The Daily Express salutes Snipe, a 16 month old cocker spaniel dog which has become the first in the country trained to detect water leaks.

Snipe underwent weeks of training by ex-military personnel to detect problems by sniffing out tiny amounts of chlorine in tap water and has now been recruited by United Utilities which supplies around three million homes in the North-west.

Owner Ross Stephenson said: “All I did was start off with normal tap water, and then put in extra chlorine levels to make it stronger.

“We would have eight glass pots. One of them would have the chlorine in and every time the dog sniffed that pot he would get rewarded with a tennis ball.”

An article in The Independent newspaper informs us the Queen has banned plastic straws and bottles from the royal estates.

Buckingham Palace said it was part of a move to cut back on the use of plastics “at all levels” and that there was a “strong desire to tackle the issue” in the royal household.

A spokesman added: “Across the organisation, the royal household is committed to reducing its environmental impact.”

 According to the Daily Express, Ray Aldous, from Luton in Bedfordshire, is still active in the Scout movement at the age of 85. Ray joined the Scouts in 1843 aged 11 and first became a leader at 18.

“We lived a mile away from the Scout troop but it was a bit difficult with the blackouts and I was only a little lad at the time,” commented Ray.

 The Guardian tells us that Andria Zafirakou, an arts and textile teacher at Alperton community school in Brent, London has been named as one of 10 finalists in the running for a $1m global teaching prize.

She was chosen out of more than 30,000 nominations from more than 170 countries.

The prize committee were impressed by her efforts to reach isolated young people to help them engage in school life and perform to the best of their abilities.

“She quickly realised that a one-size-fits-all curriculum would not resonate with all her students so she set about redesigning it from top to bottom, alongside fellow teachers, in order to make it relevant to her pupils’ lives,” the committee said.

The committee makes its assessments based on the candidates’ success in the classroom, their innovative teaching practices, their achievements in the wider community and their example to others who might want to become teachers.

The Global Teacher prize was set up four years ago by the Varkey Foundation to improve the status of teachers and publicly acknowledge the work they do. The winner is paid the prize money over 10 years in equal instalments and will be given financial counselling.

Revealing figures from research carried out by the Office for National Statistics which show that children aged 15 in the UK spend on average £25 a week mainly on clothes, shoes, school dinners and soft drinks.

The Guardian reports that expenditure among 15-year-olds is more than three times that of seven-year-olds, who spend £7.40.

The BBC tells us that one of the oldest trees in Wales has fallen down.

The Buttington Oak, which was probably planted 1,000 years ago as a boundary marker along Offa's Dyke, was spotted collapsed in its field two miles from Welshpool in Powys.

Reference list:

The Express (

The Guardian (


The Independent (