News Round Up

A Guardian story tells us that DNA sampling techniques may help provide answers to the legend of the Loch Ness monster.

Prof Neil Gemmell, a scientist from New Zealand leading a global team of researchers, said: “I’m going into this thinking it’s unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis. What we’ll get is a really nice survey of the biodiversity of Loch Ness.”

The mission will involve genetic code being extracted from the lake over a two-week period to determine the types of creatures that live there.

And then samples will be sent to labs in Australia, Denmark, France and New Zealand to be analysed.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that we will find new stuff, and that’s very exciting,” said Professor Gemmell.

THE quirkiness of British pubs is celebrated in new listings announced by Historic England, reports The Guardian.

They include a 1960s Roman-themed pub with a statue of Julius Caesar and its original patterned Formica intact; one designed around a nursery rhyme in Swindon, and another on a 1970s housing estate in Surrey that aimed to provide as many private drinking corners as possible.

Historic England spokesperson Deborah Mays said post-war pubs had evolved dramatically from those of the 19th century, which had ornate interiors, match strikers, off-sales space and frosted glass for privacy.

Many postwar pubs were intended to be an integral part of the new housing estates being built, and had family rooms, and large car parks.

THE Independent reports on how Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire was forced to go into emergency lock down after a gibbon escaped from its enclosure.

Families were ushered into a restaurant for safety until handlers managed to recapture the animal.

The zoo said that the gibbon was only on the run for less than 20 minutes and stressed that no public or staff were ever in danger.

“As a precaution, and as part of our standard procedure, we temporarily closed the zoo this morning due to one of our gibbons being in an area he shouldn't be in," said a spokesperson for Twycross.

WORRYING news in The Independent that hedgehog sightings have fallen again.

According to the annual survey by BBC Gardener's World Magazine, 57 per cent of people responding to the survey said they had not seen any hedgehogs during the whole of 2017 compared to 51 per cent for 2016 and 48 per cent for 2015.

Only nine per cent of people reported seeing hedgehogs in their gardens regularly, down from 12 per cent in 2016.

Forty-five-year-old Shane Healey, from Newcastle, is such a fan of rock band Status Quo that he wants his 3,500 item collection of band memorabilia is to be melted down and made into a coffin because he cannot bear the thought of anyone else getting their hands on his prized possessions.

The Daily Express reports that Shane says he has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds collecting trinkets including signed records, a drum-kit used on the BBC TV show Top of the Pops and Rick Parfitt’s sunglasses.

His collection also includes 650 records and he has seen the group live 467 times.

He told the paper: “The Quo collection will be melted down and made into my coffin.

No-one else is going to get their hands on the collection, so after I leave this mortal coil my collection will be made into my coffin.

“I’m taking it with me because I’ve spent the last 40 years of my life collecting and nobody else is getting their hands on it. It would drive me nuts to think that somebody could scratch a record I’ve carefully looked after.”