BBC Countryfile Magazine November 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
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
love it, protect it

The most astonishing book I’ve read this year is Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake. It’s about fungi. I had previously considered them to be beautiful half-plant-half-animal sirens that entice us – then kill us in agony. Turns out I knew very little. Merlin reveals on page 32 that fungi are essential for all life on Earth and shape our landscapes. His insight will change how you view the natural world. And the most disgraceful thing I’ve had to read about and report on this year is river pollution caused by agricultural chemicals and raw sewage. It’s been going on for years and our rivers can’t take it anymore. The big hope is that the more people who enjoy our rivers and understand the problems they face, the more chance for positive…

2 min
november in the country

TRANQUIL BEAUTY Scot’s pine and silver birch rise steeply from the shores of Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin up the slopes of Glen Affric in the Highlands. A sole silver birch, blazing yellow, stands on a spit of land while a couple canoe the loch’s still waters. The tree will drop its leaves as autumn turns to winter; the evergreen pines will retain their needles during the colder season. Water, space, autumn light and ancient woodland create a scene of deep peace. SILVER SORCERER This soft-focus image of a silver birch (Betula pendula) in Insh Wood in the Cairngorms National Park captures the tree’s magical qualities. The leaves shimmer in autumnal hues and ‘old man’s beard’ lichen mistily illuminates its branches. In Celtic mythology, the tree symbolises renewal and purification. CATCH OF THE DAY With her…

1 min
four fantastic facts about… scotland’s patron saint

St Andrew’s Day is celebrated on 30 November with ceilidhs and cullen skink – but who was he? 1. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. Patron saints are chosen to be special protectors or guardians over things. 2. St Andrew was a fisherman before he became one of Jesus Christ’s original disciples, hence celebrating with cullen skink, a fish soup. 3. St Andrew never visited Scotland, though his kneecap, arm and fingerbone were transported there after his death. 4. St Andrew is also the patron saint of Romania, Greece, Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Remember, remember… Check your bonfire wood piles for hedgehogs and frogs before lighting, as hibernating animals often seek shelter there.…

2 min
id guide: nine british spiders

GARDEN DIADEM SPIDER Araneus diadematus Named for the diadem on its back (a pale circle and four gleams), this waits for prey in the centre of its spiral web. Body length up to 18mm. FOUR SPOT ORB WEAVER Araneus quadratus Plumper and broader than the garden spider, with four indented dimples on its abdomen. This heaviest British spider is up to 17mm in length. ZEBRA SPIDER Salticus scenicus Rather than weave a web, this common spider of garden and house jumps on its insect prey. Its short legs help it spring its 7mm-long body into the air. WALNUT ORB WEAVER Nuctenea umbratica Glossy dark-brown above, fawn at edges, undulating pale line each side of abdomen. Broad and flattened, it spins its web at night. Up to 15mm long. GIANT HOUSE SPIDER Tegenaria gigantea A large brown or grey spider with leg span up to…

1 min
on this day: 10 november 1946

This month, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire celebrates its 75th anniversary as the birthplace of modern conservation. On 10 November 1946, Sir Peter Scott founded what was then known as the Severn Wildfowl Trust to protect the wild open marshes and migrating geese of the estuarine habitat. Uniquely for the time, Scott also opened Slimbridge to the public so that anyone could enjoy getting close to nature. The BBC’s first live wildlife programmes were presented by Scott and his family from his studio overlooking the Slimbridge lakes, delighting millions of viewers at home. 27 NOV 5 DEC NATIONAL TREE WEEK is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree-planting season (November to March each year). Find out more at…

1 min
how to… make crystallised citrus peel sweets

You will need: • two oranges • two lemons • water • granulated sugar 1 Cut each fruit into eight wedges. Remove the flesh, leaving about 5mm thickness of peel and pith. Cut each wedge into 3–4 strips. 2 Cover peel with cold water in a pan. Bring to boil, simmer for 5 mins. Drain, cover again with fresh water, bring to boil and simmer for 30 mins. 3 Drain peel, keeping the water; add 100g sugar for each 100ml. In a pan, heat syrup gently. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add peel, simmer for 30 mins. 4 Leave syrup to cool.With slotted spoon, remove peel and put on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Dry in oven for 30 mins at lowest setting. 5 Spread peel on a new baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar…