Ballintoy and Rathlin feature in this Sunday’s BBC Countryfile

National Trust staff visit Whitepark Bay in this Sunday's BBC Countryfile. inbm10-16
National Trust staff visit Whitepark Bay in this Sunday's BBC Countryfile. inbm10-16

BBC’s Countryfile has been filming in Northern Ireland focusing on local tourist spots including Balintoy and White Park Bay as well as Rathlin Island.

National Trust staff and volunteers will feature in BBC hit Countryfile this Sunday, 6 March at 7pm.

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani joined local rangers and volunteers to help clear blackthorn scrub at Whitepark Bay on the North Coast. The episode features interviews from Countryside Manager, Frank Devlin, and North Coast Area Ranger, Dr Cliff Henry.

Dr Henry explained why the team were clearing scrub at the scenic location: “The scrub is encroaching on the species rich grassland and it blocks out the light that small plants need to survive.

“Cattle grass the dune system at WPB and help keep the vegetation under control allowing new and hidden species of plants to establish and thrive.”

Mr Devlin added: “We were very grateful for the support and help from Anita, who volunteered to help out.

“We are fortunate to have a group of local volunteers, Friends of Whitepark Bay, who work year round to help look after the site.

“Even on a windswept and rainy February afternoon, we were delighted to welcome the camera crew to capture this beautiful bay nestled between Portbradden and Ballintoy.”

Meanwhile in this Sunday’s programme, John Craven also finds out about Rathlin Island’s growing kelp industry and what it’s like living in this rural landscape.

Speaking to the Times, Rebecca Hanmer, Countryfile Producer confirmed: “We were filming a piece with Anita Rani about the Ulster Way and its creator, Wilfred Capper. We were interviewing Reg Magowan, the former chairman of the Youth Hostel Association NI. As a young man he worked with Wilfred Capper, helping him to establish the route of the Ulster Way. In this film Anita also walks part of the route with a group of ramblers attempting to complete the entire 600 mile circular route. The film will be part of an episode from Northern Ireland on 6th March. The programme will also include a film about the conservation at White Park Bay, one of Capper’s favourite places along the Ulster Way. Volunteers and four legged helpers – a small herd of angus cattle - are trying to clear the scrub here. John Craven is on Rathlin Island discovering its long ties with kelp. He’ll meet the woman who is farming kelp for the 21st century; as a delicacy foodstuff.”