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tv   Review 2018  BBC News  December 27, 2018 11:30am-12:01pm GMT

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this morning has been fairly cloudy with mist and fog around as well, there will still be a lot of cloud and real season brighter breaks gci’oss and real season brighter breaks across north—east schools, north east england and southern england. for the rest of us, still a lot of cloud of the times you will see glimmers of brightness and sunshine. temperatures machine and 9—11dc. through the evening and night, a fair bit of cloud around, then some fog patches and a weather front coming into the west will introduce thicker cloud and also some rain. no problems with frost, though, with temperatures like these. tomorrow i...we temperatures like these. tomorrow i... we start off with this weather front across scotland, not much more than a land of cloud by the odd bit of drizzle and it will brighten up across scotland, northern england and northern ireland. the temperature range roundabout ii—isdc search above average for this stage in december. hello. this is bbc news
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with joanna gosling. the headlines... britain's most senior police officer, cressida dick, has suggested a no—deal brexit could put the public at risk if security cooperation with the eu is weakened. new data suggests four in ten nhs hospitals in england have put up their parking fees in the last year. in some places, the charges have doubled. in an effort to reduce the use of plastic, the government has set out plans to increase the price of a single—use carrier bag in england to 10p and extend the policy to all shops. black and minority workers in britain are losing £3.2 billion a year in an ethnic pay gap, according to analysis by the resolution foundation thinktank. the us coast guard is searching for a 20—year—old british cruise ship entertainer, who went overboard from a royal caribbean vessel on christmas day. now on bbc news, 2018 has been a year in which britain's farmers have faced unusual weather
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and tough conditions. our correspondent, danny savage, takes a look at a challenging i2 months for the countryside in review 2018: the rural year. it was the year which had a summer to remember — long, hot days basking in glorious sunshine. long before that came a few weeks of unusually severe winter weather. some remote rural communities had to be supplied by airdrops. but the pressure on farmers was immense. animalfeed was in short supply for much of the year because of the extremes of the british climate.
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and those extremes had alarming consequences. the roof of england caught fire and farmers acknowledged they may have to get used to new parameters if their businesses are to survive. this year has been a wake—up call, it has been extraordinary, especially the long, hot summer and we should expect more of this in the future, and farmers need to adapt and be aware of this, to forward plan and make sure they won't be taken by surprise in years to come. and what a year it was, for surprises and consequences, linked to our climate. winter 2018 did not get going until the end of february. it was high ground which was affected first. in north yorkshire, traffic struggled on the hills but it did not seem like a big deal, as everybody did their bit to keep going. but a second day of snowfall hitting
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lower, more populated areas started to cause more widespread problems. farmers were worried because this was nearly the beginning of march and lambing was imminent. the problem in this weather is that the weaker lambs will freeze to death in it, and that is where most of the problems will lie, and the farmer himself getting round the sheep to find which ones are in a corner, they don't always lamb where you want. you would have to be out looking? yes. airports are warning of more delays and cancellations... by the end of the day, the severe weather was the top story in the uk. 0ur reporter is in durham tonight. the infrastructure of the uk has taken a real battering in the last 24 hours. this is the east coast main line. there are trains coming through which are more than four hours late.
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right across the country there was chaos with lorries unable to gain traction and move. some places were gridlocked with shortjourneys taking hours. the night guards are still on shift, they have been there since 7:30pm last night and no—one can get in. we should have stayed home, really, but someone has got to keep the world running. the following day the weather front which had been named the beast from the east had vast swathes of britain in its grip. the difference today is the wind and the immense windchill which comes with it. it is whipping the falling snow and the stuff lying around into these huge drifts. behind the front door of this icicle—covered home in county durham was a snapshot of life across the country. schools were closed and it was too cold to play outside. childcare is an issue for a lot of parents and we end up with a house full of children. we have old people and vulnerable people who can't get out. it is hard — to dig each
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other out — but a lot of community spirit goes on. in between the snowfall all ages helped to dig out footpaths. here in teesdale the unofficial snow depth is... 33 centimetres. by the friday morning of the worst week of the winter, more and more people were having a bad day. this was a motorway in greater manchester, poor visibility and ice were factors in scores of accidents. thankfully there were no fatalities here but the insurance bill was huge. thousands were stranded overnight on the m62 and it was eventually cleared but it did not reopen. we landed in manchester airport at two o'clock yesterday and we have been trying to get home since then. i've been stuck for five hours since last night ten o'clock. from yorkshire to scotland, every route linking east and west was closed. this was the a66 on the border
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between county durham and cumbria. even the gritters are not venturing out this far. this should normally be a busy dual carriageway over the pennines but it has been shut for days and it probably won't open for days yet, and that's all because of these gale force winds blowing across the carriageway. —— the snow across the carriageway. in wales, the drifts were so deep that three people had to be rescued after getting buried in their car — they had to sound their horn to guide the searchers in. in the frozen hills of the north, feeding livestock was a priority. getting them something to drink was a problem. the water is frozen, that's the main thing, so watering animals is a big chore at the moment and just trying to feed and getting to the sheep that are three miles away. fun and games at the moment! in the countryside in cumbria, special vehicles were brought in to reach outlying farms, as the snow covered the features of the land. that weekend saw the situation
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improve slightly, but by the first monday of spring it was clear that many communities in northern england were completely cut off. drastic measures were needed and this raf helicopter was sent to cumbria, it patrolled the frozen uplands, dropping in on isolated communities. and for some it was just to check all was well, but others were fast running out of fuel and needed help. what is the reaction when you drop in? quite surprised, but we are here to reassure them that help is on its way. we are working with the police and the mountain rescue. what are you giving them? food from one of the leading supermarkets and also wood and coal. the helicopter stopped forjust a few minutes at each location before setting off again, leaving residents grateful.
