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BBC Radio 4 Open Country

Thursday January 9th 3pm


Helen Mark, presenter BBC Radio 4 Open Country, planting a tree in Matterdale, 29th November 2019

During National Tree Week, November 23rd - 30th 2019, Helen Mark, the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Open Country spent a couple of days in Matterdale talking to a handful of people discussing what local people are doing to combat climate change and to protect the environment. On Thursday 9th January at 3pm you will be able to listen into these conversations on BBC Radio 4's Open Country programme.


Helen spent time with Danny Teasdale of Ullswater Catchment Management CIC hearing how he is working across the valley with farmers and landowners to ensure a cohesive set of activities are contributing to holistic action on combining conservation and natural flood management into the farmed landscape.


Helen visited Another Weigh, the zero waste shop in Penrith and heard from Amy Bray, founder of Another Way on the variety of projects she is working on to encourage people towards a more sustainable way of living. She also joined Amy and the rafts of volunteers helping to plant 1,700 trees in Matterdale.

Helen also visited Claire and Sam at Gowbarrow Hall Farm in Watermillock (Matterdale parish) who have radically changed the way they are farming this year. Claire and Sam are trying to restore soil and increase biodiversity whilst producing high quality food. They are working with Wilderculture who has helped them with their management plan, which is a hybrid between rewilding and regenerative agriculture. They have reduced sheep numbers so that they can focus on their cattle and grassland management but also plant more hedges and trees.


Sara Lom, chief executive, and John Stokes, director of trees, science and research of the Tree Council were also in the valley to help Amy Bray with her tree panting project and so Helen was able to gain some further insight on how all things trees are playing out nationally.


So don't forget to tune at 3pm on January the 9th or listen again on BBC Sounds after the 9th!

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