Harvest time story set for the small screen

THE WORLD class crops produced from Britain’s farmland will be brought into focus on the small screen next month.

Gregg Wallace, Phillipa Forrester and James Manning, the presenters of Harvest 2015 on BBC Two. Pic: BBC/Carl Pendle.

Returning for a second series on BBC Two, Harvest 2015 is a three-part series which starts on the channel next month, presented by Gregg Wallace, Philippa Forrester and newcomer James Manning, a 28-year-old dairy farmer in North Herefordshire.

The team will meet farmers from across Britain, including three generations of the Thatchers family in cider apple-rich Somerset, exotic vegetable farmer Peter Barfoot in Sussex and Hampshire, and the Hay family who are waiting to harvest their first crop of Scottish oats in Perthshire.

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MasterChef presenter Wallace, who described driving combine harvesters during filming as a “pure delight”, said viewers can expect to understand a lot more about the food that ends up on our plates and the difficulties of modern farming.

He said: “What the country eats is a huge subject at harvest time, not just for farmers, but the whole food industry and us at home feeding our families.

“What amazes me is how tight the margins are and how one mistake could put generations of farming families out of business. You have to be big or go bust.”

New presenter Manning, who grew up on his family farm, will bring his own experience of farming to the presenting team.

He said: “The best bit about filming for me has been meeting other farms, seeing the pride and pleasure they get at this time of year.

“It’s been fantastic to see British farmers trying new things and innovating the way they work to farm smarter, bigger and better than the year before.”

The show’s executive producer Tim Martin added that the second series of the programme will be focussed on “the crops Britain grows best, exploring the areas of British farming where we punch above our weight to deliver world class produce”.