News and Events 11 - 17 October

Mull of Kintyre up for sale, bumblebees prefer stripes, Bristol City Council face opposition to park improvement plans, plus rural events near you



Mull of Kintyre up for sale
Paul McCartney loved it so much he sang about his ‘desire … always to be’ there, and now a new owner has the opportunity to lose themselves in the ‘stunning scenery’ of the 7,360 acre Carskiey Estate that forms the Mull of Kintyre. Originally the seat of the MacNeills of Carskey from the early 16th Century, the estate up for sale is comprised of a nine-bedroomed house, nine estate houses and cottages in varying states of repair and a farming business, along with nine miles of coastline. Estate agents Strutt and Parker are asking £2.95 million.

Dame Joan Sutherland dies aged 83
Celebrated Australian opera star Dame Joan Sutherland has died in Switzerland at the age of 83. Considered one of the greatest operatic sopranos of the 20th century, the star, who retired from the stage 20 years ago, had suffered deteriorated health following a fall. Having made her debut at London’s Covent Garden in 1952, Dame Joan went on to tour with Luciano Pavarotti, perform at venues all over the world including Sydney Opera House, win a Grammy in 1961 for best classical performer of the year, and was appointed a Dame in the 1979 New Year’s Honours list.

Bumblebees prefer stripes and red flowers, research suggests
Following new research indicating that bumblebees are more attracted to red or striped flowers, gardeners are being urged to grow these varieties in order to encourage bumblebee populations, which have been dwindling in recent years. Researchers have discovered that stripes on petal veins direct bumblebees to the flower’s “central landing platform”, straight to the nectar and pollen they seek. The research was carried out to attempt to explore how pollinator decline can be halted, as the damaging repercussions of reduced numbers of bees include risks to food security, and the economic costs of ‘replacing insect pollination’ estimated to be ‘around $190bn every year’, according to BBC News Business Reporter Richard Anderson.

Bristol City Council’s ‘Green Space Plans’
Time is drawing to a close for you to have your say on Bristol City Council’s ‘Green Space Plans’, part of a wider strategy intended to improve local parks in the city through increased accessibility and improved play areas for children. In order to fund these developments, however, several green spaces across the city have been marked for ‘disposal’, information that has been met with opposition from many residents and campaigners. Main concerns expressed by protesters are the loss of wildlife and community open spaces that they believe should be protected for the benefit of future generations. Public consultation on the council’s Area Green Space plan is due to end on 29 October.



Literally a literary feast
Guildford Book Festival, 14 – 23 October

Join some of Britain’s finest writers and personalities, including broadcaster Kevin McCloud and leading historian Dan Cruickshank, in a festival that literally offers a literary feast, as on Thursday 21 October you can find out what inspires authors Katie Fforde and Adele Parks in the Festival’s Literary Lunch. Other highlights include a Reader’s Day on Saturday 16 October, Girls’ Night on Wednesday 20 October, hosted by Jane Wenham-Jones, and a Book Swap event, in addition to various workshops.

Core Blimey
Apple Weekend at National Botanic Garden of Wales, 16 & 17 October

There could be more than 500 varieties of apple on display at Carmarthenshire’s seventh annual celebration of this popular fruit, with apple experts at the Garden for the weekend on hand to offer tastings, tips about growing your own produce, and to identify varieties. There will also be a mini-food fair to indulge in, and a talk on caring for apple trees in the Double-Walled Garden at 2.30pm both days.
Admission: Adults £8, concessions £6.50, children (5-16 years) £4, under fives free, family (2 adults and up to 4 children) £19.50. Garden open 10am – 4.30pm both days, last entry 3.30pm.

Don’t be late
Alice in Wonderland at Antony House, until 31 October
Torpoint, Cornwall

Having been chosen as the location for Alice’s house in Tim Burton’s recent adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, National Trust property Antony House decided to transform its house and gardens into a wonderland for the summer of 2010. Until October 31st, follow the butterfly trail through the garden to discover giant installations including the White Rabbit’s clock and a yew tree cone where you can meet the Cheshire Cat, play croquet or chess on the lawns, and take a peek inside the house and explore Alice’s bedroom.

Lights, Camera, Aqua-tion!
54th BFI London Film Festival, 13 – 28 October

Don’t miss Under the Sea 3D at BFI IMAX 14 October – 3 November. Allow yourself to become immersed in some of the most beautiful undersea locations in the Indo-Pacific region, whilst learning about the impact of global climate change.
Running time 40 minutes. Certificate U.

Take to the hills
Snowdonia Walking Festival, 13 – 17 October

Take in the rugged beauty of Snowdonia on foot in a gentle forest stroll or an intense mountain climb. All walks are guided by fully trained, experienced experts, and cater for every level of ability, costing £10 per person for a low or mid level walk, and £20 per person for a mountain trek.

Capture the Light

‘Westonbirt, Capturing the Light’, 9 & 16 December from 4.30 – 9pm (tickets on sale from 8 October)
Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire

During Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas event, visitors are able to explore illuminated trails every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 26 November – 19 December 5.00 – 8.30pm (last entry 7.15pm). During this period, two specialist photography events are being held, allowing keen photographers exclusive access to the lit up trees, with a guide created for the event offering advice on technique, composition and editing from various experts, including the editors of Digital Camera and PhotoPlus magazines, and the London Camera Exchange. Two talks each evening will also be given by BBC Lonely Planet photographer, David Noton, about his experiences as a respected landscape photographer.

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