Coun­try­file spring Diaries

John Craven on why the ar­rival of spring is the best time of year

TV Times - - My TV Times Week - Joanne Lowles

holiday Mon-fri / BBC1 ‘He who tires of the Bri­tish coun­try­side, tires of life!’ says pre­sen­ter John Craven. Town­ies like me will ap­pre­ci­ate the high­lights from Ex­moor in the Coun­try­file com­pan­ion show.

NEW FAC­TUAL Coun­try­file Spring Diaries hol Mon-fri/ BBC1 / 9.00am & 9.15am

If only ev­ery day John Craven spent in the fields, moors and wood­lands of our beau­ti­ful coun­try­side was as per­fect as the one dawn­ing when we catch up with the Spring Diaries pre­sen­ter in Ex­moor.

‘It’s glo­ri­ous here,’ says John. ‘We’ve got blue skies and the West Coun­try is look­ing its best, which is ex­actly what we want.’

John, 76, will be en­joy­ing the de­lights of the Devon coun­try­side (and the odd cream tea) while his four co-pre­sen­ters Jules Hud­son, Paul Martin, Margherita Tay­lor and Kee­ley Dono­van will be re­veal­ing early spring high­lights from around the coun­try as the daily morn­ing show – lit­tle sis­ter of the hugely pop­u­lar Coun­try­file – re­turns for a sec­ond year.

How does it feel to be back film­ing Coun­try­file Diaries?

It’s great, I love it. It’s such a nice ad­di­tion to the Sun­day-night show. We can go into a lot more de­tail about the great things that hap­pen at this time of year as ev­ery­thing bursts into life again.

What are you up to in Devon? Yes­ter­day I un­veiled a won­der­ful stain­less-steel statue called ‘The Walker’ in Lyn­mouth, where four main coastal walk­ing routes meet – The South West Coast Path,

The Co­leridge Way, The Two Moors Way and the

Tarka Trail. Af­ter 28 years of pre­sent­ing Coun­try­file, is there a cor­ner of the UK you haven’t been to? It’s al­ways pos­si­ble to dis­cover new places. The York­shire Dales are, for me, the most won­der­ful place, and I re­cently dis­cov­ered a lit­tle dale near Set­tle, called Crum­mack Dale. It has the most amaz­ing nat­u­ral con­struc­tions of stone, with huge boulders perched on top of tiny ones.

It’s such an un­ex­pected sight.

Do you think you will ever tire of the Great Bri­tish coun­try­side? He who tires of the Bri­tish coun­try­side, tires of life! Even through the fog, rain and ice that we of­ten face, I’m al­ways happy to meet peo­ple in the coun­try­side who have won­der­ful sto­ries to tell.

How would you spend your per­fect spring day?

It would have to be a walk through blue­bell-strewn fields down to the sea. Ac­tu­ally, to­day we are in The Val­ley of the Rocks, to the west of the vil­lage of Lyn­ton. It has a stark beauty all of its own, and I can’t think of a nicer place to go on a won­der­ful day like this.

Coun­try man: John Craven

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