BBC Countryfile Live returns to Blenheim Palace 2-5 August with four days of family-friendly arena shows, demonstrations, debates, food, drink and shopping.
Countryfile Live brings together everything there is to cherish about the British countryside, in the grounds of the famous stately home. The outdoor event features more than 30 stages, venues and specially constructed feature areas including Family Fishing in the River Glyme, the Equine Area, the Stihl World Timbersports Championships, the Dog Arena, the BBC Introducing Stage, the Wildlife Zone, the Countryfile Kitchen Stage and even a Mercedes Off-Road Driving Experience.
With 2018 marking the 30th anniversary of the BBC's Countryfile programme, there will be an exhibition area taking visitors behind the scenes of the show. Producers, camera crews and presenters will all take to the stage, giving the audience the low-down on just what it takes to create the Sunday evening favourite.
L-R: Countryfile presenters Adam Henson, John Craven, Ellie Harrison, Anita Rani, Tom Heap, Matt Baker and Charlotte Smith
The National Trust Theatre and the Quilter Cheviot Theatre each have a full line-up each day with debates, talks and ‘Audiences With…’ on a wealth of topics; from how to achieve success, the future of farming, photography workshops and even what it takes to become an astronaut.
National Trust Theatre line-up
The line-up in the National Trust Theatre features panellists discussing a variety of hot political topics from land, sea, and air.
Thursday 2 August - Political Day
- Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs Michael Gove, National Trust Director-General Hilary McGrady and NFU President Minette Batters discuss the future of farming in the UK
- Dustin Benton, Policy Director of the Green Alliance, Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, Barry Turner, Group Director of the British Plastics Federation and environmental journalist Lucy Siegle discuss how we deal with the ongoing threat of plastics pollution.
Friday 3 August - Farming Friday
- Ex JLS star, JB Gill takes to the stage to discuss how he swapped out his life of selling out stadiums for one of deer management and mucking out pigs on his 10 acre smallholding in Westerham.
- Columnist and broadcaster Grace Dent, NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts, chef, food writer and activist Jack Monroe and Welsh hill farmer Gareth Wynn Jones discuss the rise of veganism in the UK, the benefits of healthy balanced diets and the growth of the ‘flexitarian’ movement.
- Throughout the day a range of experts will discuss the pressing issues affecting farming today.
Saturday 4 August - Kids Day
- Bushman Ray Mears talks to Charlotte Smith about everything from sleeping in the Arctic to top survival tips and the UK countryside.
- Conservationist and campaigner Findlay Wilde, TV researcher Billy Clarke, Countryside Manager for the National Trust, Gwen Potter and CBeebies presenter Lizzie Daly join Ray Mears to discuss why Britain desperately needs more young people interested in careers in conservation.
- Wildlife cameraman Simon King talks about his passion for the job and his love for the countryside. Simon has spent his career capturing footage for some of the BBC’s most prestigious series, including Blue Planet, Big Cat Diaries, and Planet Earth.
Sunday 5 August - Nature and Conservation Day
- Radio and television presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff talks about her passion for conservation, her experiences of filming around the world and how to talk into camera 10 metres below the surface of the sea, while facing down a giant cuttlefish.
- BBC Radio 4’s Brett Westwood and Adam Henson take to the stage for an enlightening discussion on ways that farming can be used to enhance the natural world while balancing the growing demands of food production.