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ENVIRONMENT & TRAVEL Summer 2006
On squirrel steak, pink lady cabs, and organic holidays.


Grey squirrels : a new opportunity for the burger industry ? By Jérôme WATRIN

History books are wrong. The grey squirrels, and not the Normans, are Britain's last successful invaders. The mammals arrived from North America in the 1870s. Today there are an estimated 2 million of them running around the countryside and some town parks, while their red cousins, the indigenous variety of the species, have been declining continuously. Their population is now down to a mere 200 000, three-quarters of which are in Scotland. Grey invaders are more resistant, but also more dangerous, as they carry a mortal pox that has decimated the red natives...
This dramatic and silent squirrellocide has even been debated by politicians as grey squirrels pose a serious threat to biodiversity. Lord Richard Inglewood suggested that celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver put grey squirrels on their menu, and that the House of Lords initiate the move. Given how the British feel about pets, other imaginative solutions will have to be found otherwise the red squirrel will be doomed.

Sources: « Grey squirrels targeted, » The Guardian 23 January 2006.
« Brits urged to eat squirrel, » The Australian 24 March 2006.



British pink ladies in pink cabs by C. GURDON & M. GREGOIRE

The first woman only cab service was founded in Warrington UK by Andrea Winders and Tina Dutton over concerns for the safety of their own daughters. The service has now expanded to London, Carlisle, Plymouth, and St Helens. All Pink Ladies Mini-Cab drivers are ladies, they are uniformed (in pink of course) and are trained in first aid, self-defence and customer care. Each Pink Mini-Cab is pink with a pink leather interior and the latest GPRS vehicle tracking and satellite navigation. The business is a franchise and vouches to offer maximum safety to its lady customers with a « no cash in the cars » and « through the door » policy.

Sources : « Pink and drive, » News and Star 22 February 2006.
Official website: http://www.pinkladiesmembers.co.uk/



WWOOFers of the world unite by Regis DELAVIGNE

A WOOFer is not a barbaric looking insect, but a member of "World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms" (WWOOF), which was created in 1971 in England by Sue Coppard. The organic farming and gardening movements were in full swing at the time -- as was the Back to the Land movement -- and Coppard wanted to share her enthusiasm for the rural experience with other urban dwellers. WWOOFing enthusiasts volunteer to work on organic farms in exchange for room and board.
Thirty five years on, WWOOF is a network involving organic farms in 22 different countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Hawai, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, New-Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda and the UK. In New-Zealand alone there are 942 farms taking part in the program.

Source : Official website : http://www.wwoof.org/

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