Countryfile spin-off series unveiling the secrets of spring
Across the UK days are warmer, brighter and longer. In the countryside, the air is filled with birdsong and the scent of flowers. Spring has sprung! Every day this week, John Craven and the Countryfile Diaries team - Keeley Donovan, Jules Hudson, Paul Martin, Margherita Taylor and Steve Brown - bring you the most interesting stories of the season. To kick off the series, Jules discovers how the latest tech could help get your dog in trim this spring. Meanwhile, Keeley's dipping into the surprises inside one of our favourite health foods, and meeting a farmer who's bringing an Icelandic superfood yoghurt to Yorkshire. Margherita's on Exmoor, finding out how keen-eyed volunteers played a vital role to protect against butterfly crime. And Paul's on his smallholding in Wiltshire, finding out everything you need to know if you're hoping to hear the tiny patter of piggy trotters this season.
In today's programme, Margherita is on the hunt for the perfect cream tea. She visits Devon's first commercial tea plantation to discover why the UK could have the ideal environment to grow tea and finds out how to cook up clotted cream to go with it. But when it comes to the age-old questions, jam or cream first, will it be Devon or Cornwall that comes out on top? Keeley is in Kent investigating what an earlier spring could mean for our countryside, and meeting a self-appointed weather detective to find out if we're in for a BBQ summer. Jules is in Jersey finding out how one of our favourite pastimes, golf, is helping to protect some of our most endangered species. And Paul discovers that our tradition of feeding bread to ducks could actually be doing them more harm than good.
On the show today, Keeley signs up for some DIY with a difference, as she joins a group of volunteers renovating vital mountain shelters in the Scottish Highlands. And the challenges of building a work take on a whole new meaning when you're three miles from the nearest road! Meanwhile, Margherita is in the Cotswolds meeting one of the last surviving Land Girls, 93-year-old Elizabeth Henderson, to discover whether the future of farming could be more female. Joe Crowley is in the Vale of Evesham with a group of locals who are so mad about our favourite spring vegetable, asparagus, they have a festival to celebrate it - complete with a fortune-telling asparomancer! Steve Brow is in Cambridgeshire to discover how some of our birds have different accents depending on where in the country they come from. And Paul will be finding out how you can get a bumper crop of fruit from your trees this year.
In today's show, Jules takes to the water to uncover a shocking picture of how plastic is making its way into the food chain, and finds out what we can all do to make a difference. Keeley is in Manchester to discover how a cuppa and a cat could be good for your health. In Wiltshire, Paul gets top tips on how to grow prize-winning giant veg from two age-old rivals. And Steve Brown's in North Yorkshire discovering how anyone can get a sofa's-eye view of wildlife.
In the final episode of the season, Keeley is in the north east of England visiting an inspirational project which uses chickens to tackle loneliness and isolation in our OAPs. Margherita is in Somerset discovering first-hand the healing power of flowers. Jules takes a look at the sort of house we might all be living in in the future. Paul shares his wisdom as he reflects on the highs and lows of a year trying to live the good life. And John bids farewell to Devon in style, as he unveils a new statue by a local artist on Lynmouth seafront to celebrate its walking heritage.