The council in a British town said that a patch of grass in a picturesque piece of council-owned land will be replaced with artificial turf.
The parish councilors in Bourton-on-the-Water, England, said that they will install false grass on the 36-square-yard piece of land in an attempt to save on costs from having to patch the grass each year after it is destroyed by tourists.
Councilor Richard Johnes said that it costs about $1,600 to repair the lawn each fall.
“If this is successful, we are not intending to returf the whole green with artificial turf,” he said. “We’re just throwing about 1,000 pounds ($1,621) on some of these patches. This is a material that’s used quite widely. You’ll find it at Wimbledon. It’s accepted as an alternative to grass that wears out quickly.”
However, environmental activists said the fake grass isn’t an acceptable alternative for insects.
“A village green full of wildflowers can be a fantastic place for beetles and bees to thrive and it would a real shame if this lovely village in the heart of one of the most important and environmentally sensitive areas in England put down a fake green,” said Matthew Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, a group devoted to the conservation of invertebrates.
Beer festival bosses are opposed to the sale of fake cocaine by barmaids in low cut traditional dresses at this year’s Oktoberfest in Germany.
Businessman Wolfgang Stanek says he invented ‘Wiesnkoks’ – or festival cocaine – specially for the event in Munich, which opens later this month.
The sealed £5 sachets contain nothing stronger than sugar and menthol, which Stanek claims give a natural high when punters snort it through a supplied straw.
He’d planned to sell the concoction to festival goers using busty models dressed in traditional dirndl dresses with tightly laced corsets.
But organisers want to ban the product, claiming it would distract from their beer and cause problems for stewards and police looking for real drug users.
“We don’t want cocaine, nor do we want a sugar mixture which looks like cocaine. We just want guests to enjoy our beer nothing else,” said a spokesman.
Stanek said: “We are anti drugs. Our mixture just gives drunks a little shake to wake them up.”
A Russian man wanted to see if his girlfriend really did love him to death, so he faked the moment he “died” in a horrific car crash – and then got up to propose to her.
30-year-old Alexey Bykov hired a movie director, stuntmen, make-up artists, and even a script writer to stage the bogus motor smash.
He then planned for girlfriend Irena Kolokov to meet him at the crash site so she would be convinced he was dead.
Irena said: “We’d arranged to meet at a certain place but when I arrived there were mangled cars everywhere, ambulances, smoke, and carnage.
“Then when I saw Alexey covered in blood lying in the road, a paramedic told me he was dead and I just broke down in tears.”
But then “dead” Alexey climbed to his feet and proposed to Irena – still covered in fake blood.
Irena said: “I was so cross I almost killed him again, but for real this time.”
Luckily for Alexey, she saw the joke, said yes – and the couple were married last week.
Alexey, from Omsk, Russia, said: “I wanted her to realise how empty her life would be without me and how life would have no meaning without me.
“I think it worked – but I promise it’s the last time.”
Michigan city officials have said that they have installed lifelike coyotes at a beach to keep geese from contaminating the water.
Howell city officials said they installed the coyotes after the Livingston County Department of Public Health ordered the Thompson Lake beach at Howell City Park to be closed for the season due to elevated E.coli levels from goose feces.
Debbie Mikula, director of the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority, said that the E. coli levels are too high to open the beach until at least Sept. 3, so the beach is closing for the rest of the season with an aim to make the water safe in time to open Memorial Day weekend next year.
Mikula said lifelike coyote statues placed near the water have already had some success in keeping geese away from the lake.
Pensioner Margaret Parker knew exactly what to do when her daughter spotted a baby tortoise that had strayed into her front garden.
Just five inches long, and seemingly under the weather, the tiny creature was crouching beneath a heather plant in 67-year-old Margaret’s garden at Cant Crescent, Upperby, Cumbria.
Her daughter Lorraine Boyes, 47, popped out to buy lettuce and tomato from the local Co-op but the hapless tiny reptile had no appetite.
After alerting the Knoxwood Wildlife Rescue Centre, near Wigton, they popped the tortoise and its food supply into a cardboard box, took it into the house and waited for a rescue worker to collect it.
It was only when rescue volunteer Pauline Adams arrived that the reason for the animal’s lack of appetite finally became clear.
“I was worried it might have died,” said Margaret. “But then the lady from Knoxwood looked at it, picked it up and turned it over. She told me: ‘It’s not dead – it’s made of pot.”
Margaret quickly experienced a rush of emotions, moving from shock to embarrassment, which left her apologising profusely to having called out Knoxwood.
“I was so shocked because it looked real,” she said. “When we saw it, I was frightened that the cats round here might get it.
“My daughter was trying to tempt it with the lettuce and the tomato but I did wonder why it wasn’t moving it’s head, and decided it was probably just frightened.
“At first the woman from Knoxwood didn’t say anything when she saw it. It was about the same weight as a real tortoise, but when she picked it up and looked underneath there was writing on the bottom: Made in China.
I’ve lived here for 30 years and I have no idea where the tortoise came from.”
Pauline was full of praise for Margaret, saying she had done the right thing.
She said: “At first when I arrived I didn’t have my glasses on and I thought it was a baby tortoise. It was sitting there in the shoe box, on a bed of lettuce and tomato. Then I put my specs on, and thought: ‘Oops – what’s this?’
“When I picked it up I saw the CE mark and the words Made in China, and I just cracked up. I laughed even more when she told me her daughter had been to the Co-op to buy tomato and lettuce for it. She was very apologetic. Judging by the moss on it, it had been in the garden a long time. It really did look real.”
Knoxwood founder George Scott also praised Mrs Parker, saying: “She was embarrassed but she did do the right thing by getting in touch. A lot of these ceramic animal models can be very convincing.”
Margaret has put the tortoise in a memorial garden at Carlisle Cemetery which was created in memory of her late husband Ronnie.
A bizarre assassination threat titled “Your Life is in Danger”, involving a horse, lard, and a sex toy is the latest email scam in Ireland.
The spammer writes: “As I sit here sipping a martini it is my regretful duty to inform you that you have been selected for assassination.”
He also claims to be a professional assassin and encloses his certificate of assassination as proof.
“SMERSH have contacted me to assassinate you and have specifically paid extra for a particularly nasty death which makes it look like you died in a particularly bizarre sex game gone wrong,” the email continues.
However, the so-called international assassin, called Dai Teatime, who signs off with the words “toodle pip”, informs the recipient that he has found out that the sender is innocent of the supposed charge.
“Get back to me if you value your life with all due speed or else I regret I will have to carry out my original contract to assassinate you and, although he is quite charming for a horse, I don’t think Henry is the most sensitive of lovers.”
Urban Schrott, IT security and cybercrime analyst with internet security company ESET Ireland has warned that while the spam caused amusement to himself and his colleagues, it had the potential to cause a lot of harm.
He said spams were sent out at random so spammers don’t know who will get them.
“But if they get a response from anyone, then they do know this person exists, offers feedback, and is a potential victim of a targeted attack they can prepare just for them,” he said.
“Best thing to do in such cases is just to delete all such emails and not reply to them at all,” he said.
Mr Schrott said anyone feeling genuinely threatened by an email should report it to the Gardaí.