Country Life Today: Why miles and miles of one of our National Parks was turned over to a group of teenagers

Why the Brecon Beacons' new management team is quite a lot younger than you would think, how a deposit scheme could save us £2 billion a year and the terrifying fish that ate a shark whole.

Teenagers take charge of over 300 acres in the Brecon Beacons National Park

In what is thought to be the biggest conservation project in the world led by children, youth leaders aged 12-17 will take over management of over 300 acres of the Penpont Estate in Powys.

The BBC reports that the teens’ responsibilities will involve ‘planting trees, rearing livestock, dealing with finance and publicising the project.’

Carreg Cennen Castle, near Llandeilo, Brecon Beacons National Park, Carmarthenshire

Carreg Cennen Castle, near Llandeilo, Brecon Beacons National Park, Carmarthenshire.

The youth leaders, chosen by charity Action for Conservation, come from all over the UK, with representatives in Sheffield, London, Cambridge and elsewhere besides. They’ll visit Penpont four times a year, keeping up with progress over regular video meetings.

The project is open-ended, and it is hoped that as they move onto work and university, other young people will take their place.

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‘I feel very lucky – it’s a really exciting opportunity’ says Hannah, one of the teens selected for the exciting project. ‘It’s difficult to find people who are as passionate as I am about nature so it’s nice to be with so many of them in one place.’

We wish them the best of luck while trying not to worry about our own job security, should a team of teenagers prove more effective management than a house of 650 adults…

Full story (BBC News)

Bring back deposit return ‘will save us £2 billion a year’

Returning bottles and cans for a deposit used to be a part of everyday life in Britain — and those days could soon return. The government has two possible schemes in the pipeline, and the CPRE says that implementing one of them is a  ‘no brainer’ — not least because they’ll save the economy £2 billion a year.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) highlights that, of the two systems currently proposed by the DEFRA, an ‘all in’ deposit return system could generate £2 billion for the economy over ten years, according to the government’s own impact assessment. This giant number seems even larger when compared to the £250 million that would be generated by an ‘on-the-go’ system, which would collect a much smaller fraction of drinks containers produced.

In adition to the monetary benefit of the scheme, Maddy Haughton-Boakes, a Litter Campaigner at CPRE, promises unsurprisingly environmental benefits.

‘Taking us towards a circular economy, we will recycle almost all of the drinks cans and bottles we consume, slow down the depletion of scarce resources and reduce carbon emissions, all of which will have a lasting positive impact for our countryside and environment.’

Read more at Campaign to Protect Rural England

On This Day: Eric Liddell wins Olympic gold

Liddell Wins

The ‘Flying Scotsman’, Eric Liddell (1902 – 1945) winner of  400 metres gold at the 1924 Olympic gold medal winner. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Scottish Olympic Gold Medalist runner Eric Liddell won gold in the 400m of the 1924 Olympic Games, after refusing to run in his prefered distance (the 100m) as the race was to be run on a Sunday. His performance in the 400m stood as a European record for 12 years. Known as the ”Flying Scotsman’, Eric was immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire.

Watch Liddell’s victorious run (Youtube)

London ‘to be as hot as Barcelona’ by 2050

The climate of Britain is effectively set to shift 900 miles south in the next 30 years, according to a report by Crowther Lab. That will make London as hot as Barcelona and Manchester as balmy as Lyon.

The Guardian has a warning for its readers who like the idea of basking in the warmth seen in the Catalan capital: ‘if that seems enticing, a warning: the change could be accompanied by severe drought.’

The Scotsman notes that with the UK’s climate moving 900 miles south, in 30 years Edinburgh will have the same climate as Paris. Now, a baking London is easier to wrap one’s head around, but a warm Edinburgh? That just doesn’t seem right…

Full report (Crowther Lab)

Aren’t you glad you’re not…

…anywhere near the giant fish that swallowed a shark whole.

Stat of the Day


The growth in rhino numbers since Tanzania implemented a new crackdown on poachers.

Full story (The Independent)

And finally…