Clarkson's Farm (2021) s01e04 Episode Script


If I'd driven along here at this time of year when I first started driving 30 or 40 years ago, after about five miles, I wouldn't have been able to see where I was going.
My windscreen would be an opaque smorgasbord of dead insects.
But look at it now.
There's nothing.
You get more flies on the front of a submarine.
The fact is that in just 30 years, insect numbers have dropped by 25% and they're still falling.
We are heading for an insect annihilation.
You can forget about global warming or plastic in the ocean, because without insects, all life on Earth ends.
And that's me talking.
I'm not some hairy-armpitted environmentalist on a rally, it's me.
Sadly, farming is seen by many as one of the main reasons for this insect decline.
The problem is that as farm equipment has got bigger and more efficient, fields have had to get bigger and more efficient.
Which means that, since the war, Britain has lost 140,000 miles of hedgerows.
It's lost 40% of its ancient woodlands.
It's lost 97% of all its wild flower meadows.
Everywhere where insects like to live is disappearing.
And I've decided to do something about that.
My plan is to make my hedgerows, my valleys, my woods, and my streams more attractive to creepy crawlies.
In essence, I am going to leave chunks of the farm completely alone.
I'm going to put Mother Nature in the driving seat.
It's a process called wilding.
And I'm going to begin in a rather boggy and sad place at the bottom of a valley, which I want to look, eventually, like this.
I think maybe the storks are a bit ambitious, but everything else That's what I'm aiming for.
Obviously, before I could start work on my wetlands project, there were government rules to consider.
So I had to employ a team of inspectors.
So if you both do the HSI calculations then I'll have a wander over here.
These Miami CSI people needed to make sure my plans wouldn't harm what was already living there.
This is all mostly rough grassland.
Looks pretty good for newts, doesn't it? And after they'd spent a while doing forensic examinations, I went down to see how many red flags they'd found.
- Afternoon, Jeremy.
- Greetings.
How are you? - I'm all right.
You? - Erm Well Well.
Those red flags there are right where the pond's going.
That is correct, yeah.
But the red flags are where we can't build anything.
Unfortunately, while we were doing the surveys, we have found potential signs of a mammal.
- Dog? - Nope.
There's a likelihood it could be water vole.
- Very unlikely to be a water vole.
- Interesting.
There were eight million 20 years ago, there's now 220,000 and they mostly live in Glasgow.
And they're noted to be in the Cotswolds.
- Really? - Indeed.
Come down here, have a look.
Can you see these droppings here? And these are a kind of a Tic Tac shape? - That is feces, is it? - Indeed, yeah.
Now there's a high likelihood that this is water vole droppings.
Highly protected species.
If you kill them, you'd be seen to be recklessly destroying that population.
Then you'd be prosecuted and you could potentially have a prison term.
How long do I go to prison for? Um Potentially six months, to start with.
Potentially a £5,000 fine.
So what I've recommended at this stage is all work stop here.
Until we've confirmed what is here.
What if that great big digger I've got, if we just scooped the whole area up, the water vole wouldn't know and then go and put it over there? - No Jeremy, no, no.
- Why not? Why wouldn't that work? - If you got the whole area - You'd be in prison, Jeremy.
- I'm being nice to it.
- No, no.
I could move it to high ground.
My professional advice would be do not do that.
To see if it really was a water vole, I came up with a plan.
We've got some trap cameras.
We could put a trap camera on this.
- Yeah, that's a good shout, yep.
- Then we'll know.
Need to do it over a number of days to make sure what the movements are.
- I just want to see if it's a water vole.
- Yeah, that's true, yep.
So the cameraman set up his cameras.
And a few days later, I examined the results.
No vole.
No vole.
Absolutely nothing.
I've seen more wildlife in Paul McCartney's fridge.
I mean, something made that hole.
There we are, look, that's what made it.
Is it a mouse? No, it's got a pointy nose, it's a shrew.
Not a water vole.
Right, I think what we can deduce from this is, we are in business.
My important environmental work therefore could finally begin.
The speed.
That is very steep, that bit.
