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Northamptonshire: New initiative to bring countryside ponds back to life

Neglected countryside ponds in our region are to be restored, thanks to a £96,000 pound grant for a project working along the River Nene.

Each pond can support hundreds of species, but conservationists say many ponds have been lost, and most of those left are in a poor condition.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Olivia Paterson

Newmarket: Solar farms branded a "waste of money"

The Red Lodge site in Newmarket. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The firm behind an £8 million solar farm near Newmarket says large sites in the countryside, like theirs, are an inefficient way of creating electricity.

Around a third of the energy created by the site at Red Lodge is lost when it's transported.

Tim Dobson, from Switch 2 Renewable, says that means it's not producing enough electricity to be useful to the National Grid.

"The networks can't rely really on renewable energy that goes up and down.

It's all about having reliable energy because the grid is so old and, particularly between 4 o'clock and 7 o'clock where they really need capacity, they need to be able to rely on that so they rely on other sources.

So solar probably doesn't really help that at the moment."

– Tim Dobson, Switch 2 Renewable

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Neglected ponds in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to be restored thanks to £96,000 grant

Neglected ponds in North Norfolk and Cambridgeshire are to be restored thanks to a £96,000 grant. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Neglected ponds in North Norfolk and Cambridgeshire are to be restored thanks to a £96,000 grant.

It'll mean conservationists can clear dozens of overgrown sites in the area and restore habitats for hundreds of animals and plants.

Ponds in Northamptonshire will also benefit from the money which is from the Landfill Communities Fund.

Work to repair sea defences begins in West Norfolk

Maintenance work begins on flood defences for West Norfolk beach Credit: ITV News Anglia

Maintenance work has begun between Snettisham and Hunstanton to repair any damage to flood defences in the area.

Environment Agency contractors will take three weeks to bring in sand and shingle to reinforce the flood defences.

The work will cost around £180,000.

Dumper trucks will move sand and shingle from Snettisham Scalp, where it is naturally deposited by the sea over the winter, back to areas of the shingle ridge and beach that have lost the material.

Coastal defence work starts in North Norfolk

Coastal defence work underway in North Norfolk Credit: Environment Agency

The Environment Agency have started work today on annual maintenance of the shingle embankment and beach which helps protect people and properties from tidal flooding between Snettisham and Hunstanton. The work is expected to take 3 weeks.

The embankment is a ‘soft’ sea defence, which requires annual maintenance to repair any damage sustained over the winter.

Ryan Ely, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Advisor, said

“We generally re-use around 7,000 cubic metres of sand and shingle to reinforce the defences, with this stage of the work bringing the defences back to the right standard. This process is known as beach recycling and is the most sustainable way to protect the coast in this location.”

– Ryan Ely, Environment Agency

The work is being done in consultation with Natural England and the RSPB.

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Cannibal seals killed dozens of north Norfolk seal pups, say scientists

Seals off the north Norfolk coast.

Marine Scientists researching the deaths of dozens of seals off the north Norfolk coast nearly five years ago, say cannibalism was the likely cause.

It was originally thought that ships' propellers had struck the seals between Wells and Blakeney between 2009 and 2010.

Now after a five year study, experts from St Andrews University in Scotland think the unusual 'corkscrew' wounds could be caused during attacks by other seals trying to eat the pups.

We've seen a grey seal male inflicting injuries which overall encompass the entire range of injuries that we've seen in these corkscrew pups. So although we don't have direct evidence that male seals were doing this in Norfolk, the evidence would suggest that it's highly likely.

– Dr David Thompson, Senior Research Scientist, University of St Andrews

Protected bird found shot dead near Norwich

Little Bustard found dead Credit: RSPB

A police investigation's begun after a protected bird was found shot dead near the roadside in Blofield near Norwich.

The 'Little Bustard' which is the size of a pheasant, is very rare to the UK and is the focus of intensive conservation efforts by the RSPB.

Police want to hear from anyone with information about the shooting last month.

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