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Historic gems added to 'at risk' register

The Gothic Temple at Shotover Park in Oxfordshire Credit: English Heritage

The Bell Tower at Chichester Cathedral, Mersham Court Barn in Kent and Fort Purbrook in Hampshire are among the 28 historic gems newly added to Historic England's Heritage At Risk Register 2016 in the South East.

However 53 entries have been successfully removed from the Register this year in the South East including the Gothic Temple at Shotover Park in Oxfordshire, Sheerness Dockyard Houses in Kent, and the Romano-British villa site in West Sussex.

Saltdean Lido is under reconstruction Credit: ITV

Historic England's Heritage At Risk Register gives an annual snapshot of the condition of some of the South East's most important historic buildings, sites, monuments and places.

Over the past year, Historic England has offered £471,000 in grants to help 13 of the region's best loved and most important historic sites.

Litter pickers needed to clean up the South's beaches

Credit: ITV news

Thousands of volunteers are being encouraged to grab a pair of beach clean gloves to help clear up the south's beaches. Surfers Against Sewage is holding its annual fight against marine litter - starting on Monday and covering sites from Swanage to Boscombe through to Brighton.

Organisers say litter is still a major problem. There are now 250 plastic bottles per kilometre of the UK's beaches and together with cans they make up approximately 40% of all litter. In total 250 beach cleans are planned across the UK, with 35 across the South Coast. Organisers say there is no need to register, just arrive at the time and date advertised wearing suitable clothing.

Bournemouth - Sunday 30th October - 12:00 - 14:00

Boscombe - Saturday 29th October - 14:00 - 16:00

Meon Shore - Sunday 23rd October - 09:30 - 12:30

East Cowes - Sunday 23rd October - 11:00

Southsea Beach - Sunday 30th October - 10:00 - 13:00

West Wittering - Saturday 5th November - 12:00 - 14:00

East Wittering - Sunday 30th October - 10:30 - 13:00

Bognor Regis - Saturday 29th October - 14:00 - 16:00

Worthing - Saturday 29th October - 11:00 - 13:00

Hove - Sunday 30th October - 12:00 - 15:00

Brighton - Monday 24th October - 12:00 - 15:00

Brighton - Wednesday 26th October - 16:00 - 17:30



Community appeal for investors to fund solar farm project

An appeal has been launched for £1.8m to fund a community solar farm in Sittingbourne.

The project is the first of its kind in Kent. It's already started producing energy and selling it to the national grid. Investors will get a 5.5% return, with any surplus profits being put towards community projects.

Stephanie Karpetas, from Orchard Community Energy, explains:

Gardeners from historic castle create ‘Garden of the Year'

Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

The gardens of an historic castle in Kent has been voted ‘Garden of the Year 2016’.

Hever Castle in Edenbridge won the title and was also given a Gold Award by South & South East in Bloom, in the Heritage Parks & Gardens category.

Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

Judges praised the gardeners for maintaining the extensive gardens to an immaculate standard. They noted the ‘classic English style Italiante Garden boasts some superb topiary and statuary and over 4,000 rose bushes in the quintessential English Rose Garden.’ They also noted: ‘Very good facilities are available for parking, eating and of course visiting the castle’ and recommended that visitors ‘Walk further afield and enjoy Church Gill Walk the woodland, or Anne Boleyn’s Walk and see the impressive collection of trees planted more than 100 years ago.’

Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

It is the second consecutive year Hever Castle's gardens have received the Gold standard.

The Hever Castle & Gardens team of gardeners Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

Endangered insect is back in South Downs

The habitat is now suitable for the insect Credit: Pixabay

One of the country's most endangered insects has been re-introduced on the South Downs. It has taken over 20 years to ensure that the habitat is suitable for the rare species.

The Wart-Biter Cricket was once widespread but has declined dramatically and is only found in five locations, three of which are in Sussex.

Jon Curson of Natural England: "We hope to release more than 40 adult crickets this year as part of Natural England's Species Recovery Programme.

“Numbers depend on how many we can collect from another donor site in Sussex which holds the best population in the country.”

Power cuts and rain for Dorset & the New Forest

Heavy thunderstorms brought our extended summer to a dramatic end overnight - in a twist to what has been the hottest September in 100 years.

Dorset and the New Forest were among the hardest hit last night - homes struck by lightning, schools closed and roads flooded, and thousands of homes left without power. The storm arrived in Dorset at 1am and slowly made its way east. At it's peak, more than an inch of rain fell in Swanage in just one hour, overwhelming drains and flooding homes.

In Christchurch, a house caught fire when it was struck by lightning, causing the roof to collapse. Rachel Hepworth reports on today's clean-up after the storm.

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