Country Life Today: The rare pink grasshoppers appearing across Britain, and an ancient gold ring found in Kent

A bright pink insect lights up Stroud; a metal detector enthusiast unearths a bishop's ring made of solid gold in Kent; and a British explorer walks the length of China's Yangtze river.

Pink grasshoppers spotted across the nation

Bright pink grasshoppers have been spotted roaming the country. One has been spotted at Cashes Green, near Stroud — and photographed by a local resident  — while the Sussex Wildlife Trust have put out feelers on social media asking for reports.

They’re a rare sight. Females of the meadow grasshopper species carry genes that can give nymphs a vivid pink hue but they tend to become a purple-brown when adults.

There’s another reason why they’re rarely seen: many don’t survive anyway because the colour makes it easier for predators to spot them.

Read full article (Stroud News and Journal)


Ancient gold ring found in Kent

A bishop’s ring, made of solid gold and probably dating from the reign of Henry VIII, has been discovered on the Isle of Sheppey.

Metal detector enthusiast Ashley Solly came across the treasure on a day out with his club, the Medway History Finders. The ring, which may now go to the British Museum to be authenticated, is the most important among the many finds yielded by the Kentish island, which include Roman and Saxon coins.

Read full article (Kent Online)


Row erupts over council’s decision to spray weedkiller on a beach

Conservationists have voiced concerns at Wirral Council’s decision to spray controversial weedkiller glyphosate on Hoylake Beach to control the grasses that grow in the area.

They believe the chemical could harm both marine life and the Natterjack toads that live in a nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Full story (Country Life)


Salmon farm proposals sparks fears of eco-damage in the Hebrides

Scottish National Heritage has expressed concerns about plans to build a large salmon farm off the coast of Canna, in the Hebrides.

The watchdog believes that the farm could have a negative impact on the area’s seals, porpoises and other marine species.

Full story (The Guardian)


Hare coursers set Cambridgeshire field ablaze

Illegal hare coursers torched a car and burned a farmer’s field in Comberton, near Cambridge in the process. Although the Cambridgeshire police arrested four suspects, they had to let them go after escorting them out of the county because the witness was ‘reluctant to provide a statement’.

Full story (BBC)


On This Day… Alfred Hitchcock was born

Alfredi Hitchcock in a promotional still for The Birds

Alfred Hitchcock poses in a promotional still for his film, ‘The Birds’. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Master of Suspense was born in Leytonstone, on August 13, 1899

Read about his life and legacy on the Alfred Hitchcock official site


And finally… a Welsh man is first to walk the entire length of the Yangtze

Young British explorer Ash Dykes, from Old Colwyn, North Wales, has walked about 4,000 miles, braving blizzards and extreme temperatures, to complete a 4,000-mile journey along China’s Yangtze River. He’s believed to be the first person ever to have completed this epic journey.