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Anorak | Italy Invades Britain At Snail’s Pace

Italy Invades Britain At Snail’s Pace

by | 21st, August 2008

THE Italians are upon us:

They have survived two world wars, a sex scandal and the feet of thousands of visitors to the Berkshire country house of Cliveden, to conduct what must be the slowest invasion of Britain by an alien species.

For the past 110 years, a colony of snails has managed to crawl unnoticed from an imported stone balustrade brought from Italy in the 1890s, to claim a piece of British territory up to the terrace of the house just 27m (88ft) away.

A National Trust volunteer spotted the snails while cleaning some statues in the garden. It was the first time that anyone had realised that the Mediterranean mollusc had managed to establish a bridgehead into Britain – at the dizzy pace of about 25cm a year.

Insert joke about reverse gears on Italian snails here…

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Posted: 21st, August 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink