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PREVIEW: Matt Baker: Our Farm In The Dales, More4

In this brand-new series, Countryfile and former The One Show presenter Matt Baker, his wife Nicola and their kids Molly and Luke, come to the rescue of his family's organic sheep farm in the Durham hills.

Matt still plays a very active role in running the farm he grew up on, but recent circumstances meant his role was about to get a lot more intense. Last summer 2020, Matt's mum Janice was knocked over by some of her beloved Hampshire Down sheep and needed a knee operation. Determined to keep farming, Janice and her husband Mike knew they had to make some vital changes if they wanted to secure the future of the farm.

Returning to where he grew up, Matt is faced with both the challenge of keeping the remote farm running and helping his mum overcome injuries from her accident. During the series, we follow three generations of Bakers round the farmhouse table as they make big decisions for the future of the farm, as Matt repairs, reuses and recycles his way through a hefty to do list.

They have their work cut out, but can the Baker family make the changes needed so the farm can enter a new chapter? In this first episode, an emotional Janice revisits the scene of her accident for the first time, and she and Matt face up to some of the vital changes they'll have to make in order to secure the future of the farm and make life easier for Janice and Mike.

First on the to do list is a much-needed renovation of the miniature donkey stables before pygmy goats Brookie and Bourbon can move in next door. But an attempted escape by the donkeys prompts Matt and Nicola to call in help to building a brand-new donkey-proof fence.

In the wake of Janice's accident, the Bakers decide they need to start replacing the existing Hampshire Down flocks with some smaller and more manageable breeds, so Matt and Nicola head to Cumbria to collect some hardy Herdwicks. Back at the farm, Luke and Molly are excited by the prospect of new life on the farm when a visit from Billy the vet confirms that one of Janice's Cairn Terriers will be having puppies.

Meanwhile, Matt and Mike turn their attention to an older farm resident in need of some TLC: a rusty 1946 American Dodge that's been left to face the elements. With some gentle persuasion, Mike agrees to let Matt contact a vintage car restoration company in the hope they'll be able to get it up and running once more.

Matt Baker: Our Farms In The Dales begins Wednesday 31st March at 9pm on More4.


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