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RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 9

ear to the ground
ear to the ground
ear to the ground

Ear to the Ground is back in the New Year at a new time, on a new day - Tuesday, 5th January, 8.30pm

Farming in the shadow of a nuclear power plant
Is nuclear power the answer to global warming, or is it just another short term fix for our energy addiction? With ten new nuclear power stations planned for Britain, Helen Carroll visits the nearest one to Ireland and asks local farmers what impact it has on their lives.

Horse Power
This week, Ear to the Ground looks at how horses can help change the lives of people with disabilities. Riding for the Disabled Association works to broaden the physical and mental horizons of those affected by disability. Every week, up to 1000 physically and intellectually disabled riders benefit from either riding or interacting with horses. People who are barely able to sit on a chair at home, can learn to ride horses unassisted.

Visiting Kill Equestrian Centre in Naas, Darragh meets the people with severe disabilities whose lives have been transformed by interaction with horses.
 
Robots on the farm
Could robots take the drudgery out of farm work? Ella visits a futuristic dairy farm in Ballymena where robots have taken over the farmers’ work. They milk and feed the cows, and even do the dirty work, cleaning up the mess from the cows afterwards.

With only 60 robotic milking systems sold in Ireland so far, Ella questions; are they worthwhile? Will we be seeing more robots on Irish farms in the future?