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Countryfile viewers shocked by Ellie Harrison ant-painting segment | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

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Today’s episode saw Ellie take a look at the state of the country’s wildlife and the pressures it is under.

She explored the plight of the narrow-headed ant which is a vital part of the ecosystem for pest control and aeration of the soil.

But with the creature only restricted to a small number of sites, it means action had had to be taken to secure the ants’ future.

Ellie met with Betsy, who was working to help the insects thrive by transporting them to different sites.

Betsy explained how is was necessary to mark the ant to keep track of them.

She told Ellie: “We’re eventually hoping to move some of these nests to another sites where the ants have gone extinct.

“So there’s a hope that if we mark them and track them, we’ll find what they need.”

Ellie was then seen trying to paint an ant herself by taking it by the leg and putting a small amount of pink paint on it’s back.

But those watching at home were bemused by the segment and took to Twitter to comment.

One questioned: “What sort of sick Hunger Games is this? #Countryfile painting ants high vis so now the birds can spot 'em a mile away.”

“Painting ants on #countryfile no words to describe nature’s art class,” a second laughed.

Another observed: “#Countryfile it may only be a tiny dot for you dear but it’s a huge smear for the ant.”

“#PaintAnAntDay #countryfile,” a fourth stated.

“The ant is thinking what is this turquoise stuff on her nail? #countryfile,” a fifth wrote.

But Betsy went on to explain that the paint would do the ants no harm.

“It’s acrylic paint, it dries very quickly so it’s just a tiny dot on its back,” she said.

Meanwhile, Matt Baker went off to Cornwall to see how a project to rear lobsters sustainable could have benefits for other threatened sea species.

The show also saw Steve Brown visit a seabird sanctuary dealing with the after-effects of the Torrey Canyon disaster 50 years ago.

Adam Henson visited Northern Ireland to see how farmers we’re working the RSPB to bring back farmland birds.

Countryfile continues Sunday at 5.45pm on BBC One.

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