Countryfile spin-off series unveiling the secrets of spring. John Craven enlists with firefighters in south Wales.
Countryfile: Spring Diaries episode 3
Paul Martin enlists with firefighters in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales for the day. Despite being one of the wettest places in the UK, the team here are braced for around a thousand wild fires during the course of the next year. Spring is one of the worst times of year as white grass and bracken stay bone dry and can go up in flames in just seconds, threatening hillside homes. Sheep are nature’s fire prevention officers as they graze on the hillsides but these animals have vanished from the valleys and the vegetation is running riot. Luckily Fire Chief Craig Hope knows just how to tame the landscape, and demonstrates pioneering fire- fighting techniques to his new recruit. Paul also meets Becky Davies of Natural Resources Wales. He learns that ironically the vegetation is a haven for wildlife but they too are at risk. What can be done?
Steve Brown’s in a beautiful Kent garden which needs cat-proofing. As much as we might love our feline friends – and there are ten million of them in the UK – they’re believed to kill 52 million birds a year in our gardens. And that’s before they’ve used them as a latrine. Guy Barter, chief adviser to the Royal Horticultural Society, has a few tricks up his sleeve, but Professor Mark Fellowes, who’s studied cats and their territories, reckons Steve could be on to a losing battle. With 400 cats on the prowl in just under half a square mile, they’re renowned for being independent free spirits who don’t take kindly to being hemmed in. So what’s to be done?
Wildlife Rescue Squad
In the second of three special reports, Margherita Taylor is at Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre in North Somerset. With up to 50 cases a day in Spring, the Wildlife Rescue Squad is kept busy – among their casualties a tiny newcomer fighting for her life. Margherita’s also busy making lunch for Fred and George, two eight week old orphaned badger cubs. Adorable as they are, a potential death sentence hangs over them. With the controversy over badgers as potential carriers of bovine TB, if a blood test proves positive carers will have no alternative but to put down the two young brothers. What will be the result?