New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Culture
  2. Life
6 September 2023

This England: Bog standards

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

Competitors have donned their masks and flippers for the return of the World Bog Snorkelling Championship in Wales. The event takes place annually at the Waen Rhydd peat bog, where competitors try to complete two consecutive lengths of a 60-yard, water-filled trench in the shortest time possible.

There was even room for a little glamour, with one swimmer painting her toenails pink to match her snorkel.
Wrexham Leader (Daragh Brady)

[See also: This England: Fish first]

This heavy piggy

A “morbidly obese” pig that was fed junk food, biscuits and Coca-Cola for seven years has been rescued from a one-bedroom flat in Manchester. Portia was three times her healthy weight at 26 stone and could barely move when she was taken in last summer by Whitegate Animal Sanctuary, Wirral.

After a diet and exercise regime, Portia has lost 16 stone. She sleeps “nose to nose” with other pigs in a bed of straw at the sanctuary, which is home to 150 farm animals. “She’s amazing,” said the sanctuary’s founder, Laura Whelan – “she’s very sassy and has a proper piggy attitude.”
The Times (Amanda Welles)

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Toilet duck

During a check on sewers in Gloucestershire, a Wessex Water team removed an “unusual” blockage after a duck was found roaming the underground pipes. A Wessex Water spokesperson said: “Thankfully, our team were able to help the duck back above ground safely and none the worse for her escapade.”
The Telegraph (Steve Morley)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to or on a postcard to This England.

[See also: This England: Canine division]

Content from our partners
An innovative approach to regional equity
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change

Topics in this article : ,

This article appears in the 06 Sep 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Crumbling Britain