Reisen & Outdoor
Country Life

Country Life 08-Jan-2020

Published by TI Media Limited Country Life, the quintessential English magazine, is undoubtedly one of the biggest and instantly recognisable brands in the UK today. It has a unique core mix of contemporary country-related editorial and top end property advertising. Editorially, the magazine comments in-depth on a wide variety of subjects, such as architecture, the arts, gardens and gardening, travel, the countryside, field-sports and wildlife. With renowned columnists and superb photography Country Life delivers the very best of British life every week.

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2 Min.
see the wood for the trees

NOW that even some of the most vociferous climate-change deniers conclude that urgent action is needed to prevent catastrophe, it wasn’t surprising that all the political parties’ election manifestos promised tree-planting on a massive scale—Labour pledged a crazy two billion by 2040. However, as with many vote-catching commitments, one has to question how much thought went into them and whether these grand ideas are even deliverable. Anyone who’s planted a tree will know that’s the easy bit; keeping them alive and healthy is much harder. Most of the woodland we enjoy today is the result of the foresight of pioneering landowners such as the Earl of Leicester at Holkham in Norfolk, who planted trees for amenity and timber production, as well as to harbour deer, foxes and pheasants for sport. Indeed, when…

2 Min.
testing the waters

FROM a commuting seal to a new project recording minke whales and bottlenose dolphins off the Yorkshire coast, the results of The Wildlife Trusts’ 2019 marine review, released last week, are highly encouraging. It was a record year for grey seals at South Walney in Cumbria, with 483 spotted; in 1981, there were only two. Similarly, more than 1,000 pairs of sandwich terns bred at North Wales Wildlife Trust’s Cemlyn Bay and 800 chicks fledged —up on 2018’s 500 pairs and 180 chicks. The highest number of razorbills was recorded by the Scottish trust on Handa Island since 2006, although numbers are only half what they were in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, a seal named Tulip Belle appears to be making an unusually long commute from the Isle of Man…

1 Min.
lonely as a cloud

THINGS are looking up in 2020, at least at Petworth House, West Sussex, where an exhibition that focuses purely on aerial landscapes opens on Saturday. Incorporating an ambitious 500 years of European art in about 40 works from Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum—which capture not only light and dark, but symbolism, heavenly dominion and meteorology—‘Skyscape’ takes a quote from Constable as inspiration: ‘It will be difficult to name a class of landscape in which the sky is not the keynote, the standard of scale and the chief organ of sentiment (October 23, 1821).’ The Suffolk skies of the English Romantic painter feature, as do works by Turner, Cozens, Rembrandt, Ruskin, Paul Nash, Dürer and John Piper. In 1941, the latter was commissioned to do a series of topographical studies of Windsor Castle by…

2 Min.
raphael at 500

THIS year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Raphael, whose untimely demise cut short a career pivotal to the course of Western art (Visual Arts, page 78). Here are some highlights celebrating the achievements of this giant of the Italian High Renaissance: • The Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan has put back on display its newly conserved cartoon— the largest surviving or the Renaissance—for the ‘School of Athens’ fresco in the Vatican’s Stanza della Segnatura (www.ambrosiana.it) • ‘Raphael and the Friends of Urbino’ at The Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in the Palazzo Ducale, Urbino, until January 19, focuses on the artist’s early development and the influences of his artistic contemporaries in the city where his father was Court painter (www.gallerianazionalemarche.it) • ‘Raphael and His Circle’ at the National Gallery of Art,…

1 Min.
and the winner is...

We present the answers to the Christmas crossword (December 11/18, 2019): ACROSS 1, California; 6, Chesterfield; 14, Initiates; 15, Usurp; 16, Triceps; 17, Pay through the nose; 18, Alamo; 19, Newness; 21, Tartan; 22, Headgear; 24, Amnesia; 26, Wheatear; 27, Equate; 30, Exoneration; 32, Reformatory; 33, Tree-creeper; 35, Whistle-stop; 37, Payout; 38, Instance; 39, Seagull; 42, Labrador; 44, Lovers; 46, Toronto; 48, Grace; 49, Make a pig of oneself; 51, Crimean; 52, Thing; 53, Gibbering; 54, Light-hearted; 55, Investment. DOWN 1, Chippendale; 2, Laity; 3, Faithless; 4, Rations; 5, Insight; 7, House-master; 8, Siphon; 9, Esteemed; 10, Fair and square; 11. Elevate; 12, Discourtesy; 13, Butter bean; 20, Winsomely; 23, Half-time; 25, Awaken; 26, Whipping; 28, About-turn; 29, Gratis; 31, Encouragement; 33, Topological; 34, Rationalise; 35, Wanderings; 36, Pillow fight; 40, Agreement;…

1 Min.
country mouse

BLACK-HEADED gulls have taken up residence in the flooded fields beside the River Meon. These are the gulls that follow the farmer’s plough like confetti in the autumn and have now become the UK’s most common inland gull. Once, they were a major food source, but with their transformation from seabird to urban scavenger, they have fallen completely out of favour. Last summer, the Meon all but dried out below my cottage; today, it is a raging torrent. Water has been bubbling up through the floorboards of some of the houses that fringe the banks and there are signs warning of floods along every road. It has been incredibly wet, but, as with so much in Nature, there are both winners and losers. The clever corvids troop through the sodden fields…