BBC Countryfile heads to Clinton Devon Estates

The work of Clinton Devon Estates is to be showcased this Sunday (30th January 2022) on BBC Countryfile, in the programme’s first ever episode focused entirely around a privately owned rural estate.

Presenters Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison visited East Devon earlier this month to film a series of stories from around the Estate, which included features on its organic dairy farm operations, tenant farmers, East Devon Pebblebed Heaths and the Lower Otter Restoration Project.

Matt, Ellie and a production team spent two beautiful sunny days meeting members of the Estate team, finding out more about their work and some of the major projects they are working on.

Presenter Matt Baker meets Clinton Farms’ Young Stock Manager Alice Thomas

This Sunday at 5.10pm, viewers will see Clinton Farms’ Young Stock Manager Alice Thomas meet Matt Baker to talk about working on a busy organic dairy farm. She will show Matt how she cares for the young calves and discuss the team’s ongoing focus on the welfare and sustainability of the herd.

The Lower Otter Restoration Project will feature, with the Estate’s Head of Wildlife and Conservation Dr Sam Bridgewater taking Ellie Harrison on a tour of the site. He discusses how this landscape-scale project will address the impact of climate change by returning the Lower Otter estuary and flood plain, to a more natural condition.

The Estate’s Head of Wildlife and Conservation Dr Sam Bridgewater with presenter Ellie Harrison

Ellie will meet tenant farmers Sam and Nell Walker as well, who arrived at the 268-acre Stantyway Farm on the stunning Jurassic Coast near Otterton, in 2017. Meanwhile, Matt heads to the 1,000 year old Otterton Mill, which is owned by the Estate, to meet the Wright family who have run it since 2015.

The programme also visits the Pebblebed Heaths National Nature Reserve where Site Manager Kim Strawbridge discusses the importance of the site and why it is so special to her.

Presenter Matt Baker interviews Clinton Farms’ Young Stock Manager Alice Thomas

Estates Director John Varley, said: “This has been the most fantastic opportunity to show how Devon is leading the way in countryside management, adapting for climate change and supporting a vibrant rural economy.

“Clinton Devon Estates has been around for 700 years and, like many other British estates, intends to be around for many hundreds more. This episode is very timely as we are about to embark on the Estate’s 2030 Strategy, which firmly focuses on the needs of society and the environment. ‘Doing today what is right for tomorrow’, is the Estate’s motivation.

“We are very proud of the hard work and commitment of all of our team and it is fantastic to see that showcased on such a large, national stage. It was fascinating to watch the crews in action and to see how they do things behind the scenes. The whole team is very much looking forward to watching the programme this Sunday.”

Clinton Devon Estates manages 25,000 acres of land across three separate Estates in Devon. These are the Heanton Estate in North Devon and the Beer and Clinton Estates in East Devon, including a major part of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths.

You can watch the episode again on BBC iPlayer: