Live updates

Council to give away free compost for Recycle Week

Oxford residents will be able to get their hands on bags of free compost today.

Residents will need to bring along a bag and spade Credit: PA

Oxford City Council is giving away five tonnes of compost, which is made from residents' food and garden waste, in Florence Park between 10am and 12pm.

Residents will need to bring along a bag and spade to collect the compost.

The giveaway is being held as part of Recycle Week 2015, a national campaign to promote recycling that runs between 22 and 28 June.

After a very successful event last year, we are pleased to be able to hold another compost giveaway. Recycling rubbish reduces what goes to waste and generates an extremely useful, high-quality product.

– Councillor John Tanner

The compost has been donated by local company Agrivert, which recycles all of Oxford's food and garden waste into compost.

Asian wasp threatens Kent woodland

A large swathe of woodland in Kent, is under threat from a deadly Asian wasp. The insect has come over to the UK for the first time ever and laid its eggs in the buds of sweet chestnut trees in Farningham Wood. The Forestry Commission has begun felling trees to stop the threat spreading to other parts of the country. Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to Councillor Matthew Dickins from Sevenoaks District Council and Matthew Woodcock from the Forestry Commission.

Advertisement

Don't buzz off!

How many types of bees can you name? The answer most of you might come up with is honey, or bumble bee. But did you know there are 20,000 species around the world?

We rely on the common bees to carry out most of the world's pollination, but with their numbers dwindling - experts at Reading University say we now need to attract some of the other species to carry out the role - but how?

Divya Kohli reports.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Hope for sheep death prosecution

A farmer from Sussex has spoken of his anger after one of his lambs was chased off a cliff by an out-of-control dog.

A local photographer captured the moment the lamb was forced to the cliff edge at Seven Sisters country Park in Seaford.

It's the latest in a series of incidents of sheep-worrying in the county.

David Johns has our report; he spoke to farmer Sam Stanisstreet and James Osman from the NFU. Still pictures by Eddie Nolan.

Advertisement

Green villagers scale up their solar power plans

The Balcombe campaign team Credit: REPOWER Balcombe

Villagers in Balcombe in Sussex have scaled up their plans for a solar farm that has already begun generating electricity.

If successful the community-owned farm could generate enough power for themselves but also the neighbouring village of West Hoathly.

Balcombe is fighting back after fracking concerns Credit: ITV

Renewable energy cooperative REPOWERBalcombe was set up by residents as a positive way to unite around renewable, locally-owned power after the controversy over oil drilling by fracking firm Cuadrilla in summer 2013.

After a successful share offer earlier this year, solar rigs are soon to be installed on the roofs of two local schools. This follows a pilot in late 2014, where 69 panels were installed on a cowshed at a nearby farm.

The solar farm will be landscaped with a hedgerow perimeter that will help preserve local views.

Balcombe used to be called the "fracking village" Credit: REPOWER balcombe

"When we first started this project, we wanted to turn our so-called 'fracking village' 100% solar.

Some people thought it was crazy. But now it looks like we could make that target comfortably, and have some electricity to spare for our neighbours too.

The investment for our solar installations at Grange Farm and the primary schools came entirely from local people.

It's been a wonderful show of local support for community energy and I can't wait to see it grow.

Fines for dropping litter could rise

Litter. Everyone admits it's a problem, but how to deal with it - well there's not so much agreement there. Now the Government is considering moves to get tougher on litter louts - including increasing on-the-spot fines and handing out fixed penalty notices to fly-tippers.

At the moment fines for dropping litter such as food wrapping are between £50m and £80 and can be handed out by litter teams on behalf of local authorities and councils. But those fines could rise. Derek Johnson reports.

Campaigners oppose Heathrow and Gatwick plans

Campaigners representing hundreds of thousands of people under the Heathrow and Gatwick flightpaths joined forces today to call on the Government not to allow major changes they say will cause misery. New flightpaths have being trialled in a move to cut emissions and allow more planes to fly. Campaign groups say the Government must act before the changes are made permanent. Our Transport Correspondent, Mike Pearse, reports.

Load more updates