Series 6 - 3. The Netherlands

Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

In the Netherlands, the coast is something you put where you want it. If you fancy a straight line, you draw it on a map and make it so.
If you want to turn sea into land, you arrange a massive reclamation project and — as in Flevoland — get yourself a new slab of countryside the size of Greater London.
Coast’s presenters dance over the fascinating history of this unique relationship with the sea, coming at it from several angles and going off at odd tangents: the best involve a bizarre look at “far-leaping”, a kind of aquatic pole-vaulting and a potted history of the black-and-white Friesian milk cow, which now dominates British fields but started life in late-19th-century Friesland.

About this programme

3/6. The team travels to Holland, where Nick Crane explores how Dutch engineers created massive coastal defences following the North Sea floods in 1953 that killed thousands of people. Historian Tessa Dunlop investigates why the tulip trade nearly bankrupted the country 400 years ago, Mark Horton discovers how a large area of coastal land was drained to create new living space, and Miranda Krestovnikoff finds out about raw herring becoming a popular seaside snack. Meanwhile, Countryfile's Adam Henson traces the history of the Friesian cow trade with Britain.

Cast and crew


Nick Crane
Tessa Dunlop
Adam Henson
Miranda Krestovnikoff
Mark Horton


Executive Producer
William Lyons
Series Editor
Steve Evanson