THINGS aren't looking good for hedgehogs, reports the Daily Mail.

Researchers from the universities of Nottingham and Reading surveyed 261 rural sites across England and Wales to track hedgehog footprints and found the animals at only 55 sites – 21 per cent – and said numbers were ‘worryingly low’

An increase in badgers, hedgehog predators whose numbers have doubled in the past 25 years, may be to blame for the decline.

Added to that, farmland is replacing the hedgerows the creatures live in and pesticides are damaging populations of earthworms they feed on.



The Guardian tells us that restoration of the room George IV created at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton is almost complete after three years of work.

“It was the ultimate expression of his taste, and it is quite something,” said David Beevers, the keeper of the Royal Pavilion.

“The work was carried out by Robert Jones, a man of genius, and it is his masterpiece – but you do wonder if he was on something.”

The paper says that the saloon, dating from 1823, “heaves with crimson and gold silk, with silver walls, golden dragons, palm trees, winged solar disks, an explosion of sunflowers and a carpet reminiscent of a volcanic eruption.”

Apparently it took years of research to recreating every element of the room.



British doctors have been urged to use simple language when communicating with their patients, says the BBC.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges says too often correspondence contains complex medical jargon rather than plain and simple English.

Using the phrase "twice daily" to explain the dosing of a medicine is better than the Latin abbreviation "bd", for example.

The Please Write to Me initiative is aimed mainly at doctors working in outpatient clinics, although it is best practice for all clinicians who need to write clinical letters and they are being asked to write directly to patients, rather than sending them a copy of a letter penned to their GP.

The Academy suggests any medical words should be translated in plain English and hospital doctors should also consider telephoning the patients rather than breaking bad news in the letter if test results are potentially upsetting.



Want to go and see an exhibition with a difference?

Well, The Guardian reports that one of the Royal Academy of Arts’ main galleries will be flooded with water and mud for a major solo exhibition devoted to the work of Antony Gormley.

The Gormley show will be a mix of his new and old work reconfigured for the RA spaces, said artistic director Tim Marlow.

A key piece is called HOST, which Gormley first made in 1991 when he flooded a room in the old city jail of Charleston, South Carolina, with mud and sea water from the city’s harbour.

He did a similar thing in Kiel, Germany, in 1997 using 5,000 litres of mud from inland Saxony and 5,000 litres of water from Kiel harbour, and in Beijing in 2016, using red clay and sea water from the nearby Tianjin coast.



If felt like it and now it's been confirmed - 2018 was the joint hottest summer on record for the UK as a whole, and the hottest ever for England.

The BBC reports that the Met Office said that highs for summer 2018 were tied with those of 1976, 2003 and 2006 for being the highest since records began in 1910.

The hottest day of 2018 so far was Thursday, July 26, when temperatures reached 35.3C in Faversham, Kent.


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