Yeah, that's not gonna be much fun that.
Um, right.
Come on.
Ooh, that one's not even turning.
It's move I'm not touching anything and I'm just moving down.
I'm just skidding, I'm just skidding.
Shit, shit.
I've done it.
I've slithered down the steep bit and I'm at the bottom.
Look at the ecological work I'm doing here.
On my way to create what I'd like to describe as a biological supermarket, full of many different species.
Once in position I began to excavate.
I wanna make it absolutely plain, this is not gonna be like Ed Sheeran's pond, which is turquoise and has a diving board and a swim-up bar.
Look at that, what a machine you are.
That's about six or seven feet deep and that's clay at the bottom, which is good because clay holds water, but what I'm looking for is blue clay, which is deeper because that holds water really well and I need it to line the sides.
Yeah, look at that.
That is blue clay.
Save it, precious.
By lunchtime, I was making good progress.
Right, that's about It must be 10 feet deep.
So I went off for a bite to eat, not realizing that while I was gone nature would throw one of its curve balls.
It's filled up with water.
A lot of water.
And that's happened in an hour.
The water would need pumping out before I could carry on.
So to make use of the digger, which I'd rented for a whole day, I decided to dig another pond.
Let me talk you through my plan.
Got a couple of springs 100 meters up there.
They've created this stream, so I'm thinking of damming it about here and then as the water level rises against my dam, it will fill this.
'Cause if you slow the water down, you've got more chance for otters and herons and insects to come and live in it.
I set about my new project with gusto.
Come on, dig.
Dig, digger.
Juicy top soil.
And when Lisa arrived, I suspected she'd be thrilled by my achievements.
I'm sorry, Jeremy, what is this? We're building down there.
- What is going on here? - No, no, come and look and I'll show you, I'll show you how brilliant it is.
Fuck's sake.
- That piece of string is the dam.
- What? Sorry, where is our pond? This is not what we discussed.
The pond's down there.
It's already a pond, but it shouldn't be just yet.
So I can't work on that, so I'm working on this wetland now.
I have no idea what this means.
What the fuck are you doing up here? - This is just a - It's a wetland area.
It'll flood onto this bit and create a wetland area for insects.
Holy shit, Jeremy.
What are you gonna do with all this soil? Nothing's gonna come and live here.
Well, you know the movie 1917? They wanted to see if this would do as a follow up.
Is that not good enough for you, that mess you've done there? You had to do another mess there? Sam Mendes called.
He's thinking of doing 1918.
What was wrong with that mess? Why did you have to do a new mess? Why does everybody shout at me all the time? Literally, I get up in the morning and people shout at me.
Kaleb shouts at me, Charlie shouts at me Once Mrs.
Angry had gone, I set about building my dam.
It's now so cold, I'm having to wear It's not actually a hat, this, it's Elton John's first hairpiece.
Okay, here's the situation.
I've, um I've plugged the leaks on this side.
I mean, not in a way that a submarine commander would say, "Well done, Clarkson," but they're plugged a bit.
And the water level is now rising on that side.
This meant I could now fill Pond Two.
Yes! Look at it go.
This is I'm just staggered I've done this.
I was very pleased.
So with the rain and darkness falling, I packed up and headed home to sit by the fire and drink warm soup.
Shit! I was stuck in a quagmire of my own making.
Um I can't So, I had to ask Kaleb to put his girlfriend down and come out to help.
Fucking hell.
Fucking muddy down here.
That's it, strap them through.
Let me just try and get straight and get to there, and try and pull you up.
- All right? - Okay, fire away.
Even though we had Lamborghini power and 10-wheel drive, we weren't going anywhere.
Come on.
Come on.
So, Kaleb decided to undo the tow rope and save himself.
I'll see you later.
Which went well.
Come on.
Come on.
Fucking rain.
Right, this is a complete cock job.
Everything is stuck.
Naturally, this made Kaleb very happy with me.
Fucking idiot.
If you didn't get the fucking thing stuck, I wouldn't have come down here.
Now I'm probably gonna fucking fall over.
Fucking hell The next morning, we reconvened at my stranded tractor with a rescue plan.
