ACCORDING to an article in The Guardian newspaper, conservationists could release wildcats captured from other European countries into the Scottish Highlands.

Recent genetic testing by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland of 276 Scottish wildcat samples found those in the wild are so heavily interbred with domestic cats that they are close to becoming functionally extinct.

It is believed the trend could be reversed by capturing pure-bred wildcats on the continent and releasing them in isolated and unspoilt parts of the Highlands, hoping they can replenish the Scottish population with pure wildcat DNA.

 

 

On display in the Isle of Man is a tin of mince pies baked during World War Two which was discovered preserved under the floorboards of a hotel.

The BBC reports that they were a wartime gift from a mother to her sailor son, which were uncovered during renovation work at the Loch Hotel in Douglas in 1998 but later left forgotten in storage at the Manx Museum.

Matthew Richardson, curator of social history for Manx National Heritage, said they were a “unique" reflection of the “human” stories behind the war.

It is thought that air-tight conditions under the hotel floor may have helped preserve the treats for almost 80 years.

Hotels and boarding houses along Douglas promenade were used to house soldiers and sailors during the war and Mr Richardson believes the pies may have been concealed under the floorboards to prevent them from being stolen by other soldiers.

 

 

According to The Independent, the Government is considering forcing shoppers to pay double the current 5p charge for carrier bags at all stores across England. And the new 10p charge will apply to all shops, not just large retailers.

An estimated 3.6 billion single-use bags are supplied annually by smaller retailers which are exempt from the current 5p bag levy.

 

 

The Tate Museum in London has acquired four watercolours of working women by the suffragette and human rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst using funds from the billionaire Denise Coates.

The Guardian reports the paintings show women at work in the cotton mills of Glasgow and the potteries of Staffordshire, and are part of a series that Pankhurst made as she toured industrial working environments in 1907.

Helen Pankhurst, Sylvia’s granddaughter, said the family was delighted that Tate had acquired some of the paintings.

“Sylvia was an artist as well as a champion of working women’s rights, her first passion not as well known as her second. In these beautiful pieces these interests are powerfully combined.”

 

 

Professor Stephen Hawking and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher have been named on a shortlist on figures who could feature on the new £50 note.

The Independent says that Bank of England governor Mark Carney had previously announced that the new polymer note would celebrate British achievement in science and that only people making a contribution to scientific fields would be deemed eligible,.

But explaining why Margaret Thatcher had been included in the shortlist, a Bank spokesman said: “She had a degree in chemistry, [and] went on to work as a research chemist – famously working on the research team which helped invent soft scoop ice cream.”

Reference list:
The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)