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New "Big One" at Blackpool to clean up the coast

Blackpool is to get another Big One but its not a new roller coaster. Its a new outfall pipe to try and clean up the waters off the coast.

Blackpool's new Big One is a kilometre long Credit: United Utilities

The new pipe is a kilometre long and weighs more than 2000 tonnes. It'll act as a relief valve for the town's sewer network during periods of heavy rain. Its been kept in North Wales and will take a team of engineers six weeks to install it in a specially built trench in the seabed off the Blackpool coast.

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Lancashire County Councillors reject fracking plans

Fracking work at the Little Plumpton site Credit: Peter Byrne / PA Wire

County councillors have rejected plans to frack for shale gas in Lancashire, according to reports.

Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to undertake exploratory drilling and fracking at a site in Little Plumpton, between Preston and Blackpool.

Planning officials recommended approval of the operation subject to a number of conditions but the council's development control committee have rejected the advice and voted against it by 10 to four.

Members of the public stood up and applauded the decision as the motion was passed.

The Government has said it is going "all out for shale", and claims it the controversial procedure would create jobs and growth, as well as reducing energy prices and cutting the country's reliance on gas imports.

However opponents insist that the process, which pumps water underground to release gas trapped in shale rock, causes earthquakes, can pollute water supplies, and could lead to inappropriate development in the countryside.

Super Shed scoops a top prize

For most of us a shed is a fairly tatty building at the bottom of the garden where we keep tools and junk. But that's certainly not the case for one shed owner on Merseyside.

Tracy Lewis' Owl House

This is the Owl House by Tracy Lewis from Hightown, Sefton. And her rather spectacular design has won her the Eco Category in the 2015 annual Shed of the Year competition... Resembling an owl due to the unique curved wooden window frames, its made entirely from cob, recycled plywood and collected recycled glass bottles and even has a grass roof. Used for relaxing in, it contains a bed and comfy chairs and overlooks the dunes at Hightown.

Controversial power station route to be chosen

National Grid will be announcing the route it has chosen for building connections to link the proposed nuclear power station near Sellafield to the grid.
Environmental campaigners say giant pylons will ruin the Lake District landscape. They have argued that most of the huge cabling should be hidden under the Irish Sea.

Artist's impression Credit: ITV Granada

The decision follows a 12 week consultation period.

Bailiffs on the hunt for illegal fishing

On the first day of the coarse angling season bailiffs will start patrols along waterways in Lancashire clamping down on illegal fishing and checking anglers are fishing legally with current, valid rod licenses.

Credit: pa

Nationally Environment Agency officers checked more than 70,000 licences in 2014 and prosecuted more than 2,100 licence cheats. Between them, they were ordered to pay fines and costs in excess of half a million pounds.

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Youngsters missing out on Britain's most popular birds

Credit: Knowsley Safari Park

A survey of young people at Knowsley Safari Park has found young people are unlikely to recognise some of Britain's most common bird species.

Many of the young people surveyed mistook puffins for penguins, kingfishers for woodpeckers and red kites for golden eagles.

A poll of 500 children at the park found fewer than half of under 15s have seen the top ten most popular birds.

Knowsley Safari Park has now opened a new trail for bird-watching in the hope of improving young peoples' ability to recognise birds.

Rachel Scott of Knowsley Safari said:

"Finding a space where children can pay attention to what’s soaring and swooping over their heads is the best way to encourage their interest in native birds.”

Solar Farm deadline

Solar panels Credit: pa

Its the deadline for objections to plans for a solar farm in rural Lancashire. It would see the equivalent of 35 football pitches covered with panels in the village of Aughton near Ormskirk. The company behind the plan say it would power thousands of homes, but those opposed say it'll ruin the area. Councillors in West Lancashire are looking at 9 applications for similar schemes.

World's oldest fishing club casts out into the city

Dozens of anglers will soon be a familiar sight on the Rochdale Canal through Manchester city centre, thanks to a new fishing agreement between the Canal & River Trust and the world’s oldest angling club, the Salford Friendly Anglers Society.

Salford Friendly Anglers Society dates back to the 19th century Credit: Canal & River Trust

The club, which can trace its roots back to 1817, currently has fishing rights on the River Irwell and a few small lakes and reservoirs around Greater Manchester. However from the end of this April, their members will be able to extend their angling activities to a 12 mile stretch of the Rochdale Canal, from the canal’s start in Castlefield, through Manchester city centre to Middleton, near Rochdale.

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