Beavers return to Hampshire for first time in four centuries

Good news stories from the past seven days

A headshot of a beaver swimming across a green river in Otterton, England, United Kingdom
Beavers were hunted to extinction in the 16th century
(Image credit: Cavan Images/Getty Images)

Beavers have returned to Hampshire for the first time in 400 years. A male and a female were released this week into an enclosure at Ewhurst Park, a former shooting estate near Basingstoke, as part of a rewilding project. The beavers, who have been named Chompy and Hazel by local children, were captured in Tay Valley in Scotland, which has its own thriving population. Beavers were once common across Britain, but were hunted to extinction in the 16th century.

English wine voted one of best in world

A sauvignon blanc made from grapes grown in the Cotswolds has been hailed as one of the best in the world by a panel of judges at a blind-tasting contest. Woodchester Valley, a family-owned vineyard near Stroud, beat entrants from New Zealand, Austria and Greece to win the top prize in the £20-£30 unoaked category at the Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters. The judges praised the wine for its “intense gooseberry nose” and “undertones of ripe lemon”. It is the first English still wine ever to have won a Master medal in the competition.

Oldest lorry driver passes health ‘MoT’

A 90-year-old who is thought to be Britain’s oldest lorry driver has passed his health “MoT”, meaning he will be able to carry on working for at least another year. Brian Wilson, from South Yorkshire, started driving armoured trucks in Germany while doing national service in 1950. He began his lorry-driving career three years later, when he was back in the UK, before eventually taking over his father’s haulage company. Seven decades on, he still wakes up at 4am for his 12-hour shifts. “I could pack it in,” he told The Sheffield Star. “But when I’m in the house for a few days I just want to get back to it.”

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