Kaleb would pull me out with his tractor while he was being pulled by his brother, in his tractor.
Right, just take the slack up gently.
Really slowly, that's it, keep that tight, okay? Yeah, I've never driven anything before, so keep the advice coming.
Shit, I'm not in four-wheel drive.
He's gonna kill me.
Come on, come on, the power of the Claas, come on.
This is just Remember, we're doing this for the sake of the environment.
- The power.
- Yes.
We only took a thousand gallons to do that, but we're moving now.
We are away.
I reckon this is probably me doing it under my own steam.
Okay, stop, stop, stop.
After we'd finished pulling the Supacat free, girl-about-town Lisa arrived in the present I'd bought her for Christmas.
- Hello.
- You've seen this before? - I haven't, no.
- She's a proper tractor.
Proper tractor.
Yeah, that one has tractoritis, that's not good.
Here you go.
- Thank you very much.
- You did really well, Kieran as well.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
Well done, thanks for that.
It was very impressive watching the three of you come up.
I did actually say, coming up the hill, I went, "I'm telling you now, Kaleb's nursing a semi in his Claas.
" Our celebratory moment was then interrupted by the arrival of cheerful Charlie, who was even less cheerful than usual.
- What are we gonna do here? - Where? Well, I've just wandered across the field and we've made a bit of a mess and No, there's a few wheel marks, I admit.
And I haven't mended the hole I've dug.
That was to dig the water hole for the pump for the sheep troughs.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
- And there's this.
- Yeah.
- Um, I admit it's messy, but, you know, we're making an omelette and some eggs have been broken.
They've dropped on the floor.
And it goes all the way up there.
- Yeah, it does.
- Okay.
- There's soil damage that's created.
- What damage? - Well, okay, this is - I've aerated it.
You haven't aerated it, you've compacted it down.
Water will not run away from there.
We are nervously in sort of breach of some of the soil compaction requirements, which I know Sorry, say that again.
Soil compaction requirements from the government? They got Brexit to worry about and they're going Get an inspector around, and we could lose 5% of our basic payment scheme, which is the subsidy you get from the government.
- This is my wilding project, so - This is not wilding.
That's damage.
You know, you've gotta stop doing it.
I hoped that was the end of the telling off.
But then, Charlie went to look at my new ponds.
Again, here, look.
You know, all this is just damage to the soil.
But how do you get a bulldozer down there without damaging the soil? Do it when it's not really wet? Well, when? When's it Sorry, Charlie, honestly, seriously.
Yeah, no, no.
but It's rained since September every single day, pretty much.
- You know this, every day.
- I know, I know.
Coming onto wet land with heavy machinery is creating a hell of a mess.
But imagine this.
Come down here and use your imagination, okay? What you're seeing now is just the Somme.
- Yeah? - Yeah, no, no, I can see that.
But now, thin your eyes.
A kingfisher on that branch there.
A family of otters gamboling here.
Down there, perhaps a heron waiting for a tasty morsel.
This all banked, grass, wildflowers.
I mean, ecoists get their cocks out for this kind of thing, don't they? Look This is great.
But what you've done, your actions will potentially cause, you know, loss of payment.
And that could be £10,000 to £15,000.
And it's not just here.
- It's further up.
- If that happens, I will be jolly cross.
- I'm doing it for the sake of the nature.
- Correct.
I'm not gonna have somebody with an O level in biology coming along, telling me, "Well, you've ruined the habitat.
" It's only a few anthills got knocked over.
The truth is, though, that I had made a mess.
So there was only one thing for it.
Get Kaleb to tidy everything up.
Then it was time to start some more environmental work in the woods.
This might look like rampant vandalism, but actually, it isn't.
You drive the machine up to a tree, tell it what sort of tree it is.
It grabs the bottom, measures the diameter and then thinks, "Right if the diameter is that there, "it's likely to be that much there.
" So it can work out how long the log should be.
This is an eight-wheel drive, articulated, half-million-pound maths machine.
And when the machine finally fell silent for the night, the results were spectacular.
This is a map of the wood.
