Countryfile: Spring Diaries
A Countryfile spin-off series unveiling the secrets of spring
After the dark days of winter, spring is nature’s alarm call to bring everything back to life. It seems to come round like clockwork, but is that really so? John Craven and Keeley Donovan investigate what makes springtime weather so special.
Part 1: A New Life
In the New Forest, there is a sense of anticipation in the air as its most famous residents prepare to give birth – Jules Hudson takes to the saddle to find out why spring is such a crucial time for the New Forest ponies. Few things on the forager’s calendar are more sensationally seasonal than the sap of the silver birch. The window to tap into this elusive liquor lasts just a couple of weeks. Margherita Taylor reports on the best way to turn to the trees for a springtime pick-me-up. Paul Martin breathes new life into his Victorian smallholding in Wiltshire. His spring diary starts with a hunt for the perfect breed of sheep to help restore his fields.
Part 2: A Sense of Spring
Keeley Donovan discovers how just one in twenty three people in the UK experiences spring as a truly multisensory experience. And one of the most fragrant and emblematic symbols of spring is under attack Its a classic sign of spring; British woodlands awash with a sea of bluebells, but our native bluebell is in trouble and its down to a Spanish invader. Jules Hudson visits Duncliffe Wood in Dorset to find out what can be done to protect our native bluebell
Part 3: A Taste of Spring
The team investigate the arrival of a tiny beetle that can make or break a crop and look at cooking up a storm with a springtime coastal forage. Rookie smallholder Paul Martin gives tips on how to keep bees.
Part 4: Spring Waters
The team finds out how to give toads a helping hand to reach their natural habitat and reports on how Cumbrian communities are working to recover from the winter floods, just in time for the tourist season. Fledgling smallholder Paul Martin provides tips on how to build a watery wildlife haven.
Part 5: A Window on Summer
John Craven, Jules Hudson, Keeley Donovan and Margherita Taylor file their final reports centred on the arrival of spring, and look forward to summer.