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The battle to save the Staffordshire Hoard

Posted on Sunday, December 09

English forest sell-off put on hold
Saturday, February 12, 2011 (06:49:10)
In The Press The government has taken 40,000 hectares of public forest off the market, in the latest twist in the furore over the proposed sell-off of England's woodland.

About 15% of England's public forests had been slated for sale, with the aim of raising £100m for government coffers, but on Friday morning the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would hold on to the forest until the fate of the rest of the Forestry Commission's land had been decided.

Defra said the sale was being postponed because of concerns over access rights, and will not affect its broader proposal to sell nationally owned woods, which is still the subject of public consultation.
Posted by Autumnlady (1618 reads) Read More... (4.75 KB) |

The annual Shetland Up-Helly-Aa festival celebrates the islands' Norse heritage
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 (10:18:42)
In The Press IT IS 7:15pm when the street lamps of Lerwick go off, pitching the Shetland capital into instant darkness

The only light is from the clock face of the turreted town hall; the spotlit flag flying on top – a raven on a scarlet ground – informs the local people, as if they did not know, that tonight is Up-Helly-Aa. Since 1873, the fire festival has been held on the last Tuesday in January. It is the highlight of Lerwick's year and surely Scotland's greatest, weirdest spectacle.

All is black. The crush of bodies on the roads and pavements is sensed not seen, as is the feeling of poised anticipation. Then, in the split-second of a camera flash, strange figures become visible. Flash! A giant puffin. Flash! A burly shepherd crammed into a skimpy dress.

Flash! A man wearing a Tommy Sheridan mask. A grandad in drag speaks urgently to his wife: "Quick, tak my photo so I kin pit it on Facebook." These are just four of Up-Helly-Aa's 959 guizers, split between 47 separate squads. The men in costume will spend the next hour or so processing through the town, most carrying a large flaming torch
Posted by Autumnlady (1539 reads) Read More... (10.87 KB) |

Thousands take part in Straw Bear festivities
Monday, January 17, 2011 (11:03:54)
In The Press THOUSANDS of people descended on the market town of Whittlesey for one of the areas most unusual and popular folk festivals.

The 32nd annual Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival took place in Whittlesey, near Peterborough, over the weekend.

Organisers believe around 4,000 people lined the streets of the town for Saturday’s Straw Bear procession.

It is estimated that a further 1,000 people packed Sir Harry Smith Community College, in Eastrea Road, for the finale of the fun-filled festival.

Festival director Pete Williams, who has helped organise Fenland’s premier event for more than a decade, was delighted with the weekend.

Last year’s festival was blighted by torrential downpours, but a chilly breeze was the only thing the procession had to contend with on Saturday and yesterday’s straw bear burning also stayed rain free.
Posted by Autumnlady (1527 reads) Read More... (3.31 KB) |

Forest of Dean protesters fight big woodland selloff
Friday, January 07, 2011 (09:18:38)
More than 3,000 people at rally pledge to defend 'the people's' trees from what they fear will be corporate land grab

There's been nothing quite like it in the ancient Forest of Dean since the last time a Conservative government tried to privatise Britain's largest oak forest.

In 1993, the threat to sell off 42 square miles of woodland between the rivers Severn and Wye in Gloucestershire was only repelled after huge protests by locals and ramblers. At the rally today more than 3,000 people, backed by celebrities, bishops, leading conservationists and politicians, pledged to defend "the people's" trees from what they fear will be a corporate land grab.

Today, more than 110,000 people had signed a petition against the coalition's proposed sale of all Forestry Commission land in England. Opposition to the sale of nearly 20% of all England's wooded area is fiercest in Gloucestershire where yellow ribbons and posters have been tied around thousands of trees.

