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Country Living UKCountry Living UK

Country Living UK January 2019

Whether you live in the town or countryside, in Country Living you’ll find a wealth of ideas for your home and garden, learn about traditional crafts, keep informed of rural issues, enjoy irresistible dishes using seasonal produce and, above all, escape the stress and strain of modern-day life.

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Hearst Magazines UK
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winter is the best time…

…for watching Britain’s wildlife. Any movement in the stripped-back landscape catches the eye and, if you’re lucky, will reveal the chestnut pelt of a fox as it sprints across a frozen field or the blur of a hare breaking cover. This is when flocks of redwings and fieldfares arrive from colder climes to strip the berries from hawthorns and hollies, while dusk may reward you with the acrobatics of a starling murmuration, as hundreds or even thousands of birds move as one (see Country Living, November 2018). Some smaller garden birds travel together in the search for food: keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the constant ‘peeping’ and twittering of blue tits, great tits and coal tits as they join long-tailed tits in the branches of deciduous trees.…

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Soft-knit girl’s cardigan with embroidered trees, flowers and stars, £35 for ages three to ten, White StuffWeave your own snowflake decorations, from £6.99* for ten, Wool CoutureFelted sheep pin cushion handmade by Jo Gardiner, £20, EtsyQuirky lambswool cat scarf, £76, Donna WilsonSpecial-edition tall boots featuring Emily Bond’s dachshund print, £110, The Original Muck Boot CompanyCreate an inviting interior with warm greens, fiery oranges and raw wood finishesTraditional French glazed earthenware mini jug (H4.5cm x W7.5cm), £31, TinsmithsLudlow grand sofa, in six brushed cottons, from £1,499**, Country Living Collection exclusively available at DFSAngie Lewin’s new Clover fabric design comes in four pretty colourways, £78/m, St Jude’s (*WOOL NOT INCLUDED **CUSHIONS SOLD SEPARATELY)Tartan wool hot water bottle cover, £35, PlümoBrass hare on wooden plinth individually handmade by Frances Noon, £36Fairtrade handwoven jute…

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a month in the country what to see and do in january

TAKE PART IN BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCHDo you have a favourite avian visitor? Perhaps a familiar robin or a colourful ‘charm’ of goldfinches? Every January since 1979, the RSPB has asked us to count the birds in our gardens. More than half a million people take part annually, helping the charity to spot issues and safeguard the future of British birds. Over the past few decades, some interesting trends have emerged – the decline of starlings, for example, whose numbers are three-quarters of what they were in the late 1970s. On the other hand, blue tit populations have increased by 20 per cent – something experts believe is partly due to garden feeders and nesting boxes helping them to survive winter. For information, visit rspb.org.uk.A natural light displayTHE NORTHERN LIGHTS WERE…

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the good life

How to…MAKE USE OF FESTIVE LEFTOVERSMany of us finish the Christmas period with a fridge full of leftovers and an overflowing box of decorations to go back in the loft, but you can transform much of this excess into a festive gift for garden birds. Insects and berries can be scarce at this time of year, so extras on the bird table will be welcomed, while nesting materials will come in handy from late January onwards.MINCE PIESBirds will happily tuck into broken-up pieces of this festive favourite. Pastry, whether it is cooked or uncooked, is a good energy source for birds as long as it is made with animal fats (butter or lard), as vegetable fats don’t provide enough for cold months. Dried fruits, such as raisins, sultanas and currants,…

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tales from the blacksmith’s cottage

(ILLUSTRATION BY CLARE MELINSKY)My father is in a black mood. Having made the difficult decision to put our family home of 40 years on the market, he has identified a flaw in his grand moving plan: no one will ever buy it. “We’ll come,” I say. “We’ll clean up.” “It doesn’t need cleaning,” he seethes. “Anyone who buys it will gut the place and start over.”But I’m persistent. He comes from a generation that looked at a house and saw potential, but these days people are all about first impressions. My husband, the Lawyer, and I spent 30 minutes at a viewing in the Home Counties recently. While I was gauging how old the cooker was and surreptitiously turning on upstairs taps to check water pressure, he spent ages in…

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in full bloom part 3 winter

gardens and landscapes are fundamentally affected by light and shade, but it is never so apparent as it is during this season. Low winter light has a great impact on the way that colours appear at this time of year and the addition of frost or a dusting of snow can bring a bit of sparkle to the most ordinary of gardens. Creating an area to enjoy in your own plot enables you to embrace cold, frosty mornings or the twilight magic of winter’s early dusk.Nature follows a pattern of colours throughout the year as flowers and plants compete for the attention of pollinating insects. In the colder months, with fewer active species around, naturally occurring white and yellow blooms – often with heavy scent – will stand out most…