Future imperfect: Our predictions for 2017

Following an unbelievable 12 months, Country Life gazes into a crystal ball for the next.


Justine Greening orders the removal of 2016 from future history syllabi because future generations simply won’t believe what happened. Dynamic Australian Eddie Jones is the first coach to run England’s cricket, football and rugby teams simultaneously.


Jane Austen’s bicentenary celebrations fall flat when a newly unearthed manuscript for Sense and Sensibility has Mr Willoughby refusing to go out in the rain in case his fake tan runs—the cad. As the first driver-less car hits London, black-cab and Uber drivers play dodgems in Trafalgar Square.


Wildlife conservationists march in protest at the pejorative expression ‘mad as a March hare’—everyone knows hares are saner than most people. Donald Trump attempts to tell his Senate that they’re fired.


Prince Harry pulls off a brilliant April Fool by announcing his engagement. The Scottish and Devon beaver families finally meet up;their joint damming of the Thames causes the Boat Race to be cancelled.


Rory Bremner’s Multiple Voices Party appeals to the bewildered electorate and scores a landslide victory in the snap General Election.

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In a bid to revive ratings and appeal to the young, the BBC books Sir David Attenborough, 91, to present Top Gear, Mary Berry to provide cake commentary on Test Match Special and Ed Balls to conduct the Last Night of the Proms.


Defra turns Southern Rail’s disused London to Brighton line into a wildlife corridor for hedgehogs. Bright sun at Wimbledon prompts Andy Murray to defend his title in a Panama.


Gamekeepers gratefully accept Vivienne Westwood’s offer of designer bulletproof vests, but fitting them on the birds proves tricky. President Trump takes a summer break in Scotland: ‘Mine’s bigger than yours,’ brags Nicola Sturgeon as she escorts him along her reinforced Hadrian’s Wall.


There is suspicion that the 23 bats, six great-crested newts, escaped lynx, dinosaur skeleton and Roman villa found along the HS2 route may have been planted.


Police are called to a school in Shropshire where pupils have been injuring each other with genetically modified conkers.


Firefighters rush to the Houses of Parliament after a builder taking an illicit ciggie break discovers a 412-year-old stash of gunpowder—MPs decamp to Center Parcs with the displaced Royal Household.


Boris Johnson’s career is revived by a turn in the John Lewis advert as Father Christmas in a steamroller pulled by reindeer along the third runway at Heathrow. A landscape painting wins the Turner Prize (we might have gone too far with that one).