One of the best aspects of life here is that we get to try our hand at things that we’d never thought of. Filming is one of them, and over the last few years we’ve been involved in quite a few programmes. They’ve been great for introducing what we do here to a wider audience, even if only in a fairly superficial way, but we’ve had great fun, and so far the experience has always been positive. This one involved BBC NI presenter Barra Best investigating the river Bann, following it from it’s source in the Mourne Mountains, to the north coast.

We got a spot in programme one, and spent a day filming with Barra and the crew, who were very good about showing Birch Cottage in the footage. Barra is a lovely guy and we had a very relaxed time, despite a tight schedule.  Lyra also got more of a go this time, and was ever the professional when she had to keep repeating things for different shots. This went out at 7.30pm in the evening, and so far, it seems more people have seen it than anything else we’ve done. Currently the programme is only available in the UK ( I think) on iPlayer – the link is here.

The response has been great, and random people have stopped me and asked for advice on everything from growing in polytunnels to rainwater harvesting and solar panels. They also gave us access to some really spectacular drone footage, which hopefully we’ll get downloaded and show on the site.

The idea of different ways of living, and also of finding ways to reduce our impact on the environment seems to be one that will be more prevalent in the media in 2020 – certainly we’ve spoken to a number of researchers already about programme ideas. Watch this space.