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5 June 2024

This England: Clucking hell

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

One hundred feral chickens have left residents of Snettisham, Norfolk, spitting feathers, with locals claiming the birds destroy their gardens and keep them awake. Residents have said life is being made “hell” as the chickens swarm in from a nearby wood. It is unclear who owns the land the chickens live on, but villagers believe numbers have soared recently. They have also complained of an influx of people travelling to see the birds and leaving food for them, which is attracting rats. This has created a febrile atmosphere, with reports of tensions between locals and visitors.
The Observer (Darius Barik)

A-maize-ing creations

Scarecrows were moved into position for Owslebury’s fifth annual scarecrow trail. This year’s theme is “Heroes and Villains”, and visitors will pass straw versions of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and the former PM Boris Johnson on their route through the Hampshire village.
Hampshire Chronicle (Amanda Welles)

Injury time

A Yorkshire football fan’s smart-watch dialled 999 after mistaking a goal celebration for an accident. South Yorkshire Police say the Apple Watch accidentally rang them after Doncaster Rovers scored their third goal against Barrow, sparking wild celebrations. The National Police Chiefs’ Council said recent software updates to smart devices were having “a significant impact” on the volume of emergency calls.
Yorkshire Post (Daragh Brady)

[See also: This England: Up, boy! Up!]

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This article appears in the 05 Jun 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The Left Power List 2024