BBC backlash as Countryfile viewers blast misleading heatwave special

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Countryfile returned to BBC One on Sunday evening for a special episode focusing on the heatwaves which have hit the UK this summer. Presenters John Craven and Adam Henson explored the impact the scorching temperatures have had across the nation during the instalment. However, many viewers criticised a segment about wildfires caused by extreme heat which they believed to be “misleading”. 

During the episode, Adam discussed with farmers how heatwaves cause substantial problems with food production. 

Record temperatures, low rainfall and drought have caused many farmers to face an extremely tough harvest this year. 

Farmers up and down the country filmed themselves by their unsuccessful crops to explain how difficult this year has been for them due to the heatwaves. 

A clip of a combine harvest ablaze was then shown to BBC viewers watching the programme. 

Presenter Adam explained: “If that wasn’t enough, there have been combine harvesters bursting into flames and crop fires.” 

The footage sparked fury among viewers who took to Twitter to vent their frustrations over the segment. 

John Smith claimed: “That combine harvester caught on fire due to a ruptured fuel pipe it’s misleading for #Countryfile to say it caught fire due to the heatwave.” 

Teena Massam penned: “Why would a combine harvester just burst into flames? #countryfile #heatwave.” 

“Just thinking the same,” @Reporterclown replied to Teena. “They’re insinuating it burst into flames because it’s hotter than normal.”

Andrew fumed: “#Countryfile is talking bull s**t.” 

Despite the backlash, other viewers commented on the show’s “positive” wine segment later on in the episode. 

@Outspoken added: “Rare positivity segment, the British wine industry is as strong as ever.” (sic) 

Stephen said: “I enjoy #Countryfile. Great segment on British wine as a balance for the horror stories of increasing heat. Also, the farmer looking at diversifying with sunflowers etc.” (sic) 

John, who was part of the grape growing segment, said as he was touring a vineyard: “Global warming might be affecting traditional methods of farming in the UK but there are many new opportunities. 

“Watermelons and apricots have been grown in Kent and one thing which has really developed is winemaking.”

Vineyards across Europe have been decimated by wildfires this year and while parts of the UK have been grappling with wildfires too, the nation’s vineyards have mainly remained unscathed. 

“Britain’s winemaking industry is one of the fastest growing in the world,” John explained. 

He revealed the amount of land devoted to wine growing has almost doubled in the past decade to 9,400 acres which produces 10 million bottles a year. 

John met with the owner of an East Sussex vineyard and tested out some of its homegrown wine. 

Countryfile airs on Sundays at 7pm on BBC One. 

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