In England and Wales, ramblers are searching for forgotten footpaths. About 140,000 miles of paths crisscross the two countries, and walking them is a national pastime. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act was passed in 2000, which gave the public the right to follow footpaths wherever they led – even onto private land. The CROW Act also allocated almost $20 million to mapping forgotten paths, but the enormous task was abandoned after four years. Now, walking enthusiasts are contributing to the “Don’t Lose Your Way” campaign, which maps forgotten paths in efforts to restore ancient thoroughfares.
In Cochabamba, Bolivia, an endangered frog found his match with a dating app. The Sehuencas water frog species was almost entirely wiped out by a fungal disease – for several years, scientists only had one member of the species in captivity. But they didn’t give up: In a bid to bring back the species, they named the frog Romeo and started a fundraiser (with a dating website profile for publicity) to find him a mate. With the money raised, scientists were able to find a Juliet for Romeo in the Bolivian cloud forest.
In the international community, a fellowship of metal-detecting specialists is finding lost rings. Aptly named “The Ring Finders,” this global online community will locate missing rings – for a “pay what you can” fee. They report that they’ve found at least 5,080 rings so far, with an estimated total value of $7.5 million. The site was started by Chris Turner, a metal-detecting enthusiast from Vancouver, British Columbia, after he found a ring for a neighbor and was rewarded with apple pie for a year.