Country Life Today: Great news for those who love our great country pubs — the years of decline are over

There is a great sign of health in the pub industry, we look back at Edward VIII's abdication message and fret about Greenland's melting ice.

The pub is making a comeback

After years of decline, ‘it’s opening time again for pubs’ reports The Times, following news that ‘the pub industry has reversed a decade of closures with a net growth of 320 pubs and bars this year.’

No doubt it’s down to people drowning their sorrows. The dismal prospect of either of the main political party leaders being in charge of the country by Friday is enough to drive anyone to drink.

It’s a small change – 11,000 or so pubs had apparently closed in the first eight years of the decade — but it’s a step in the right direction. The research was led by a firm called Stampede, whose chief executive Patrick Clover said ‘The reduction of pubs over the last decade has been heart-breaking, following devastating changes to business taxes and alcohol duties, but I hope these figures signpost a reversal of fortunes

Full story (The Times)

‘Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than it was in the 1990s’

This sounds bad.

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Full story (BBC)

Good news for beavers

The National Trust is reintroducing beavers to Dorset and the South Downs.

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The National Trust will reintroduce beavers to two of its sites next spring, as part of its plan to restore more than 61,000 acres of wildlife-rich habitats by 2025. Two pairs will be released at Holnicote, in Somerset, and a pair at Valewood, in the South Downs. The charity believes that bringing beavers back will not only boost flood resilience but also help create a better habitat for invertebrates, amphibians and freshwater species, supporting biodiversity. Until next spring, you can find adorable beavers elsewhere in the UK, doing their bit for the environment. This furry friend was spotted by the River Ericht, near Blairgowrie, Scotland. · · · ?by Ian Sherratt / Alamy @nationaltrust #countrylifetoday #countrylifenews #animals #beavers #flood #floodaid #beaverbenefits #countrylife

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If your children haven’t already got your PhD by the time they’re out of secondary school, they’re already behind the curve

Not really, of course. But also, they are:

On this day… in 1936

Edward VIII announced his abdication from the throne in order that he could marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. ‘I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love,’ he said in a radio message broadcast across the world.

Carla Carlisle on Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Country Life)

And finally…

A heartwarming note that shows you really can rely on the kindness of strangers. Sometimes, anyway.