19th February - Today's News: A Dark, Cloudy Winter for Parts of Europe

A nice bright frosty start here in Evesham - one of the few this winter.   But not so bright elsewhere as fog disrupts flights at Heathrow and London City Airport.

And it's not just Britain where sunshine seems to have been at a premium this year, as Finland experiences cloudiest winter in 25 years whilst winter will be 'darkest on record' in Germany

Brecon Beacons National Park wins dark sky status - odd though, whenever I've camped there the sky has always been aglow with light pollution from the Valleys .....!

Why journalists should never be allowed to pontificate on subjects on which they know absolutely nothing: mountaineers demand BBC puts record straight after Newsnight discussion in which attention-seeking former politician nobody Dorothy-Grace Elder argued Scottish politicians should face up to mountain madness: banning people from attempting suicide by going into the hills in winter!  Her comments have rightly received universal condemnation and derision.

And a rather odd story as RSPB Ham Wall 'slime' baffles experts - in fact it's something quite common (I photogrpahed the same in the Brecon Beacons in Nov 2005) and a story which seems to crop up at least once a year, ie in 2011 and in 2012.   This so-called star jelly (reports of it go back to at least the 1th century) is believed to be slime mould.  Although oddly, there never seems to have been a conclusive explanation.


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