Countryfile – Vanishing Villages: John Craven and Matt Baker are on the east coast of England to find out how storms are devouring the coastline, putting homes and livelihoods at threat. John is in Happisburgh in north Norfolk which loses two metres of land to the sea every year, a rate predicted to accelerate in the near future. One resident has already lost her home but has bought another in the town, while a neighbour is watching her house edge ever closer to being claimed by the sea, the same sea she swims in to help with her anxiety.
Matt is in Suffolk and discovers how wildlife is flourishing where the sea has reclaimed the land, and we meet the farmer who is also letting nature have its way with an eye to the future with salt marsh lamb. Tom Heap is also in East Anglia, investigating the threat to Britain’s breadbasket, while Adam Henson looks into the impact of new farm payments. And, in the first of a four-part strand, Adrian Chiles is in north Wales, rolling up his sleeves to find out just what it takes to be a hill farmer.
Stories are shared of the people, places and issues at the heart of the British countryside. Popular features include the programme’s photography contest, which culminates in a yearly calendar sold to benefit charity, the Video Diary, produced by viewers and focused on life in rural areas, and the weather forecasts.
Countryfile – Vanishing Villages
As an expert in the British countryside, Countryfile – Cotswolds offers weekly coverage on BBC One of rural, agricultural, and environmental issues in the United Kingdom. The program features a diverse range of presenters including John Craven, Adam Henson, Matt Baker, Tom Heap, Ellie Harrison, Paul Martin, Anita Rani, Helen Skelton, Steve Brown, Charlotte Smith, and Sean Fletcher. Each episode delves into the unique stories, characters, and traditions of a specific location or region. The program covers a variety of topics such as wildlife conservation, farming, food production, the arts, countryside crafts, social history, and leisure activities.
Journalism also plays a significant role in the program’s agenda, with Rural Affairs Correspondent Tom Heap or John Craven presenting a weekly investigation into pressing issues affecting the British countryside. Farmer Adam Henson joined the program in 2001 and in 2009, began hosting the “Adam’s Farm” segment which gives viewers an in-depth look into running a mixed farm in the Cotswolds.
In 2013, the program celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special edition guest-edited by The Prince of Wales. The episode, “Countryfile: A Royal Appointment,” followed the team as they joined the Prince on his Gloucestershire farm to learn about his passions for the British countryside, rare breed animals, organic farming and hedge-laying. Countryfile also traveled to County Durham to explore efforts to support struggling hill farmers and to a London school where pupils are growing and cooking their own food. To mark the occasion, the program also featured a new title sequence and re-versioned music composed by David Lowe.