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Setback for campaigners fighting housing development in Suffolk's 'Constable country'

There's been a blow to campaigners fighting plans to build more than 300 homes in the Suffolk countryside that inspired the artist John Constable.

The development in Brantham has now been approved by the district council, but some say it will turn the village into a town and the infrastructure won't be able to cope.

With growing demand for housing and government targets to meet there are many more in the East who are forming groups to try and protect their countryside.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu.

Summer brings warning of illegal raves

People in rural areas are being asked to look out for signs of illegal raves. They become more frequent in the summer, with sometimes hundreds of people turning up for events which can go on for days.

Police at an illegal rave at Bourne near Peterborough last May Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northamptonshire Police say the unlicensed events can be noisy and disruptive, and that once a rave has begun it can be very difficult to shut it down. At one at Bourne near Peterborough last year 43 people were arrested and 3 officers ended up in hospital after being injured.

Organisers often scope out potential sites in the days before and the police are asking rural communities to keep an eye out for signs, such as posters, damages gates, flattened hedgerow, or people parking by fields and going in to look around.

"People will usually ring us to complain about traffic movements and anti-social behaviour as people start to turn-up to a rave, but they can also help by being alert to anything that is out of the ordinary in their community, no matter how trivial it may seem... I would urge anyone who spots anything out of the ordinary in their village, along a country road or around farm land to please let us know."

– Spokesperson - Northamptonshire Police

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Eagle-eyes requested for Monty's harriers

Keen bird watchers in Norfolk are being encouraged to keep an eye out for a rare bird of prey on their way to the UK for the Summer migration.

Montagu's harriers in flight Credit: RSPB

Montagu's harriers go to Senegal for winter, but from May one male in particular - who goes by the name of Roger - is known to come back to Norfolk to breed.

Roger was fitted with a state of the art satellite tracking device in 2014 as part of an ongoing study to learn more about Montagu's harriers' migration and their breeding sites here in the UK. Five other birds have since been fitted, and it's enabled researchers to locate the winter grounds of UK Montagu's harriers in Senegal for the first time.

The RSPB are hoping that the public reporting any sightings could help identify new areas where they're nesting. Just seven pairs of Montagu's harriers, known affectionately by bird watchers as 'Monty's', nested in the whole of the UK last year.

"Monty's are increasingly nesting in cropped arable fields rather than reed beds, so we're especially keen to make farmers aware of them and hear from any who think they might have birds nesting in their fields, but anyone who sees one can help us make sure they have the best chance of successfully breeding and rearing their chicks by getting in touch to tell us about their sighting."

– Mark Thomas - RSPB

Thousands flock to East Anglian Game and Country Fair Show

The event takes place at the Norfolk showground Credit: ITV News Anglia

Around 30,000 people have been visiting the East Anglian Game and Country Fair in Norwich.

The annual two day event at the Norfolk showground attracts people from all over the country with hundreds of exhibitions and stalls.

Credit: ITV News Anglia
Credit: ITV News Anglia

As well as flying displays and dog displays there was also plenty on hand to keep the children occupied!

Thankfully the sun came out in between the odd rain shower Credit: ITV News Anglia
Credit: ITV News Anglia

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Sir David Attenborough to open 'exceptional' conservation hub

Sir David Attenborough. Credit: PA

Sir David Attenborough is in Cambridge today to open a new campus which he hopes will help save the planet.

The hub will be home to more than 500 conversation experts who'll research ways of tackling climate change and protecting species around the world.

The new hub will be a centre for environmental research. Credit: Toby Smith

The future of our life on Earth is dependent on the natural world – for the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we use – and for the feelings we have of awe and wonder at nature’s extraordinary riches.

In this remarkable age we are learning more and more about the intricacies of our dependence on nature.

Yet our natural world is threatened as never before. The threats are both numerous and interrelated, and no one institution, however effective, can hope to address them all alone. It is for this reason that the work of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative is so exceptional.

By bringing together leaders in research, practice, policy and teaching, we stand the greatest chance of developing the solutions required to save our planet.

– Sir David Attenborough
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