20 March 2009, 19:52
Today the Countrywise team travel to Surrey and visit the family-run Fanny’s Farm Shop. For almost 30-years this business has bloomed, from cart and an honesty box to an expansive collection of homemade marmalades, a range of award winning honey, home-grown hampers and a teahouse in a tree-house.
Using methods handed down from generation to generation Fanny and her daughter Nellie have captured that essential spirit of the countryside in their products. The Farm Shop movement, a return to the roots of the Organic movement, is concerned with creating a sustainable business, growing and selling all their own produce in a manageable and ethical manner.
Swapping terra firma for the tranquil waters of England’s canals we meet a man who walks on water. Or at least used to. An officer in the Navy in 1970 Alan Hogarth donned his patented “Jesus Boots”, essentially polystyrene skis, and walked across the Thames.
An adventurer at heart Alan has experienced more than most in a lifetime that has seen him come face to face with death and the Pope. But now he has put those days behind him, at least for now; and is relishing life on the calm canal waters, as he explores the 2000 miles of these peaceful passages.
Next up we meet a true country champion, a man who makes his living from the land, or more precisely the sky. Chef Mike Robinson, who runs the restaurant Pot Kiln, specialises in cooking wild food and game. From the shot to the pot he ensures that he is using on the finest, freshest ingredients – along with his Grandfather’s shotgun.
Finally we take a visit to the Tamar Bridge, during maintenance month, to see what goes into keeping this crossing open.
When it opened in 1961 it was the longest suspension bridge in the United Kingdom. In 2001 it became the world's first suspension bridge to be widened (from three to five lanes) using cantilevers, and the world's first bridge to undergo strengthening and widening work while remaining open to traffic.
All this means that the bridge requires a lot of love and attention and as such one whole month of the year is dedicated to maintaining this metal marvel.
Last updated: 02 August 2010, 17:56