An article in the Guardian says that "England and Wales have about 140,000 miles of footpaths, but there are an estimated 10,000 more that have been lost from current maps". It says that walking charity The Ramblers is behind a campaign to rediscover these routes. The paper says that one campaigner has "so far made 85 legal applications for the recovery of lost paths in a small corner of Hampshire".
The Financial Times (subscription) reports that "public spending has increased in the south of England since the financial crisis but has fallen in the more deprived north". The paper says that "analysis by the Institute for Public Policy North, the think-tank, found that since the government began its austerity programme in 2009/10 total public spending in the north had fallen by £6.3bn in real terms — more than any other region of the UK — but risen by £3.2bn in the south-east and south-west".
The Times (subscription) reports that "the building sector expanded more quickly than expected last month". The paper says that the purchasing managers’ index for the construction sector "climbed to 53.4 in November, up from 53.2 the previous month. Economists had been expecting a mark of 52.5, with any figure above 50 indicating growth. Job creation in the industry also reached its highest level since December 2015."
This summer’s "scorching temperatures took an expensive toll on the UK’s bricks and mortar as subsidence claims soared", the Times reports. The paper says that "more than 10,000 households made claims between July and September. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it was the highest number since the heatwaves of 2006 and 2003".
The Times also reports that "abandoned coal mines will be converted into giant underground farms under plans unveiled by a British academic". The paper says that the "deep farms" created in "some of the 150,000 abandoned shafts could produce up to ten harvests a year". They would "use technology developed for above-ground ‘vertical farms’ featuring LED lighting designed for specific crops that are grown in water-based hydroponic solutions rather than soil", the paper says.