SCIENTISTS were delighted to be handed the biggest earthworm ever found in Britain before deciding to kill it!

An article in The Independent says that the earthworm, which was 40cm long and weighed 26g, was discovered in a vegetable patch by Paul Rees from Widnes whose stepson named it 'Dave.'

Scientists killed it so that 'Dave' can be preserved.

Natural History Museum scientist Emma Sherlock, who chairs the Earthworm Society of Britain, said: “Not only is it really long, it is almost twice as heavy as any other wild earthworm ever seen, weighing the same as a small chocolate bar.”

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It may not be of interest to some people but the BBC reports on a storm of protest from lovers of the Toblerone chocolate bar after its makers, US-based Mondelez International, decided to space out its distinctive triangular chunks.

Mondelez said it had changed the design to reduce the weight of what were 400g and 170g bars and because of the rise in the cost of ingredients, adding that they had to either change the look of the bar or put the price up.

But some consumers have described the move as “the wrong decision” and said the bigger spaces looked “stupid”.

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The Guardian tells us that research has revealed that the white cliffs of southern England are eroding 10 times faster than they have over the past few thousand years.

It is claimed that this is down to human management of the coastline, which has stripped some cliffs of their protective beaches, as well as changes in storm intensity.

And scientists say that climate change, which is bringing higher sea levels and fiercer waves, will make the erosion even worse.

However, there was better environment news in the same newspaper.

Bathing waters in England are the cleanest ever recorded thanks to a dry summer, tighter EU regulations and increased spending by water companies.

Of the 413 beaches monitored up to 20 times a year by the Environment Agency for their pollution, 98.5% passed the minimum EU limit. Of these, 69% were rated “excellent” and 27% “good”.

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How much?? A porcelain antique used as a table lamp for 50 years has been sold for £581,000 after it was found to be a rare 200 year old Chinese relic.

The Daily Express reports that the 10ins tall piece was an ornate 'nine dragons' hat stand made for Emperor Dauguang of Imperial China's Qing dynasty.

Ivy Chan, an Asian art specialist at Christie's auction house said: “This fascinating object was kept in a house in North Wales for over 50 years, where it was used as a lamp all that time.”

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The numbers of golden eagles in the UK are on the up, says The Guardian.

A survey by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Scottish Natural Heritage revealed that there are now more than 500 breeding pairs in the UK, up 15% and passing the threshold at which bird’s long-term future is thought viable.

Golden eagles were once common across Britain but had disappeared from England and Wales and fallen to very low numbers in Scotland by the mid 19th century due to widespread persecution.

“The sight of a golden eagle soaring in the sky above is an awe-inspiring part of our natural heritage and this increase in numbers of golden eagle pairs is great news,” said Duncan Orr-Ewing, at RSPB Scotland.

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Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)