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Continue Send email Cancel OK. As their vital missions routinely took them head-on into storms that would have grounded all other flights, many aircraft crews were lost and their bodies never recovered.
Britain's Deadly Peril
Dick meets one of these veteran flyers to discover how they managed to fly just feet above raging seas, with lightning striking the aircraft itself, in an attempt to find a break in the weather that would give the troops on the beaches of Normandy a fighting chance. And off the island of Alderney in the Channel Islands, zoologist and former soldier Andy Torbet goes in search of a seabird that is famed in folklore as the harbinger of foul weather - the rare and elusive storm petrel.
These feathered little forecasters are astonishing, hardy creatures that spend almost their entire lives far out at sea. Fishermen call them Mother Carey's chickens, but will they come home to roost for Andy? See all episodes from Coast. Timings where shown are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes. Presented by a team of experts, between them they can investigate almost anything!
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Show less. Last on. Sat 9 Mar More episodes Previous. Instead, Hill Top—the home she bought in largely with royalties from her little books—is a hulking stone structure of tiny, dark rooms: cozy on a rainy day, but lacking the airy charm of her watercolors. On a recent afternoon, two Australian tourists sprinted past the oak settles, the coffin stools and me faster than you can say Jemima Puddle-Duck.
That place was really dreary. Potter was crazy about sheep, particularly the Herdwick, a local breed of Norse pedigree that roams freely in the Lake District, grazing on one of the most intact remaining common land systems in Europe. It was while on a family vacation in the Lake District that young Beatrix fell in love with Herdies and their comical faces, white heads and feet, and distinctive shocks of gray wool. As an adult, she and her shepherd, Tom Storey, amassed a herd of more than a thousand, which won a drawerful of rosettes at local shows.
In , Potter was voted president-elect of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association—the first woman named to the post— though she died before she was able to take office. But the prosperity brought by tourism has not extended to the hill farms. Upland agriculture is in crisis.
Will it be a pastoral landscape full of sheep or a wild jungle full of lions? After trees were chopped down, from the Bronze Age on, tenth-century Viking raiders introduced sheep that began cropping the hillsides, and to this day keep them green and shorn. I drive to Buttermere, a westerly hamlet nestled between twin lakes, and park at Gatesgarth Farm.
A well-worn track leads to a footbridge, where I begin a long, steep climb on a stepped and pitched path made by quarrymen for their ponies to bring down slate. On the scree-covered slopes all is empty and silent, save the scraa, scraa, scraa of a peregrine, borne on the breeze, from high on the limestone bluffs.
Below me, bracken-dappled hills ripple into the distance. With its magical mix of shapes, colors and textures, this is a landscape of visual harmony in which the contrasts of bucolic quietude and barren wilderness are woven together seamlessly—a hard-worked, hand-worked country whose history has been stitched onto the land in local slate and dry stone walls. He carries a compass and volume seven of A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells —the quaint pen-and-ink guidebook series Wainwright compiled between and Crammed with wry observations and sharp jabs at the modern world, the books have sold briskly worldwide.
All who truly love Lakeland are exiles when away from it. The Scotsman and I pick our way among boulders and tumbled stones, using clefts in the rock to pull ourselves up the winding path. He cherished the fells as much as he detested conversation. He died in , at the age of His ashes were scattered near the summit. It may be me. Stoical and elemental, shepherds embody the real life of Cumbria.
They want to do what their father did and grandfather did because they believe in it and they care about it. In a tech-tethered world, his accounts of a rural idyll, grounded in workaday labor, connected readers to an imperiled agrarian past. The real history of our landscape should be the history of the nobodies. Last summer, in a bid to safeguard the vulnerable farming tradition and a countryside molded by the grazing of millions of sheep by generations of shepherds, Unesco awarded the region World Heritage status.
Rebanks, his wife, Helen, and their young children live on a few hundred acres of peaty, acid land. James farms acres that he owns, as well as other parcels of land that he rents, and lambs up to Herdwicks and lower-ground Swaledales a year. His grandfather originally purchased the spread in the s and bought a flock of Herdwicks.
His father added to the acreage. At 15, he dropped out and joined his dad and granddad in the fields. As they scratched a living, James, a ravenous reader who could write only in block capitals, taught himself cursive penmanship and stumbled upon W. Hudson, an English naturalist at the turn of the last century, interviewed elderly rustics who still belonged as entirely to their landscape as the wildlife. Though he fell out with his old man and clashed with the brutal economics of small-scale animal husbandry, he went home as often as possible to help with the sheep.
Today, some 24, tweets and two best sellers later, more than , Twitterati watch the small dramas of farm life unfold with herdyshepherd1. Broad and muscular, Rebanks has closely cropped hair and a stride like the snap of a rubber band. I arrive in the early morning light to find James, now 44, directing traffic on the patio of his simple home a repurposed hay barn and cowshed as kids, chickens and border collies transverse the yard at various paces.
In contrast, the surrounding hillside is dreamily serene: A modest herd of cattle browses in one field, clusters of tups rams and ewes with lambs in the others.