This is the bit that was thinned, just about an eighth of it.
And that's the timber that resulted.
Needless to say, this has not gone down well on social media.
I posted a picture of the big machine doing all the rampant vandalism on Instagram and people have replied accusing me of being a one-man McDonalds.
"Why are you doing deforestation?" "Why are you always destroying green things, Jeremy?" Let's go into the wood and then you'll see just how moronic these people are.
This is the bit of the wood where I got all the trees from.
I got 200 tons of timber out of here and You can't tell.
It looks exactly the same as it did before.
It's virtually unchanged.
Nature, however, can tell.
By removing trees from here and here and here for example, it means more sunlight can reach the forest floor.
You can see puddles of it everywhere.
And that will stimulate growth.
Younger trees, flowers, bluebells, hopefully.
And that's good for beetles and birds, bees.
It's good for everything.
As a bit of a twitcher, I was especially keen to do things for the birds.
So I asked wildlife expert Roy Dennis for advice.
Can I just say, Roy, two things? One, I thought Ron Dennis was coming, and he's a very different sort of man.
And secondly, I'm very jealous of your binoculars.
I had a pair identical to that.
They're in a Porsche at a police station in Argentina.
To my delight, Roy was impressed from the off with what I had.
- This is very, very good.
- Really? When you look along a hedge like that, what fantastic food all the way along for wildlife.
Bramble, fantastic for the warblers to put on fat for their migration to Africa.
Hawberries ready for the fieldfares and redwings.
It's really good.
- What are they? - They're goldfinches.
Little flock, see them? And they landed in the knapweed.
- You can just see them there.
- Were they actually - That was a flock of goldfinch? - Yeah, five of them, I think.
You see them feeding on the top there? - I think that's a little family.
- Really? Yeah, there's a lovely one there.
That actually makes me really happy.
There was one bird, however, that I did think I could do more to help.
He's on the floor.
He's on the floor.
Look at him.
That's a baby, he's just losing his tail, he can't fly.
Okay, let's just pull back shall we? Because we don't want to disturb it.
There goes the parent, there, against the woods.
To attract more owls, I decided that I should carpet bomb the whole farm with owl boxes, where they could live.
For With the boxes all sorted, I commandeered some poles that had been left on the verge by the electricity company and Operation Owl was underway.
When I arrived at the spot I'd chosen, Kaleb was on hand to help out.
You want it close to the hedge or not? Well, yeah, there.
As he dug the hole, I went through the checklist.
Cement, rope, power drill and some owl boxes that I made.
That I didn't order from Amazon at all, not at all.
- Deep enough? - That'll do.
- Right, here's my plan.
- Yeah.
I drive this forwards so that end is over your hole.
Then we're gonna rope it from the top to the back of the Supacat and pull it upright.
- You're mad.
- Well, what would you do? Get the loader, go to that end of the pole, lift it till it goes into the hole, get the strap that I've put in the back of the Supacat and then just drive back and stand it up.
But I still think you're going to need to tie a rope around the top and anchor it off the Supacat It's on an angle, with one tine underneath it - It starts going up - I drive up like this No, come at an angle Between your tines at this stage - I literally don't think that can be done.
- I can do it.
Here, drive it in like this, lay it down.
Around that, around the Don't forget, you got nine meters of boom as well, so if you boom out now a little bit That's it, whoa, whoa, do that again.
Do that.
That will work, I think.
- I don't think it will.
- Other way, other way, no, no.
No, no, no.
You stupid idiot! That was your fault! I told you! You went too far! I said stop! - It wasn't in the bloody hole! - It was.
You've put a load of dirt on top of it again, look.
- Is that fence smashed? - Yes.
Fucking hell.
That's a fence gone.
Well, you do it then, and I'll just stand doing this, which is what you do, like André Previn.
No, every single hand signal was perfectly fine, but you just wasn't looking at me Eventually, we did manage to get the pole into the ground.
Right, now we're cooking.
And once the concrete base had set, we stood back to survey our handiwork.
Ho-ho-ho! That is brilliant.
No, wait a minute.
- Mate.
