BBC Radio 4 Series: Costing the Earth

Tom is the main presenter Radio 4’s flagship environment documentary series Costing the Earth. Since taking the helm, the programme has gone from strength to strength: audiences are growing, the channel has increased the number of shows per year and given it a better position in the schedule. Despite tackling important and sometimes complex stories Tom likes to keep the tone engaging and somewhat irreverent to avoid the danger of preaching. Listen to the latest episode


BBC Radio 4, Tuesdays 3:30pm, repeated Wednesdays 9:00 pm and available as a weekly podcast

The new series of Costing the Earth is just beginning and Alisdair Cross, Martin Poyntz-Roberts and myself have been busy on location in the last few months. The most glamourous destination was San Francisco, though the topic was down to earth : rubbish. The city has a close to 80% recycling rate achieved through enlightened policy however some trash has now become so valuable that it’s stolen to pay for addictions. Those who follow Martin on twitter – @how_dairy – might think we spent our time mainly eating brunch but we also found space to grab elements for another programme: Rebel without a Car.  We ask if we are seeing the end of the affair with the automobile in the West and where better to consider this than the streets where Steve McQueen’s Mustang flew in Bullit?

Sticking to the movie theme, I’ve been a deerhunter in Scotland. There are now twice as many deer in the UK as horses and as numbers rise so do conflicts with us: fatal collisions, damaging gardens, chewing through forestry. But strangely, those with the stag in their sights are their greatest friend.

We’ve also examined how to fireproof the British countryside a year on from last spring’s conflagrations. And air dropping sphagnum moss from a chopper – a critical action to enhance natural carbon capture in peat bogs or a pointless pricey sticking plaster? Alisdair and I get airborne above the Peak District to find out.

Past highlights