News from the countryside


Mar 27: Bloodhounds may fail to save manor under threat

Moves by a leisure company to demolish the ruins of a Yorkshire Victorian kennels where bloodhounds were bred to catch Jack the Ripper have raised hackles.

Whitbread, which took over Scalby Manor in Burniston Road, Scarborough, more than a decade ago now wants to bulldoze the outbuildings to make way for a 37-bedroom hotel. (Yorkshire Post)


28 Mar: Amy’s a whopper hopper

The world’s biggest rabbit was unveiled yesterday – measuring a whopping 4ft. (Western Daily Press)

Mar 28: Billy called gerald can save goatkind

Meet Gerald – the billy goat who is as endangered as the black rhino. Conservationists are pinning their hopes on this little chap to help save one of the country’s oldest goat breeds from extinction.

Born at a rare breeds farm in Wiltshire, Gerald is a bagot goat, of which there are thought to be only 80 breeding nannies left in the world.

The goats are classed as “critical” on the United Kingdom Breeds at Risk Register, but experts hope that Gerald will one day be able to “service” up to 12 females in a day during the mating season and help save his breed (Western Daily Press)

28 Mar: NT killed goats

A Conservation charity apologised yesterday after culling 15 goats involved in a grazing trial on heathland in Purbeck, Dorset. (Western Daily Press)

28 Mar: River clean-up after oil spill

A Big clean-up operation was under way yesterday on part of the River Brue near Highbridge after thousands of litres of oil spilled into the river with a small amount leaking into the Bristol Channel (Western Daily Press)

27 Mar: Mild winter blamed for fewer birds

The mild winter has been blamed for an apparent decline in the number of birds feeding in our gardens. (Western Morning News)

Mar 29: War of the squirrels ? is culling the answer?

A cull of grey squirrels began in Scotland last week. Elsewhere, they have been compared with rats and are unwelcome guests at bird tables (Yorkshire Post)


Mar 23: Carbon offsetting could help fund upland peat restoration

The ongoing battle by European governments to reduce carbon emissions and so tackle climate change could have an unlikely benefit for the UK’s upland areas.

Researchers have found that restoring damaged and eroded peat deposits would prevent them releasing carbon into the atmosphere.

They now hope to get a carbon offsetting company interested in funding the project through customers looking to offset their carbon emissions by funding restoration work on peat uplands.

As it stands, peat deposits in England and Wales are releasing 381,000 tonnes of carbon every year, equivalent to 2 per cent of car traffic a year. (Farmers Guardian)


Mar 24: Local cheese is best in the world

A Westcountry cheese has received international acclaim.

The Wyke Farms vintage farmhouse cheddar cheese has been named the best of its kind in the world.

It is the 12th time the company, the largest independent cheese producer in the UK, has won a world class award.

The Somerset-based company picked up the award at the 2007 International Food Exhibition held at ExCel in London. (Western Morning News)

26 Mar: Nfu urges consumers to buy local

A national campaign which has been launched to champion local food producers and encourage people to buy local has been welcomed in the Westcountry. (Western Morning News)

27 Mar: Report shows organic food is ‘healthier’

New research has fuelled the debate on organic food by indicating that products grown without pesticides are healthier (Western Morning News)


24 Mar: Lighthouse gets a £400,000 grant

The beam at a famous Westcountry lighthouse will soon shine brighter thanks to a much-needed cash injection. (Western Morning News)

Mar 27: Relics of Bonnie Prince Charlie go on display

A sash and other items reputed to have belonged to Bonnie Prince Charlie have gone on display at a Yorkshire country house.

Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley, might not seem an obvious place to find relics from the 18th century Jacobite rebellion but the Graham family, who owned the hall between the 16th and 19th centuries, were loyal supporters of the deposed Catholic King James II. (Yorkshire Post)

Mar 28: Treasures to see the light at cathedral

Some of the treasures of Ripon Cathedral including its misericords ? medieval woodcarvings beneath the seats in the choir ? are to be made more accessible for visitors with a £47,300 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

A team of volunteers from the cathedral aims to shed more light on the gargoyles, memorials and carvings and attract people who may never have visited a cathedral before. (Yorkshire Post)