Thursday, 12 July 2012

Other outdoor listening...

Although we really would like you to listen to our Walks Around Britain monthly podcast - which is available on Podcasts page of our website - or even to subscribe to it on iTunes or on AudioBoo - there are (surprisingly) some fantastic programmes available which you might not be aware of...

Country Focus

Rachael Garside - Photo (c) BBC

Country Focus is BBC Radio Wales' programme serving everyone living in the countryside and tackling the issues affecting them - with rural, farming and environmental news.

It's presented by Rachael Garside (left) - who has to have one of the most mellifluous voices on radio today - and regularly covers topics which are of interest to us walkers and lovers of the great outdoors.  The programmes' website has a whole archive of editions for you to pursue -

Scotland Outdoors

Mark Stephen- Photo (c) BBC

Scotland Outdoors is the weekly podcast taken from the popular BBC Radio Scotland series Out of Doors - of which you can listen to via the iPlayer if you are outside of Scotland.  Now you might wonder why there's a podcast when you can listen to the radio programme - well, the radio programme is 90 minutes long, and so the weekly chuck of 15-20 minutes on the podcast version is perhaps more manageable!


Clare Balding - photo (c) BBC
Ramblings is the gold standard of audio outdoor programmes.  Hosted by the incomparable Clare Balding save for one series, Ramblings manages to pull off the seemingly impossible - making what is intrinsically a visual mediums domain work on the radio.  And the reason why it can?  Simple - Clare Balding. Clare's eloquence and turn of phrase turns this into a must listen.

The website has editions going back ages, although some of the older ones are in the Real Media format (remember that??).  The podcast is under the title "Coast and Country" and shares its time with...

Open Country

Helen Marks - photo (c) BBC
Open Country shares Ramblings slot both on the radio and on the Coast and Country podcast.  Presented usually by the distinctive Helen Marks, the programme has a wide brief featuring the people and wildlife that shape the landscape of the British Isles.

Always good for a listen, even if you initially was reluctant about the subject - but that's in no small part to the enjoy and enthusiasm Helen brings to the programme.

And the Coast and Country podcast is here

Countryfile magazine podcast

This is confusing - and hold on to your hats for this.  The BBC One television programme Countryfile bred a magazine off-shot which has become more successful after the move of the tv programme to the primetime slot on a Sunday it still currently holds.

The magazine has a website to go along with the printed edition and in March 2010 they launched a podcast - which centred around the the discussion of outdoor news, some reports on location and talking about what was in the next edition of the magazine.

It didn't turn out to be a regular podcast at all - in fact only 8 have been produced since March 2010 - but there did seem a glimmer of hope for a more regular occurrence with a new edition appearing in June 2012.

But because it's a podcast of the magazine and not a podcast of the television programme, Julia Bradbury or Matt Baker aren't the presenters - it's the editorial team of the magazine who are in front of the mic on these - and don't expect the familiar Countryfile music either - the cost of licences must prevent that from being used.

But it is a good listen and we hope it will turn to a more regular pattern of editions.  (If you guys would like some help with that, give us a call :) )

The Outdoor Station

No blog post about outdoor listening is complete without mentioning The Outdoor Station - the award-winning outdoor podcast which has been going since 1245.  Well, ok, maybe not - 2006 to be precise, and they are past the 350 edition mark - which is an astonishing achievement.

Presented by the show's producer Bob Cartwright (right) - who's calm and relaxed delivery makes each edition a joy to listen to.

There's a lot of variety between each edition of this podcast - some are Bob talking in the studio, some are Bob on location and some are Bob introducing a long segment recorded by someone else - in the style of Jeremy Vine's introductions a couple of years ago to the new-style Panorama.

All feature impeccable production standards and are well worth a listen.

The Bald Explorer

A mention should be made here about our good friend Richard Vobes's series The Bald Explorer.

Although not strictly a podcast series, Richard's deep and long history in podcasting (he was possibly the first person podcasting in the UK) means he produces regular podcasts which tie in with his videos.

The podcasts have a history and travel leaning and some explain the complexities of producing his complicated videos.  Richard is an inquisitive chap, and his desire for knowledge punctuates his podcasts.  He has the canny ability to condense volumes of history down to a bite-sized chunk, which is made all the more easy to understand thanks to his confident and bold style.

Walks Around Britain

And whilst we're wrapping up this look at outdoors listening, can I remind you about our own humble walking and outdoor podcast - which is available on this very blog every month.  Or, if you'd like to subscribe and get every edition sent to your computer, then we're on iTunes here.  You can follow us on AudioBoo and we even have our podcasts on our YouTube channel, so you can listen to them on there too!

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