Country Life Today: The Eden Project lights up the Cornish night in a stunning display

In today's round-up, we reveal why the Cornish garden has illuminated its biomes; discover an unusual Jacobite relic that is going under the hammer next month; and find out why Africa's tropical plants are facing extinction.

Eden Project lights up to honour the National Lottery

This week sees the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery and the Eden Project has marked the occasion with an extraordinary light display. The Cornish scheme, which was kickstarted by a £56 million Millennium Lottery Commission award, used special lighting effects to give its biomes a makeover, making them look like giant lottery balls. Between November 23 and 29, the botanical garden is also offering free entry to anyone who presents a National Lottery ticket.

Like the Eden Project, hundreds of other schemes across the country that have benefitted from Lottery funding — from Lincoln Castle to the Victoria & Albert Museum in Dundee — are celebrating with free entries, special events and offers from now until December 1.

Full story (Cornwall Live)


Young Pretender’s hair stars in country-house contents sale

As far as heirlooms go, it’s a bizarre one but Jacobite aficionados have a rare opportunity to buy a lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair. The relic, carefully preserved in a snuff box, is part of a 300-lot auction of objects from Worcestershire’s Spetchley Park, which will take place at Sotheby’s New Bond Street on December 11.

Portrait of Charles Edward Stuart ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’

Owner Henry Berkeley, who inherited the house from his father two years ago, is modernising it for the 21st century and, in the process, he’s selling 750 objects from his collection. Along with the Young Pretender’s lock, other highlights include a clan’s charm stone, an 18th-century Kirkman harpsichord and a suite of Chinese export wallpaper that has never been hung and has kept its colours intact.

Full story (The Scotsman)


Africa’s tropical plants struggle for survival

As much as a third of tropical African trees, shrubs, herbs and vines are at risk of extinction, according to new research. The plants are facing multiple threats, from climate change to deforestation, economic development and population growth.

Among the worst-hit areas are western Africa, Ethiopia, and parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 40% of local plant species could disappear in what would be a huge blow to global biodiversity.

Full story (BBC)


The (second) return of the beaver

Hot on the heels of the yesterday’s National Trust announcement that it will release beavers at Holnicote and Valewood come the news that a Norfolk country estate has also been granted a licence to bring back the industrious rodents next spring.

Wild Ken Hill, in Heacham Bottom, will release six animals in a monitored 60-acre enclosure. ‘This will be the first time that beavers have existed in Norfolk for hundreds of years, and it’s a massive step towards growing the biodiversity,’ the estate stated on its website.

But the rodents’ reintroduction will also help with water management and flood prevention. ‘The dams, channels and other structures that beavers engineer will help the land to hold onto water better. Simply, when it rains hard, the land will absorb more water, and when it’s dry, the land will also stay wetter.’

Full story (Eastern Daily Press)


On this day… in 2003

England beat Australia in the Rugby World Cup Final to become the first-ever side from the Northern hemisphere to win the competition. The historic match was played at Sydney’s Telstra Stadium and proved nail-biting till the end. At full time, the teams were tied 14-14 and it was only a drop goal by fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, scored a mere 26 seconds before the end of the extra time, that bagged the cup for England.


Discover Britain’s most dog-friendly pubs

The Fox & Hounds in Theale, West Berkshire, has been crowned the UK’s best watering hole for pooches and their owners in the Rover Most Dog-Friendly Pub Awards 2019.

However, you don’t have to go all the way there to find a good place to have a pint in four-legged company. Another 11 regional winners were also picked, each of which offers a warm welcome and special treats to furry friends.

Full story (Country Life)


And finally… pudding for yew

David Thresher, Head Gardener at the National Trust’s Berrington Hall in Herefordshire has topped each of the plants on the stately home’s yew avenue with horticultural fleece to make them look like Christmas puddings.

Yews have been turned into Christmas puddings at Berrington Hall