Nature documentaries to inspire your next outdoors adventure introduced by Harriet Noble.
The Perfumed Mountaineer
Hayden Lorimer explores the double life of Walter Poucher: mountain photographer and perfumer. Poucher invented the perfume 'Bond Street' and also wrote upland guidebooks. He was a pioneer of mountain photography from the 1930s onwards and devised guidebooks that used photos to help hillwalkers and climbers. But he had a second life as well - in 1923 he had published a three volume handbook on perfumes and cosmetics that remains in print and, working for the perfumers Yardley, he invented one of their signature smells, the perfume Bond Street. These unlikely twin lives came together when he field tested his fragrances and make-up across the hills and fells of Britain. Sweaty mountaineers were not quite sure what to make of Walter but he resolutely and happily continued to mix his two lives and interests. In a celebrated moment of TV history in 1980 the pop singer Grace Jones attacked the chat show host Russell Harty live on air, the other guest on camera at the time was a befuddled looking Walter Poucher. Yet when it came to staging and managing your life Walter perhaps was ahead of the game and knew things that would have surprised both Grace Jones and Russell Harty. Here was a metrosexual man decades before he was supposed to have evolved.
Hayden Lorimer, geographer at Glasgow University and committed hill-runner, explores the life and times of the Perfumed Mountaineer.
Produced by Tim Dee. First broadcast on Monday 14 May 2012.
Living World - Winter Seashore
Trai Anfield visits a wintry Bovisand Bay in South Devon in the company of Keith Hiscock, Associate Fellow of the Marine Biological Association.
They rummage amongst the storm strewn seaweed making up the strand line at the top of the beach. It is here that insects and crustaceans flourish in the food rich and clement micro world, in turn drawing in birds like wagtails and turn stones.
Down in the inter-tidal zone, along with finding a host of marine molluscs are the excitingly named volcano barnacles and beautifully coloured beadlet anenomies.
Produced by Sarah Pitt.
First broadcast on Sunday 8 February, 2015.
Open Country: The Boat Builders of Pin Mill
Writer Jonathan Gornall has attempted to row across the Atlantic twice. On the second attempt he nearly drowned but his relationship with the sea has continued. Today he spends his time at Pin Mill in Suffolk where he has just built a small sailing boat for his daughter and he hopes the boat will teach her to love the sea too. Helen Mark meets him and the boat building community who live beside the River Orwell to discover the great history of sailing which remains at the heart of Pin Mill today.
First broadcast on Saturday 28 July, 2018.
Ramblings: Bonding Walks: Stiperstones, Shropshire
In this new series of Ramblings, Clare Balding explores the way walking can help us bond with other people, the countryside and our history. In this first programme she's invited to take part in the 20th annual walk up to the top of the Stiperstones in Shropshire with a group of men who came together to bond as fathers. Quentin Shaw started the tradition when his sons were at primary school as a way of encouraging the men to get to know each other. The group has grown from the original five fathers to about fifty men, from teenagers to some in their seventies: fathers, colleagues, friends, sons, friends of sons. The aim is now to keep the group as diverse as possible, introducing men who would not otherwise meet: men working in mental health, children's services, housing, health, education, ex-army, scouting, craftsmen, tradesman etc. Quentin explains to Clare that overall ethos has always been to celebrate fatherhood and friendship in a low key way, and to give men a reason for a day off when they are stressed out just before Christmas. Clare is the first woman ever to be invited to join the group, who end their morning walk with a large cooked breakfast at a local pub.
Producer: Lucy Lunt.
First broadcast on Saturday 21 February, 2015.
Open Country: Somerset Wassail
In the depths of the winter, on the old 12th Night, an ancient custom is held in the cider apple orchards of Somerset. Wassailing involves pouring cider round the roots of the wassail tree, putting cider-soaked toast in its branches, singing to it, and sometimes firing guns through its branches. It's all about scaring away evil spirits, and encouraging the trees to produce a good crop in the year to come. Wassailing is a tradition with many elements: blessing the crops goes back to at least Tudor times, while the words "waes hael", meaning "be you healthy", are found in toasts as far back as the 12th century. By 1990 wassailing in apple orchards had almost died out in Somerset, but over the last thirty years the tradition has undergone a remarkable revival. As Helen Mark finds out, it's now very much alive and well - and if nothing else, provides a good excuse for a party to brighten up the dark winter nights!
Producer: Emma Campbell
First broadcast on Saturday 9 February, 2019.
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson rigs up microphones in a reed bed near the River Severn and then waits for dusk and a wildlife spectacle to arrive.