Agriculture in the news as silly season hits

National newspapers have entered the period traditionally known as the “silly season” – the time of year when the more bizarre stories fill the space normally occupied by parliamentary coverage.

We take a look at some of the dafter agricultural stories which have found their way into the media this week.

Sheep survives cliff dive


A sheep has survived an 80ft fall down a quarry cliff in Scotland.

The ewe jumped from the ledge at Bennadrove on Lewis in the Western Isles after coastguards moved in to rescue it.

The Scottish SPCA said the rescue team were astonished the sheep trotted off after leaping from the cliffside down the side of the quarry

“I was preparing myself for the worst, but to all our amazement she got to her feet and ran off. She is lucky to be alive,” SSPCA senior inspector Calum Watt told the BBC.

Cheese lost in space


An attempt to launch a piece of farmhouse cheddar into space has ended in failure and a plea from the organisers to help them track down their lost cheese.

West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group had hoped to be the first to send a 300g wedge of cheddar into space.

The aim was to send the cheese 18.5 miles into the upper atmosphere where the balloon carrying it would explode, allowing the cheese to parachute back to earth.

But the GPS tracking system broke and now the cheesemakers have said the cheddar could be anywhere along a 200-mile corridor from Wiltshire to Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

‘Very exciting’ big cat sightings

Big cats have been captured on camera this week in two separate sightings in Cornwall and Argyll.

A family camping near farmland in Bude spotted a lynx-like animal after hearing an “almighty noise” and seeing sheep flee a neighbouring field.

Meanwhile an off-duty police dog handler took a video of a panther-sized big cat as it walked along a railway line in Helensbury, Argyl.

One of several sightings of the so-called “Coulport Cougar”, a researcher from the Big Cats in Britain group said the video was “very exciting”.