Country Life Today: Lorry accident covers M6 in 32,000 litres of gin

In today's news round-up we bring you the 'gincident' that sparked a thousand puns, discover why autumn will be even more brilliant than usual and celebrate the emergence of Muhammad Ali.

Why can you never find a tonic tanker when you need one?

‘200 yds away from 32,000 litres of spilt gin,’ wrote a Twitter user. ‘Heartbreaking that I don’t have a straw.’

Yes, the jokes were flying after a minor lorry ‘gincident’ on the M6 in Cheshire last night saw 32,000 litres of gin spilt across the carriageways — including the ‘sloe’ lane.

Nobody was hurt in the crash, and firemen were reportedly on the scene to pump away the gin — which cleared the road and sorted out their Christmas party in one simple step.

Read full story (BBC)


A brilliant autumn awaits

Brightly coloured Autumn leaves against a blue sky. (Pic: Alamy)

Forestry England has predicted an impressive display of autumn colours that will start now and continue through to mid-November.

A spell of very wet weather in mid-June, with some parts of the UK receiving 2.5 times the monthly average rainfall, followed by the abundance of sunshine in July, are the perfect conditions to produce a colourful display in the nation’s woodlands.

There is also great news for our forest wildlife, with experts predicting a bumper year for fruit and nuts.

Full story (Country Life)


Carnivorous plants return to Britain

An unfortunate insect on the leaves of a great sundew. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo.

A conservation group is working to boost numbers of the endangered great sundew (drosera anglica).

The plant was once abundant in England, but its numbers have plummeted over the last century due to loss of wetland habitats.

Thanks to Joshua Styles, the founder of the North West Plant initiative, work is being carried out to bring the endangered plant back from the brink.

Full story (Country Life)


On this day… Muhammad Ali wins Olympic gold

On September 5, 1960, a young boxer called Cassius Clay wins gold in the light heavyweight boxing at the Olympics in Rome. That boxer would soon change his name to Muhammad Ali and become one of the most influential sportsmen of the 20th century, a man whose influence rippled across America and the world.


Peta advert claiming wool is ‘as cruel as fur’ is banned

Government guidelines state that every mature sheep should have its fleece removed at least once a year. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo.

A PETA advert claiming  ‘wool is just as cruel as fur’ has been banned.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the advertisement was misleading and that sheep ‘were not killed for their wool as animals were in the fur industry’.

The authority also referred to government guidance to farmers that sheep should be shorn regularly.

Full story (Country Life)


Homeowners under threat of rising sea levels

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

Residents on the coast of East Anglia have discussed the encroaching threat of rising sea levels, after communities advised to conduct a ‘managed retreat’ inland, in a paper published in Science.

‘In nature, the most successful animals are not necessarily the biggest and fastest, but the most adaptable to change,’ said one of the homeowners, Juliet Blaxland.

Full story (Country Life)


And finally… how eavesdropping helps squirrels stay safe

Apparently they listen out to birds conversations to steer clear of danger — at least somebody has found a practical use for twitter.

Full story (Science Daily)