Every spring and summer, thousands of pairs of puffins breed on Skomer Island, off the coast of Wales. One of the largest puffin colonies in southern Britain, these characterful seabirds, with their colourful beaks, can be watched ferrying fish catches to their young in nest burrows. One-hour Skomer cruises (£12/£8) leave from Martin’s Haven, but there are also day trips (£22/£12) including several hours on the island (book tickets on the day from Lockley Lodge up the hill from Martin’s Haven). … [Read more...] about The dancing cranes of West Sweden – a bucket list wildlife spectacle
The National Forest, now more than a quarter of a century old, is the result of a need for regeneration after the end of mining, and the desire to transform one of the UK’s least-wooded areas into a wild and wonderful expanse for exploration. In a sense it is an effort to reconnect with the past, a past before men and machinery extracted coal and clay from this land in the Midlands – 200 square miles of it – in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. … [Read more...] about Walking the National Forest Way: a stroll amid a transformed Midlands
If rewilding seems like a rich person’s indulgence, this is because its economic viability is unproven. It is also a misnomer, for whether by getting rid of tens of thousands of sheep in Patagonia or introducing a living species as a surrogate for an extinct one – Sayaguesa cattle in place of aurochs in Croatia’s Velebit Mountains, for instance – rewilding requires more human intervention than its name suggests. The tourism it offers is limited; a rewilded area cannot accommodate many people without undermining its own existence. By diverting investment towards repairing landscapes and contributing to the public weal, rewilders are taking money away from conventional economic activities. And this is where its impact will be felt in British farming. Barely a decade ago, the notion that land should be managed in order to ensure planetary wellbeing had few takers among farmers whose raison d’etre was to fill human bellies at the lowest possible cost. But this … [Read more...] about The end of farming?
In LA, Weinstein is accused of raping a woman at a hotel after pushing his way inside her room on 18 February 2013. Prosecutors said in court filings that Weinstein and the woman, who has not been publicly identified but has been described by her attorney as an Italian actor, had both attended a film festival that week. When Weinstein showed up at her hotel door, they “talked briefly” before the producer “attacked” her, according to the documents. … [Read more...] about Harvey Weinstein to face charges in Los Angeles after guilty verdict in New York
Chappell and Boyles’s plots, each marked by a St George’s cross flapping in the wind, were on opposite sides of a wide path running down the middle of the field separating the 26 plots of conventional from 28 plots of reversible. At one end of Chappell’s plot, his parents, Ken and Anne, and his sister, Sue, were already stationed on green folding chairs. The Chappells are like the Redknapps or the Nevilles of ploughing, a dominant family in the sport. The surname reverberates: sometimes a gift, sometimes a weight. Sue is the Society of Ploughmen’s secretary, Uncle David also competes, and Ken is the sport’s retired emperor. In his time, Ken was a champion ploughman, served on the World Ploughing Board, wrote the judges’ ploughing manual and generally shaped competitive ploughing as it is known today. When Mick won the British National Ploughing Championship last year, and secured his place at the world championship, Ken watched, beaming, as his son … [Read more...] about Field of dreams: heartbreak and heroics at the World Ploughing Championships