Country Life Today: Why golden retrievers joined commuters and the benefits of letting children go wild

In today's round-up we present the many benefits of wild places for children, a chance to pick up a precious port enjoyed by the Queen Mother, and the reason why so many retrievers met at Barnes station this weekend.

Children gain ‘profound’ benefits from time in the wild

Girl in forest

‘Contact with the wild improves children’s wellbeing, motivation and confidence’. Credit: Hero Images/Getty Images

Primary schoolchildren should spend at least one hour a day in wild places to help improve their wellbeing and confidence, according to The Wildlife Trusts.

The network of organisations has called on the next government to create a network of outdoor spaces for children to enjoy, following a study by the Institute of Education, which found positive benefits for the confidence of primary schoolchildren after taking part in activities in wild places.

The organisation said an hour a day outdoors for all British children aged four to 11 would help re-establish the connection between young people and nature in the UK.

‘This research shows that children experience profound and diverse benefits through regular contact with nature,’ said Nigel Doar, the Wildlife Trusts’ director of strategy. ‘Contact with the wild improves children’s wellbeing, motivation and confidence. The data also highlights how children’s experiences in and around the natural world led to better relationships with their teachers and classmates.’

Full Story (The Guardian)


Battersea explains great golden retriever meeting

London commuters expressed their delight at spotting a group of golden retrievers sitting on the platform of Barnes station this weekened.

Pictures of the dogs, who appeared to be patiently waiting for a train, have gone viral on social media and many were left puzzled as to why the hounds had congregated en masse.

It turns out the eager retrievers were posing for a calendar to raise funds for Battersea Dogs Home and photographers said they were a pleasure to work with. They’ve certainly earned their Markies.

Full story (BBC News)


On this day…

Jean Shrimpton: ‘I never liked being photographed. I just happened to be good at it’. Credit: Patrick Lichfield/Conde Nast via Getty Images

On 7 November, 1942, British model Jean Shrimpton was born in Buckinghamshire. She is considered to be among the world’s first supermodels, with TIME magazine labelling her as one in 1971.


Spaniels and Labradors among most stolen dog breeds

Springer spaniel

Police have offered practical advice for owners to protect their dogs. Credit: Getty Images/500px

Dog owners have been urged to consider the security of their pets during Gundog Theft Awareness Week (31 October – 7 November).

The guidance follows news that almost half of dogs reported missing to DogLost are gundogs, with cocker and springer spaniels and labradors the most commonly targeted within the group.

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team has said there are simple measures that can be taken to deter thieves.

‘It is important to think like a criminal,’ said a spokesman for the team. ‘Look at your property as if you are trying to steal your dogs. How would you do it and how could you be stopped? If you find a flaw make sure it’s rectified ASAP.’

Full story and further advice (Country Life)


Rare and historic weapons on sale from film suppliers

Pair Of Gold-Inlaid 28-Bore Flintlock Silver-Mounted D.B. Pistols

Bonhams’ Antique Arms and Armour Sale takes place on 27 November. Credit: Bonhams

Rare weapons from the Mark and Peter Dineley Collections will be offered at Bonhams Antique Arms and Armour Sale in London on 27 November.

Mark Dineley and his son Peter owned and ran Bapty & Co., a firm specialising in supplying arms and armour to the film industry, contributing to titles such as A Bridge Too FarStar WarsIndiana Jones and Saving Private Ryan.

The collection is made up of 130 items, and includes works of art as well as the weaponry-related lots.

Full story (Country Life)


And finally… Pick up a precious port

Chiswick Auctions is offering a rare vintage of the Queen Mother’s favourite tipple, Graham’s Port 1977, at an upcoming sale on 5 December.

The port was ordered to The Winter Gardens Theatre in Margate ahead of a royal visit, but much of it was unused and it remained untouched for more than 30 years.

It will now be offered in four lots, three in their original wooden cases, estimated at £700-£850, and one comprising of four bottles, estimated to fetch £100-£150.

Full story (Tatler)