Burn­ing is­sues…

Countryfile Magazine - - Editor’s Letter -

Novem­ber is when I fi­nally feel jus­ti­fied in plun­der­ing the wood store and light­ing fires ev­ery night. All that hard work chop­ping wood is re­warded with mood-lifting flame and heat to warm the bones of the house. Noth­ing feels bet­ter af­ter a brisk walk.

Gath­er­ing fire­wood is a task that never loses its thrill. But this year I’ve been helped by a very spe­cial men­tor: woods­man Vin­cent Thur­ket­tle. The Gan­dalf of wood fires has writ­ten a piece for us (page 54) to thrill any­one who has a fire­place or wood-burn­ing stove.

Even though, as Vin­cent says, wood fires were mankind’s “first tele­vi­sion”, we don’t want you to spend all your time in­doors this month. So why not re­visit Bri­tain’s most pop­u­lar hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion – Corn­wall – but this time out of sea­son? It may even be warm enough for a swim, and you can have all the beauty and charm of this mar­itime county pretty much to your­self (page 18).

Wildlife is on the move this month – from salmon leap­ing up rivers to spawn to deer rut­ting in the uplands. In cel­e­bra­tion of the BBC’s Au­tum­n­watch, we’re de­vot­ing our Great Days Out sec­tion to help you find the sea­son’s nat­u­ral won­ders – from the TV show’s HQ in Dum­fries and Galloway, to the rus­sets and golds of the New For­est (page 78). And on the sub­ject of wildlife, don’t miss The Hunt – the big blue chip se­ries from the BBC’s Nat­u­ral History Unit. We asked cam­era­man John Aitchi­son to fo­cus on Bri­tain’s bird of prey and the as­ton­ish­ing tac­tics each species uses to catch its sup­per (page 36).

Fer­gus Collins, ed­i­tor@coun­try­file.com

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