BBC’s Countryfile visits Herefordshire

The BBC’s flagship country issues magazine programme Countryfile featured the county of Herefordshire on Sunday 30th October. Perry pear trees featured heavily as the programme opened with Matt Baker savouring the mouth-watering pear cider and the alchemy of its production at Much Marcle. Because eating raw perry pears straight off the tree will make your ‘mouth pucker’, Matt Baker grimaced when he tried one with pears that have been grown in Herefordshire for generations with their own names and history. Herefordshire in a glass. Of course, cider apples are also one of Herefordshire’s most important products hence the line-up of world ranking cider and perry companies in the county, and they’ve been here (mostly) for generations. And harvesting is done just as it’s always been done, with innovations such as those used at Broome Farm that has introduced bird boxes to attract birds, like blue tits and great tits, to deal with caterpillars damaging the apple crop. Near the border with Wales, time has stood still, said Anita Rani on Birch’s farm, the historic home of Alfred Birch who documented stories and poetry in the 1930s. Because Alfred never introduced modern farming methods, to preserve his legacy the farm is now owned by the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust protecting the natural pasture in all its variety, particularly the hay harvest, which picks up the natural field plants, a glimpse into our farming past. And the programme found Jeremy, the last clog maker to craft the wooden footwear from natural wood like sycamore. It’s understandable, but somewhat a shame, that the diversity of the county, outside of fruit farming, didn’t include the market towns, except Kington where Jeremy the clog maker has his workshop,