- Yeah.
- That is nowhere near straight.
- It's really not.
But, on the upside, we did forget to put the owl box on the top of it.
Having made a mess of that, I went off to check on my wetlands area where things were even worse.
Built the dam with all this clay along the front of it, but God has looked at my endeavors and said, "Yes, but I've made this hole here.
" You can see the whirlpool, look.
"And all the water shall go through that and go under your dam.
" That night, God did a full Guy Gibson number.
Which meant that I had to forget about the owls and do some repair work.
Right, stop there.
- No.
- I got it, I got it.
- No, I got it.
- No.
With all that sorted out, I wanted to get back to the owl boxes, but I couldn't because Victor the Ukrainian bee man had turned up.
That's actually commercial size, yeah.
And the most important wilding operation of the lot was about to begin.
- Those are the full hives then are they? - Yeah.
They're very smart.
The plan was simple.
The bees would make honey and money for the farm shop when it finally reopened and they'd also help pollinate my crops.
That's why I'd bought a quarter of a million of them.
Look at this.
It's a space suit.
Whilst I got dressed, Victor prepared the smoking machine.
What does the smoke do? It's like you and me, we're afraid fire and water.
I can't use water in the hives, so fire much easier.
But it's not fire, it's just the smoke.
Smoke, yeah.
So, they know smoke coming and they get scared.
So what they doing, they go back in the hive, fill up their stomachs with honey and actually because of that, they're less aggressive.
So, they're sort of like sleepy after a big lunch.
- Yeah.
You know feeling.
- Yeah.
- How many times do you get stung? - About ten in a day.
What? But a bee can only sting you one time.
Once, and they pull out stings out of the belly, yeah.
- Does it die? - Eventually, yeah.
So if a man bee stings you, it dies.
And if a man bee has sex, its penis comes off.
Is that true? Yeah.
That would be annoying.
Listen, you can hear them.
Welcome to your new home, bees.
- Good, very good.
- You're not wearing gloves.
Yeah, it's okay.
Ooh, look, is that making honey already? Yeah, this is honey.
How long does a bee live? In summer, about one month.
In winter, six months.
But Queen could live much longer, could live three or four years.
Will there be a queen in here? There should be one, at least one queen here, yes.
So how many eggs is she laying? This time of the year she's laying about 2,000 eggs per day and night.
- Jesus.
- Yeah.
She's productive.
Do people steal beehives? Yes.
My friend lost 40 hives last year.
A horse box come at night and just takes 40 hives from one side.
God, look at them coming out.
That is a horror film right there.
I've been stung.
In the socks.
Wait, wait, wait.
Well, I think you better go in the bushes.
Go, go inside wood, inside wood.
Why? Because they release poison, they gonna go like pack.
One after another.
Keep smoking.
- Once you've been stung? - Yeah.
You'll be fine.
No, I won't be fine, my foot's going to have to be amputated.
Fucking bees.
That's what I doing every day.
I'm in pain constantly.
So, as soon as the big burly Ukrainian has turned his back, I'm going to roll around on the ground going, "I've been stung.
" With Operation Bee now running itself, I had to repair the dam again.
God, water's annoying.
Now we get some big rocks And with that done, I got back to Operation Owl.
Where I'd had a stroke of luck.
After the mess Kaleb made putting up the pole Cheers, Dave.
I found this chap and he sinks telegraph poles for British Telecom and has very kindly offered to make the holes needed for me.
As it turned out, I wasn't the first to dig holes in this part of the farm.
This is a badger city here, look.
Everywhere you look, holes.
Look at this.
That one's only just been dug and look at the amount of earth they've kicked out of it.
Once again, we broke out the trap cameras and that night, this is what we saw.
I hate badgers.
Apart from the fact they've eaten just about every hedgehog in Britain, they're like teenagers.
They lie in bed all day, get up at night, transmit diseases, knock walls over and then when the sun comes up, they go back to bed again.
Today, however, they wouldn't be getting any sleep at all.
Look at that.
Now the last time we did this, I was working with an idiot, and it's all cockeyed, - but this'll be straight, yeah? - Yeah.
