Springtime On The Farm is back on Channel 5 for season 5 and for the presenting team it means one thing – a week of chaos!
"I’m expecting 1000 newborn lambs on my farm in the Cotswolds, as well as goat kids, calves, piglets and whatever else decides to arrive!" says Adam Henson, who over four nights this week will be slap, bang in the middle of the birthing action, bringing viewers the joy and jeopardy involved in farming’s most exciting and unpredictable season.
As always, the popular behind-the-scenes series, now in its fifth year, is filmed live, which, says Adam, often adds to the newborn chaos…
Filming a live show involving animals and lots of birth fluids is always a challenge!’ says Adam. ‘It’s quite adrenaline-fuelled trying to explain what you’re doing to viewers at the same time as saving a life!"
While Adam reports from his farm in the Cotswolds, the show’s other presenters Helen Skelton and Jules Hudson will again be helping farmers Rob and Dave Nicholson deliver 100s of animals at Cannon Hall Farm in South Yorkshire.
"It’ll be non-stop lambing and I love it!’ says Helen, who four months ago had a newborn herself, welcoming her third child, daughter Elsie, with her rugby player husband Richie Myler. "Viewers like the fact we’re live and anything can happen. One of my highlights from last year’s show was when a lamb became stuck and I pulled it out! I never get blasé seeing new life come into the world. It’s magical."
The series will also capture springtime highs and lows, showcasing how farmers in Scotland cope with snow blizzards, while one farmer in the Black Mountains is harnessing the medicinal magic from daffodils to help create Alzheimer’s treatments, and JLS singer JB Gill explores how farmers are diversifying to stay afloat.
"It’s all go,’ says Adam. "Spring is the busiest time of year for farmers, but it’s also the most wonderful. I love my job!"
So here's much more about the 2022 series of Springtime On The Farm...
Springtime On The Farm release date
Springtime On The Farm begins on Channel 5 on Monday 18 April at 8pm and runs every night that week at the same time until Friday, April 22. You can also catch up on streaming service My5.
More from Adam Henson and Helen Skelton on Springtime On The Farm 2022
Springtime On The Farm presenters Helen Skelton and Adam Henson filled us in far more about what to expect from the show plus their joys of this time of year in particualr...
What does spring mean to you both?
Adam: "It’s my favourite time of year, a turning point after a long, dark, winter when everything bursts into life. It’s wonderful to see the daffodils coming out, buds on trees, lambs being born and crops starting to grow. It’s a really lovely season."
Helen: "To me, it’s a clean slate, a time of new beginnings after a hard few months! I’m an outdoorsy-girl so being out with my dog and kids in the lighter nights is just brilliant."
This is the fifth year of Springtime on the Farm. Why is it such a hit with viewers?
Adam: "The live element makes it exciting. It’s real, gritty and as well as the highs, we show the struggles and hard work behind farming so people see the reality of British agriculture. It’s basically a great watch!"
Helen: Farming’s humbling too. You reap what you sow, you get out what you put in and I think viewers find it grounding. Plus, we all get on so well – you can’t fake chemistry on live TV and viewers can see we’re like family. I hope they feel part of the family too!
Why is it so important to shine a spotlight on farmers?
Adam: "Communicating what we do is essential. There used to be a real disconnect between consumers and farming, with people not really knowing where their food came from, but shows like ours have made people want to learn and understand more, which for me, as a farmer, is really encouraging."
Helen: "After Brexit and a global pandemic, I think people now appreciate the hard work involved in bringing food to our table – of course, I would say that as I’m a farmer’s daughter! I love that we celebrate farmers and their fantastic produce."
So what will you both be getting up to this week?
Adam: "I’ll be at my farm in the Cotswolds, helping deliver newborn lambs, calves and whatever else decides to arrive! I’m expecting about 1000 lambs and have had about 250 already so it’s all go!"
Helen: "I’ll be at Cannon Hall Farm with Dave, Rob and Jules where it’ll be non-stop lambing! They’ll be popping out left, right and centre!"
Adam: "We also look at the ways farming is different around the country. We’re having a lovely spring in the Cotswolds, but we see how farmers in places like Scotland are coping with snow blizzards! And also how a farmer in the Black Mountains is harnessing the medicinal magic from daffodils to help Alzheimer’s treatments."
You guys take on the mantle of midwives! Do you ever get blasé delivering newborns?
Adam: "Genuinely, never. I’ve delivered 1000s over the years and it’s always special and thrilling. It sounds strange but I love smelling the top of a newborn lamb’s head! New life smells unique."
Helen: "I love it. One of my highlights from last year’s show was when a lamb became stuck and I pulled it out. It’s magical and part of parcel of what we do."
There is jeopardy though – what are the most common problems with lambing?
Adam: "When it’s a breech birth, a bit like a human birth, when a leg or head’s in the wrong position and the baby gets stuck. Or two try and come at the same time. That’s why we have shepherds on duty 24/7, so we can pull on a lambing glove and help manipulate the position. There’s little sleep! I had to deliver triplets in the farm’s car park last week, when we had lots of visitors watching – the pressure was on! The last lamb came out backwards and I couldn’t get it to breathe. My heart was in my mouth and then it gasped and everyone cheered!"
Helen: "Farming is life and death, that’s the stark reality. Luckily, Adam, Rob and Dave have phenomenal intuition."
Talking of newborns, you have one yourself, Helen! Huge congrats on your four-month-old daughter Elsie…
Helen: "Oh thank you, she’s the light of my life. I’ve got two boys and while their arrival was exciting, you know what you’re doing by the third and are able to enjoy it more! I’m emotional though. I might have to drive a truck to Cannon Hall this week in case I want to take any newborns home!"
Any other highlights this week on Springtime On The Farm?
Adam: "I’ve got piglets to get out on the spring grass for the first time - there are a few runty ones I’ll be keeping an eye on. We’re planting spring crops and also have 50 different rare breeds of seven different species on the farm that all need daily checking upon. Goats, pigs, chickens, horses, sheep, rabbits – you name it, we’ve got it!"
Helen: "We also meet 10-year-old Farmer Joe (thought to be Britain’s youngest farmer), who’s started his own smallholding. He’s divine! It’s great to see the next generation."
How tricky is it working with animals while filming a live show like Springtime On The Farm?
Adam: "Very! Trying to save a life, while explaining to viewers what you’re doing can be a challenge…"
Helen: "I like it when the animals kick off – the alpacas can be relied on for that!"
Is there a trailer for Springtime On The Farm 2022?
Not yet, but we will update this page if one is released.
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I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.