Explore Lanarkshire this week with Countryfile

The Clyde valley in Lanarkshire was once known as the 'fruit basket of Scotland'. Matt Baker explores the rise and fall of what was once a major force in Scotland's food industry.

15th May 2017

The orchards are in danger of being lost from the countryside, so locals throughout the valley are bringing them back to life.

Ellie meets Warren Bader, an urban beekeeper who fills Lanarkshire's scraps of green with beehives, renting them out to local companies and training their staff in beekeeping skills. His pollination plan aims to improve the wellbeing of people as well as bees and is a hit with local businesses from hotels to construction.

Ellie also takes a wild walk along the Falls of Clyde, which has some of the oldest ancient woodland in Scotland. At this time of year the forest floor is a carpet of wildflowers, each one telling a story about the ecology of the landscape. But it is birds she is here to see. The fast-flowing water here is perfect for dippers who, because they depend on water invertebrates like caddis fly and mayfly larvae, are an indicator of clean rivers.

Sean is just downstream from Ellie on the River Clyde at New Lanark Mill. The area wasn't just famed for fruit but also for textile production. Sean reveals how the landscape shaped the vision and powered the mills that still stand here centuries later - still creating yarn on the original machinery. We hear how the river powered the people and textile production.

Adam Henson and Charlotte Smith visit a housing estate in Newport Pagnell to meet a young townie who is carving out a successful career in agriculture. They are searching for Countryfile's Young Farmer of the Year - part of the BBC's Food and Farming Awards.

Tom Heap is looking at the growing problem of microplastics in the oceans, but is there an even bigger problem much closer to home?


Main image: Campsie Fells, Lanarkshire, Scotland/Getty

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