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a bit of excitement, really, a bit unusual, we never thought that was going to happen. it is a lifeline for us, really. we haven't had any contact for over a week now. it means that we can heat the place to the temperatures we want and need. but in many rural areas it was the farming army who kept roads open and kept suppliers coming through. —— supplies getting through. it wasn't bad news for everyone, though, the ski slopes in the cairngorm mountains had weeks of good conditions. it was worse last year but this is a boom, which is fantastic, and when we saw the weather forecast with the beast from the east, we thought, "yes, here it comes!" the fairly late winter never gave
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way to a textbook spring. and by april you would have been forgiven for despairing at the conditions which is what we found when we went to talk to farmers over a wide part of england. upland farming does not get much more remote than amanda 0wen‘s fields on the border between north yorkshire and cumbria. spring was hard work. things are desperate. we are quite used to spring coming late in the hills, to be honest, but it is really so unforgiving. usually we lamb outside and we are having to lamb inside. it is all about doing the best for your stock and it's tough. we should have grass but it hasn't come, it's cold and wet, and muddy, very tough on the animals. a few miles away on the other side of the moor, nikki was down to her last bags of feed, they should have been eating grass but spring shoots were nowhere to be seen.
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the people that started lambing at the start of march have been dreadful, they couldn't cope, they were picking up dead lambs, they are not able to turn lambs out and they have got to keep them in — it's the cost of feeding inside. you need bright shoots to come through for the lambs to grow, they can't produce the amount of milk when they have no grass and that means the lambs are struggling to grow. this is what lots of low—lying farmland now looks like, the heavy snow was followed by heavy rain, leaving many fields flooded, and where there should be livestock at the moment, instead there are ducks and geese. many miles further east in the yorkshire wolds, paul temple's cattle herd was inside and being fed the expensive way. 2018 was already proving wearing. it is mother nature and if there's one thing farmers are used to, they know what food security is about because you try to make sure you have more than enough
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for the worst winter which is why this is pushing us. you just have to get on with it but it's tiring after six months of it. by the end of april going into may, reservoirs including this one in cumbria were brimming, but then the british weather went from one extreme to another. it stopped raining, for a very long time. for the first few weeks of dry weather, britain made the most of it. warm temperatures and good conditions that lasted for more than a fortnight were a novelty. this was the lake district at the beginning ofjune. then, the problem started. tinder dry moors above manchester were in some cases deliberately satellite. —— set alight. whatever the cause, they spread exactly like the cliche, and within a few days a large area above saddleworth was burning along with the top of
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winter hill near bolton. the effect downwind was terrible — thick smoke hanging over large parts of greater manchester, blotting out the sunshine, and school children were given masks to help breathing. 0n the third night, the out—of—control fire at saddleworth raced across the heather and bracken, down a hillside towards people's homes, it threatened these houses, bought for their moorland views, they were hastily evacuated. i kept looking out the window, having something to eat, and then there was a knock at the door, after eight o'clock, one of the special police officers, he said, you have got to get out. you have got to evacuate. the last thing i said to him, don't let my house burn down! from dawn to dusk, fire fighters made use of every hour of daylight to tackle the flames. but fire on ground made of peat soil is a tough opponent and no sooner
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was one source tackled, another would quickly appear. it burns like tobacco and so it smoulders slowly and that's why we need the water to get in there. it's fine knocking the fire on the surface but it burns underneath, so we need the water to soak into the ground, completely saturate the area. this is not something that will end today by any stretch of the imagination. this could go on for days, even weeks. as the fire spread over several square miles, helicopters were brought in to help. there was plenty of water around but they were needed to get it to the right place, time after time the aircraft dipped and dropped. after a few days the army was called on to help, soldiers were sent out with the firefighters to beat flames on the remote hilltops. a very unusual sight because of
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the extraordinary conditions. the focus then moved to the second major fire at winter hill near bolton, again a large area of moorland was destroyed. the mayor of greater manchester reacted angrily to reports that fires had been started deliberately. it beggars belief, to hear that people may have been coming on to this land over the weekend, adding to the burden of the emergency services. i'm basically taking risks with people's land, property, it's an unbelievable state of affairs. —— and basically. the moorland fire smouldered for weeks and cost the public purse a fortune to deal with. then, asjune ended and we headed intojuly, we started to hear more about hosepipe bans. northern ireland saw one put into force first, and in the republic of ireland even the lorries that moved the black stuff were filled with water instead, and asjuly progressed