With the work done and Dave gone, I couldn't wait to show Kaleb.
Look at this.
This is what I can achieve when I'm left on my own to just get on with it.
- Wondered where you'd been.
- Well, there you go, look at that.
And then over there, look.
Did you cut the posts down? Yeah.
Cut them down to 21 feet.
They're five feet buried in the hole.
- How did you really do it then? Come on.
- I got a spade, and then twisted the spade round, made a hole.
Got the telehandler Wait, hang on a minute, hang on a minute.
Can you smell that? So far then, my plan to rewild parts of the farm was going very well.
It wasn't all environmental work though.
There was still actual farming to be done.
In February, for instance, I needed to know how many lambs were on the way.
- Right, stick your hand down there.
- Yeah.
- Can you feel its backbone? - Yeah.
So, I met up with Kevin and Ellen at the mobile sheep scanner.
- They your driving gloves? - No.
I've never seen a sheep farmer wearing gloves like that.
Come on, sheep, in you go, there you go.
Once we'd dealt with the usual sheep disobedience Christ.
Ever single one of them is a horse.
It was time to break out the gel and get scanning.
There you are, there's a lamb.
Can you see its ribs? Its neck? You're just the same as one of those ultrasound nurses in a hospital.
Pointing "It's got a penis," And you think, "Well, how do you know?" - Is that the spine then, the black thing? - No, that's the probe that's in my hand.
One lamb.
So she gets a red dot.
Just got one, so that's not been very productive.
But one's better than nothing.
- How many's that one got? - She's got none.
- None? - I'm afraid so.
None? If you want a nice bit of mutton, that's it.
- So this one's got two.
- Two? Good sheep.
With the scanning complete That's it, you're all done.
It was time to put the scores on the doors.
So how many have we got of each then, Bob? - One empty.
- Yeah.
- Fifteen singles.
- Yeah.
Three triplets and the rest are twins.
- You've got plenty of lambs.
- Good.
Bob, many thanks for that.
For being the bearer of good news.
Along with getting the sheep scans done, I'd found a new toy for my dry stone waller and head of security, Gerald.
- Motion sensor.
- Yeah.
Cable tie this to something Everyone stand still, yeah? - Yeah, but I sleep just over there.
- Well.
- Every fox, badger.
- Yeah, but you'll be out here, won't you? Be like that now, so you probably won't be arguing about it.
And of course, whenever the weather permitted, Kaleb and I had to rush off to tractor the crop fields.
Which this year would not just be filled with wheat, barley and rape because they too would be part of my wilding project.
Around about this time of year, all the spiders and the insects that have spent the winter living in the grass margins at the side of the fields, will be heading out into the fields to eat all the little bugs that are out there now destroying my crops.
I like these spiders and insects.
They are my friends.
Trouble is, this is a big field.
It's so big, that it would take a spider five or six weeks to get across it.
So, I've come up with a plan.
What I'm doing is sacrificing some of my crops to make superhighways that would allow the insects to get into the middle of the field more quickly.
And once Kaleb had created the highway, it was then a case of hand-sowing some seeds.
- Turns out I'm really good at this.
- I don't know anything about that.
So, the lost revenue from this, which is what, three quarters of an acre? - Yeah.
- Is about 350 quid? Yeah, about that, yeah, yeah.
That, I mean, don't add up to me.
Yeah, it does though, 'cause the environmentalists are gonna go, "Wow, aren't they brilliant.
" If it works, we've revolutionized farming, saved the planet, Nobel prizes.
Greta Thunberg comes around.
To be honest, I just think of it, you lost 370 quid.
Despite Kaleb's naked realism, I was loving my wilding project.
And the best was still to come, because finally, the centerpiece of my wetland area was ready to be filled again.
Today's the day when I create a channel, let's call it the Suez, between the stream and the open-cast mine that I've dug using nothing more than Kaleb's miserable little digger.
Here we go.
Okay, the moment of truth.
Here it is.
ho-ho! Look at this! It's the Victoria Falls! Jay? Just be careful.
You should be wearing a life jacket, really.
