'Lie of the Land', 'Scratching the Surface' takes a helicopter flight over Ireland to look at the effect of the ice age on the landscape.

The opening sequence from the programme shows the limestone cliffs of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. 

Atlantic islands breasted by steep faces of rock scoured and raped bare during the ice age.

The limestone formations date back 270 million years and the land surface appears as a barren wasteland. Adding soil for tillage through painstaking labour has produced artificial fields above the limestone surface. 

On the mainland in County Clare, the Burren provides inspiration to poets, geologists and naturalists depicting,

An image of how all of Ireland would have looked had there been no ice age.

Poet John Betjeman describes the Burren.

Stony seaboard, far and foreign, 
Stony hills poured over space, 
Stony outcrop of the Burren, 
Stones in every fertile place

The film also shows a birds-eye view of the Ailwee Caves, the result of glaciation and now a well-known County Clare tourist attraction. 

This episode of 'Lie of the Land' was broadcast on 4 February 1982. The narrator is Jonathan Ryan.