Channel 4 – Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas
In December 2017 I appeared on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on Channel 4! I took part in the ‘Christmas Hamper’ episode of the new series, creating a ‘Wild Winter Feast’ themed selection of items all based around foraged and natural foods. It was lovely to be able to champion wild food and ingredients found around the countryside, and I’m delighted to reveal that I won the award for best hamper!
My items were a sticky wild cranberry & orange cake, spiced elderberry mead, fresh goat’s cheese with chives, seaweed & rosemary crackers and blackberry chutney. The three ladies I ran against provided fierce competition and I’m amazed I managed to win against such a brilliant selection of original and delicious hampers. You can find Tahmina’s Kookcha Afghan jams here, Karen’s amazing blog Larder Love here, and Emily’s Modern Family Food here.
BBC Radio 4 – Tweet of the Day
In 2017 I wrote and recorded two pieces for BBC Radio 4’s Tweet of the Day series. The first was a short account of the yellowhammers that live on my old farm, who I regularly met when cycling into work in the early morning. Sadly, most people are surprised to hear how many yellowhammers we have at the farm as they are declining rapidly elsewhere in Britain. Fortunately our local farmers engage with government schemes for wildlife stewardship, and take steps to make their farms wildlife friendly, including the preservation of wild borders around fields and reducing the use of pesticides. This means our yellowhammers have a safe place to live and breed, and I get to listen to them all day long! You can find the original link to this episode here.
My next episode of BBC Radio 4’s Tweet of the Day was aired in August, all about the corncrakes we discovered on the Treshnish Isles while looking for puffins. Corncrakes are absurdly rare, and I have never been more excited to hear the grating Crex crex call of this elusive bird. They are related to moorhens, coots and rails, and up until the end of the eighteenth century were widespread across the rough grasslands, pastures and meadows of Britain. Intensive farming has pushed them to the brink of extinction and they are now the focus of huge conservation efforts. You can find the original link to this episode here.