Country Life Today: Chicken charity rescues its 100,000th hen

In today's news round-up we bring you great news for hen lovers, trendy Halloween pumpkins and a warning for country walkers.

The British Hen Welfare Trust rescues its 100,000th hen

Credit: Getty Images/ Anthony Lee

One hundred thousand hens can now enjoy fresh air, green grass to scratch and space to ruffle their feathers, thanks to the hard work of The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT).

The Devon-based charity celebrated the impressive feat earlier this month, when Instow based Gabby Hews and her son Jack picked up newly named Lucky to join their garden flock.

Lucky’s change in fortune marks the 100,000th rehome in Devon alone, with another 630,000 hens finding new owners elsewhere in the UK.

Full story (Country Life)

On this day…

Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm

Happy Halloween! The 31 October celebration began some 2,000 years ago and is marked around the world on the eve of All Hallows’ Day. Halloween began as the festival of Samhain, part of the pagan traditions of the Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. The Celts believed Samhain marked the night when the door between this world and the next was open and spirits could pass through.

Walkers warned to be ‘tick aware’ after brain disease found in UK for first time

Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed cases of tick-borne encephalitis virus in ticks from Thetford Forest and an area on the Hampshire-Dorset border.

The infectious disease is spread to people by tick bites. It is already circulating in mainland Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Asia.

Most people who catch the virus will little or no symptoms, but the disease can progress to affect the brain and central nervous system and can sometimes be fatal.

PHE says the risk to people is still ‘very low’ and it is monitoring the situation to identify how common the infected ticks may be.

Full story (Country Life)

And finally… Painted pumpkins prove popular

Painted Halloween pumpkins have swelled in popularity this year, with many swapping the carving knife for a brush.

And if you’re not naturally creative, artist Kate Elgood recommends spray painting a pumpkin and then covering with an old pair of stockings for a surprisingly effective look. Plus it saves the tights going into landfill, so offers a green (or should that be orange?) alternative.