BBC Countryfile focuses on the Clyde Valley in this Sunday’s edition.
The Clyde valley was once known as the ‘fruit basket of Scotland’ and Matt Baker explores the history of fruit production and the current move to bring the orchards back to life.
The sun shone as Matt and the Countryfile team recorded two 10 minute features on the unique history and revival of the orchards last Friday, May 5, in locations throughout the valley, including Kirkfieldbank Community Orchard, overlooking the Clyde.
They spoke with the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership, Clyde Valley Orchards Co-operative, Lanarkshire Songwriters and individuals with connections to the orchards in the valley.
The features will include oral histories from orchard owner Tom Clelland, whose family have owned orchards in the area for generations. They will also spotlight the surveying work that the Clyde Valley Orchards Co-operative have undertaken as part of the National Orchards Inventory Scotland and planting, maintenance and education programmes.
The Lanarkshire Songwriters provide a soundtrack with songs written through the Fruits of Their Labours oral history project.
Ellie Harrison meets Warren Bader, an urban beekeeper who fills Lanarkshire’s scraps of green with beehives, renting them out to companies and training their staff in beekeeping skills, then she takes a walk along the Falls of Clyde to see its birds.
Sean Fletcher is at New Lanark Mill, looking at how the Clyde powered textile production, and sees yarn still being created on the original machinery centuries later.
The programme explores the New Lanark World Heritage Site, a former 18th century cotton spinning mill village, founded by David Dale and Richard Arkwright in 1785 and which gained international fame under the enlightened management of Robert Owen and was a successful spinning centre until its closure in 1968.
New Lanark village is now owned and operated by New Lanark Trust, a registered Scottish Charity who, since 1974, have been restoring and revitalising the village which is now recognised as one of Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites of ‘outstanding universal value’ and welcomes over 300,000 visitors annually.
Jane Masters, New Lanark Trust’s Heritage Manager, who took part in the filming, said “We’ve always known that what we are trying to do at New Lanark World Heritage Site is important, not just for local people and visitors from around the world but also by educating people about the amazing working conditions and social welfare, introduced by Robert Owen, years before its time.
“This visit from Countryfile demonstrates the site’s significance while also giving us a welcome opportunity to talk to a national audience about how they can help protect and learn more about this this unique village.”
Countryfile, which broadcasts to an audience of up to 9.6m people, is aired on BBC One at 6.30pm, this Sunday May 21.