Country Life Today: How bringing back our peat bogs could save Britain £100 billion

Today's news round-up explains why Britain going to the bogs could help us all; anticipates the hottest night in Britain's history; and chuckles at the best vegetable puns you'll see this week.

Why we need more bogs

The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin brings news of an Office of National Statistics report claiming that restoring Britain’s peat bogs could prove the simplest and most cost-effective way of tackling the nation’s carbon emissions.

‘Wet peat bogs store carbon that’s been sucked from the air by plants, but many bogs have been drained for farming,’ he explains. ‘As drained peat dries, CO2 is produced.’

Blocking up drainage ditches and returning vegetation would cost somewhere between £8bn and £22bn, according to the ONS, but ‘this is dwarfed by the predicted savings of £109bn in terms of reduced carbon emissions.’

Full story (BBC)


On This Day… the Hale-Bopp comet is discovered

The comet discovered on July 23, 1995, by Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp

The comet discovered on July 23, 1995, by Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp

On 23 July 1995, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp — working separately and with no link between them — both discovered a comet speeding towards earth. It would be a year before it became visible to the naked eye, but Hale-Bopp was a feature of the night sky for 18 months.

The two spotters couldn’t have been more different. Alan Hale was a dedicated comet spotter who had spent countless hours looking for them; Thomas Bopp didn’t even own a telescope, but was out with some friends in a field one night.

Read more (NASA)


Britain set for ‘hottest night on record’

River Scene along the Norfolk Broads National Park at Thurne

The rising sun shines across the River Thurne on the Broads National Park at Thurne.

Get ready for a sticky, sleepless night: overnight temperatures in Britain will be a record 24 degrees celsius on Tuesday — the highest-ever night time temperatures recorded in the country — according to the Met Office.

‘The highest minimum temperature is 23.9 (75 degrees Fahrenheit), that was recorded in Brighton on 3rd August 1990,’ a Met Office spokeswoman told CNN. ‘Potentially Tuesday night into Wednesday, we’re looking at possibly temperatures not going down to much below 24 degrees.’

With a blazing heatwave on its way the heat will continue to build all week. Thursday could see 37 degrees or more in and around London. The British record of 38.5 degrees (101.3 Fahrenheit), set in Faversham in 2003, could be exceeded in places.

Full story (CNN)


Gold medal award for Duchy of Cornwall’s head forester

HRH The Prince of Wales with Geraint Richards. Credit: Charles Sainsbury-Plaice

HRH The Prince of Wales with Geraint Richards. Credit: Charles Sainsbury-Plaice

The Royal Forestry Society has recognised the work of Geraint Richards, head forester for the Duchy of Cornwall, by presenting him with a gold medal, its highest honour. Mr Richards has worked for the Duchy since 1996, and is responsible for the management of over 5,000acres of trees, woodlands and forests across south west England and Herefordshire.

He is only the 40th person to be awarded the accolade since it was introduced in 1960. ‘I can scarcely believe that my name can be added to such a distinguished list,’ said Mr Richards after being presented the award by HRH Prince Charles. ‘Many of my forestry heroes are included there and it means more to me than you can imagine to join their ranks.’

Full story (RFS)


And finally… the prize for the best vegetable-related pun of the year goes to…

Genius on display in the vegetable tent at the Lambeth Country Show.

The runners-up were pretty good too — many thanks to and @LeonWatson and @lateofthepete for sharing these with the world.