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Former site of A3 is now a wildlife haven

Credit: Natural England

The former site of the A3 at Hindhead has been recognised as a wildlife haven. The Devil’s Punch Bowl, once separated from Hindhead Common by the A3, has become one of the top wildlife sites in south east England. The improvements to the area in recent years are the result of the creation of the Hindhead Tunnel exactly six years ago. The National Trust and Natural England have now worked to restore the site. This has seen the return of rare and diverse breeding birds such as the Woodlark and Nightjar. The nationally scarce heath tiger beetle has been sighted, and conditions are said to be favourable for the return of the silver studded blue butterfly. Visitor numbers have also been increased up 20% from 2011 to approximately 700,000 per year.

Credit: Natural England

Matt Cusack, Lead Ranger for the National Trust said: “I am thrilled we’ve achieved favourable status for Hindhead and the Punch Bowl. The removal of the A3 in July 2011 was a major milestone, enabling us to thin trees and transform the site into a swathe of heathland. But the site has been under a Higher Level Stewardship agreement since 2008. Heather mowing, the introduction of woodlark nesting areas, grazing and scrub management conducted under the scheme has transformed it. This couldn’t have been achieved without the support of my team and Hindhead’s dedicated local volunteers.”

Credit: Natural England

Teenager 'electrocuted' at Herne Bay railway station

Investigations are underway into how a 16-year-old girl came to her death on the railway at Herne Bay station, in Kent.

Emergency services were called to the station shortly before 7am yesterday morning. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene after sustaining serious injuries believed to be caused by electrocution.

Her death is being treated as unexplained whilst officers make enquiries into the circumstances leading to her receiving these injuries.

Officers say formal identification had yet to be completed; however the girl’s family have been informed. A post mortem examination is due to take place on Friday.

Police are urging anyone with any information to contact them by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 82 of 26/07/2017.

Understandably the family are now desperate for answers and my officers are focussed on understanding how this girl came to be on the tracks.

What we know so far is that the girl was with a group of friends near the station shortly before 11pm yesterday evening. Sometime between then and 7am this morning she came to receive these injuries. Therefore, I would be looking to speak with anyone who might have been near to Herne Bay station during this period. If you were in the area or have any information, no matter how small, please do get in touch as soon as possible. Your information might prove vital in our enquiries.”

– DCI Paul Langley from British Transport Police

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Jane Austen exhibition is a success in Winchester

The exhibition is attracting thousands of people Credit: ITV

'Inspired by the Word' is a multi-venue visual arts exhibition, proving popular at Winchester Cathedral. The exhibition celebrates the literature of writers Jane Austen, Edward Thomas and Gilbert White. The theme chosen for Winchester Cathedral’s exhibition is Jane Austen. Artists have been inspired by both the author and the cathedral setting. The exhibition runs until the end of September.

Tracks and stations to be affected by upgrade

There will be engineering work next month Credit: ITV

A helicopter has been surveying the tracks into London Bridge station ahead of engineering work over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Tracks and stations across the South will be affected by the upgrade. Southern and Southeastern passengers will be affected by the reduction in services.

High rating for Poole Hospital

Praise for Poole Hospital Credit: Google maps

Poole Hospital has been rated the fourth best in the country, caring for patients with dementia. The National Audit of Dementia found 90 per cent of carers questioned said the care their loved ones received was high quality. The hospital has introduced a number of initiatives to support care for patients with the condition, including extra training for staff.

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Shops caught selling knives to children

Credit: ITV news

Eight shops in Southampton have been caught by police selling knives to children. The Neighbourhood Policing Team and City Council Trading Standards carried out 21 test-purchase operations at several retailers across the city. Out of the 21 stores tested, eight failed by selling knives to a person under 18. The was part of Operation Sceptre, a police campaign to take knives off the streets, educate people about the dangers and reduce knife crime in the city.

Two kitchen knives were sold to a police cadet in one store whilst another sold a six piece kitchen knife set without challenging the age of the buyer.
Three stores in the city centre failed. One of which had been tested three times and failed three times.

In 2016 80% of stores failed the tests. That fell to 12% in February 2017. Southampton Central Sergeant Charlie Ilderton said: “These results are less positive than our previous tests in February however they are still an improvement on the results in 2016. We continue to work with these stores and staff to raise awareness about knife crime and ensure retail responsibility and compliance is upheld. However, it is disappointing eight stores still failed, two of which had failed a number of times before and had staff previously attend a police and Trading Standards awareness course. Correct procedures must be practiced to prevent young people from easily obtaining knives and potentially putting their lives, or the lives of others, at risk."

Police hunt motorist after hit and run in Fareham

Police are hunting a motorist after a hit and run in Fareham, which left a woman with head and face injuries. The 59 year old pedestrian was hit by a car as she crossed Osborn Road, just south of the Ashcroft Arts Centre. She was taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital for treatment The car is thought to be a red Nissan Micra or similar. The driver, described as an elderly man, left the scene.

PC Peter Sarginson said: “We would like to hear from anyone who saw this incident take place, or can assist us with identifying the vehicle and the driver involved. This area of road would have had a constant flow of traffic and occasional pedestrians using the footpath, so it is likely that someone saw what happened. We are particularly keen to trace a woman at the scene who we believe has useful information for us, but who had already left the area by the time police arrived. In addition, I would urge the driver of the small red car to come forward and speak to us so we can establish exactly what has happened.”

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