New series of Live: Summer on the Farm
Monday: Live: Summer on the Farm - (Channel 5, 8pm)
Summer’s here and the time is right for leaving the city streets and heading out to the countryside.
Of course, not everyone can make that trip, but the good news for anyone craving open spaces and rural idylls is that Channel 5 is bringing the country to use with a new series of Live: Summer on the Farm.
Following the success of last year’s series, Helen Skelton is once again presenting a week of live action from Cannon Hall Farm in South Yorkshire. However, this time around her usual co-presenter Jules Hudson couldn’t make it, but she does have a very able replacement in the form of Martin Hughes-Games.
As a Springwatch veteran, he’s certainly ready for the demands of this seasonal live show.
Local heroes Rob and Dave Nicholson will also be on hand to show us around their farm and check in on our favourite animals, but the series isn’t just about soaking up the atmosphere.
The team are on a mission to encourage the nation to ditch expensive imports in favour of fresh local produce.
The importance of knowing where our food comes from – and making the most of local producers’ expertise – is a subject that’s long been close to Helen’s heart.
Speaking ahead of a previous series, she said: “I obviously grew up on a farm and have a huge amount of respect for farmers.
“But now I live on the edge of the city, and there’s a massive disconnect between food producers and the rest of the country.
She added: “And it’s funny because I lived in France for a few years and it’s very different there.
“You go to the market and you ask the farmer there what you should get, and he tells you and you buy it because that’s what’s best at that time of year.
“We don’t do that over here. Like if we went into a supermarket and the guy behind the counter said, ‘You should eat this’, we’d tell them to mind their own business. I think that’s a shame.”
If you’re resistant to being told what to eat, there will be other, non-food related challenges across the series, which are designed to help viewers embrace their local natural wonders, whether it’s by doing a spot of stargazing or trying to save a river.
Although Cannon Hall Farm is the base – and some of the team from Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet will be dropping by – the week won’t all be about ‘God’s Own County’.
JB Gill is out and about meeting local heroes across the UK, including roof thatchers in Norfolk, cheese-makers in Tottenham and sustainable crisp-makers in Herefordshire.
There will also be appearances from Dr Amir Khan, who has advice on everything from the health benefits of water cress to which hay fever remedies actually work.
All that, plus recipes, knife-making, bird-watching, dancing, kayaking, sheep-shearing, lambing, hay-baling and bee-keeping – it’s going to be a very busy week.