When I was little, a man from Kew gardens moved to Madagascar and lived down the road with his family. He discovered nine new species of palm tree in a year. Madagascar is still revealing its biodiversity treasures, with scientists recently discovering 200 new species of frog.
Speaking of nature, there are plans to make the whole 4,250 mile stretch of the old cold war no-man’s land into one long, narrow nature reserve. Untouched for decades during the iron curtain, and land-mined, the wildlife made itself at home. I think a nature reserve would be a rather beautiful statement, nature redeeming and healing a political scar on Europe’s geography.
The town of Ghent, Belgium, has decided to go vegetarian for one day a week. As a response to the harmful environmental impact of eating meat, all restaurants in the town will serve special vegetarian menus on Thursdays. That”s an idea I can see catching on elsewhere.
While the country fumes and stomps about MPs expenses, I’d like to mention the honourable Kelvin Hopkins, MP for Luton North. Apart from very occasionally needing to stay overnight in a cheap hotel, Hopkins’ personal expenses since 2005 total £36.45. Like me, he gets the train into London in the morning. If I ever see him on the platform, I will shake his hand.