BBC show Countryfile films episode at Wellesbourne Allotments

Filming in the allotments: Matt Baker and Ken Manning discuss tomatoes and modern day allotments
Filming in the allotments: Matt Baker and Ken Manning discuss tomatoes and modern day allotments

The popular BBC television show Countryfile recently filmed an episode at the Wellesbourne Allotments.

BBC Countryfile Presenter Matt Baker and the team braved a windy day in Wellesbourne last Friday on August 9, recording an episode about the life and times of local hero and MP Joseph Arch which is expected to be broadcast over the August Bank Holiday.

The recording was triggered by events by Wellesbourne Allotment Association and other local organisations marking 100 years since Joseph Arch died.

Although chiefly known for improving the rights of 19th century agricultural workers, it is less well known that Arch also worked tirelessly as an MP to progress and further the development of the Allotment Movement within the UK.

Chair of Wellesbourne Allotment Association, Ian Hope said: “Earlier this year, with the help of Barford Heritage Group, we recreated the local tradition of walking The Joseph Arch Way between Wellesbourne and Barford, to honour his Trade Union work and to also raise awareness of the valuable contribution he made to the Allotment Movement.

“We believe Wellesbourne Allotments are the jewel in the crown of the village and are tremendously proud that our association has brought Countryfile to Wellesbourne and given Arch the national profile he deserves.”

Filming for the episode took place in various locations in Warwickshire, including an interview with Joseph Arch expert, Dr.Jeremy Burchardt outside The Stags Head Pub in Wellesbourne, at the Allotments and in Walton.

At the Wellesbourne Allotment site, plot holder, Ken Manning traced the changing role of allotments over the past 200 years, and the many local community connections and activities undertaken by the Wellesbourne Allotment Association within the village today.

Matt also took a tour around OSCARS Garden, a new dementia-friendly plot at the 180 year old Wellesbourne Allotment site, with Heather Brown, chair of the village’s support group, OSCARS. The plot will officially be opened on the day of transmission – Sunday August 25th.

Matt was filming on the eve of National Allotments Week and his verdict of the Wellesbourne allotments was unequivocal. Having grown up in the strong tradition of allotments in the North East he described Wellesbourne Allotments as “Spectacular”.

An intervBBC presenter Matt Baker and Heather Brown talking about the dementia friendly OSCARS garden at the allotments

An intervBBC presenter Matt Baker and Heather Brown talking about the dementia friendly OSCARS garden at the allotments

Matt Baker and Helen Skelton wrap up an episode of BBC Countryfile on the Wellesbourne Allotments

Matt Baker and Helen Skelton wrap up an episode of BBC Countryfile on the Wellesbourne Allotments