Oak Tree: Nature's Greatest Survivor

Dr George McGavin investigates the highly varied and dramatic life of oak tree. Part science documentary, part historical investigation, this film is a celebration of one of the most iconic trees in the British countryside. It aims to give viewers a sense of what an extraordinary species the oak is and provide an insight into how this venerable tree experiences life.


Filmed over a year, George uncovers the extraordinary transformations the oak goes through to meet the challenges of four very different seasons.
In autumn, George goes underground, digging below an oak tree to see how its roots extract precious resource form the soil. And he sees why the oak's super-strong wood made it the perfect material for building some the most famous ships in naval history, including Nelson's flagship The Victory.
In winter, George discovers the sophisticated strategies the tree uses to survive gales and bitter frosts. He finds out about the oak's vital role in architecture, showing how some very familiar sights such as the tower of Salisbury Cathedral are in fact giant oak structures.
In spring, George investigates how the oak procreates, spreading its pollen through the countryside. He discovers the incredibly sophisticated strategies it uses to withstand savage onslaughts from predators hell-bent on eating it alive.
In summer, George uses a high-powered microscope to see the hundreds of species that regard the oak as their home. Humans too rely on the oak for their own form of 'sustenance'. Whisky gets its unique flavours from the oak wood barrels in which it's matured.

Oak Tree: Nature's Greatest Survivor
Oak Tree: Nature's Greatest Survivor

Great British Garden Revival ep.7 - Ponds and Stumperies

Charlie Dimmock campaigns to put ponds back in gardens. She finds out the importance of ponds for wildlife and takes the plunge in a new style of water gardening - the swimming pond. Charlie also finds out how a community in east Yorkshire has come together to breathe new life into their village pond. The lakes, small ponds and water features of Nottingham Trent University are the starting point for her revival, and Charlie gives her step-by-step guide to building a wildlife pond and bog garden, from the initial design stage right through to planting up.


Chris Beardshaw wants to return a Victorian curiosity, the stumpery, to our gardens. Similar to rock gardens but created from upturned tree stumps, logs and roots, stumperies were created to display the spoils of intrepid Victorian plant hunters. On his revival Chris discovers how fern fever swept the nation in the 19th century. He meets a man in north Wales who is as fascinated by ferns as he is and sets off on a woodland trail to see the stumpery as nature intended. Chris bases his campaign at the most famous stumpery in the country, created by HRH the Prince of Wales, in the grounds of Highgrove House. Throughout the show, he creates his own mini stumpery using his favourite ferns to full effect and shows how to grow mushrooms on a log.

Great British Garden Revival ep.7 - Ponds and Stumperies
Great British Garden Revival ep.7 - Ponds and Stumperies

Great British Garden Revival ep.6 - Glasshouses and Shrubs

Diarmuid Gavin wants to use glasshouses to restore a sense of adventure, flair and excitement to gardens. On his campaign, he visits Wentworth Castle in Barnsley to help out with the final stages of the restoration of its elaborate Victorian glasshouse. He gives his guide to greenhouse buying and meets up with passionate allotmenteers in Nottingham who have gone one better and designed and built their own remarkable greenhouses using recycled materials. Diarmuid gives his top greenhouse growing tips, gets to grips with hothouse flowers and explores the wealth of temperate and tropical flora on display at the National Botanic Gardens in Wales.


Matt James thinks that shrubs have been overlooked and ignored for too long. He wants gardeners to rediscover and appreciate the importance of this amazing group of plants. On his journey, he visits a garden in Norfolk where shrubs are the stars of the show and inspires a group of young gardeners at Flatford Mill in Suffolk to plant shrubs in their gardens to encourage wildlife. Matt gives his beginner's guide to shrubs with the focus on colour, flower power and fragrance. And he shares his top pruning tips to help keep shrubs looking at their best year after year.
Great British Garden Revival ep.6
Great British Garden Revival ep.6

Rick Stein's Road To Mexico ep.2




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Rick Stein's Road To Mexico ep.2
Rick Stein's Road To Mexico ep.2

Great British Garden Revival ep.5 - Rock Gardens and Herb Gardens

In this episode, plantswoman Carol Klein shares her infectious passion for a style of gardening that she thinks is in much need of a revival - the rock garden. She tracks the history from its pinnacle during the Victorian era, visits a community in Bolton who have pulled back their local rockery from neglect and drops in on an old friend in the Midlands to find out more about this much-maligned gardening style. From her base at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, Carol demonstrates tried and tested techniques for growing success as she shows us how to plant up a trough with some of her treasured rock garden favourites and gives advice on the best alpine bulbs for containers.


Toby Buckland is on the campaign trail for herb gardens. On his revival, he discovers how useful herbs have been throughout history, he learns that there was no such thing as a weed in Tudor times; meets a woman whose garden is overflowing with herbs we've forgotten and a botanist who grows plants to capitalise on their unique fragrances and essential oils. Toby shows us how to get the very best from fresh herbs: harvesting seeds, how to grow and care for them whether you have a garden or not and how to make the most of herbs by storing them in clever and unusual ways.
Great British Garden Revival ep.5
Great British Garden Revival ep.5