Fifteen years ago, Englishman Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall embarked on an experiment in sustainability and self-sufficiency. He moved to a cottage on a small land-holding in Dorset, and set about learning how to grow his own produce, raise livestock - and become part of a community where sharing not only knowledge, but the fruits of farm labour, were an important part of life.
The resulting TV series, “Escape to River Cottage” - and more than a dozen series since – has served as an inspiration to the aspirations of viewers who want to embrace a simpler, healthier life. Far more than cooking shows, the programs have encouraged interest and debate about the importance of local and seasonal produce, and the broader issues of sustainable agriculture and fishing on a global scale.
Now, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is ready to take that experiment in downshifting – and the message of sustainability - down under. In the eight-part series ‘River Cottage Australia’ (to be broadcast on the Lifestyle Channel), Hugh will hand the River Cottage baton to an Australian counterpart – former Tasmanian chef Paul West – who’ll face new challenges and uniquely Australian characters as he attempts to set up his own farm near the historic and picturesque village of Central Tilba on the NSW Far South Coast.