Featured
From: St Osmunds
On the 26th September, a beluga whale drifted up from the Arctic and was found swimming in the river Thames, in Gravesend near Kent. It's the most southerly sighting of a beluga ever.  Rescue teams from the Port of London Authority (or PLA) are on permanent standby in case the whale, who seems to have lost its way 1500 miles from its natural habitat, gets into any danger. Martin Garside of the PLA  said there had been many discussions about rescuing the beluga and ferrying it out to sea, but it would be a very distressing task for the animal. He said it would preferable if it could make its way out to the ocean naturally. Mr Garside also warned: “the many onlookers who circle around in boats, fly drones over the whale’s head and gather in droves along the river banks should leave it in peace”. This is not the first time a whale has swam up the Thames. In 2006, 2013 and 2016, whales have been washed up into the river but none of them were a beluga. Belugas are the smallest of all whales. They look like large dolphins, reaching 4 metres in length. They are easily recognized by the white colour of their skin and bulbous foreheads (called "melons"). They are also known as ‘the Canaries of the Seas” because of their very distinctive voices. There is a natural concern about plastic pollution levels in the Thames. Would the beluga eat well, and would it survive? New reports from the 6th October suggest it is ‘foraging normally’ and Martin Garside stated that: ''This whale has stayed in the same spot for more or less six days, which is a relief. Other whales have been in a hurry to get back but this whale has got comfortable.” Most of the whale’s movements are being tracked by experts of the PLA from a boat moored to a barge which causes minimum stress to the whale. It has now been nicknamed Benny the Beluga. As this article is published, Benny appears to be in no hurry to leave the river and return to the sea and experts warn he could stay there for months. If it still here by spring, and the Thames warms up, Benny could be airlifted from the Thames and flown 1,150 miles to Iceland in an extraordinary "Free Willy-style" rescue mission. We will of course keep you posted. In the meanwhile, we wish Benny good luck and to stay safe! By: Elise, Eve and Florence  
From: Barnes
This year it was the largest ever CircusWorks children's festival. There were six days of circus performances, workshops and masterclasses. There were 15 circus's attending for six days of non-stop circus. It took place in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the birthplace of Philip Ashley, inventor of circus in Britain.  There were three big tops in 'the circus village', and four shows took place including: The youth show, The gala performance, Lexicon and the fire show. There were children from eight to 18 all learning and performing in the same tents. Also, the circus olympics took place in the circus village with many very silly, random and skillful games.  There was: Hula hoop gladiators, diablo throwing, sock, shirt and five pence juggling.  On the final day there was a parade through the town on stilts and using handheld equipment.
From: Barnes
It was the one and only Michael Rosen. It was standing room only in the big tent for this event and from the moment people started filing in and Michael started directing the flow of traffic he was just as warm, funny, brilliant and clever as usual. Barnes Literature Festival also hosted a Harry Potter show which was a great success. Sadly, J K Rowling herself was too busy to come. The great ideas they come up with at the festival are always amazing. This year stand up comedian Harry Hill came to talk about his children's book and I got the epic honour of introducing him. People from all over the world came to see him. A few hours later, the famous Dallas Campbell, who writes about space, gave a talk. Sadly he was late. Judith Kerr was also at the event, but she did not really come far because she lives in Barnes. What are they going to do next year I wonder? 
From: Barnes
Banning and partial banning of fast food advertising has been a cause for debate globally over the last few years. The call to ban has been in large part due to the influence these businesses have on childhood obesity rates. Another factor driving the debate is health issues in the general population from the consumption of fast foods. Diabetes, intestinal problems, and poor dental health are all contributed to by processed foods and high sugar content drinks that are the mainstay of fast food restaurants. We are now so overweight that we’ve forgotten what normal looks like, a bad situation to be in. So bad it’s understandable that people are looking for a scapegoat, which I think fast food has become. In their rush to judgement, I think people are overlooking real solutions to our problem such as exercise.