High hopes for wheat harvest

Farmers are expecting a bumper crop of wheat this year thanks to almost-perfect weather conditions

Matthew Hopkins

The Witchfinder General of Essex

Many myths surround Matthew Hopkins, the self proclaimed Witchfinder General but his actions in 1645 in Essex are well documented.

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Parks given green seal of approval

Over 100 parks in the ITV Anglia region have been given green flag awards as some of the best green spaces in the country.

Over 700 volunteers from Keep Britain Tidy carried out the judging for this year's Love Parks Week.

Winners include Christchurch Park in Ipswich, Castle Park in Colchester, Eaton Park in Norwich, Bedford Park and Ely Country Park in Cambridgeshire.

Park winners
100 parks receive Green Flag awards Credit: ITV News Anglia

'It's another record-breaking year for the scheme. This is something well worth celebrating and testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, supported by some amazing volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.

The parks sector is facing some tough challenges so it is heartening to see that they are committed to maintaining and improving standards. We know how passionate people are about our parks and green spaces and the recent Heritage Lottery Fund report, State of UK Public Parks, highlighted the need for everyone to work together to ensure they are maintained for future generations."

– Paul Todd, Green Flag award scheme manager

Tour de France leaves lasting legacy to community group

Tour de France
Tour de France in Cambridge Credit: ITV Sport

More than £3,000 has been raised for a Cambridge cycling project - thanks to the Tour de France.

The City Council sold lamp post banners, posters and official bunting from the third stage of the race which started in the city earlier this month.

The money will go to a community cycling project called You Can Bike Too

You Can Bike Too - is an inclusive cycling project which allows people of all ages and abilities to become more bike confident.

Highlights from the Cambridge stage of the Tour de France.

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Spurs youngster signs on loan for Peterborough

Kenny McEvoy
Kenny McEvoy playing for Spurs Credit: PA

Peterborough United have announced their latest signing.

Tottenham starlet Kenny McEvoy has joined the London Road side on a season-long youth loan.

The 19-year-old winger says he hopes to break into the first team. He told the club website: "It is good that I have been able to join in pre-season as I can get to know the lads before the season starts."

More on the club website.

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Two men guilty of brutal murder of Great Yarmouth man

Kestutis Sliogeris and Mantas Staponka
Kestutis Sliogeris and Mantas Staponka Credit: Norfolk Police

Two men have today been found guilty of the murder of a 38-year-old man.

Neighbours discovered the body of Paulius Jakovlevas in the communal stairwell of a group of flats in Wellesley Road. Post mortem examinations later revealed he had died from severe head injuries.

After a five week trial at Norwich Crown Court, Kestutis Sliogeris, 40, from Peterborough and Mantas Staponka, 24, of no fixed address were found guilty.

Forensic evidence and witness testimony proved they had been involved in the attack on Paulius.

Sliogeris was charged shortly after the murder had taken place. Staponka fled to Lithuania and was extradited back to the United Kingdom to face the charges.

Two other men, Saidas Janulevicius, aged 35 and of no fixed abode and Algirdas Pocius, 47, from Wellington Road, Great Yarmouth, charged in relation to the murder, were found not guilty by the jury.

Det Ch Insp Andy Guy, from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, who lead the enquiry, welcomed the convictions saying:

The convictions of the defendants are recognition of the brutal and senseless attack on Paulius which appears to be as a result of an alcohol fuelled argument over a tattoo. The fact that no effort was made by any of the defendants to give first aid or summon help as he lay dying on the floor for many hours, will be incredulous to most people.

This incident highlights the damage that the abuse of alcohol causes at the worst possible level.”

– Det Ch Insp Andy Guy

H2-NO: Water blow in the hunt for Earth-like planets

Earth
No place like home: Blow in hunt for Earth-like planets Credit: PA

The hunt for planets similar to the Earth could be hampered by low water levels, Cambridge scientists have said.

Three planets which orbit stars similar to the sun had been seen as ideal candidates for detecting water vapour - a key characteristic of Earth-like climates.

But a team of astronomers using Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope studying HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b - which are between 60 and 900 light-years away, with temperatures ranging from 900 to 2200C - have found the planets are virtually dry.

Scientists from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge said it highlighted the challenges in searching for planets capable of sustaining life.

They found water levels which are only one-tenth to one-thousandth of the amount predicted.

Dr Nikku Madhusudhan of the University of Cambridge said

"These very hot planets with large atmospheres orbit some of our nearest stars, making them the best possible candidates for measuring water levels, and yet the levels we found were much lower than expected. "These results show just how challenging it could be to detect water on Earth-like exo-planets in our search for potential life elsewhere. "We expected these planets to have lots of water in their atmospheres. We have to revisit planet formation and migration models of giant planets, especially hot Jupiters, to investigate how they're formed. There are so many things we still don't understand about exo-planets - this opens up a new chapter in understanding how planets and solar systems form."

– Dr Nikku Madhusudhan

Been bitten? Blame the weather...

The Peterborough based charity "Bug-life" which studies insects, says the recent hot weather and thunderstorms have provided perfect breeding conditions for insects that bite.

It comes as experts say the number of people coming forward with bites from bugs such as mosquitos is higher this year.

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