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Judges shown Birmingham's best in garden contest

Judges in a competition to find Europe's best garden city were today being shown around some of Birmingham's best-known historical landmarks.

They set off this morning and have taken a tour around popular spots including Eastside, Millennium Point, Sarehole Mill, Longbridge, Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston Guinea Gardens, St Philip’s Cathedral, Colmore Row and Birmingham Council House.

Birmingham's St Philip's Cathedrial in Colmore Row is among the popular spots to be shown to judges Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

The visit is part of the judging process for the Entente Florale competition, which aims to pick the best horticultural and environmental city in Europe.

Birmingham will be up against cities in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, and Slovenia in the battle for the title.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Belgium on September 27.

Birmingham battles for 'best flowers in Europe' title

Birmingham has been chosen to represent the UK in a competition to find the best environmental city in Europe.

This weekend, a judging panel made up of dignitaries from across Europe will visit some of the city's best-known historical landmarks as part of the Entente Florale contest.

One of Birmingham's floral displays, created for a gardening competition in 2012 Credit: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham is up against cities in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, and Slovenia in the battle for the title.

They will be judged on both their horticultural and environmental qualities.

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Full report: £10,000 on bees from Italy for Shropshire

Whether you love or hate bees, there is no denying that we all need them. But with the wet summers and harsh winters we've had, the bee population is shrinking rapidly.

At one farming estate in the Midlands, they've lost 102 of their 150 hives. So they've taken drastic action by importing £10,000 worth of bees, from Italy - to try to boost numbers. Kate Fisher reports.

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Company spends £10,000 importing bees after huge numbers die

The Food Centre has spent £10,000 importing the bees from the continent

Bees are being brought from Europe to Ludlow Food Centre, to replace the hives that have declined in recent years.

In Ludlow, 102 out of the 150 hives have gone, which is believed to be mainly down to bad weather.

The Food Centre has spent £10,000 importing the bees from the continent.

Judge calls climate protesters 'conscientious'

Speaking at the sentencing of 21 climate change activists who shut down the West Burton Power Station in Nottinghamshire last August, the judge at Nottingham Magistrates Court described the activists as:

"...decent educated men and women, many of whom already volunteered in the community… I take into account the conscientious motives of all of you"

Total of more than 3000 hours community service for climate protesters

Two of the activists after scaling one of the power station's 200ft chimneys Credit: Protesters' footage

Climate change protesters have been sentenced to a total of more than 3000 hours in community service for shutting down a power station in Nottinghamshire last Autumn.

The judge at Nottingham Magistrates Court handed out 16 community service orders. The following 5 people involved were given conditional discharges which means they will not be punished as long as they don't commit any other offences.

Twenty of the protesters were each charged £85 in costs.

The judge also ordered that the 16 climbers who scaled the towers at the West Burton Power Station would not have their climbing equipment returned to them - each set costs up to 800 pounds each.

Protesters outside one of their previous court appearances Credit: PA
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