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BBC Countryfile Magazine June 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
all together now

It may be tempting fate, but as I write this in mid-May, it is looking promising that over the summer we will all be able to catch up properly with family and friends. At last. No doubt there will still be Covid restrictions and many people will be nervous, not just about coronavirus but also about the prospect of social situations after months of isolation. The solution for many will be to meet family and friends outside. And to make that first meeting all the more special, we have a magazine full of ideas. Firstly, our marvellous country parks don’t get enough attention but they offer the range of landscapes, easy walking and facilities to make it a stress-free day out for all (page 56). On page 18, Neil Ansell helps…

1 min
june in the country

MEADOW MAGIC The delicate, conical blooms of common spotted orchid spike out of chalk grassland in the South Downs National Park. As the name suggests, it is the orchid you are most likely to see in Britain and its green leaves are ‘spotted’ with many purple ovals. Lime-rich but nutrient poor, chalk grassland offers ideal habitat for rare species such as pasque flowers, corn buntings, skylarks and Adonis blue butterflies. WAR AND PEACE Behind the tranquil splendour of Leeds Castle in Kent lies its dramatic 900-year history as a Norman stronghold, medieval royal residence, Tudor palace, Jacobean estate and Georgian mansion. A site of ancient sieges and modern diplomacy, the castle is built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len. DRAGONS AT DAWN Several four-spotted chasers roost on stems beside a marsh…

5 min
positive news stories: let it grow

Canal & River Trust TOWPATH TRIAL The Canal & River Trust is currently undertaking a six-month trial across 375 miles of towpaths – almost a fifth of the Trust’s network – to assess the benefits of changing its mowing regime. The trial, which started in April, seeks to balance the needs of boaters, anglers and others accessing the water, while benefiting wildlife and saving on mowing costs for the charity (the Trust currently spends around £2 million a year mowing more than 2,000 miles of towpath between April and October). The reduction in mowing will encourage a greater diversity of plants and flowers to grow, offering more shelter and food sources for insects, birds, mammals and reptiles. canalrivertrust.org.uk Buglife B-LINES: INSECT HIGHWAYS The B-Lines network – a landscape-scale solution to reverse the decline…

1 min
rural life

Great books about rural ways of life in times past A peerless snapshot of life in a Suffolk village in 1967 through the words of its inhabitants. Essential reading for anyone wanting to understand farming and the English countryside. Precious conversations with a dying breed of countrymen and women – and the wildlife around them – on the chalklands of southern Wiltshire in the late 19th-century. This documents the early 19th-century countryside through the eyes of an opinionated social reformer and farmer as he explores the landscape on horseback. Foley charts poverty and childhood in the Forest of Dean in the mid-20th century with a poignant blend of grim personal struggle set against unspoilt natural beauty.…

1 min
the perfect cream tea

HOW TO MAKE... What makes the perfect cream tea? For starters, you need to bake the perfect scone. Here’s how: You will need: • 350g self-raising flour, plus a little for dusting • 1 tsp baking powder • Pinch of salt • 85g unsalted butter, diced finely • 3 tbsp caster sugar • 175ml whole milk, slightly warmed • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze the top • Clotted cream • Jam 1 Heat the oven to 200ºC (fan) and line a baking tray with parchment. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the baking powder and salt. 2 Using your hands, rub in the butter cubes until the mixture takes on the texture of breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in thoroughly. 3 Make a well in the centre of the mixture…

2 min
id guide: 10 common small mammals

As you walk through woodlands, meadows or along rivers, you’ll hear the squeaks and rustles of rodents and other creatures. But what are they? Here’s a guide to 10 small mammals of the British countryside HARVEST MOUSE Orange brown with a white underside and small ears, this tiny mouse of open fields builds a ball-like nest and eats seeds, fruit and insects. 5–8cm long, tail 5–8cm. HOUSE MOUSE This small grey mouse of buildings and farmyards has small eyes and ears. It feeds on anything, especially seeds and invertebrates. 6–10cm long, tail 6–10cm. YELLOW-NECKED MOUSE Confined to deciduous woods of southern England, this large mouse is tawny above, white below with big ears and eyes. Eats seeds. 9–12cm long, tail 8–11cm. WOOD MOUSE Common in all habitats, this abundant mammal is dark brown with long tail, big ears…