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Residents of Swiss village successfully sue after river ‘flows too loudly’

A court has ruled in the favour of residents of a small Swiss village who sued local authorities after a river flowed too loudly.

Shhh, it's Sunday! An image of a Swiss river that may or may not be flowing too loudly. Photo by Arie Wubben on Unsplash
Shhh, it's Sunday! An image of a Swiss river that may or may not be flowing too loudly. Photo by Arie Wubben on Unsplash

We can’t say with certainty that this only happens in Switzerland, but we suspect this is so.

Residents of a district of Saint Légier in the canton of Vaud complained that a stream in their neighbourhood flows too loudly, demanding that local authorities install soundproofing.

The river, which is primarily used by farmers for irrigation, was partially re-routed in 2020. 

READ MORE: The 12 strange laws in Switzerland you need to know

Authorities denied the request, saying that “the noise emitted by the stream… does not constitute an inadmissible attack on the tranquility of local residents”.

The complainants then took their cause to the district court, demanding that acoustic assessments be made to measure the stream’s noise level, countering the argument that their tranquility is not disturbed. 

Their arguments were heard loud and clear, with the court finding in their favour. 

The court said officials should either bury the stream, make it narrower, or install a noise barrier.

All this may sound bizarre, except that this is hardly the first time a group of residents creates ruckus about ambient noise.

Other instances include people complaining about loud church bells, public clocks chiming every 15 minutes, and cow bells.

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OFFBEAT

Swiss Post unveils ‘scratch and sniff’ stamps which smell like campfires

In celebration of Swiss scouts, Switzerland has unveiled a commemorative postage stamp, which smells like a campfire.

Swiss Post unveils ‘scratch and sniff’ stamps which smell like campfires

The campfire scent is released when the stamp is rubbed or scratched. 

The stamps were released on Friday, May 5th and will be available only for a limited time. 

They have been issued to commemorate the Swiss Scout Movement, a meeting of around 30,000 scouts which is set to take place in the district of Goms, Valais. 

The Movement only takes place every 14 years. 

Scratch and Sniff: The commemorative campfire stamp. Image: Swiss Post

Scratch and Sniff: The commemorative campfire stamp. Image: Swiss Post

The scouts will set up a tent city in Goms, living there from July 23rd until August 6th. 

The stamps have been released alongside three others which commemorate Swiss traditions and icons. 

One stamp features Switzerland’s William Tell along with a boy, an apple and a crossbow. 

Another celebrates Switzerland’s national parks, while the fourth features an array of Swiss flags on a red background celebrating Swiss national day on August 1st. 

The stamps are available here. 

READ MORE: Austria Post produces ‘three-ply toilet paper stamps’ to promote social distancing 

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