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the sunshine kept beating down and the reservoirs in north—west england started drying out. the english lake district which has so many lakes because it usually rains so much was parched. a source of water here for manchester was emptying fast, along with another where the ancient settlement flooded to make way for the reservoir and became visible again. united utilities gave notice of a hosepipe ban to millions of customers, to the surprise of no one. i'm not cross that we are short of water, but i'm happy that we have had such sunshine, and if a shortage of water is a by—product we've got to be careful. does it make you cross? no, it is the right thing to do. we all have to do our bit. look at how low the reservoir is, we clearly don't have enough water. throughout the summer months, parallels were drawn with 1976, a year when standpipes appeared
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in the streets and people shopped their neighbours for using water when they shouldn't. sprinkler system operating where? a riding school? i see. you feel something should be done about that, of course. this summer, farmers were also worried. nearyork, paulwebstertook us out into his dusty fields where his cattle should have been eating the grass but instead were having to be fed with bales. it was only three months ago it was too wet for this cattle to be on this land but now i don't think we have had any significant rain for about six weeks, i would think, so now we're having to feed the winter forage we have kept back for winter. and there will be a shortage of straw. it could be quite an expensive winter, i've never known anything as dry as this in all my time farming. this is an irrigated crop,
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it is wilting, just not growing. a few miles away, this crop was taking a hammering, the vegetables were not getting big enough. the business consequences, we have less crop and we are letting our customers down and we have less income coming into the business and the longevity of that means we won't have the money to grow next year's crop unless we completely revisit our models with our customers and our price because we are in a critical condition. in the yorkshire dales this is what some of the streams and waterways looked like, this river was typical of the upper reaches of inland valleys. if you have a closer look at the river bank you can see the debris and it shows where the water got to in the winter and early spring, where it has left is just how high the water got, and now compare that to now and the difference is extraordinary. mile after mile of this river bed is completely dry,
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and an awful lot of rain will have to fall over these hills to get the water flowing again. summer rainfall in catchments meant the hosepipe ban was never implemented in august but it was a time to reflect on the damage caused over the summer. claire uses her quad bike on a daily basis. but one expedition sticks in her mind, herfamily farm is above stalybridge which was destroyed by the summer fires and with it went a lot of their livestock. it was quite shocking at the time because the fire was raging, worse than any fire i've ever seen, and we had a big team of farmers come from miles away to help get the sheep off at the time and still now we are getting phone calls from farmers saying, we have a few more of your sheep, they are turning up in various places. just devastation.
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this area looks desolate nine weeks after the fires, richard is the gamekeeper up here and he now has to manage a fire damaged moorland. very depressing, yeah. to pick yourself up and go forward, so sad. the only thing that is keeping me going is that this is all coming back, the heather is reshooting and if we can get this back together it will be good. how many years will it take? four years. other bits, probably 20 years. that long? yes. a few miles along there was optimism from the rspb which manages different parts of the land. in damper gulleys, the fire jumped over these areas here and they are really still growing green and there has been a patchwork of areas unaffected really. although there was some rain in august it wasn't enough to replenish the reservoirs.
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it may have been a good summer for holidays but it wasn't so good for people who rely on our usual climate to make a living. late summer and early autumn saw the consequences of the weeks of dry weather. in the fertile fields east of york, harvest time highlighted the lower yields that many farmers were seeing. it should be a lot greener, as you can see, the plants are dying now, as you can see. stewart looks in dismay at his crop, potatoes are 80% water, so a lack of it caused problems. the potatoes have stopped growing, they shut down. they had so much stress that they have not recovered from it. normally i would be looking at 18 tonnes per acre. last year it was a good wet summer so we were averaging 20 tonnes but this year i have fields which are doing only ten.
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this field will probably do 13—14 tonnes, but it has been one of the worst seasons i've come across. but it was a different story for stewart in a nearby field, which he was able to irrigate because of access to a borehole, regular watering meant a much better crop and much bigger spuds and the contractors bought into harvest were busy. putting an inch of water on about eight times so it is never actually getting dry, and so you get the quality and the yield. we are supplying supermarkets that want nice bright skinned baking potatoes. dairy farmerjonathan has had an expensive year, as well, poor grass growth in the summer heat means he might not have enough forage to see him through the winter. we need enough to see us through to the 5th of may, so if we don't have enough forage we can't feed all the goodies. we need the forage.
