Countryfile presenters to lace up walking boots once again for Children in Need

·4-min read

The presenters of Countryfile will once again lace up their walking boots and ramble across the UK with inspirational young people to raise money for BBC Children in Need.

Countryfile Ramble, now in its eighth year, will see presenters Matt Baker, Anita Rani, Charlotte Smith and Margherita Taylor head off to various scenic spots across the UK on a ramble with an inspirational young person who has been supported by a BBC Children in Need funded project.

Baker, 44, who has been a regular presenter on the BBC agricultural programme since 2009, will be joined by 13-year-old Saul for a ramble in Northern Ireland.

Saul, who suffers from a rare form of dwarfism called Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia, which affects his mobility, bone development and growth, found support at a BBC Children in Need-funded youth project, the Mae Murray Foundation, which provides fun and fully-accessible activities for disabled young people.

In Wales, presenter Rani, 44, will be joined by 11-year-old Riley who has a serious condition which affects his lungs and means he relies on a portable oxygen tank day-to-day.

BBC Children in Need funds the role of a specialist play therapist who has helped Riley to understand his condition in an age-appropriate way.

With help to develop his confidence and resilience, Riley achieved the task of climbing the Pen y Fan peak with his rugby team last year.

Since the Countryfile Ramble began in 2015, ramblers across the UK have raised more than £12.5 million for charity.

This year’s rambles from the presenters and young people will take place on October 8 and 9 and will be filmed for a 2022 special, which will be broadcast on November 6.

Countryfile Ramble
Countryfile presenter Matt Baker will be joined by 13-year-old Saul on a ramble in Northern Ireland to raise money for BBC Children in Need later this year (Neil Sherwood/BBC/PA)

Countryfile’s Smith, 58, is set to visit Wales where she will be joined by 10-year-old Isabella, who is autistic.

Isabella has been supported by a BBC Children in Need funded project at Dogs for Autism, which provides training for her assistance dog, Storm, who will accompany the pair on their ramble.

In addition to the presenters’ rambles, members of the public are also encouraged to organise their own sponsored rambles to help raise money for Children in Need.

Speaking about the initiative, 82-year-old Countryfile presenter John Craven, who will be hosting his own ramble, said: “We’re thrilled to be back for another year of Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need.

“This is always such an exciting event for many thousands of Countryfile viewers and I can’t wait to see everyone getting outside and putting on their own sponsored rambles to help make a difference to the lives of children and young people across the UK.

“Your efforts and donations help BBC Children in Need support them as they face a range of challenges, helping them to thrive and be the best they can be.

Countryfile presenter John Craven will host his own Countryfile ramble to raise money for BBC Children in Need (Children in Need/BBC)
Countryfile presenter John Craven will host his own Countryfile ramble to raise money for BBC Children in Need (Children in Need/BBC)

“So lace up those boots and know that your fundraising efforts really will change young lives for the better. Remember, taking part in a ramble is a win-win – it’s good for your own health and you will be supporting the lives of the children and young people across the nation.”

Taylor, 50, will also take part in a ramble, this time in Scotland, with further details to be announced.

The first BBC Children in Need telethon was broadcast in 1980, with the now highly-recognisable Pudsey Bear mascot making his first appearance on BBC Children in Need in 1985.

Since 1980 BBC Children in Need has raised over £1 billion for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

The Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need will air on BBC One on November 6.