Working with the media is a double edged sword.
Thanks to ‘Countryfile’ yesterday our website attracted more traffic on a single day than any other. At its peak the site had 575 people viewing at once and it almost crashed.
The downside is that no matter how much simplified advice and support you give journalists like the BBC they still manage to get key parts wrong.
Unfortunately it seems one of the BBC researchers got mixed up between the Auxiliary Units Scout Sections, regular soldiers who trained Auxiliary Units patrols and the Boy Scouts. The idea of using modern day local Scouts to demonstrate some of the training was a good one and more accurate than it might appear at first glance. There were at least two Auxiliary Units patrols who were formed from Rover Scout crews, Scouts who had outgrown the normal Scouts. Both of these patrols met at their local Scout hut.
Sadly the National Trust at Coleshill did not mention CART to the BBC researchers before or during filming instead using a local historian. Sadly the historian, who we know is very knowledgeable, did not correct them and the public were left thinking that many Auxiliers were untrained Boy Scouts when in fact they were amongst the most highly trained (military) people in the UK during World War Two.
We did get involved in the later stages of the production of the piece, offered our help and did provide images for the piece, though a promised on screen credit did not appear. Hopefully the link to CART’s website from the Countryfile webpage will go some way to mitigate the errors in the piece.
Thanks to the BBC for the coverage but please remember it is important to get the facts right. This is even more important when you broadcast on Remembrance Day.