There’s no escaping how difficult and draining the news has been this week.
But, it’s important to remember that – while world events can be bleak, and difficult to comprehend – there have been a handful of positive headlines over the last few days.
Here’s a look at some of the most uplifting ones to try and raise your spirits ahead of the weekend:
1. Beavers returned to London after 400 years
Yes, 400 years after they were hunted to extinction, five beavers were moved from Scotland to west London by the Beaver Trust and Ealing Council.
In fact, the adult pair, their young daughter and two new female kits have been put in a wooded pond in Perivale, just a few hundreds yards from a 24-hour McDonald’s.
Chair of the Ealing Wildlife Group, Dr Sean McCormack, said: “We’re excited to show they can have benefits in the urban landscape not only for wildlife but for people too.”
It’s hoped they can act as “ecosystem engineers”, to retain rainfall and alleviate flooding.
2. Wildcats touched down in Scotland once again
Nineteen wildcats – raised in captivity – were released at a secret location in Cairngorms, in the Scottish Highlands.
It’s part of a re-wilding programme which aims to have around 60 wildcats roaming in the area, which is just south of Inverness.
It’s the first time a predatory mammal has been deliberately introduced to the UK and comes after numbers of the species have been declining rapidly.
And they’re not the only animals who are being restored in the Scottish countryside. There are projects to boost the numbers of beavers, capercaillie, golden eagles, pine martens, and red squirrels to the Highlands, too.
3. The world’s largest offshore wind farm went live – and it’s in the UK
The world’s largest offshore wind farm has just started churning out power this week.
Based in the North Sea off the UK’s Yorkshire coast, Dogger Bank wind farm has set up the first of 277 turbines.
As of October 7, it is connected to the UK’s national grid, and is providing renewable power to homes and businesses.
Each rotation can produce enough clean energy to power the average home for two whole days.
4. The world’s economy is actually doing OK...
Of course, everyone knows we’ve had a very tough few years when it comes to the economy, as the cost of energy and food everywhere seemed to soar.
However, new analysis from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) said that against all the odds, the global economic is recovering “slowly”.
Yes, growth is forecasted to slow down to 2.9%, rather than the anticipated 3%, and certain countries – like the UK – are expected to have a particularly sluggish period of growth.
But, as IMF economic counsellor Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas pointed out: “[It] continues to recover slowly from the blows of the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the cost-of-living crisis.
“Despite the disruption in energy and food markets caused by the war, and the unprecedented tightening of global monetary conditions to combat decades-high inflation, the global economy has slowed, but not stalled.”
5. Europeans agree it’s important to have a healthy body and mind
Although history shows that mental health has too often been sidelined, a new poll from the European Commission this week found almost nine in 10 people believe it’s important as nurturing robust physical health.
It found living conditions and financial security were the two most important factors to securing your mental health.
6. An American pumpkin hit the record books
A frankly enormous vegetable was crowned as the largest one ever seen/recorded this week by the Guinness World Records.
The heaviest pumpkin of all time, which grew in the US state of California, came in at 1,246.9kg. So 2,749 pounds or close to 200st.
That’s about, er, 180 times the size of a regular pumpkin, and 20kg heavier than the last pumpkin to take home this title back 2021.
Said to measure more than 21ft (6.4m) in circumference, the pumpkn was only planted in April.
And what was it called? Michael Jordan apparently, because it started “out basketball round and I said this going to be a perfectly round basketball-shaped pumpkin” – and because it was grown in 2023, and Jordan’s shirt number in 23.