November 21, 2019
…in which we follow the gently-meandering River Petteril from an M6 underpass on Carlisle’s urban fringe through Wreay’s ancient woodland to one of Cumbria's most beautiful churches in search of lost words. As we stroll, with Jamie Normington from Cumbria Wildlife Trust, we discuss our changing woodlands, Cumbrian birdlife vernacular, how we can reforge a connection with the landscape, and the remarkable architectural legacy of Sara Losh, first lady of Wreay (pronounced ‘rear’).
November 11, 2019
…in which we walk from Honister Pass to the summit of Great Gable in the company of Dr Jonathan Westaway to join the annual Remembrance Sunday service led by the Fell and Rock Climbing Club. As we walk, past the Drum House and over Green Gable, we talk about the pioneering years of British rock climbing, boisterous nights in the Wasdale Head Inn, finding solace on the heights and the dedication of Gable to the nation, before joining the felltop congregation for the act of remembrance.
October 17, 2019
…in which we follow the River Eden downstream to Kirkby Stephen with leading campaigner in the walking world, Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society and Chair of the Ramblers. As we head north from Pendragon Castle we discuss the joy of sunrise walks, the never-ending battle to open the countryside and taking Nicholas van Hoogstraten to court.
October 1, 2019
...in which to celebrate Countrystride's first birthday producer Dave Felton asks the questions of host Mark Richards, who guides us onto Pike o'Stickle and talks about his journey from Cotswolds farmer to Lakeland guidebook author, his pen-and-ink apprenticeship with Alfred Wainwright, and his lifelong love of walking. Climbing out of Great Langdale, we discuss secret ways onto the iconic Pikes, favourite fells and why home for Mark was always going to be Cumbria.
September 11, 2019
...In which we walk from Langdon Beck to Dufton along the UK's most iconic National Trail with author and Pennine Way authority Andrew McCloy. As we embrace the big skies of the North Pennines, we discuss Tom Stephenson's tireless access campaigning, consider the highs and lows of the 268-mile walk, theorise over Wainwright's dislike of the Trail and end up spellbound atop the glacial valley of High Cup.
August 27, 2019
...in which we head to Martindale with Amy Bray, the Matterdale teenager who is campaigning around Cumbria to raise awareness of single-use plastic pollution and asking us to consider 'Another Way' of consuming. As we summit Beda Fell we talk about Amy's love for the fells and wild swimming, we discuss steps that communities can take to restore a positive balance with nature – and we're rewarded with a distant glimpse of The Nab's elusive deer herd.
August 11, 2019
...in which we journey out East to the Cumbrian Dales and the softly-spoken valley of Dentdale to meet Dales Way creator Colin Speakman to celebrate the Way's 50th birthday. As we walk, past wildflower meadows, Tudor cottages and the Dent Brewery, Colin discusses Cowgill's link to royalty, the valley's infamous ('terrible') knitters, the satisfaction of establishing a classic walk – one of the UK's most popular – and local hero Adam Sedgwick.
July 5, 2019
…in which we set out from Coniston to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of John Ruskin, the Victorian polymath who wrote that mountains are "the beginning and the end of all natural scenery". As we walk, with Ruskin Museum archivist Vicky Slowe – past wildflower meadows, lime kilns and iconic Yewtree Farm to arrive at Coniston Water with its view of Brantwood – we discuss the great man's remarkable life, his connections, and his legacy on everything from architecture and education to social thinking and our understanding of climate change.
May 29, 2019
…in which we are joined by Cumbria Magazine and Lakeland Walker editor John Manning to walk from Dufton to Appleby-in-Westmorland along the Pennine Journey, the long distance footpath inspired by Alfred Wainwright’s 1938 ramble through the hills of northern England.
As we walk - through bluebell woods and down cloistered ghylls - John discusses his life-changing experience on the Pennine Way, explains why Lakeland needs protecting more than ever, talks about kindness in remote places and reveals why Helvellyn holds a special place in his heart.
April 28, 2019
...In which we wander with Ann Lingard along the mosses, marshes and mudflats of the Solway coast. Enveloped in birdsong, we take in big skies, skeleton trees and wildlife-rich marshes before discussing the rise – and dramatic fall – of one of Cumbria's lost railways, the dying craft of salmon 'haaf netting' and how Ann's love for the sea was woken during rockpool 'guddles' with her Cornish father.