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BBC Countryfile Magazine August 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
secrets and mysteries

“I loved reading Dixe Wills’ slow journey across Wales following the atmospheric tracks and pathways of long-lost railway lines (page 18). There is the perfect blend of romance and challenge to make each day feel like an adventure, as well as being off the usual tourist routes. Even if you don’t follow Dixe’s exact itinerary, it’s great encouragement to look at local maps and knit your own walking routes between curious places, strange points of interest and, as Dixe admirably demonstrates, characterful villages and pubs. Not all countryside discoveries can be self-made, however, and technology is helping to uncover all sorts of juicy details about some of our most famous landmarks. Thought you knew everything there is to know about Stonehenge? Think again. As Mary-Ann Ochota reveals on page 52, recent scans…

1 min
this month’s contributors

Dixe Wills “I set off to recreate a journey that had probably not been made by anyone since the last train ran the length of the line in December 1964.” Georgie Duckworth “Make this a summer of adventure. Have fun and perhaps rediscover the child in you. Take to the water, set an ambush or simply enjoy the sunset.” Mary-Ann Ochota “You may worry that new scientific techniques might demystify the past... but usually research findings create as many new conundrums as they solve.”…

1 min
august in the country

DAWN BELLS Delicate nodding harebells turn to the summer sunrise above Winnats Pass, a stunning limestone gorge that leads to Hope Valley in the Peak District. Grasses and wildflowers, such as the rare Derby hawkweed, thrive in the limey soil above the rock, while underground the pass is riddled with caves and old mine shafts. The name Winnats comes from ‘windy gates’, as winds swirl through here on a blustery day. PRETTY POLPERRO Notorious for smuggling in the 18th and 19th centuries, the picturesque whitewashed Cornish village of Polperro has a fascinating history full of swashbucking tales. Visit the Museum of Smuggling and Fishing – in the old pilchard factory on the harbourside – then watch the small fleet of working fishing boats come and go. DOWN TO EARTH The distinctive dark stripe of the…

1 min
bbc radio 2: big bee challenge weekend

BBC Radio 2 and the RHS are joining forces this summer for the Big Bee Challenge Weekend, a two-day event to encourage you to do one thing in your garden, window box or outdoor space that will help pollinating insects. Tune in to Radio 2 over the weekend and find out which flowers and shrubs are good for bees and why you should leave the lawn unmown; listentothenew Bees in a Pod podcast, available on BBC Sounds, or visit one of many supporting events across the UK. The National Garden Scheme will be opening bee-friendly gardens, while National Trust is planning a host of activities, including ‘How to build a bug hotel’ workshops at some of its properties. “It’s already got me thinking about what I can do for them in…

1 min
from the bookshelf: classic countryside novels

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD by Thomas Hardy Any Hardy novel evokes Wessex, but the tale of farmer Gabriel Oak and beguiling Bathsheba Everdene captures downland life beautifully. A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY by JL Carr While restoring a mural in a country church over a lazy summer, war veteran Tom Birkin faces down his traumas – and the eclectic locals. COLD COMFORT FARM by Stella Gibbons A comic parody of melodramatic rural life sees urban socialite Flora Poste attempting to aid her hapless relations in the fictional Sussex village of Howling. CRANFORD by Elizabeth Gaskell An affectionate portrait of daily life in the rural Cheshire town of Knutsford through a series of episodic stories during the 1840s.…

2 min
the seasonal table: a taste of august

We love mulberries. Whiskered and juicy-to-bursting, the berries taste of a moreish mix of blackcurrant wine gums and tangy grapes. There are two mulberry trees on our smallholding: a prolific red variety, and a young black mulberry that is just starting to produce its first berries*. Throughout the summer we pick handfuls of mulberries as they ripen, eating most straight from the tree, but we also infuse some in vinegar, bottling their wonderful flavour until the next season comes round. MULBERRY, GOATS’ CHEESE, ROCKET LEAF AND FENNEL TOASTS INGREDIENTS Makes 12–16 nibbles Mulberry vinegar (recipe below)4 slices of sourdough bread125g soft, mild goats’ cheeseA handful of rocket leavesA few fennel fronds (we use the bronze variety) METHOD 1. To make mulberry vinegar: put 500g mulberries and 300ml cider vinegar in a bowl. Cover and leave for…