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Rural affairs BBC show Landward set to return to screens with spotlight on Ben Eighe National Nature Reserve in Wester Ross

By Hector MacKenzie

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Dougie Vipond on location.
Dougie Vipond on location.

THE impact of coronavirus and a glimpse on how rural parts of Ross-shire have emerged from lockdown will come under the television spotlight with the return of a new series.

Landward returns for its autumn run of 14 new episodes with presenters Dougie Vipond, Arlene Stuart, Euan McIlwraith and Anne Lundon travelling the length and breadth of the country to bring in the best stories from the Scottish countryside.

In a year like no other, the programme will continue to reflect on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected rural Scotland.

Episode One comes from the magnificent Ben Eighe National Nature Reserve in Wester Ross.Dougie will be finding out how rural areas emerged after lockdown; how visitor attractions and businesses have responded to people returning again and what’s changed since reopening. He’ll also be taking a walk through the ancient Caledonian pine forest in the Ben Eighe reserve to find out why this woodland is unique and genetically distinct from all the rest in Scotland. Visiting a tree nursery, he’ll see how the reserve is raising the next generation of these special Scots Pine trees using seed from the remaining granny pines.

Also re-joining the programme is chef Nick Nairn, gathering the finest Scottish ingredients from land and sea to cook up something special with Dougie in some stunning locations. They’ll set up the kitchen on the shores of the Lake of Menteith and celebrate the best in local food.

Also in the series, Euan’s stepping back along a prehistoric coastline on the Isle of Mull and uncovering the complex geology that lies beneath his feet. He’ll also meet members of the community in the remote Morvern Peninsular who are trying to mount a community buyout and transform the neglected estate where they live.

Landward will have a special episode celebrating Scotland’s harvest, an episode all about Autumn and a programme focussing on Scotland’s islands, from the evacuated people of St Kilda to the islands of Loch Maree untouched by human hand.

The series will continue to include the amazing material shot around the country by our viewers which were featured during Lockdown. The team will also hear what’s going on at first hand by those who live and work in some far flung places, from Shetland to Argyll to the Borders.

Landward celebrates Scotland’s wildlife, its food and drink sectors and investigates the country’s most important rural affairs stories.

As well at its screening at 8pm on Thursdays on the BBC Scotland channel, the series will also be shown on Fridays on BBC One at 7.30pm and on Sundays on BBC Two at 9.30am.

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