If the public bodies bill, expected to be debated in the House of Lords within three weeks, becomes law, the entire 650,000-acre forestry commission estate in England could be sold to developers, charities and power companies, possibly raising hundreds of millions of pounds.
Posted by Autumnlady (1743 reads) Read More... (2.36 KB) |

Witches threaten Romanian taxman after new labour law
Friday, January 07, 2011 (08:58:37)
In The Press Self-declared witches in Romania are preparing to curse the country's rulers publicly for taxing their profession under an amended labour law.

Poisonous mandrake plants are due to be hurled into the River Danube and queen witch Bratara Buzea has devised a spell involving cat dung and a dead dog.

Income tax of 16% and health and pension payments have been imposed.

It was not immediately clear how car valets and driving instructors, also taxed for the first time, would react.

Their professions, along with those of witch, astrologer, fortune teller and embalmer, were not listed in the previous labour code, and therefore not subject to tax.
Posted by Autumnlady (1666 reads) Read More... (1.43 KB) |

Witchcraft declared legal profession in Romania
Sunday, January 02, 2011 (10:30:41)
In The Press Romania has changed its labor laws to officially recognize witchcraft as a profession, prompting one self-described witch to threaten retaliation.

The move, which went into effect Saturday, is part of the government's drive to crack down on widespread tax evasion in a country that is in recession.

In addition to witches, astrologists, embalmers, valets and driving instructors are now considered by labor law to be working real jobs, making it harder for them to avoid income tax.

For months the measure had been debated, protested by witches and mocked by the media.

On Saturday, a witch called Bratara told Realitate.net, the website of a top TV station, that she plans to cast a spell using black pepper and yeast to create discord in the government.
Posted by Autumnlady (2489 reads) Read More... (102 Bytes) |

Seeing daybreak at 'Ireland's Stonehenge'
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 (19:54:17)
On the morning of 21 December, a select group of people made their way through a dark, narrow passage and gathered in a small cross-shaped chamber at Newgrange in Co Meath, Irish Republic, to celebrate the winter solstice......
Posted by Autumnlady (1993 reads) Read More... (78 Bytes) |

Druids and Pagans celebrate winter solstice at Stonehenge
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 (19:45:48)
In The Press Despite the actual sunrise, - which took place at 08.09am - being obscured by mist, Peter Carson of English Heritage said: "Stonehenge looked spectacular in the snow and it was a great way for people to start their festive season."

The Pagan community came out in force to celebrate the annual festival, along with many whom were merely curious to experience the event.

As well as the traditional Druid and Pagan ceremonies, a snowball fight erupted as people enjoyed the cold weather.

"The popularity of the winter solstice has grown over the years as more is known about Stonehenge and the winter solstice and the whole celebration has grown in popularity, " Mr Carson said.

Lance Corporal Paul Thomas, a serving soldier of 15 years who fought in Iraq, was "knighted" with a sword by a Druid calling himself King Arthur Pendragon.
Posted by Autumnlady (1987 reads) Read More... (1.2 KB) |

Druids at Stonehenge solstice event
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 (19:37:46)
In The Press Snow and ice failed to keep people away from Stonehenge as they gathered to see the sun rise on the winter solstice.

More than 2,000 people came together at the stones, which were surrounded by a thick blanket of snow.

The winter morning mist obscured the actual sunrise - which took place at 8.09am on Wednesday - but an eclectic mix of people celebrated the ancient festival.

Among the Druids, hippies and sun worshippers were those just curious to experience the spiritual event at the site, on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire.
Posted by Autumnlady (1778 reads) Read More... (1.03 KB) |

Druid leader calls for Judicial Review on excavation of remains
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 (10:43:38)
In The Press DRUID leader King Arthur Pendragon went to The Royal Courts of Justice in London last week in a bid to see the return of cremated human remains taken from Stonehenge in 2008.

The Senior Druid and Pagan Priest presented a 36-page document asking for a Judicial Review on the decision by the Minister of Justice to grant Sheffield University an extension to retain the remains for five years.
Posted by Autumnlady (1897 reads) Read More... (1.84 KB) |

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