Country Life Today: Why the winners at next year’s Chelsea Flower Show will have to be greener than ever

New judging criteria are on the cards at RHS Chelsea, an appeal to save a great nature reserve, looking back at a movie classic and an owl who's found a perfect home are in today's round-up.

RHS hints at environmental focus for 2020 Chelsea Flower Show

Judging gardens at the Chelsea Flower might be very different as of next year, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

RHS judges meet today to discuss next year’s event — and they’re expected to agree on sustainability as one of the key criteria in deciding who gets the medals.

chelsea flower show

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visits her garden at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

‘We want to show visitors who come to Chelsea that their gardens can be places that are good for the environment with long-lasting materials,’ said the RHS’s Catherine Potsides. She added that she ‘couldn’t promise’ that environmental concerns will be on the list, ‘but I can say that the conversation is taking place.’

Full story (Daily Telegraph)


Fly tipping costs farmers thousands — and the problem is getting worse

Over a million fly tipping incidents were recorded across the UK, according to new figures from DEFRA — and it costs businesses an average of £1,000 to clear up what’s left behind.

Old caravan in lincolnshire with view of wolds

Fly-tipping is changing: from the odd fridge or caravan dumped in the countryside, it has now become a large criminal activity run by gangs

The true number of incidents may actually be much higher, since according to Hannah Hubbard, of Farmers and Mercantile Insurance Brokers, most farmers simply deal with it themselves rather than reporting it to the authorities.

‘If a farmer’s land becomes a flytipping ‘hotspot’, costs can quickly escalate and the crime can soon turn from being a nuisance to crippling.’

Full story (Farming UK)


How many tree holes did this owl find before she found one that fitted so perfectly?


Malaysia’s last Sumatran rhino has died

The world’s rarest rhinoceros has now died out in Malaysia; less than 100 are believed to still survive in other countries.

Full story (BBC)


On This Day… in 1942

Casablanca was released. Its success was a total surprise, as the great American film critic Roger Ebert wrote: ‘No one making Casablanca thought they were making a great movie… It was made on a tight budget and released with small expectations. Everyone involved in the film had been, and would be, in dozens of other films made under similar circumstances, and the greatness of Casablanca was largely the result of happy chance.’

But the mix of characters, actors and dialogue proved irresistible, especially on repeated viewings (‘the more you see it the more the whole film gains resonance’ adds Ebert). It’s gone down as one of the greatest films ever made.


‘Urgent appeal’ to save the Attenborough Nature Reserve

The Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottingham has been described by the man it’s named after as ‘a symbol of hope in a challenging world. It is a natural oasis at the edge of a big city, full of remarkable and beautiful birds and other wildlife.’ Yet rather surprisingly it’s owned by an aggregates company called CEMEX UK. A chance has come up to buy the reserve, however, if the necessary £1m can be found.

Read more and chip in (Notts Wildlife)


And finally… if you’re enjoying the new series of The Crown…

…remember that you can’t always trust what you see on TV.