Country Life 31 January 2024

Country Life 31 January 2024 looks at the names of rivers, marvellous miniatures and how to garden with a chainsaw.

Here’s a look at some of what you’ll find inside.

‘Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide’

From the Piddle and the Polly to the Yox and the Yeo, the meanings behind the namesof Britain’s rivers run deep, as Vicky Liddell discovers

Call of the wild

The protective, stick-wielding Wild Man that strides through much medieval art has taken on fresh meaning in recent times, reveals Susan Owens

Chainsaw gardening

Taking a blade to our gardens may seem drastic, but a severe pruning sometimes leaves plants and trees in better health, suggests Charles Quest-Ritson

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There is wonder in the little things

Huon Mallalieu puts miniatures under the microscope and finds a world of small marvels celebrating power, loyalty and love

Allan Mallinson’s favourite painting

The military historian chooses a moving First World War scene

Murder most pitiful

John Goodall investigates the dramatic events that shaped the history of 18th-century Gilmerton House in Lothian

The devil makes work for idle hands

As dedicated craftspeople fashion a revival in the art of needlepoint, Matthew Dennison can see a pattern emerging

‘Full of a watchful intentness’

John Lewis-Stempel embraces the ‘faerie enchantment’ of the heath as he visits the inspiration for a classic Thomas Hardy novel


Matthew Dennison celebrates the Soane chimneypiece that is still hot property after 200 years and Amelia Thorpe’s selections keep the home fires burning

Lord of the rings

Ben Lerwill meets Simon Turner, an arboreal artist who creates wonderful ceramics using the contours and curves of trees


Hetty Lintell on high fashion in the Highlands, switching off the stress and astonishing rubies, plus some of McFly drummer Harry Judd’s favourite things

Kitchen garden cook

Melanie Johnson knows her onions, giving an understated kitchen staple a starring role

Ireland’s call

The well-oiled Ireland winning machine can repel France’s strength in depth to retain rugby’s Six Nations Championship, argues Owain Jones

And much more