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Residents are being offered prizes if they recycle more

Credit: PA Images

People living in West Norfolk are being offered prizes if they recycle more.

The scheme, which offers shopping vouchers to those who reduce what they throw away, is aimed at improving recycling rates.

At the moment only 42 percent of waste is kept from landfill - the EU target is 50 percent.

The scheme will also be supporting local charity and community projects with £6,000 in donations in the first year.

“It’s great to be rewarding residents of West Norfolk for their recycling efforts, as although residents already recycle 42% of their waste there is still work to be done to reach the EU target of 50% by 2020.

We hope that the mix of community and individual rewards will appeal to as many residents as possible and are looking forward to seeing improvements over the next two years.”

– Graham Simmonds, Managing Director of Local Green Points

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Scientist: 'Stevenage forest mission is fantastic news'

A leading scientist behind a new satellite which is to be built in Stevenage has described the project as 'fantastic'.

The 'Biomass' probe will be built by the town's Airbus Defence team and will help monitor the earth's forests from space.

It is due to be launched in 2021.

Stevenage satellite to monitor the world's forests from space

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

Scientists will soon be able to monitor the earth's forests from space thanks to a new satellite to be built at Stevenage's Airbus Defence team.

The project called 'Biomass' follows on from last week's test of its Mars Rover by astronaut Tim Peake.

The Biomass probe will provide information to climate researchers all over the world when it is launched in 2021.

It will make 3D maps of forests across the globe and measure the amount of carbon present.

It will also pick up any annual changes.

Collecting accurate data on the world's biomass is key to our understanding of the world's climate.

We are very pleased to help ESA with this mission that will provide key data for scientists and climate scientists around the world.

– François Auque, Head of Space Systems

Farmers say cold snap is having a detrimental impact on crops

East Anglia's farmers say the current cold snap is having a detrimental impact on their crops.

Drilling for sugar beet is behind schedule and many asparagus growers are well behind schedule.

Algy Garrod grows asparagus at Bawdeswell near Norwich. Although it's on sale at his farm shop, that's a variety grown under polythene at a nearby farm.

Algy doesn't cover his which is why there's very little sign of growth.

"We've probably missed ten days of picking already," he said.

What he needs is several days of warm weather.

"Cold weather slows everything down; drops the soil temperature. In the last few days we've had frost, hail sleet and snow. The asparagus tips would explode with an improvement but there's little sign of it at the minute."

The immediate outlook isn't encouraging. Cold, showery weather is forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend - a bit of a concern for the region's tourist industry after a disappointing Easter.

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Historic public garden reopens after sinkhole forces it to close

Historic city centre garden reopens to public Credit: Norwich Plantation Society

An historic public garden is reopening today after a nearby sinkhole closed it two weeks ago.

The historic Plantation Gardens on Earlham Road in the city were evacuated after a hole opened up in the hotel next door.

The closure was essential whilst specialist engineers carried out an investigation.

Credit: Norwich Plantation Society

We are so pleased to be open again, as the Spring planting is showing well and our magnificent Magnolia tree is still in full bloom. The reaction from the public and our members to the closure of the last two weeks has been very supportive and understanding...The timing of the closure was so sad in that we had announced only the day before that we have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £38,800 which will enhance the enjoyment of this special place and indeed the knowledge base of its history and wildlife.

– Roger Connah, Chairman of the Plantation Garden Preservation Trust

Rare glimpse of a baby hare in Norfolk Wetlands

Leveret on Lady Fen Credit: Shaun O'Driscoll

Staff at Welney Wetland Centre near Downham Market in Norfolk have been treated to a rare glimpse of a baby hare.

A routine check of the wetland area known as Lady Fen, led to an encounter with one of the cutest and most elusive residents.

Baby hares, called leverets, are incredibly secretive creatures. Once born, they are left out in the open, using tussocks of grass or mounds of earth for shelter.

Whereas baby rabbits pass their first vulnerable weeks below ground, in the relative safety of a burrow. To avoid the attention of predators, leverets have to lay still for the majority of the day. They only feed from their mother for a few minutes each evening.

"This is the first time I have seen a leveret in my three years working as the stockman for WWT Welney. It was a nice surprise to come across the baby hare, which was smaller than a rabbit, but those tell-tale long ears gave away its real identity. Whilst I am used to enjoying great views of the adult hares, the youngsters have a real skill at staying hidden”.

– Shaun O'Driscoll, WWT Welney

Elusive baby hare caught on camera

Baby hares, called leverets, are incredibly secretive creatures. Credit: Shaun O’Driscoll

A secretive baby hare has been caught on camera in Norfolk.

The leveret was photographed at Welney Wetland Centre by Shaun O’Driscoll, a stockman there.

“This is the first time I have seen a leveret in my three years working as the stockman for WWT Welney. It was a nice surprise to come across the baby hare, which was smaller than a rabbit, but those tell-tale long ears gave away its real identity.

“During the summer months I travel around the wetlands to check the herds of cattle, so I cover this area on a regular basis. Whilst I am used to enjoying great views of the adult hares, the youngsters have a real skill at staying hidden”.

– Shaun O’Driscoll
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