In January Dorset-based Ford Farm was honoured to welcome Blue Peter presenter, Lindsey Russell, to undertake a two day extreme cheese challenge in preparation for Blue Peter’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2018.
Day one involved the presenter visiting the Ford Farm Dairy to make her very own traditional cheese truckle. She was invited to get hands on throughout the process, hand cutting and turning the heavy curds, pressing them into a 2kg mould, turning the pressed cheese out and bandaging it in cloth ready for the next stage in the cheese challenge process.
On day two, the Blue Peter crew were deployed to the Wookey Hole caves in Somerset to take the truckle into the cheese cave, where Ford Farm cheddars are matured.
But being Blue Peter, this was no simple task. In order to reach the cheese cave with her truckle, Lindsey had to undertake an extreme caving challenge, which involved entering the cave half way up a cliff face, crawling and tunnelling and using ropes to slide down, including an abseil, to the subterranean River Axe where she then had to clip into more rope and climb over the river on a wobbly walkway bridge before arriving safely at the cheese store!
On arrival, Lindsey placed the Blue Peter truckle on a shelf where it will remain, maturing in the naturally humid conditions, until next January when it will be removed and taken to the studio to mark Blue Peter’s milestone anniversary.
Martin Crabb, Head Cheesemaker at Ford Farm was thrilled to be part of the filming: ‘My children grew up with Blue Peter – in fact my younger son achieved a Blue Peter Badge for a competition when he was 9 years old. I may be a little over the target age of the Blue Peter Audience now but I’m still just as chuffed to have played a part in it!’
The feature is to be broadcast on Blue Peter, CBBC on February 9th.