Good news alert! 6 positive things that happened this week

a field of purple flowers in the early morning light with tents in the background
6 positive things that happened this week Tom Wilde - Getty Images

A little bit of good news goes a long way in cutting through less encouraging headlines and lifting our spirits. Here, we round-up six good things that have happened this week (from Monday 17th April), to make you smile, laugh and feel hopeful…

UK literature is booming

shelf full of books
Richard Newstead - Getty Images

Physical book sales hit a staggering £6.9 million for the UK's publishing industry in 2022.

According to the Publishers Association, book sales were up from 4% in 2021, with 669 million physical books being purchased — the highest overall level ever recorded. While domestic sales were down slightly by 1%, print sales of consumer books were up 2% to £1.8 billion. Audio downloads saw an 8% increase to £164 million.

"The statistics truly are a testament to the timeless appeal of books," Publishers Association chief executive, Dan Conway, said. "They offer comfort and escapism for readers, can be a good source of education and learning, and can last a lifetime."


Wildlife charities launch 'Wild Weekender' for bank holiday

a field of purple flowers in the early morning light with tents in the background
Tom Wilde - Getty Images

The WWF, RSPB and National Trust are asking households to start wildling their outdoor space in a UK-wide weekend of action.

The Wild Weekender, running from 28th April to 1st May, will encourage people to create a thriving habitat for nature on their doorstep. By planting, sowing or growing in our local areas, everyone can transform green spaces into homes for wildlife. It will also help some of our much-loved species, including starlings, bumblebees and hedgehogs, recover.

To get involved, you can either plant a wildlife-friendly plant (such as foxgloves), sow some seeds or create a mini meadow.

Adrian Thomas, the RSPB's wildlife gardening expert, said: "From planting wildflowers in your window box to volunteering for local nature projects, there's a wide and wonderful range of ways that you can join in the Wild Weekender. And the joy will stay with you throughout the whole year.

"That first time you see a butterfly land on a flower you grew from seed, or a bee visit the patch of lawn you let grow into a mini-meadow – it's one of the best feelings! We hope everyone will join in and welcome wildlife to their outdoor spaces."


Seal numbers rise in Cumbria

Rob Ellis - Getty Images

Seal numbers in Cumbria have "bounced back", following fears they may not return after a disturbance.

Sadly, due to free-running dogs at the site, many seals had left their resting place for the water. However, fortnightly surveys from September 2022 to March 2023 revealed a return in high numbers. The Cumbria Wildlife Trust counted 446 seals at the reserve in January.

A spokesperson said: "Let's all work to keep disturbances away from these wonderful animals, so that the coming year proves equally successful for Cumbria's only grey seal colony."


Yorkshire Dales tree plan to recreate long-lost forest

yorkshire dales
Ian Murray - Getty Images

Over in Yorkshire, conservationists are planning to plant 100,000 trees to create one of England's largest native woodlands.

The new trees at Snaizeholme will "restore an entire ecosystem" for threatened birds, while also "locking away carbon for years to come". The area was covered in trees centuries ago, but is now almost barren, with just 5% of trees left.

"Woodland birds will have a home here for the first time in centuries, and open scrub woodland should benefit endangered species like the black grouse," Al Nash, who is leading the project for the Woodland Trust, said.

"It's clearly a wonderful opportunity to create something tangible in the Yorkshire Dales for the fight against climate change."


Coronation Concert line-up announced

king charles at queen elizabeth ii's platinum jubilee concert, buckingham palace
Hollie Adams - Getty Images

The star-studded Coronation Concert will take place at Windsor Castle on Sunday 7th of May.

Stars confirmed to perform include Katy Perry, Take That, Freya Ridings, Lionel Ritchie, Italian opera legend Andrea Bocelli, Welsh star Bryn Terfel, and a special Coronation Choir made up of singing grounds from all around the UK.

"The coronation concert on the BBC will bring the nation together to mark this momentous occasion," Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, says.

King Charles III's Coronation will be held on Saturday 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London. Camilla, Queen Consort, will also be crowned at the same time during the historic event, which is the first to take place in nearly 70 years following the late Queen's long reign.


Best places to work for your wellbeing revealed

Alexandr Spatari - Getty Images

Denmark, Norway and Luxembourg are among the best places to work for your wellbeing.

New research conducted by Phoenix Health & Safety analysed eight factors, including: holiday allowance, average working week, average unemployment rate, statutory maternity leave, legal retirement age, cost of living index by country, GDP per capita, and percentage of the population with internet.

Unsurprisingly, Denmark was crowned the overall winner, with one of the lowest unemployment rates globally, an average work week of 34 hours, and a minimum of 18 weeks of paid maternity leave for employees.

The UK came in seventh place, while other countries that made the list include Hungary, Germany, Austria, Malta and Finland.


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