Country Life Today: Good news for the urban hedgehog and how you can help the species

In today's round-up we bring you research on hedgehogs from Reading University, a boost for the UK's oldest working suspension bridge and a record-breaking farmer.

Welcome news for urban hedgehogs

Although there has been a decline numbers of hedgehogs in recent years, it appears those dwelling in urban areas are doing quite well.

Researchers from Reading University have been monitoring the species and their findings were published in the journal Urban Ecosystems. They placed ink pads in hundreds of back gardens and logged any footprints of passing hedgehogs.

The team found hedgehogs were less likely to frequent gardens enjoyed by badgers, who are the species’ main predator, but were unaffected by foxes or dogs.

All gardens enjoyed by hedgehogs had clear areas for the creatures to enter. Those looking to encourage the animals into their gardens were advised to make a hole or two in fencing if their garden is completely contained.

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Full story (The Telegraph)

Six-man rescue mission triggered by tired terrier

Dog tired: The nine-year-old terrier was carried to safety. Credit: Keswick Mountain Rescue Team

A tired terrier and his owner triggered a six-man rescue effort when they became stranded in the Lake District last week (12 September).

A team from the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team came to the aid of the pair after the dog refused to walk any further while out on the fells.

Full story (Country Life)

Rutland rejects plans for McDonald’s

Plans have been submitted to open a McDonald’s in the outskirts of Oakham. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Residents of England’s smallest county have criticised plans to open a McDonald’s in the market town of Oahkham.

Rutland is the only county in England not to feature the fast food chain’s golden arches, and many locals are keen to keep things that way.

Full story (Country Life)

On this day…

The interior of the second Royal Opera House, designed by Robert Smirke. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

In 18 September, 1809, the second theatre of the Royal Opera House opened after a fire destroyed the original theatre one year earlier. The Covent Garden venue was subjected to a second disastrous fire in 1856 and was rebuilt two years later.

Arts hoped to help residents accept coastal loss

Living on the edge: Eastern Bavents, Southwold, Suffolk. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

‘Community operas’ are part of proposals to persuade coastal towns and villages that their homes must be sacrificed to the sea because of climate change.

A report from the Environment Agency has suggested using the arts to engage with ‘communities facing difficult choices such as managed retreat’.

Full story (Guardian)

Union Chain Bridge’s future restored

The Union Chain Bridge between Scotland and England has received £3.14m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

It will allow a major programme of repairs to begin next year on the 200-year-old structure over the River Tweed.

Full story (BBC)

And finally…. Farmer breaks world record

Farmer Tim Lamyman has broken the world pea yield record for the second time in three years with a yield of nearly 7.5t/ha.

‘I am absolutely thrilled with the final performance of the peas as they have shown a consistency in biomass through the season – much more so than last year,’ he said.

Full story (Farmers Weekly)