One of the main attractions at Countryfile Live is the chance to see the programme's popular presenters in action. Ahead of the show, we caught up with Ellie Harrison about life in the countryside, her proudest moments and why it's great to be back at Blenheim

What are you looking forward to most about Countryfile Live at Blenheim?

Every year, Countryfile Live has something new. I love that it is a contemporary country show that feels relevant. The debates are an important part of that. So is the emphasis on leisure as an industry in the countryside. My favourite parts are kayaking on the river, rope access tree climbing and the BBC Music Introducing Stage. This year we’re also going to be interviewing each other on Main Stage for the first time. I can’t wait for it. I hope we get new insights from each other and delve deeper into our psyches. It would be great if it feels different for our audience.

Any favourite/ funny memories from your time as a Countryfile presenter?

I think the audience can tell when a story has really moved the presenter. It could be because it’s something they love to do or because there’s been an important connection with the contributor. Generally, I love the stories where I’m active. I loved cycling Bealach na Ba in the Highlands in a hail storm. It was a demanding climb in 70mph hail and not easy to film but it was spectacular to be there and feel challenged. I also loved canoeing some of the north coast of Ireland, diving on the wreck of the HMS Scylla in Cornwall and climbing Symonds Yat rock with buzzards circling overhead.

I find human-interest stories some of my favourite and most meaningful. I remember going to the Lane End Farm Trust where teenagers with learning difficulties can go and work with the animals on the farm. I heard about incredible transformations in the students, one in particular had been almost non-verbal when he arrived and was now giving an brilliant and confident interview to us on camera a few months later. Or a woodland therapy group helping ex-service men and women, some of whom cite it as the reason for their carrying on through the darkest times. The stories of those experiences feel important to me.

You grew up in the Cotswolds, and live in the Cotswolds now, do you have any favourite places?

The Stroud Valleys are my nascent landscape and are special to me. It isn’t hugely wild but it means a lot to me as it was how I experienced the outdoors as a child. A little further west is the beautiful deep Wye Valley with resident peregrines.

What makes it such a great place to raise a family?

Being closely surrounded by nature that is free and easy to get to. Every child connects readily with natural places. Most don’t like a walk from A to B like adults do, but if you go to a spot and stop for a while, that’s when children come alive and connect.

What advice would you give to parents about getting their children interested in nature?

Find something that you as an adult like to do. Although we all go to places and shoo children off to play, I think it makes a big difference if you demonstrate what enjoyment outdoors looks like. It might not light them up straight away, but soon they will see how to appreciate the outdoors, either joining you in your hobby or something similar of their own. I remember interviewing Tim Baillie, Team GB gold medallist in slalom canoeing. I asked him when he first realised he was good at canoeing and he said that his parents had enjoyed the sport themselves and taken him along from two years old so he couldn’t not be good at it. How great is that?

What do you think is so special about the English countryside?

The year round shades of green. It takes a lot of water to achieve that as we all know. But when the weather is on our side and we get to immerse ourselves in all the green hues, it’s a very special place. It’s a classic line when you leave the airport after your holiday “doesn’t everything look so green”.

What's one small thing we could do to help wildlife in our gardens, villages, towns etc?

The two most dependable factors when it comes to wildlife in your garden are trees and water. Trees allow parts of a garden to be damper and darker which is important for invertebrates at at least one stage of their life cycle. They also provide a great about of space for wildlife. And water will attract a surprising array of wildlife: deer will come in for a drink, some bees and birds will use the mud for nests and, if you make it fish free, you will have incredibly varied pond life. It’s also important to try to garden without chemicals. What you’re really trying to do is garden for invertebrates. When they’re healthy and in good numbers, the foundation of the food chain is in place.

Where can we find you at Countryfile Live?

I will mostly be in the Wildlife Zone and on the Main Stage