Prince Charles is waging war on Britain’s grey squirrels – with Nutella

February 28, 2017 by  
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Prince Charles reportedly backs a plan to sterilize Britain’s grey-squirrel population, and it involves Nutella . The monarch-in-waiting is said to have met with members of the U.K. Squirrel Accord , a coalition he helped establish three years ago, to discuss ways to reduce the animal’s numbers without culling. Originally from North America, the Eastern grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis , has been the bane of the region’s native red squirrels since the late 19th century, when the Victorians first imported the animals to add color to their estates. There was one problem, however. Not only do grey squirrels compete for the same resources, but they also carry a pox virus that is harmless to them but fatal to their ruddier rivals. According to a recent census , the number of red squirrels have plummeted from roughly 3.5 million in the 1950s to about 130,000 today. Meanwhile, grey squirrels, which have gone on to thrive, are some 2.5 million strong. So where does the hazelnut spread come in? Per members of the Accord, which include the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Scottish and Welsh governments, oral contraceptives slipped into bait could dramatically yet humanely reduce the number of grey squirrels by up to 90 percent. And like we humans, squirrels have a weakness for Nutella. Related: Squirrels were introduced to U.S. Parks to “maintain people’s health and sanity” Field testing by the Animal and Plant Health Agency has led its scientists to devise the perfect trap, one that allows grey squirrels to squeeze through but leaves red squirrels, mice, and other smaller mammals out in the cold. No risk of accidental dosing here. “It is the most exciting prospect I have seen for controlling greys,” Charles Kinnoull, chairman of the U.K. Squirrel Accord, told the Times . “I don’t harbor a great extermination instinct but I am interested in protecting our broadleaf trees and there being red squirrels around for my children to see.” The Prince of Wales himself roots for the red squirrel, even at one point suggesting installing the critter as a national mascot. “I put nuts in the lobby and leave the door open and the red squirrels come up the steps into the house,” he told the Telegraph in 2011. “Very often you get four or five running around inside the house, chasing each other to get at the nuts. My great ambition is to have one in the house, I hate to tell you. Sitting on the breakfast table and on my shoulder!” Via the Guardian Photos by likeaduck and Brian Cantoni

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Prince Charles is waging war on Britain’s grey squirrels – with Nutella

6 impressive structures built around living trees

February 28, 2017 by  
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Treehouses hold a special magic. They hint at escape, and an opportunity to transcend the busyness of life; connect with nature. An example of man-made structures that harmonize with the environment , treehouses have inspired architects and designers around the world to build homes and offices that do the same. We’ve rounded up six examples of architecture influenced by treehouse design: four homes , one office, and one tearoom. All are designed around living trees , allowing inhabitants to breathe easy surrounded by greenery. Uncle’s House by 3 Atelier The living area of this light-filled home in Vietnam centers around a flourishing tree that is large enough for children to climb. The architects at 3 Atelier built this home for their uncle and his family, using materials reminiscent of the parents’ childhood homes. Not only does Uncle’s House inspire kids to engage with nature, they can even grow vegetables in the dirt around its base. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka One tree wouldn’t suffice for the Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka in Tokyo, Japan . From the outside, the cubic home is simple and modern. Inside, multiple trees and plants bring the outdoors inside. Sliding glass doors offer flexibility, and natural light permeates the home through skylights , creating a serene sanctuary in which humans and cats coexist. Symbiosis office by Cong Sinh Architects New developments are increasingly crowding out green spaces in the southern part of Hue, Vietnam. So Cong Sinh Architects designed Symbiosis, a peaceful office rooted in the environment in the midst of the bustling city . Expansive windows on both floors of the office overlook a green oasis full of vines and a tree. The shade from the greenery even helps regulate the office temperature. Tree House by A. Masow Design Studio A. Masow Design Studio unveiled astounding plans for the ultimate treehouse: an entire tree wrapped in a glass facade in Kazakhstan . A spiral staircase would allow the owner to move between four levels, circumnavigating the tree as they moved from floor to floor. The glass allows natural light to stream in and provides an unobstructed view of the surrounding woods. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects This cantilevered Echo Park home takes the treehouse concept to new heights. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects rests on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles , and was carefully constructed so as not to harm neighboring mature cypress trees, one of which extends through a bedroom in the home. Fire-treated Western red cedar siding, reclaimed chestnut floors, and walnut cabinetry add to the woodsy , natural feel of the cozy California dwelling. Bird’s Nest Atami by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP A 300-year-old camphor tree in Japan now includes a tiny teahouse nestled among its branches. Bird’s Nest Atami, designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP with the help of Takashi Kobayashi , is part of the country’s largest treehouse. Inspired by how crows utilize coat hangers in nests , Nakamura designed the freestanding teahouse to rest among the 22-meter-tall tree on light structural elements without harming the tree. The earthy interior also includes wood furnishings, inviting tea drinkers to relax in nature . Images via Quang Dam , © Koji Fujii by Nacasa & Partners Inc., Hiroyuki Oki , A. Masow Design Studio , Anonymous Architects , and Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP , by Koji Fujii/Nacasa and Partners Inc.

