Countryfile TV show comes to see Rasen’s rare breeds

Countryfile visits the Rasen area EMN-150615-100727001
Countryfile visits the Rasen area EMN-150615-100727001

Popular BBC programme Countryfile was in Market Rasen last week filming the start of a series of specials about county-specific breeds.

Presenter Adam Henson called at two of our farms- Sunny Side Up on Tealby Road to see the Lincoln Red Cattle and at Walesby to see the Risby flock of Longwool sheep.

Programme director Phil Kerswell, of BBC Bristol, told the Rasen Mail that over the coming months Adam will be touring the country looking at county-specific breeds and the people who rear them for an “Adam’s County Breeds” segment.

For the first segment, to be broadcast this Sunday, Adam met sheep breeders Louise and Ian Fairburn to talk about why they love the still-threatened Longwools. Louise loves the breed so much she once had her wedding dress handmade in the style of a Longwool sheep fleece.

Adam also visited Julian and Hazel Hammond and their butcher Nick Bradeley to see their herd of Lincoln Red cattle and to have a go at making a traditional pork dish called Lincolnshire Chine.

“Their success in selling beef from the Lincoln Reds is helping make the breed more popular with shoppers, and helping ensure the future of the breed,” Phil added.

Louise Fairburn says with Countryfile attracting audiences of 7 million, appearing on the show was important to raise the profile of the Longwool sheep, of which there are just 900 breeding ewes.

Louise has been trying to get the animals featured on the show for some time, saying the importance of this rare county breed needs to be highlighted.

“They are a national treasure. The Longwools built this county and at one time were responsible for a quarter of this country’s wool clip,” she said.

The chairman of Lincolnshire Longwool Sheepbreeders Association added more breeders are needed to keep the breed alive, saying the county has lost the Lincolnshire Curly Coat Pig already.

Hazel Hammond, a regular Countryfile viewer, said she enjoyed meeting Adam, desribing him as “very natural, helpful and normal”.

“It was nice to know we have built up a business that’s worthy of national recognition. It was a very nice achievement and to be an ambassador for the county,” she added.