Harvest 2013: BBC2 series charts the harvest with the help of Colchester farmer Tom Bradshaw and Guy Smith of St Osyth

(l-r): Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester present Harvest on BBC2

(l-r): Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester present Harvest on BBC2 - Credit: PA

Farmers from Essex will be among those featured in a three-part Harvest series which starts on BBC2 tomorrow night at 8pm and runs nightly until Friday.

Tom Bradshaw, of W Bradshaw & Son farm in Fordham, has had a BBC film crew filming for a tv programm

Tom Bradshaw, of W Bradshaw & Son farm in Fordham, has had a BBC film crew filming for a tv programme called Harvest. - Credit: Archant

The programme, hosted by Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester, will reveal the secrets behind the culmination of our crop-growing season, and shed light on British farming and its contribution to our food.

Among the arable farms visited will be that of Tom Bradshaw, of Fletcher’s Farm, Fordham, Colchester, where crews spent some time. Also featured is Guy Smith’s farm at St Osyth, near Clacton.

“What a year to be followed by the cameras! The BBC commissioned a series following three farms through the season, one fruit farm from Herefordshire, specialising in Cherry production, Lower Hope Farm, a vegetable farm owned by the Burgess Family, Produce World, and ourselves as an arable farm. They also covered specific stories from other farms around the country,” explained Tom.

“It has been a great opportunity and I’m sure the memories will last a lifetime. It has also made me appreciate more than ever how lucky we are to do the job we do.”


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The presenters see how farmers use their knowledge of nature combined with hard work, precision planting, weather watching and smart logistics to gather in the billions of pounds of produce upon which we all depend. There will also be expert contributions from Stefan Gates on the science behind growing great crops.

And for the first time on TV, the series will reveal an early harvest report for the UK, which will give an indication of which crops are likely to be the winners and losers in 2013.

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The 2013 figures for cereals, vegetables and fruit will show how our farmers are faring in their battle to recover from the seemingly endless winter, and coldest spring for 50 years. Harvest will examine how growing conditions affect the quality and taste of produce, the science behind the secret life of plants, and the crafty tricks of nature that farmers and growers must master.

Last year’s weather had a disastrous impact on the farming community and the National Farmers Union (NFU) estimated £600million worth of crops were lost. For many farmers, a good harvest in 2013 is vital for their financial recovery. Viewers will see, first-hand, the struggle growers’ face as they gamble their future on their knowledge of nature.

Tim Martin, Executive Producer for the BBC, said: “The success or failure of the British Harvest has a huge impact on us – it affects the price, quality and availability of our food, it’s crucial to the economy of much of the UK, and it shapes the very nature of our countryside.

“With a rapidly rising world population what we can grow in Britain is more important every year. So this ambitious new series is a wonderful opportunity to bring all the drama of the harvest into viewers’ lives, and reveal the clever science that keeps our farmers one step ahead of disaster, and guarantees there’s always food on our plates.”

* Tom Bradshaw will be giving East Anglian Daily Times readers an insight into how it felt to be followed by a BBC camera crew while he brought in his crops in an article he has written for Farming Insight, inside the Saturday,September 21, edition of the paper.

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