab in the dark but a few years ago Countryfile visited a lady potter who was working with mocha decoration. I am a potter too and would like to start working like this but have not yet found the right recipe for doing so. I was wondering if anyone could help me in finding out who this lady was. It must have been 5 to 6 years ago and I cannot remember where the lady was based. Sorry! Many thanks, YK

  38. In late 2011 or very early 2012 countryfile featured an area of Wales,which was very picturesque, can you please tell me where exactly this was,as I can’t remember and would love to visit in the summer. Thanks

  39. Last year the programme had a piece on permaculture and showed how it improved soil quality and food growth. Please could you provide details for this programme and the location of the permaculture setting/website if available so I can find out more on this interesting topic.
    Many thanks.

  40. I watched tonight’s programme which highlighted Campyllobacter in chickens as a problem needing more serious attention. However the chicken shed shots repeatedly showed drinker lines which were filthy from pressure washer splash from the last shed clean-out.
    When farmers neglect this basic hygiene detail it is no wonder that this disease carries on from crop to crop.
    In a properly washed shed these water lines should have no more than a light layer of dust!

  41. So disappointed to see the annoying Julia Bradbury is back in tonight’s programme. Thought Countryfile got rid of her. Please let us have the much more pleasant Ellie presenting!

  42. In last nights programme John Craven was investigating water usage and ways to save consumption.He stated that the average person in the UK uses 160 litres of water per day,for a family of three this is not far short of half a cubic metre per day,a lot of which I would think is wasted. The most simple way to make people use water sensibly ,is to make every household have a Water Meter, with charges rising for example, by 20% per metre cubed after the first five used per month,
    then another 20% after the second five and so on.This step would probably halve public water consumption almost immedietly. A second measure would be to put a 100% tax on Car Washes, this would probably save billions of litres a year.

  43. The link on the countryfile page to the Lynton Goats doesn’t work. Just try
    Also visit the facebook pageand group called “The Lynton Goats”

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