Spiders by post – that’s got to be cruel, hasn’t it?

In a bizarre news item, the BBC reports: A man has admitted sending a rare venomous spider in a package to a colleague at work. Mahlon Hector, 22, of Leicester delivered the Mexican red-kneed tarantula in a box addressed to a Marks & Spencer branch in Leicestershire. Hector handed in his resignation after dropping off […]

The city of Jerusalem is throwing money at dog poo.

Here’s a story that is doing the rounds in the ‘Believe it or not’ columns of the newspapers. Some boffin is rubbing his hands delightedly, as they’ve actually persuaded the municipality of Jerusalem to commission research into a DNA testing programme… for dog poo. Yes, wardens will be able to do DNA tests on any stray […]

Is there a legal right to collect firewood?

Round about this time of year The Ranger always gets a query or two about firewood. There’s the idea going around, rather conveniently, that there is a legal right for anyone to take fallen wood for firewood.   A typical enquiry was this one, from Ranger reader Graham: I understand that common folk such as […]

Snail-bait? Winkling out escargot law

Ranger reader Vanessa poses a very interesting question about the Roman snail Helix pomatia. She asks what the legal position is concerning captive-bred pet Helix pomatia in people’s homes. (Update: the answer is shown at the bottom of this post) By extrapolation one can also include in this question all the escargots sold and eaten […]

Buglife rides forth yet again

It really does seem to be like the butterfly that stamped. If you’ve been following the story of small charity Buglife on this blog you will recall its legal challenge intended to prevent development on West Thurrock Marshes, a former industrial site now very rich in invertebrate biodiversity. Buglife made its own alternative stamps showing […]

Aren’t all orchids protected?

Round about now kettle-cases start popping up on the Isle of Wight. That’s the local name for early-purple orchids, which, as the name suggests, start flowering relatively early, in spring. If you live in England it won’t be long before it’s the same round your way, if it isn’t already. Orchids are mysterious things, appearing […]