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Could parts of HS2 go underground?

There are calls for parts of the planned HS2 rail link in our region to built underground to protect wildlife.

A report commissioned by Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust says that hundreds of special sites could be seriously affected.

HS2 artist impression Credit: HS2 Ltd

They're calling on the government to create a plan for restoring nature if the construction work goes ahead.

Meanwhile a second report from group of local councils says tunnelling under the Chilterns should be considered to protect the area of outstanding natural beauty.


'Supermum' squirrel produces 48th Kitten

A red squirrel at a conservation centre in Norfolk has stunned wardens by producing her 48th kitten.

Affectionately named Tortoiseshell, the seven-year-old squirrel has proved to be one of the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust's greatest success stories, producing her littlers since 2008.

Tortoiseshell with one of her babies Credit: Pensthorpe Conservation Trust

Tortoiseshell and her former partner Tweedledum were considered one of the most successful breeding pairs in the Trust’s history, but when Tweedledum died in 2012 there was concern she might never breed again.

But Tortoiseshell’s latest match with new partner Bryn has produced three new kittens - two male and one female.

Wardens predict that the kittens were born between late February and early March They venture from the drey after 6 to 7 weeks and are fully weaned by 10 weeks old.

Two of Tortoiseshell's latest litter Credit: Pensthorpe Conservation Trust

Chrissie Kelley, Head of Species Management for the Trust and Coordinator for the East Anglian Red Squirrel group said “Red squirrels only survive in a handful of locations in the UK, which is why we’re so fortunate to have successful breeding pairs here at Pensthorpe.

"By having her here we can highlight the beauty and character of this enigmatic species by capturing the imagination of our visitors and educating them on their plight.”

  1. Claire McGlasson

Experts gather in Cambridge in fight to save the swift

Swifts are becoming an increasingly rare sight in the skies of the UK.

Concerned about the declining numbers, specialists from around the world have met in Cambridge to discuss ways to save them.

The small birds are said to herald the arrival of the British summer when they arrive on these shores on their annual migration from Africa.

Swifts spend nearly all their lives in flight. They eat, mate, even sleep on the wing. Only when it's time to have their young do they settle down for a while.

But after flying 3,000 miles from Africa, in just five days, many are struggling to find a place to stay here.

Dick Newell from Action for Swifts said: "The reason is thought to be mainly loss of nest sites, because roofs and houses and walls get repaired. New buidings are impervious to any living creature and so it's just a one-way street of decline and we have to do something about that."

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson

Cooking up food for free with a countryside harvest

It's the time of year that the countryside is teeming with a rich harvest of edible food for free.

A canny cook, Jo Miles from Surlingham in south Norfolk, took ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray on a foraging expedition to make lunch from things they found for free, in fields, hedgerows and by the roadside.

Click below to watch the food being cooked

Click here for the recipes

Emma's Homemade Horseradish Sauce

Peeled horseradish Credit: ITV News Anglia

ITV News Anglia has been looking at cooking up food for free that has been gathered from the region's fields, hedgerows and woodland.

As part of the filming, a horseradish was dug up and presenter Emma Baker took up the challenge of making it into a sauce. Here's the recipe:

Peel and finely grate the horseradish. Add a good dollop of yoghurt and cream - how much will depend on how strong you like your sauce.

Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice to taste and voila! Homemade horseradish sauce, best served with roast beef or smoked fish. Bon appetit!

Grated horseradish Credit: ITV News Anglia


It's a bug's life for Norfolk's creepy crawler collector

David Attenborough is the natural history expert who has brought so many species to life on television but where would he be without the stars of the show?

When it comes to insects there's only one man he turns to for help.

Martin French is a bug expert and in a 60 foot shed in the bottom of his Norfolk garden he has tens of thousands of creepy crawlies who could be the next small thing on the box.

Click below to watch a report from ITV Anglia's Natalie Gray

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