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BBC Countryfile Magazine May 2021

Countryfile Magazine inspires you to explore forgotten corners of the great British countryside and provides knowledge of the people and wildlife that inhabit it. We want to tempt you into trying new things, seek out new places and make the most of Britain’s beautiful landscapes.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
$8.20(Incl. tax)
$69.37(Incl. tax)
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
honouring park heroes

“Earlier this spring, I helped judge the Campaign for National Parks Park Protector Awards. They were very difficult awards to judge. The idea is to celebrate volunteers who have helped keep our national parks in fine fettle for wildlife, residents, visitors and even virtual visitors. And what a job they’ve had over the past 12 months. With easing of lockdowns and foreign holidays largely impossible, millions more people flocked to the countryside. Sadly, some of them didn’t behave well and littering and antisocial behaviour became a huge problem. But many groups of volunteers took on the challenge and often were able to fix the issues, clear the litter and persuade people to make better choices. In Dovedale alone, volunteers picked 1,000 bags of litter over the summer. Others worked tirelessly to…

2 min
may in the country

VISION OF BEAUTY At first, our eyes wonder if we are looking at a close-up image of yellow and green lichen growing on a boulder beside a rockpool, before realising this is, in fact, a bird’s-eye view of the coast. In May, Clashach Cove on the Moray Coastal Trail, north-east Scotland, is surrounded by flowering gorse, covering the sandstone cliffs in yellow. Sitting within a sheltered bowl, the beach provides a great spot for a picnic. ART OF THE LAND A gardener mows the grass on the horticultural installation Cells of Life at Jupiter Artland sculpture park in the grounds of Bonnington House near Edinburgh. Created by Charles Jencks in 2010 and comprising eight land formations and four lakes, the artwork represents the process of mitosis, in which a cell divides into two. SPIDER…

1 min
crane population hits record high

According to the latest RSPB survey, Britain’s common crane population continues to make a comeback after a record 64 pairs were found to have bred in 2020, seeing the total population rise from 180 birds in 2018 to more than 200. At 1.2m, the common crane is Britain’s tallest bird and is known for its elaborate courtship dances. Once common here, these stately members of the Gruidae family became extinct in the UK around 400 years ago as a result of hunting and the decline of wetland habitats. Since a small number of wild cranes returned to Norfolk in 1979, conservation work has been ongoing to restore peatlands and wetlands, which, alongside a reintroduction programme, has seen the population steadily grow. Stephen Prowse from the National Trust says: “Careful protection has allowed the…

1 min
explore more with countryfile.com

May is a glorious month to be out exploring the British countryside, and there’s no better place to begin your next adventure than BBC Countryfile Magazine’s website: countryfile.com. Learn how to identify edible leaves and flowers with our guide to foraging in May, discover the perfect picnic ideas with our favourite spring recipes, and experience floral paradise as we reveal the best country gardens to visit in the UK. And for tranquil escapism, find all our wandering plodcasts at countryfile.com/podcast.…

1 min
flower power

FLORA BRITANNICA by Richard Mabey A magisterial collection of tales, anecdotes, folklore and natural history of Britain’s trees, shrubs, herbs and wildflowers. Endlessly absorbing and enriching. WILD FLOWERS BY COLOUR by Marjorie Blamey There are many brilliant ID guides out there, but these beautiful illustrations give vicarious pleasure when you can’t get outside yourself. MEADOWLAND by John Lewis-Stempel How restoring an intensively farmed pasture to a wildflower meadow saw a return of incredible wildlife riches – and brought joy to the author. THE MILITARY ORCHID by Jocelyn Brooke A poignant, acerbic and funny memoir of the first half of the 20th century set against a 30-year-quest to find an elusive orchid.…

2 min
the seasonal table: a taste of may

May is a wonderful time of new life and green growth. Blue tits are nesting in the old apple tree, clouds of cow parsley decorate the hedgerows, a bird box offers shelter to a tree bumblebee colony and fox cubs are gambolling about the gooseberry patch, much to the disgruntlement of our geese. The warmer weather means it’s time for the sheep to be sheared, the bees to be checked for signs of swarming and the vegetable patch to rocket into production. Right now, it’s broad beans a gogo! BROAD BEAN, POTATO AND RADISH SALAD WITH GARDEN HERBS INGREDIENTS Serves 4 300g podded broad beans500g new potatoes, scrubbedSmall handful of garden mint leaves, choppedSmall bunch of radishes, slicedA few fronds of dillSmall handful of pea shoots (optional)Small handful of borage flowers (optional)Freshly ground…