Country Life Today: The value of green spaces, floating farms and a boost for the little tern

Today’s round-up features research into the benefits of visiting your local park, a floating dairy farm, good news for a rare seabird and Queen Victoria’s piano.

Green habitats can combat blue moods

A study published in People and Nature is the latest to suggest that visiting green habitats can help improve your mood.

The researchers analysed the vocabulary people used on Twitter after park visits, and found the ‘mood spike’ on social media was similar to that seen at Christmas.

The lift provided by visiting a green space lasted ‘like a glow’ for up to four hours afterwards.

‘Across all the tweets, people are happier in parks,’ Aaron Schwartz from the University of Vermont, who led the research, said. ‘But the effect was stronger in large parks with extensive tree cover and vegetation.’

Full story (The Times)


Countryside humour at the Fringe

There’s a very Country Life feel to several of the best jokes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, with gags featuring vegetables, cows and horses.

The 2019 winner, a one-liner about cauliflower and broccoli fought off competition from gags about Brexit, maths and nepotism to be crowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s funniest joke.

The vegetable pun by Swedish comedian Olaf Falafel received 41% of the public votes: ‘I keep randomly shouting out “Broccoli’ and ‘Cauliflower” – I think I might have Florets.’

Full story (Country Life)


Are floating farms the future?

An experimental new farming method being trialled in Europe’s busiest port is hoped to provide a solution to the increasing demand for food in urban areas.

Dutch property company, Beladon, has opened Rotterdam’s ‘floating farm’ in the city port. The man-made island houses 32 dairy cows who are milked by robots.

While the countryside may seem a more logical place to run a dairy herd, the floating farm promises to reduce transport pollution as it is situated within the highly-populated area that requires its produce.

Full story (Country Life)


On this day…

English pirate Henry Every was born (1659). He was famous for being one of few major pirate captains to escape with his loot without being arrested or killed in battle.


A good tern

Things are looking up for the UK’s second rarest seabird, the little tern, thanks to work to protect its nesting site.

The threatened species has been in serious decline since the 1980s, with fewer than 2,000 breeding pairs left in Britain, but 2019 has been recorded as its most successful season in almost 30 years.

This summer, 54 fledglings left the National Trust’s Long Nanny site in Northumberland to start their migration to West Africa. This is particularly welcome news after birds were forced to abandon their nests in the aftermath of last year’s Storm Hector.

Full story (Country Life)


And finally…

Queen Victoria’s ‘Erard’ piano has been heard for the first time outside Buckingham Palace at the BBC Proms.

Full story (BBC Radio 3)