Northumberland hosts BBC Countryfile Christmas party

Millions of TV viewers will enjoy a rural Northumbrian Christmas this weekend, courtesy of the popular BBC One show Countryfile.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 10:00 am
Countryfile presenters lead the Christmas party sing-song at the Bird in Bush at Elsdon.

The Countryfile Christmas special, which is being broadcast on Sunday at 5.20pm, is putting the spotlight on Northumberland.

Presenter Matt Baker and the team are in Elsdon, where preparations are in full swing for a big Christmas bash.

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani meets blacksmiths Stephen Lunn and Ashlee Donaldson.

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Matt helps get the Bird in Bush pub decked out for the party and meets owners Katie Bland and Stephen Shaw and some of the locals for whom the pub is much more than a place for a quiet drink.

Steve Fletcher is out and about picking sloes for a festive tipple with a difference.

He meets Red and Sam Kellie, who run The First & Last micro-brewery behind the Bird in Bush. The couple are using hedgerow fruits to brew a Christmas porter fit for the party at the pub.

Steve lends a helping hand before taking the used grains to a local farmer who feeds it to his herd of Belted Galloways.

Anita Rani turns to blacksmithing for an unusual Christmas decoration.

She heads to Red Row to meet blacksmith Stephen Lunn and his daughter Ashlee Donaldson, a fourth generation blacksmith who works alongside her dad in the family forge.

Together, they help Anita make a Christmas tree decoration inspired by the natural world.

John Craven is out and about in Kielder Forest with foragers Linus Morton and Louise Hepworth, collecting pine needles to conjure up some festive treats.

The couple like to cook out in the wild and John joins them in their ex-Army truck kitchen-on-wheels to turn their finds into some Christmas biscuits.

Meanwhile, Ellie Harrison heads to the Wallington Estate to see the red squirrels which are thriving there.

The estate’s countryside manager, Paul Hewitt, shows Ellie how they monitor their squirrel population before taking her to their festive hide to try to spot one.

Tom Heap joins the Song Reivers community choir, spreading good cheer door-to-door in a bid to combat isolation among the more elderly in rural areas.

Away from Northumberland, Adam Henson is in Worcestershire at the biggest mistletoe market in the country.

Finally, Roddy Matthews entertains the crowd at the Bird in Bush with traditional Northumberland music before the obligatory sing-song.

Two years ago, the Countryfile Christmas special was filmed at Bamburgh Castle.