I feel a strongly worded letter coming on. Brighton has Britain’s only Green MP, which you might imagine would put the city at the forefront of environmental initiatives. So how come we’re not being offered two free hens each to recycle waste like people in the Dordogne are?
The recycling union in the districts of Neuvic and Saint-Astier, near Perigueux in the Dordogne, plans to give local households two free hens. The idea is that the birds will eat leftover food, saving it from the déchetterie. Each bird can consume about 150 kilos a year.
Plus, of course, they will lay around 200 fresh eggs each too.
Owners will be given a manual, a bag of feed and a basic henhouse to get them started. The hens won’t be delivered until the autumn, to avoid problems while people are away over the summer.
There’s even talk of offering a sheep to larger homes, to help keep lawns in check.
In Brighton, the Green-led council has focused on transport issues above recycling. They have spent millions introducing cycling lanes and a city-wide speed limit of 20 miles an hour.
Given that the latter is unenforceable, however, they might have been better buying hens.
The city may not exactly lend itself to hen keeping, though. I have what could be considered a large garden by central Brighton standards – it measures about eight metres by five.
I think we can safely say sheep are off limits. Pigs are banned under bye laws from when the house was built in 1865 too.
But a hen? Just maybe…?