BBC Countryfile Live National Trust Theatre

Our beautiful countryside deserves a bright future and that means getting to grips with some big or controversial issues. Can farmers feed the country while still protecting habitats for wildlife? Can we tackle the problem of plastic pollution? Do young people feel connected to nature, and passionate about caring for it in the future?

Join a host of expert guests including Ray Mears, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Lizzie Daly to explore these important questions, and celebrate the British countryside.

Hilary McGrady

Thursday 2 August 

Our Director-General Hilary McGrady will be joined by Secretary of State for Environment Michael Gove to officially open the National Trust Theatre for 2018, followed by a debate on the future of farming with Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers Union. The day’s debates will cover hot topics such as plastic pollution, the housing crisis and Westminster’s relationship to the countryside, while Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison will be on hand to announce this year’s winner of the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize.

JB Gill

Friday 3 August 

Join expert panellists as they explore connections between farming and food. Can farmers keep the nation fed while still preserving habitats for wildlife, and is veganism just a passing trend or the future of our eating habits? Meanwhile Charlotte Smith will be speaking to Anna Jones who has spent her career bringing agriculture into the public eye, and former boyband member JB Gill who swapped selling out Wembley Stadium for selling turkeys from his farm in Kent. Plus farmers and economists share top tips for anyone looking to get into farming, and discuss how to balance the books while digging sheep out of snowdrifts.

Ray Mears

Saturday 4 August 

All Saturday sessions are now fully booked, but why not check one of the other days?

A host of celebrities including Ray Mears, Simon King, urban birder David Lindo and CBBC presenter Lizzy Daly will be waxing lyrical on everything from bushcraft to the science behind animals’ weird and wonderful adaptations, and the adventures of a wildlife cameraman. Some will also take part in a panel exploring young people’s connections with nature, and how we can inspire them to get involved with wildlife.

Miranda Krestovnikoff

Sunday 5 August 

Today’s lunchtime debate focuses on the question of ‘rewilding’: could the re-introduction of lynx and wolves help to restore balance to nature’s biodiversity, or is the UK now too densely populated to support species that haven’t featured in our nation’s rural make-up for centuries? You can also learn about the difference we could make by planting more trees, or hear presenter and conservationist Miranda Krestovnikoff talk about working on Coast and The One Show. Adam Henson and Brett Westwood will also be on hand to explain how gardeners and farmers can help British wildlife to thrive.