Countryfile Live brings rural fun and big issues

Ray Mears is among the guests at Countryfile Live
Ray Mears is among the guests at Countryfile Live

The effects of Brexit, fracking and windfarms on the British countryside are among the issues being explored at Countryfile Life at Blenheim Palace.

Visitors are invited to join the National Trust and a host of guests – including Ray Mears, Nicholas Crane, George Monbiot and Martha Kearney – to discuss these topics and more in the National Trust Theatre at the festival, which is being held from Thursday August 4 to Sunday August 7.

Countryfile Live will combine the tradition of the UK’s best county fairs with stars from the show across four days.

This year, Countryfile reached its highest ever ratings of 8.7 million viewers, making it the most popular programme on British television and affirming the British public’s appetite for all things rural.

National Trust director general Helen Ghosh said: “As a conservation charity, the countryside is at the heart of what we do.

“We look after it for the British public and we know people love it. We welcome some 200 million visits to our outdoors places every year so BBC Countryfile Live is a perfect fit for us.

“We’ll be hosting talks and debates in our National Trust Theatre on the value of the countryside and the challenges it faces, like extreme weather, the pressure of development and how to balance the needs of food production with the needs of wildlife and nature.

“We’ll also be celebrating the countryside with a secret woodland adventure playground for children and a cookery theatre where people can try the wonderful produce from our tenant farmers.”

Other event highlights include the Barn, where visitors can meet the Countryfile presenters, Adam’s Farm where the public will have the chance to meet some of Adam Henson’s rare breeds, and The Village Green, complete with bandstand and traditional maypole - the perfect setting for live, family entertainment such as, Tug-of-War, Morris dancing, Punch-and-Judy, village cricket, a vintage funfair and the ever-popular village fete.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk and countryfilelive.com for more information about the festival.