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Warning over festive fare for feathered friends

Bird feeding advice Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire

The RSPB is urging people to put on a festive feast to fatten up garden birds this Christmas.

But the Bedfordshire-based charity has warned people not to leave out cooked turkey fat, which could prove fatal.

The fat remains soft even when cooled and it could easily smear onto birds’ feathers and ruin their water-proofing and insulating qualities which is essential if they are to survive the cold winter weather.

The fat could also turn rancid, providing an ideal breeding ground for salmonella and other food poisoning bacteria.

Richard James, RSPB Wildlife Advisor, said:

Often people believe they’re helping birds by pouring the fat from Christmas joints onto bird tables or mixing it with bird seed, but this is a completely different kind of fat and could have disastrous effects. Only pure fats such as lard and suet should be used to make homemade fat balls which will give birds’ the energy and nutrients to survive the winter cold.

If you do find yourself with a little extra time over the holidays and want to cook up a festive feast for your garden birds from scratch, then the RSPB’s website has a selection of recipes you can follow.”

– Richard James, RSPB Wildlife Advisor

Police get tough on rural crime

Theft of farm equipment is a key issue in rural communities Credit: Press Association

A new team of Special Constabulary officers has been launched in Cambridgeshire to support the force's Rural Crime Team.

Senior officers say the new team will provide visible reassurance to remote communities and businesses, supplementing the existing local area patrol officers.

The Cambridgeshire Rural Crime Team is based in Huntingdon Credit: Press Association

Among the issues facing rural communities and businesses in Cambridgeshire are hare coursing, theft from farms and outbuildings, theft of machinery and straw-stack arson.

Cambridgeshire police has about 300 special constables and is keen for more to sign-up.

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A Queen's park ranger: Prince Harry stars in festive football match

Prince Harry in action Credit: Jason Bye/PA Wire

Prince Harry showed off his football skills when he joined Norfolk villagers for a Christmas Eve football match.

Harry is spending part of the festive period with other members of the Royal Family who are enjoying a traditional break at the Queen's private Norfolk estate of Sandringham.

He played in the same fixture last year for the Sandringham estate workers who took on villagers from neighbouring Castle Rising.

Harry was a key member of the team, making tackles and getting involved in the action.

Harry's team ran out easy winners.

Harry clears the all Credit: Jason Bye/PA Wire

Cyclist suffers serious leg injuries in collision

Scene of the collision

A cyclist is being treated for serious leg injuries following a collision in King's Lynn this morning.

The woman was cycling on Hardwick Road at around 6:35am when she was in collision with a black Suzuki Alto close to the junction with Hansa Road.

The cyclist is being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to call police on 101.

Police seek help in preventing lead thefts

Icklingham St James Church in Suffolk had thousands of pounds worth of lead stolen in August Credit: ITV News Anglia

Suffolk Police are hoping people can help prevent the theft of lead from churches over the festive period.

The county has suffered from a number of metal thefts, including the theft of lead from churches.

In August two churches near Newmarket were targeted by metal thieves, causing up to £200,000 worth of damage.

Police are also encouraging churches to consider the installation of lighting, CCTV and/or roof alarms.

We are asking local people to take an interest in their local church whilst they are out and about.

If you take the dog out for a walk, or go for a stroll, don’t ignore anything that you think looks out of place - report anything you think may be suspicious to the police.

Communities can act as our eyes and ears, and by pulling together to note suspicious activity, we can deter thieves from committing these damaging crimes.

– Chief Inspector Sarah Shrubshall
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