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that means they will be slaughtered, not at the end of their productive lives, they will go for meat earlier than they have to. and what happens is that next year when we have the forage we then won't have the livestock because it takes two years before an animal starts producing milk. so farmers have acted as a community and worked out a solution tojonathan‘s problem — his friend tom is converting a poor bean crop into animal fodder for the first time. the year has been unbelievably in terms of the weather patterns we have experienced all in one year. some tremendous difficulties with people not getting the yield from their grasses and so the winter feed is massively short and we have got to get there. some people will still be short when we get there but we are trying to work with the livestock farmers to balance that out, that is what we are trying to achieve. this is how it is harvested,
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the whole bean plant is gathered, finely chopped and then fed into a huge airtight bag to be used as needed through the winter. it is not all problematic in the countryside, though. the weather has been good for this vineyard in york. 2018 could be a vintage year, it's the best crop they have ever had. fruitful — plenty of fruit. and the year we have had so far has been one of the best we have experienced in terms of picking fruit and the grapes and apples and pears, the whole lot. so looking back, perfect conditions, another few years like that would be great. it hasn't been bad for a place which describes itself as britain's most northerly commercial vineyard. this is arguably the future of agriculture. dr mike hardman has focused his career on farming and how climate change will affect it
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and he believes things will have to be done differently. we could see new pests and new diseases coming into the uk as well as affecting agriculture in ways we haven't seen, especially southern farmers, they will be affected mostly negatively in the future, and we could see northern farmers who could prosper through some of the warmth of the climate. there will be opportunities, as well, we can grow new types of produce and higher yields in the future. vital research is needed, he says, to adapt to our changing weather. the beast from the east, we will see more of that over the next decade, these extreme weather patterns and unpredictable weather patterns are likely to be part of human induced climate change and so the severe effect it had on the agricultural industry, that is something we will have to deal with in the years to come. that doesn't mean the beast
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from the east will reappear annually from now on, but a pattern of extreme weather events is developing and scientists want everyone to change our lifestyles to reduce the impact of these weather events in the future. and the widely—accepted climate forecast means there is now big pressure on farmers who produce our food to deal with these extremes. hello again. it has been a fairly cloudy, murky, damp start to the day. we have also had some patchy mist and fog. as we move into the afternoon what you will find as it will be mainly dry. having said that the cloud will be thick enough
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here and there for the odd spot of drizzle and it is going to be quite mild for much of the uk. high pressure still firmly in charge. you can see from the spacing of the isobars, hardly a breath of wind though a bit of a breeze across the far north of scotland. into the afternoon we still do have a fair bit of cloud around. it will break across north—east scotland and at times north—east england and also southern england. for the midlands, wales and northern ireland you will hang on to a fair bit of cloud for them even we will see a wee bit of brightness or the odd glimmer of sunshine. temperature—wise lower than yesterday in the southeast but generally we are looking at between nine and 11. average temperatures at this stage in december are six in the north and eight in the south. through this evening and overnight still a fair bit of cloud around the misty, murky conditions developing, patchy mist and fog and some of the fog in the south
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will be dense. at the same time you can seek a weather front coming in from the west, introducing some rain across scotland and patchy rain with a lot of cloud across northern ireland. tomorrow the rain will continue to drift across scotland. the cloud will move out of northern ireland into northern england, wales and south—west england before clearing into the south east. there could be a wee bit of drizzle on it. behind it it will brighten up quite nicely with sunshine for scotland, northern ireland, northern england and north wales. friday into saturday high pressure still very much with us. we do have weather fronts crossing. they too will introduce some rain. that rain will be with us first thing in the morning on saturday. quite a breezy day. the rain band will tend to weaken. it will be fairly sporadic. once again a fair bit of cloud around and we're chasing holes in the cloud for the sunshine. temperatures still above average. by the time we get to sunday it looks very much like the needle has got stuck in the weather record because it is more of the same. cloudy, some sunny breaks developing, or bright breaks. breezy, still mild with temperatures in double figures. this is bbc news.
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i'm simon mccoy. the headlines at 12... britain's most senior police officer says a no—deal brexit would potentially put the public at risk we would hope that we will have as much as possible, the instruments recurrently have something very similar as quickly as possible in order to be able to keep our public safe. an increase in hospital parking charges — new data suggests four in ten nhs hospitals in england put up their fees in the last year in an effort to reduce the use of plastic, the government says the price of a single—use carrier bag in england will double to ten pence. black and minority workers in britain lose 3.2 billion pounds a year in an ethnic pay gap — according to a new report. a british cruise ship entertainer is missing after going overboard on christmas day. and from aretha franklin,
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