Country Life today: Eagles spell trouble, the cheapest Cotswolds cottage and an underground farm

In today’s round-up we bring you news of sea eagles arriving in England, a charming Cotswold cottage for £12,000 and farming as you’ve never seen it before.

Sea eagles reintroduced but farmers are fearful

The birds are known as ‘flying barn doors’ due to their 8ft wingspan.

Sea eagles are flying above the Isle of Wight for the first time in 240 years, but not everyone is welcoming their arrival.

Two young white-tailed eagles were released yesterday (Wednesday) at a secret location off the south coast of the island and four more will be released today (Thursday), with the plan to introduce a total of 60 over the next five years.

The reintroduction team hopes the birds will breed and spread east and west along the south coast, but sheep farmers fear they will lose lambs as the birds numbers increase.

Scottish sheep farmers have warned their English counterparts of the devastating effects the eagles have had on their flocks.

Full story (The Times)


The cheapest house in the Cotswolds?

This charming home complete with timber frame and Tudor-style features could be yours for just £12,000, but it doesn’t offer the most spacious accommodation.

Chorley’s auctioneers in Gloucestershire will be offering this pretty Wendy house at its two-day auction next month (17-18 September) and it is expected to reach between £12,000-£15,000.

The tiny cottage measures just 260cm x 260cm x 400cm.

Full story (Country Life)


Growing Underground: Farming as you’ve never seen before

Earlier this week we reported on a remarkable floating dairy and now news is spreading of another unusual farm.

Set in a disused air raid shelter, Clapham’s Growing Underground produces salad for city restaurants, hotels and retailers.

Farm bosses say the controlled climate is perfect for nurturing micro greens, baby leaves and herbs.

Full story (Country Life)


On this day… in 1851

On 22 August, 1851, the yacht America won the Cup of One Hundred Sovereigns, later renamed the America’s Cup, near the Isle of Wight.


Extreme weather exposes shipwreck

Stormy weather has unearthed a shipwreck dating back over 150 years on Pensarn Beach in Abergele, North Wales.

Archaeologists found that the shipwreck was the long-lost sloop Endeavour — which had sunk without trace in October 1854.

The 35-tonne wooden ship, built at Chester in 1817, was caught in gale force winds and blown inshore at Abergele. Fortunately the crew were saved by the Rhyl lifeboat before the sloop sunk, but until now the remains had been lost.

Full story (Country Life)


Magical moments captured

View the winners of the 2019 Bird Photographer of the Year here.


Steam railways need young drivers

British heritage steam railway lines have called for younger volunteers to replace drivers reaching retirement.

The Swanage Railway in Dorset needs to find 40 drivers over the next five years to fill the gap.

The attraction has 42 drivers but the majority are aged 60 or above and are likely to step down in the coming years.

Full story (Telegraph)


And finally… greedy gulls

Sea gulls are no longer content with their seaside digs and have been travelling inland in the search of food.

Cara Williamson, who is researching gulls for her PhD at the University of Bristol, said the birds were abandoning their rural homes because grub was easier to come by in cities and higher nesting spots could be found.

Full story (The Times)