Countryfile filmed in the county for upcoming show

Anita Rani with retired fisherman Chris Armstrong at Amble.
Anita Rani with retired fisherman Chris Armstrong at Amble.

The presenters and crew from BBC’s Countryfile descended on Northumberland to film material for an upcoming episode.

The team was at Hauxley Nature Reserve, Rothbury, Amble and nearby Coquet Island last week.

Waiting for a red squirrel. Picture by Tim Mason

Waiting for a red squirrel. Picture by Tim Mason

The programme is scheduled to be aired on BBC One, on Sunday, May 6, at 7pm.

In the episode, Anita Rani will be put through her paces in Rothbury with the Mountain Rescue Team as she hears how new technologies are helping search and rescue operations.

She meets Pete Roberts, who has been an active member of Northumberland Mountain Rescue for 45 years. He’s also the founder of the Centre for Search and Research, which, along with researchers at Newcastle University, aims to see how drones can improve rescue operations.

Anita will then focus on Amble. She hears how, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, The Friendliest Port boomed from a tiny village of just 150 people to become an important and bustling Victorian port.

BBC Countryfile filming in Amble. Picture by Judith Hardisty

BBC Countryfile filming in Amble. Picture by Judith Hardisty

She talks to retired fisherman Chris Armstrong about the area’s change in industry from coal mining to fishing and then visits the lobster hatchery that is giving the area’s shellfish stocks a helping hand. She sees how the baby lobsters are reared before being released back into the waters.

Matt Baker is on Coquet Island – the only place in the UK with a breeding population of roseate terns. As peak breeding season approaches, the island team needs to make sure everything is in place for the esteemed visitors. Matt gets busy constructing nest boxes for the terns; preparing the shingle (which they like to bed into); and rigging up nest cams.

Meanwhile, Steve Brown will take in the wildlife at Hauxley Nature Reserve. Here he meets local lad James Common,whose wildlife blogging has earned him a place in the finals of this year’s UK Blog Awards.

Alex Lister, Druridge Bay Living Landscapes manager, said: “It was great welcoming Steve and the team to our reserve. The volunteers and staff here are so proud of the reserve and the new Wildlife Discovery Centre, we are delighted it is now going to be seen by people across the UK via national BBC and the internet.

Gazette reader and photographer Judith Hardisty with BBC Countryfile presenter Anita Rani and camera crew in Amble.

Gazette reader and photographer Judith Hardisty with BBC Countryfile presenter Anita Rani and camera crew in Amble.

“I have a feeling we are going to see lots of visitors this summer as a result of it.”

As Steve is in a wheelchair, he touched on the accessibility of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust reserve for everybody.

Lining up the opening shot to the piece. Picture by Fiona Dryden

Lining up the opening shot to the piece. Picture by Fiona Dryden

Presenter Steve Brown at Hauxley Nature Reserve. Picture by Tim Mason

Presenter Steve Brown at Hauxley Nature Reserve. Picture by Tim Mason

BBC Countryfile presenter Anita Rani being mic'd up for filming in Amble. Picture by Judith Hardisty

BBC Countryfile presenter Anita Rani being mic'd up for filming in Amble. Picture by Judith Hardisty