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Countries unite to discuss flood prevention techniques

Scientists from across Europe are in Cumbria to discuss flood prevention.

They're using model simulators to demonstrate how rivers flow and investigate different ways to protect people and their property.

Academics from the Netherlands have been sharing some of their more radical approaches to minimising the effects of extreme weather.

Katie Hunter reports:

Firefighters strike over pensions

The latest fire fighters strike began this morning, 12 June, in a long running dispute over pensions, with support across Cumbria.

The FBU says dozens of its members refused to work today in a 24-hour strike, the longest yet in this campaign of action which stretches back three years.

The government wants to change fire fighters pensions contributions in a bid to cut public expenditure. The strike ends at 9:00am tomorrow.

Graeme Higgins, Branch secretary, Fire Brigades Union explains why they are on strike:

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New sludge solution to save £50million

The new plant is said to save £50m and accelerate sludge retrieval Credit: Sellafield Ltd

A new plant built at Sellafield will save them £50 million, say nuclear experts.

The plant has a new solution in the design style of a petrol-pump to remove radioactive sludge from the world's biggest open-air nuclear pond.

It's said this will save money for UK taxpayers and reduce the sludge hazard.

The pond was built in 1948 and will be decommisioned after it is emptied.

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Supermarkets defend British Beef sales

Farmers say the drop in the price of beef in Scotland is down to supermarkets importing too much beef from overseas.

They say less British Beef is sold, in favour of cheaper meat from across the EU.

But the British Retail Consortium say they are committed to selling meat from the UK.

“The vast majority of beef sold in major supermarkets continues to be sourced from Britain and is clearly labelled as such to help customers choose what they buy. Retailers are investing in their own chains, paying the best prices to their beef farmers who supply them and are not the cause of this short term fall. In fact, this April the farming industry produced a report that showed farmers’ share of the shop price of meat and milk has steadily increased over the last 15 years, as retailers cut the shelf price to help consumers whilst ensuring producers still receive a good price."

– Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability

"British supermarkets are continuing to give positive and strong support for British beef supporters, with the vast majority of beef sold produced in this country. Figures over the last 10 years have shown how farmer margins have steadily increased and we see a very positive future for beef farmers in the UK.”

– Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability

Fishing is 'a bit of our heritage'

A school trip as part of a project by the Nith Catchment Fisheries Trust is hoping to teach children about the fishing industry in South West Scotland.

It's hoped that it could inspire some of the children to become involved in the industry in adult life.

Local fisherman Peter Hutchinson says that fishing it part of their 'heritage' that he hopes will continue through the generations.

Scotch beef 'crisis' if prices continue to fall

Farmers in the Scottish Borders warn there will be a crisis in Scotch Beef if the prices they receive for prime cattle continues to drop.

In the last six months the cost of a prime cattle has fallen 25% from around £1,400 to £1,100. For some farmers, that's a loss of around £60,000 a year.

Farmers say that if the cost they receive for their cattle doesn't improve, they will have to give up producing livestock for beef.

"It has been almost like a perfect storm, there has been an increase in supply from the continent, we have seen the Irish price go tumbling down as well and we have also seen because of quite a soft winter a lot of animals coming onto the market at once, compounding the issue."

– NFU Scotland Livestock Policy manager John Sleigh
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