Horse Chestnut Blight
A few days after our arrival in England, an article appeared in the Independent about a blight which has infected horse chestnut trees in Britain. The blight is described as "the worst case of tree blight since Dutch elm disease." The horse chestnut was introduced to Britain from its native Balkans in the 16th century. There are now over 400,000 horse chestnuts in the country, of which an estimated 10% are currently affected by the disease, which is spreading quickly. For more about horse chestnuts, and the eccentricity of the English, you can read about the World Conker Championships, taking place on October 8 in Ashton, Northamptonshire.
(Photograph: a large horse chestnut tree on the edge of the Warwickshire Golf Club.)