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6 impressive structures built around living trees

New material made from fiber-reinforced hydrogels is 5 times tougher than steel

February 28, 2017 by  
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Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have created a flexible, eco-friendly material that’s five-times stronger than carbon steel. The “fiber-reinforced soft composite” made by combining polyampholyte hydrogels with woven glass fiber fabric creates a bendable material that’s extremely durable. The material’s uses are manifold, but perhaps most exciting is for bearing the load of artificial ligaments and tendons. Hydrogels have been used for a variety of applications in the past , from wound dressings to soft robots, but up until recently the hydrophilic polymer chains have been too soft for much else due to the fact that they’re largely made up of water. But when woven together with glass fiber fabric, they create a material that’s not only stronger than steel, but according to researcher Dr. Jian Ping Gong, also environmentally friendly. Related: Harvard team creates extremely stretchy gel to replace damaged cartilage in joints “The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly,” says Dr. Jianinnovation. “The material has multiple potential applications because of its reliability, durability and flexibility. For example, in addition to fashion and manufacturing uses, it could be used as artificial ligaments and tendons, which are subject to strong load-bearing tensions.” While the material is made largely from water and glass, it gains its strength from the dynamic ionic bonds between the fiber and hydrogels. The team found that a combination of polyampholyte gels, a type of hydrogel they developed earlier, and glass fiber fabric with a single fiber measuring around 10?m in diameter produced a strong, tensile material. Testing revealed that the material is 25-times tougher than glass fabric, 100-times stronger than hydrogels alone, and five-times stronger than carbon steel. Via Hokkaido University Images via Hokkaido University

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New material made from fiber-reinforced hydrogels is 5 times tougher than steel

Philip Johnson’s Wiley House hits the market for $12 million

February 28, 2017 by  
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Philip Johnson’s Wiley House in New Canaan, Connecticut may not be as well-known as the architect’s iconic Glass House , but it’s every bit an architectural gem – and now, it’s on the market. Built in the 1950s, the home clearly exhibits Johnson’s signature style – it consists of a rectangular glass structure cantilevering over an elongated stone base. If you’re in the market for a new home and have a cool $12 million to blow, strike while the iron’s hot. Philip Johnson designed the Wiley Home in the early 1950s as a family home for a real estate developer. Although the double-height glass pavilion with 15-foot-high ceilings is similar the architect’s other home designs, many consider this structure to be one of his “most liveable” designs. Related: Prefab Glass House lets you bring home the spirit of Philip Johnson’s masterpiece The home is 3,000 square feet of glass, steel and stone built on six acres of greenery surrounded by a “fence” of Hickory trees . The glass cube , which cantilevers over the stone base, houses the living room and the galley kitchen. Six bedrooms, a sitting room, studio, and another small kitchen are located on the lower level. Outside, a stunning vintage swimming pool is at the heart of the property. Business executive, Frank Gallipoli bought the property for $1 million in 1994 and began to renovate the home, changing out the glass panels for double-paned windows and installing floor heating. He hired Roger Ferris + Partners to head the renovation process, carefully staying true to Johnson’s original design throughout. Although the home is an updated version of the original, there are some new additions to the property, including the renovated 19th century barn that was converted to house Gallipoli’s personal art collection. Ferris also built added a new pool house and garage to the complex, making the property well worth its current $12 million listing price. Via Dwell Photos via Sotheby’s International Realty

