Country Life Today: The Queen bids farewell to fur

In today's round-up, we bring you news of a chilling exhibition, a mystery surrounding sea eagles and a landmark move for the monarch.

The Queen will no longer wear fur

Her Majesty’s Personal Adviser and Curator has confirmed that The Queen will sport faux fur from now on, unless she re-wears items already in her wardrobe which already contain animal fur.

‘If Her Majesty is due to attend an engagement in particularly cold weather, from 2019 onwards fake fur will be used to make sure she stays warm,’ said Ms Kelly in her memoir.

The news has been embraced by activists, including Humane Society International.

PA Wire/PA Images

‘Our Head of State going fur-free sends a powerful message that fur is firmly out of fashion and does not belong with Brand Britain,’ said Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International.

However, the British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) has warned against banning fur, arguing that it is sustainable, plastic-free and lasts a long time.

The Duchess of Cambridge wears fur, but ensures it comes from ethical sources, including the Fairtrade brand Peruvian Connection.

‘The Royal Family have been at forefront of championing animal welfare and conservation efforts across the globe for many years something that aligns fully with responsibly sourced fur,’ said a BFTA spokesman.

Full story (The Telegraph)


The spooky exhibition that promises to send shivers down your spine

A Bristol museum is determined to change people’s minds about magic. The display explores how science, religion and the supernatural are intertwined through a collection of more than 200 paintings, items of clothing, objects and figurines.

Initial I with Witch by Eric Gill

The star of the show is a West African sculpture, found in Derbyshire in the 1970s, which is so spooky that ‘even now, no one in the museum really wants to handle him’.

Full story (The Scotsman)


Farmers reject former DEFRA chief scientist’s call for changes to red-meat production and consumption

The farming industry has criticised claims by former DEFRA chief scientist Sir Ian Boy, that, to meet its net-zero targets, the UK should reduce meat intake and consider switching to more intensive production methods.

Stunning view over Bassenthwaite Common in the Lake District, Cumbria.

‘British farmers are already leading the way in producing some of the world’s most climate friendly food, with beef production, for example, having a GHG footprint 2.5 times less than the global average,’ said NFU President Minette Batters. ‘Climate change is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing society globally, which is why we have set out our ambitious plans for how farming could be to be Net Zero by 2040. This plan needs a concerted effort and support from across our sector, with government and others, and we look forward to a productive and effective working relationship with the new chief scientist Professor Gideon Henderson.’
Full story (Country Life)


Mystery surrounds sea-eagle disappearance

Two satellite-tagged white-tailed sea eagles have vanished, according to RSPB Scotland. They were last recorded near Inverness and Aberdeen respectively, but transmission from their tags ended on July 22.

The RSPB believes they may have been illegally killed while flying above grouse moors, but the Scottish Land and Estates Association expressed their disappointment that ‘the “finger of blame” had been pointed at the shooting industry.

Full story ( BBC)


On this day…

November 6 proved to be a deadly day in the history of modern British transport. In 1986, a Chinook crashed east of Sumburgh Airport, in the Shetland Islands, killing 45 people in the world’s worst civilian helicopter crash. Eighteen years later, a train travelling from Paddington to Plymouth hit a car at a level crossing by the village of Ufton Nervet, in West Berkshire. Seven people died and 150 were injured. Twelve years later, a bridge replaced the crossing, making that stretch of railway safer.


Old Masters or new forgeries?

A forger has claimed he painted ten or more works that had been previously displayed by the Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House. The priceless collection, which included what were thought to be paintings by Monet, Picasso, and Salvador Dalí, had been loaned to the Prince of Wales’ charity by British businessman James Stunt.

‘It is extremely regrettable that the authenticity of these particular few paintings, which are no longer on display, now appears to be in doubt,’ said a Prince’s Trust spokesman.

Full story (Art News)


And finally… An awe-inspiring tree

Liberty tree of life

Liberty has unveiled its ‘Tree of Liberty’, which has been hand-carved by artists and was created in three sections due to its size, is covered in reindeer moss and cloud-like blossom coloured with natural dye.