News Round Up

The BBC tells us that around 25,000 daffodil and bluebell bulbs are being planted at English Heritage gardens, including Queen Victoria's former home Osborne House, in Isle of Wight, because the flowers are under threat from hybrids and non-native species such as the Spanish bluebell.

John Watkins, head of gardens and landscapes at English Heritage, said: “Our native species and historic cultivars are increasingly under threat from cross-pollination with non-native species and hybrids that flower at the same time.”

He added: “The resulting offspring will be hybrids and likely to outperform and out-compete the native species. Historic gardens and landscapes are often the last refuge for ancient cultivars and native species.”

Read more: News Round Up 218

PONIES are definitely top dogs on the Scottish island of Foula: The Independent reports that there are 50 Shetland ponies to every one person on Foula, which lies off the north-eastern coast of Scotland.

Foula, which only has 38 human inhabitants, is where the Shetland breed originates from and the ponies are said to have lived there since the Bronze Age.

Read more: News Round Up 217

FISH and chips remains one of the favourite 'takeaway' meals in the UK but a call has been made to reduce portions to tackle waste and obesity (maybe waists).

The BBC tells us that JJ Food Service, which supplies more than 1,000 shops,suggests that all chip portions be cut by almost a third and an industry survey reckons 45% of customers want smaller chip portions. 36% would prefer a smaller fish portion, given the choice, to cut down on calories.

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Read more: News Round Up 216

THE Daily Express relates the tale of distraught vegetable grower Dale Toten who spent nearly a year cultivating a giant cabbage only for a chef to hack it up and serve it to hotel guests just a week before it was due be shown at a competition.

Dale had nurtured the giant cabbage in his vegetable garden at the luxury hotel and restaurant Ston Easton Park in Somerset.

He was horrified to discover a large portion of the cabbage shredded and awaiting to be turned into confit of cabbage after being hacked off by an over-eager member of staff despite the fact that chefs had been briefed that they should steer well clear of Dale's prized giant varieties.

The hotel's operations director, Nick Romano, commented: “Dale nearly throttled the chef. He was very upset that morning. He was close to the point of tears.”

Read more: News Round Up 214