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Prince Charles turns royal gardens into a woodland playground for grandson Prince George

August 2, 2015 by  
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Even England’s royalty can’t resist a good treehouse . Prince Charles recently renovated a portion of the Highgrove gardens into a royal woodland playground with a treehouse for his two-year-old grandson, Prince George. The new toddler wonderland is located in The Stumpery, a playground designed by William Bertram for the then five and three-year-old princes, William and Harry. The original design included a thatched roof treehouse, designed for William’s seventh birthday, which has now been relocated and passed down to Prince George. READ MORE>

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Prince Charles turns royal gardens into a woodland playground for grandson Prince George

New Forest Study Centre: A Treehouse Retreat for Environmental Education

July 9, 2014 by  
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Nature lovers have always enjoyed being out in the woods and immersing themselves in the wild, and there’s a stunning center in the UK that can help to make that experience even more magical. Commissioned by the Countryside Education Trust (CET) ,  New Forest Study Centre  is a large, sustainable treehouse retreat in the countryside where people can go to learn about rural life and build a connection to nature; an experience that some one million children in the  UK  have never had. With two classrooms and a large outdoor space that has farm animals, gardens, and study areas, this treehouse project is a major catalyst for environmental awareness. Read the rest of New Forest Study Centre: A Treehouse Retreat for Environmental Education Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Blue Forest , britain , Countryside Education Trust , England , environmental education , green tree house , Nature , nature education , New Forest , New Forest Study Centre , Novoe Ltd , outdoor education , Prince Charles , Samantha Sherwood , Sustainable Building , sustainable treehouse , The Countryside Education Trust , tree house , treehouse , U.K. , UK , XCO2

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New Forest Study Centre: A Treehouse Retreat for Environmental Education

Design Your Own ‘Hutopolis’ at Beijing Design Week

September 21, 2011 by  
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Image: Hutopolis . Praised by Prince Charles for their sustainable features, Beijing’s traditional hutong alley neighborhoods are now the stars of a SimCity -like interactive game being showcased at Beijing Design Week . Its creators hope letting exhibit visitors imagine thei… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Prince Charles Warns of Human Extinction

September 10, 2011 by  
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Photo: Getty Images In his first speech as the head of the Worldwide Wildlife Fund UK, Prince Charles warned of a mass human extinction if dramatic steps aren’t taken to reduce the world’s consumption of natural resources. According to an article in The Telegraph , the Prince of Wales said, somewhat jokingly, that he too was an endangered species. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Goes Guerrilla Gardening

September 8, 2011 by  
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Photo: Paul DeBois Guerrilla gardening has gone mainstream. Yesterday Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall aka the wife of Prince Charles, was at it. And she even took a red double decker bus to get there. Those Royals are really mixing it up now. Camilla the Guerrilla went with the Guerrilla Gardening Guru, our favourite, Richard Reynolds to prune some lavender in the middle of a busy street. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Giant British Recycled CD Fish Invites People (including Prince Charles!) Into Its Mouth

August 19, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Giant British Recycled CD Fish Invites People (including Prince Charles!) Into Its Mouth Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cds , Creative Reuse , eco design , Glastonbury Festival , green design , green materials , Greenpeace , Prince Charles , Recycle , Recycled Materials , Recycled Ventures , sustainable design , Woodland Design Lab

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