BBC Countryfile Live announces National Trust Theatre speakers

Ray Mears (c) DAVID OSBORN / www.DavidOsborn.London

Ray Mears (c) DAVID OSBORN / www.DavidOsborn.London - Credit: Archant

Ray Mears, JB Gill & Miranda Krestovnikoff to speak at BBC Countryfile Live this week

BBC Countryfile Live has announced details of the National trust Theatre line-up, featuring a range of esteemed panellists and speakers discussing a variety of hot political topics from land, sea, and air.

The event returns to Blenheim Palace for its third consecutive year from the of August 2-5 and will see bushman Ray Mears, pop star turned farmer JB Gill and the Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs Michael Gove take to the National Trust Theatre.

The debate begins on Thursday August 2 with the ‘Political Day’ and the National Trust Theatre opens at 11 am with a panel on the future of British Farming with National Trust Director-General Hilary McGrady, NFU President Minette Batters and Mr. Gove.

Plastics are a hot topic right now and Dustin Benton, Policy Director of the Green Alliance; Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland; Barry Turner, Group Director of the British Plastics Federation and environmental journalist Lucy Siegle, will discuss how we deal with the ongoing threat of plastics pollution.

Friday August 3 is ‘Farming Friday’ and throughout the day a range of experts will discuss the pressing issues affecting farming today. Ex JLS star, JB Gill takes to the stage to discuss how he swapped out his life of selling out stadiums for one of deer management and mucking out pigs on his ten acre smallholding in Westerham.

The day closes with a panel on veganism featuring columnist and broadcaster Grace Dent, Stuart Roberts of the National Farmers Union, chef, food writer and activist Jack Monroe and Welsh hill farmer Gareth Wynn Jones. The group will discuss the rise of veganism in the UK, the benefits of healthy balanced diets and the growth of the ‘flexiterian’ movement.

Saturday August 4 is ‘Kids Day’ at the National Trust Theatre and starts at 11 am with the UK’s most famous bushman, Ray Mears, who will be speaking with Charlotte Smith about everything from sleeping in the Arctic, to top survival tips and the UK countryside.

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Mears also joins the 12:15 pm panel alongside conservationist and campaigner Findlay Wilde, TV researcher Billy Clarke, Countryside Manager for the National Trust, Gwen Potter and CBeebies presenter Lizzie Daly, to discuss why Britain desperately needs more young people interested in careers in conservation.

The day closes at 5 pm with wildlife cameraman Simon King talking about his passion for the job and his love for the countryside. Simon has spent his career capturing footage for some of the BBC’s most prestigious series, including Blue Planet, Big Cat Diaries, and Planet Earth.

Sunday marks the closing day of BBC Countryfile Live and with it comes the ‘Nature and Conservation Day’ at the National Trust Theatre. At 11 am presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff talks about her passion for conservation, her experiences of filming around the world and how to talk into camera 10 metres below the surface of the sea, while facing down a giant cuttlefish.

The final panel sees BBC Radio 4’s Brett Westwood and Adam Henson take to the stage for an enlightening discussion on ways that farming can be used to enhance the natural world while balancing the growing demands of food production.

BBC Countryfile Live features four days of live arena shows, hands-on activities, farm-animal demonstrations, debates, food, drink and shopping from over 500 independent retailers and lifestyle brands. The show brings together everything there is to cherish about the British countryside, in the grounds of the famous stately home.

With upwards of 30 stages, venues and special areas ranging from Family Fishing in the River Glyme to the Equine Area, the Stihl World Timbersports Championships, Dog Arena, BBC Introducing Stage, Wildlife Zone, Countryfile Kitchen Stage and even a Mercedes Off-Road Driving Experience, there’s certainly something for everyone at Countryfile Live.

Full show information and tickets are available now. Click here to book.

Further details on the National Trust Theatre line-up can be found here.

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