TV cameras descend on the Ribble Valley

Lee Holmes and Mark Scrimshaw, Country Trust farm coordinators filming for Countryfile at Lower Gazegill Organic Farm at Rimington.
Lee Holmes and Mark Scrimshaw, Country Trust farm coordinators filming for Countryfile at Lower Gazegill Organic Farm at Rimington.
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For anyone who lives in the Ribble Valley it was hard not to swell with pride when watching the opening scene of Sunday’s Countryfile showing footage of a snow covered Pendle Hill.

The well-known television programme, which looks at the people and the stories at the heart of the British countryside, showed presenter Matt Baker discovering Gisburn Forest at dawn and searching, unsuccessfully, for Sika deer.

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani on a farm trailer during filming at Lower Gazegill Organic Farm at Rimington.

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani on a farm trailer during filming at Lower Gazegill Organic Farm at Rimington.

Presenter Anita Rani was then shown visiting Lower Gazegill Organic Farm at Rimington where Emma Robinson’s family have farmed for centuries.

The award winning 250-acre family-run agricultural enterprise specialises in raw milk, organic meat and organic herbs.

Emma, who runs the farm with her husband Ian O’Reilly, was filmed in the farm’s raw milk micro dairy with daughter Issy and presenter Anita. They were subsequently filmed outside braving a hail storm while presenter Anita sampled raw milk.

Ian, meanwhile, was filmed talking about how the farm produces rose veal – a meat for the ethical consumer.

The programme also shone a spotlight on how the farm supports an educational charity’s project to bring newly arrived refugee children to the British countryside.

The Country Trust is a charity that works with schools and farmers from across the country to bring food, farming and the countryside alive for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sunday’s episode featured families who have been newly placed in the Bradford area from Sudan and viewers watched Bradford-born presenter Anita join Country Trust Farm visit co-ordinators Lee Holmes and Mark Scrimshaw plus farm staff as they gave families a tour of the farm, gave them the chance to meet the animals, make ice cream and enjoy the snow for the first time.

The Country Trust project aims to provide positive experiences to families who may have had traumatic or chaotic experiences while introducing them to the best of the British countryside.

Chief Executive of The Country Trust Jill Attenborough said: “We are absolutely delighted that our work with vulnerable families is being given such prominence, and so grateful to the farmers who welcome children onto their farms.

“We are very proud to be bringing opportunities to children and families that have such a positive impact on health and wellbeing, that help to build bridges between communities, and give children rich, happy memories to share with family, friends and teachers, stimulating language and building self-esteem.”

The scheme has been running since the summer thanks to sponsorship from the ethical interpretation and translation community interest company, Enable2. The visits are supported by NHS provider Bevan Healthcare.

The programme then focused on Ribble Valley textile artist Kate Eveson, of Chipping, who takes inspiration for her work from the Ribble Valley’s rich landscape and, having lived on a sheep farm for many years, incorporates particular Scottish Blackface and Swaledales in her work.

Gisburn Forest’s Easy Access Trail was then showcased as were the forest’s mountain bike trails which have been built and maintained by local volunteers.