Ian Marchant visits the Chilterns to test out some of the ideas for new ‘National Landscapes’ in the recent government-commissioned Glover Review into England’s National Parks. What barriers do some people face when it comes to visiting the countryside? (Hint: it’s not just owning a pair of wellies). And why does spending a night under the stars for every child matter for the protection of the countryside?
Ian meets the author of the new review, Julian Glover, in a wet wood above Wendover, just a stone's throw from the Prime Minister's country residence, Chequers. Julian is confident that the government will support his recommendations, one of which is to improve access to the countryside for people from diverse backgrounds. This includes High Wycombe born-and-bred Sadia Hussain, who loves the countryside but understands some of the barriers faced by people like her parents, who settled here from Pakistan. To them, the countryside has a different meaning and set of associations. And it also includes Layla Ashraf-Carr, a Chiltern Ranger. Born in Singapore, Layla suspects the Malay side of her family might have preferred her to be a lawyer or a doctor rather than a custodian of the natural landscape.
Ian also meets farmer Ian Waller, who loves his worms and his flock of Herdwick sheep, and historian and teacher Stuart King, who can explain how the landscape of the Chilterns allowed the local furniture making industry to flourish.
Producer Mary Ward-Lowery
Planting Trees to Save the Planet in Cumbria
Helen mark meets teenage environmental campaigner Amy Bray in her native Cumbria as she plants trees to help halt climate change. Amy has inspired her community to take action with a no plastic shop and helped to raise awareness with a mass fell climbing. Helen helps her as she takes on her latest challenge - to plant more trees and help to create natural flood defences as well as absorb carbon
Skateboarding in the Woods
Ruth Sanderson discovers a skateboarding camp, deep in the Forest of Dean. Camp Hillcrest mixes urban pursuits with forest living, and Ruth visits when the residential camp is in full swing. Kids come to be fully immersed in everything about skating culture, all in the idyllic setting of the Gloucestershire woods. The owner, Tom Seaton, tells Ruth how he has discovered this combination of urban skate vibe mixed with forest school activities engages children who otherwise wouldn't be attracted to the countryside, and gives them a unique experience.
Produced by Beatrice Fenton
In the Bleak Midwinter: Holst's Cotswolds
Helen Mark visits the Cotswold village of Cranham and its surroundings: countryside that was home to the composer Gustav Holst, and now features a walking trail named after him.
Holst grew up among these gently rolling hills, and created several of his works – including the Cotswolds Symphony and his classic arrangement of In The Bleak Midwinter – thanks to inspiration gleaned from his years in the area.
Exploring his old haunts, visiting the church where he had his first job as organist and treading the same hills where Holst used to practice his trombone, Helen discovers how the landscape influenced the composer; and how his own influence lingers on in the area today.
Produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Bristol and the transatlantic slave trade
Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley examines how the transatlantic slave trade has shaped Bristol and meets some of the historians, artists and cultural figures who are redressing how the legacy of slavery is presented and how the city's story is told.
Jasmine speaks to Olivette Otele, the newly appointed Professor of the History of Slavery at the University of Bristol about why the University has decided to examine its past and what this might mean for the city's wider approach to its colonial history.
Jasmine meets Stacey Olika, Donnell Asare and Ade Sowemimo who are working on a project at Bristol Museum to tell the story behind how some of the objects on display which they hope will present a clearer and more honest narrative about the cultural significance of the objects and the legacy of Britain's colonial past.
Historian Madge Dresser has been talking about Bristol's relationship with the slave trade for some time and she tells Jasmine that after one of her talks in the late 1990's someone defaced the city's statue of Edward Colston.
Lynn Mareno talks about how when she was growing-up in Bristol in the 1960s she was regularly subjected to racism, and how Bristol needs to deal with its past in order to move forwards..
Edson Burton is an writer, performer and historian and he tells Jasmine that whilst this work has been going on for years there have been significant steps forward in recent years, but he cautions against presenting these issue as the opinion of one united voice.
Jasmine ends the programme in Henbury at the grave of Scipio Africanus, one of the few recorded enslaved people who lived in Bristol.
Presenter: Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley
Producer: Toby Field