Live updates

More than 1,800 lights put on Britain's tallest tree

A view of Britain's tallest Christmas tree at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, fitted with an estimated 1800 lights following its official switch on Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images

More than 1,800 lights have been put on Britain's tallest Christmas tree, enabling it to be used as a beacon for planes landing at nearby Gatwick Airport.

Standing at around 110ft tall, the giant redwood at Wakehurst Place near Ardingly, West Sussex, is the UK's largest living festive tree. It was first decorated outside Wakehurst's Elizabethan mansion 23 years ago, and was planted in the 1890s as one of the first exotic trees on the 500-acre estate.

It takes a team of arboriculturalists all day in two cherry pickers to put up the LED bulbs and remeasure the tree at Wakehurst, a National Trust site run by Kew Gardens.

Wakehurst's director Tony Sweeney said: "The tree is approximately 120 years old and we're expecting it to have grown around a foot. The tree has great vitality and it will continue to grow at an impressive rate for many more years to come."

The tree is one of Wakehurst's great survivors, weathering the Great Storm of 1987 and many other gales since, including Storm Barney this week. Following the decoration and testing of the lights, the illuminations will be switched on on December 4 to mark the start of Wakehurst's Glow Wild Lantern Festival.


Tiny turtle called Tina rescued from dustbin

Tiny turtle rescued from bin Credit: Heath Veterinary Clinic

Hurstpierpoint, has been nursing a dumped baby turtle back to health.

Originally nicknamed Tiny Tim, Tiny Tina (who is actually a girl) was found dumped in a dustbin in the local area and handed in to Heath Vets last week. She was cold, lethargic and very hungry but once warmed up by the staff, she began to be more active but needed extra TLC before she started eating again.

With a shell about the size of a 50 pence piece, Tiny Tina really is teeny and is thought to be only one month old, although she could live up to 50 years. Her skin had not shed as well as it should have, but with lots of care from Heath Vets, it is looking less flaky and she appears to be on the mend.

Sarah Solomon, Practice Manager of Heath Veterinary Clinic, says:

“We were really shocked to have a turtle brought into the clinic and upset to find out she had been dumped. Exotic pets are becoming more popular but unfortunately are sometimes sold without the necessary research, habitat or advice. It has been very difficult to find a suitable home for Tiny Tina as the local RSPCA centre is temporarily closed at the moment. However, I met with the East Sussex Reptile and Amphibian Society ( who have taken her on, ensuring she gets the treatment and care needed.”

– Heath Veterinary Clinic

Jeremy Corbyn sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Incy Wincy Spider

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined children in a rendition of the nursery songs Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Incy Wincy Spider.

Mr Corbyn knew all the words and actions to the song during a visit to Caterpillars Pre School in Crawley.

He saw the work of the pre-school and listened parents who will be affected by the Conservative's planned cuts to tax credits.

Racing champ Paddy backs refreshers for older drivers

He won at Monte Carlo - now former racing driver Paddy Hopkirk is advising his peers to do refresher driving courses

Older drivers have come under the spotlight in Buckinghamshire, with new figures showing a dramatic increase in the number of people over the age of 65 being involved in accidents.

Now the local council has enlisted the support of one of the World's top rally drivers to help keep senior citizens in the fast lane.

During his racing career Paddy Hopkirk, won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally and numerous World titles. Now 82 years old, he's backing a scheme that encourages mature motorists to get their driving checked by the professionals. Penny Silvester reports.

The interviewees are: Paddy Hopkirk, 1964 Monte Carlo rally winner; Cllr Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council; and June Howlett, Buckinghamshire County Council road safety officer.

There is helpful information for older drivers at the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Older Drivers Forum.


Is this the world's most expensive sausage?

A butcher from Aldershot has created what he claims is the world's most expensive sausage. Paul Turner, who runs a family business, made it with ingredients like truffles, Stilton cheese and expensive vintage port.

Each banger costs 37 pounds each - you wouldnt want to burn it would you!

It's all part of National Sausage Week - and keeping a little family's heritage alive. Divya Kohli has been to find out more.

Load more updates