Exotic creatures found at country house

It’s taken a long time to get here, but finally the story of the Cliveden Snails is uncovered!

It’s a perfect story for silly season: a species of snail, common in southern Europe but unknown here, has been found in the balustrade of a famous British country house, the slimy denizens presumably hitching a lift when the balustrade was imported in the 19th century.

What I like about this story is the way the reporter plays the prose very, very close to the edge – “Over the years, the snails would have had the chance to witness a number of seminal moments in UK politics.” Given the pond life that inhabits Whitehall and Westminster these days, it’s hardly worth writing about…

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