As I reveled in this historic moment, Kaleb arrived.
Behold what I have created.
I am I am Moses.
Who's Moses? - Have you read the Bible? - No.
In the Bible, there's this man called Moses.
And he was leading someone out of a troubled area into a much better area and they got to the Red Sea and they were stuck and then the waters parted and they were able to walk across the sea bed and get to the Promised Land.
That's bullshit.
In just one day, the pond was full.
And immediately, I decided to fill it with lunch.
I got 250 lovely brown trout about that size.
My favorite fish.
I mean, not to look at.
To eat.
See, now, that's good, stop, stop, stop.
Then I'm gonna put the back down and we're going to attach this chute and we are going to chute them in.
How can I help? That sounds like I'm on Countryfile.
That does.
Let me Let me see if I can help.
Wow, there they all are, look.
Are they gonna be all right falling from that height? That's the way to do it.
I'm sure you've seen the photos of the Herculeses dropping trout into the Great Lakes in Canada, - which they do from airplanes.
- No.
The splash of them going in there is absolutely fine.
And that wakes them up and we'll let them go away.
If you just gently net them in, the fish will lie on the side and drown at the bottom.
What? So they're like sheep, - but with fins.
- Yes.
Right, I declare the Chipping Norton Water Park open.
Look at that.
That is hilarious.
Look at them, they're jumping Look at them.
Happy fishes.
They are.
All I had to do now was make sure the fish stayed alive which, given my track record, was not a certainty.
Many, many years ago, my dad had a fish pond and he used to love going out in the evening and sprinkling food in it and watching his carp.
And I thought one Christmas, "Brilliant present, "I'm gonna buy him some more carp for his pond.
" So I bought him these things called Ghost Carp.
Amazing looking things.
And he was dead chuffed and we put them in his pond and then realized immediately why they were called Ghost Carp, 'cause they're completely invisible when they're underwater, so he couldn't see these fish that I'd bought him.
And a week later, all of his other carp had disappeared.
And we, um, we looked up the Ghost Carp in a book, 'cause there was no Internet then, and it turned out that Ghost Carp eat other sorts of carp.
So I'd bought him some invisible fish that killed his visible fish.
But this was no time for pessimism, as the pond was now looking tremendous and that's not all.
Finally, some good news on the dam front.
It's holding water.
It's taken me three weeks.
I've ruined two shirts, four pairs of jeans, and broken two of Kaleb's battery-operated power drills, but I've done it.
Look at this.
The truth is though, that the leaky dam was the only pimple in what was becoming quite a successful wilding project.
Over the past few weeks, I'd made homes for owls and kestrels.
I'd let the sun shine on the forest floor.
I'd introduced more wild flowers and given some of my crop fields back to nature.
And there was no doubt that all of this had resulted in a better environment for insects.
Which was the whole point.
Even though it had cost thousands, I'd loved it.
And now what I really needed was a pat on the back from Charlie.
- Here he is.
- Hello, how are you? Well, I'm very well.
I'm just waiting to hear what I've done wrong with my important work.
It's looking great.
Looking good.
You just said that? You said I've done You said I've done a good job? Yeah.
And actually, when I thought about it, there was more to celebrate than just that.
Can I just say, if I may, we had the wettest planting season in history, yes? You would agree.
- That I can remember.
- Yes.
We had Brexit and despite all that, I, in my first year, complete novice, with a little bit of help from you and Kaleb, managed to get all the seeds we need to in the ground.
The winter wheat looks good.
The winter barley looks good.
The rape hasn't been eaten by pigeons.
- This is Teacher giving me a good report.
- You know, it's really good.
We've got this wilding, landscaping thing, sorted out.
Everything, for once, is all going well.
And, so long as nothing else goes wrong, - we're gonna be quids in.
- Everything's going - in the right direction.
- Exactly.
It's now a global pandemic.
Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others.
How are you? Well, I'm scared shitless.
I'm pushing 60, I've smoked three quarters of a million cigarettes.
I've had pneumonia, so my lungs are scarred.
- If I get it - Yeah, there's not a lot of hope.

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