- First broadcast 20090515 (Radio 4)
Poet Simon Armitage examines how Ted Hughes became a committed campaigner for the environment.
Hughes' private life is as well documented as his literary output, but his active campaigning for the environment was largely unknown.
His passion for fishing led him to see at first hand the extent of the damage that pollution was doing to the rivers he loved and their animal populations.
He took up the cause with a vengeance, using his position as Poet Laureate to petition politicians including the Prime Minister of the day, Margaret Thatcher.
Simon visits Devon to speak with fellow campaigners about the rivers trust that Hughes helped to form, and also about the day he brought down the house as chief witness at a public inquiry.
It reveals a new side to a man that so many people thought they already knew.