BBC – Cornwall with Simon Reeve (2020)

BBC – Cornwall with Simon Reeve (2020)
English | Size: 2.68 GB
Category: Documentary

Simon Reeve travels through glorious Cornwall as the county emerges from lockdown and investigates what the future holds for one of Britain’s favourite tourist destinations.

Cornwall is hugely reliant on tourism and the pandemic has highlighted how precarious people’s livelihoods are. Simon journeys through some of the most beautiful coastal locations Britain has to offer and meets the incredible Cornish characters who make the county unique.

For the Taco Boys, a group of enterprising young entrepreneurs selling their homemade food on the beach, lockdown has been a disaster, and they must now put everything into earning enough money to make it through the winter when all their work dries up. Like many of the young people Simon meets, they are forced by the precarious tourist economy to live in temporary accommodation to make ends meet. Later in his journey, Simon meets a woman who lives in a shed and who blames the thousands of outsiders who own second homes and have forced housing prices to almost London levels in one of the poorest parts of Britain.

Before tourism became so huge, this was a county built on mining. Britain’s biggest mineral export after North Sea oil is still china clay mined in Cornwall, but just like the better known coal mines in the North of England and Wales, the collapse of Cornwall’s tin mining industry in the 1980s left whole communities bereft. Simon visits one of the poorest estates in Britain to see what hope locals have for the future and meets an ex-mining engineer who has set up one of Britain’s biggest food banks.

The pandemic has brought into focus just how reliant Cornwall is on tourism and seasonal work, but Simon learns how new industries and even a return to mining could promise a better future. Going back to Cornwall at the end of the summer, Simon learns how the people he’s met up with have fared and whether fears that the tourist influx could bring Covid-19 with it have come true.

Simon investigates the environmental challenges facing Cornwall and the rest of the country, and on the way encounters some of its iconic wildlife, including Britain’s largest predator, the huge grey seal. More than a third of the global population is found in UK waters, where they are threatened by ocean pollution. Diving into coastal waters, Simon accompanies the volunteers who clean up the discarded fishing nets that can entangle and drown the seals.

Travelling inland from the beautiful coast, Simon crosses a county of stunning moorlands. Agriculture is still Cornwall’s biggest employer, and there are exciting new visions for how less intensive forms of farming could be more profitable and environmentally friendly. Simon also discovers the rewilding project where reforesting uplands and introducing beavers promise to tackle the problem of widespread flooding.

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