From dry stone walling in the Mourne Mountains to profiling Northern Ireland’s very own horse whisperer; from exploring the lack of rural GPs, to the devastating impact on some farmers of the poor market for potatoes - Home Ground will cover it all.
The new six-part series for BBC One Northern Ireland begins on Monday 25 April at 7.30pm, produced by Below The Radar.
Shifting cattle on a barge around Strangford Lough and searching for birdlife on the Glenarm River, presenters Jo Scott, Gavin Andrews and reporter Ruth Sanderson have been right across Northern Ireland, celebrating the richness of rural life.
The series will be looking at subjects that help define our sense of place and our relationship with the land on which we live.
In the first programme Jo helps lambing with sheep farmer Crosby Cleland at his farm just outside Saintfield; Gavin joins Ireland rugby captain Rory Best on the family farm outside Poyntzpass to find out how it has influenced his career and then joins the Wildlife Trust in Glenarm to count and ring the elusive dipper bird; while Ruth meets a family from Limavady who can’t get a government grant to fix their protected thatch roof - and discovers it’s one of the most important in Ireland.
Presenter Gavin Andrews said: “Having grown up in the country in County Antrim it has been great for me to get back to my roots and meet some really interesting people with a passion for rural life.”
Fellow presenter Jo Scott added: “It is just wonderful to have all this amazing countryside right on our doorstep and even better I have had the chance to get out and explore it and visit with or work alongside people who really care about their surroundings.”
Home Ground reporter Ruth Sanderson concluded: “The countryside is Northern Ireland’s beating heart, I’ve loved investigating various aspects of life in rural areas, getting to the crux of important stories and meeting some great people along the way.”