Another piece from The Times (full of almost useless bits of information) in April and concerns the inhabitants of the Cayman Islands. They were devoid of humans until a 17th century Cornishman decided to set up his stall on what is now a haven for the mega rich, bods with gold plated pensions, and tax evaders of all kinds from the wider western world. His surname was Bodden (or Bawden) and he participated in the Anglo Spanish war of the 17th century. He was one of Cromwell's marines, we are told. This is an interesting part of the story as Cornwall was Royalist during the Civil War - so what was a Cornishman doing as a marine fighting for the Parliamentarians? This is not mentioned so there is a bit more to this story than is let on. Who are the ordinary people of the Caymans? It is easy to gain the impression they are all exiles with chests full of money but there must be people living there that make a living from the Caribbean sea. Indeed, the article makes the point that Bodden and his descendants were fishing folk (like the Cornish). Various other links with Cornwall are mentioned - but it seems a bit of sleuthing is required in order to find descendants in Cornwall etc.
Meanwhile, The Times also tells us in a report by Faritha Karim, that crates of whiskey and other products with an origin in the UK have began a 7500 mile railway journey across Eurasia to China, the brainchild of Yuhi Feng, chariman of Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Company. He has inaugurated this network from western Europe to China in imitation of the ancient Silk Road. The first shipment from China arrived 3 months ago but it seems it is cheaper than air freight and by boat around Africa. It travels via France and Germany to Poland, Bellarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, ending up on the eastern border of China (for redistribution to the regions). Does Boris know about this?
Lastly, in The Times of April 11th (2017) we are told deer have become a problem for the survival of woodland birds - including woodpeckers. It seems the UK has two million deer and they have become a problem according to environmentalists. These are the same people that turn a blind eye to grey squirrels and magpies that have increased in much bigger numbers and actually predate bird eggs and nestlings. Is this a case of overdoing the sauce? Are deer really such a problem as there are a lot of poachers out there - and deer can only nibble at trees to a few feet up (and they have been doing this for thousands of years in the UK without too much of a problem before). Grey Squirrels on the other hand, an introduced species from a couple of hundred years ago, actually strip the bark off trees (much higher up than deer) and kill more trees than ever a deer could. Do they mean deer eat saplings (unprotected ones)? I can't see deer as a major problem if the environmentalists continue to ignore squirrels and magpies for their role in the decline in song birds and woodland birds - and I'm very suspicious. We have a loud and noisy woodpecker in the small coppice behind our row of houses, and deer often visit the garden. One is living high up in the canopy pecking away at dead wood to find beetles and other insects and the other one is smooching around the lower canopy looking for goodies on the ground as well as nibbling leaves from trees and shrubs (and the occasional garden plant).
This story about deer being a menace seems to regularly crop up for some reason. Okay, the Scottish mountains can have too many red deer grazing them, but culling them takes place (and provides a local means of making a few bob in the process). On National Trust land deer are often in too many numbers but are again being culled by local poachers, selling cuts from the rump to pubs and restaurants. Very often deer are killed by dogs - a common fate. To say that deer have no modern predators keeping down their numbers is a misnomer. If one gets knocked down by a car it quickly disappears into somebody's larder or freezer. The connection with a decline in woodland birds appears to be finger waving in the wrong direction. We have come to expect this from mainstream media - parroting environmentalist PR as if it is holy writ rather than thinking the alarmism through with an open mind.