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About

 Tom presents the investigations on Countryfile – Britain’s most popular factual TV programme. This is the most journalistic element of the show, breaking news and revealing the hidden depths of current rural and environment stories. He is also the principal voice of ‘Costing the Earth’ on Radio 4, the nations only dedicated environment series. He is also a regular Panorama reporter covering food, farming energy and wildlife. He was the presenter of the long running BBC 1 Daytime series Animal 24:7 which remains popular with regular repeats.  He chairs and speaks at events and conferences.
A selection of Tom’s TV work can be seen on BBC iPlayer.

What’s happening

BBC News have asked me to beef up their rural affairs coverage following a report from the BBC trust into how the Corporation reflects and reports on the countryside.
They are not recreating the role of Rural Affairs Correspondent, but feel that contributions from ‘Countryfile’s Tom Heap’ will deliver frequent, balanced stories on food, farming and social issues away from the cities.
I will remain freelance and continue my current work for Countryfile and Costing the Earth so will not be available to cover every rural newsline, especially those requiring immediate filming.  The role will develop as we go but I expect the core elements to be reports on the major news outlets on important and controversial developments in the countryside coupled with analysis and comment for the radio.
Much of the rural reporting will continue to come from the Network Science and Environment team and regional correspondents.
I spent years at BBC News and welcome the renewed challenge of pushing country matters on to and up the news agenda. Many of the issues in rural affairs are highly divisive: badger cull, gm crops, shooting, flooding, wind farms, organics, fracking – passions are high and loyalties border on the tribal. Rest assured, whether it is on the news or longer programmes, my only agenda is trying to engage the national audience with what’s going on in the UK’s greener bits.  I am of course continuing with all my other commitments including Countryfile and Costing the Earth.
updated October 2014