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TWO MONTHS of Christmas. Why one Kent town is keeping its tree up until Valentine's Day

Christmas in Paddock Wood could last an extra two months because of a Collared Dove that has nested in the town's 25-foot high Christmas tree.

The wild bird was discovered when the decorations were being taken down and, thanks to bird protection laws, the tree will have to stay in place until the chicks fly the nest.

Until they leave some time in mid-February the birds are being watched over by CCTV. Sarah Saunders reports.

Where are all the Christmas Eve shoppers?

This Tesco store in Newbury was very quiet this morning Credit: Mike Pearse

After the rush of the past few days, Christmas Eve appears to be much quieter.

Town centres and main shopping areas are extremely quiet this morning with few queues.

Staff at the main Tesco store in Newbury say they are "gobsmacked" at the lack of people.

Basingstoke and Reading are also less busy than expected. Roads in the town are almost deserted.

Shops say there was a late rush yesterday and food stores say they were very busy overnight.

Not a soul in sight at a Tesco store in Berkshire Credit: Mike Pearse
A quiet Christmas Eve in Reading... Credit: Mike Pearse

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Mild Christmas sees the first signs of spring

We're seeing the first signs of spring in the mild temperatures Credit: ITV Meridian

Well, temperatures balmier than Barcelona are doing funny things to our garden plants.

Experts say even though Christmas is almost upon us, we're seeing the first signs of Spring.

And with no frost, winter bedding plants are blooming, adding a splash of colour on mild but dull days.

ITV Meridian spoke to Horticulturist, Heather Taylor.

Could it be the warmest Christmas on record?

Well, it may have been a dull and gloomy start, but it has been another unusually mild December day.

This Christmas could break the record for being the warmest ever, with temperatures here rivalling California.

Bad news if you were hoping for a white Christmas, but good news for our heating bills. With more here's Richard Slee.

A busy Christmas for Network Rail

It will be Network Rail's busiest ever festive season Credit: ITV

With just over a week to go until Christmas, Network Rail is preparing for its busiest festive season ever.

Planned major improvements will be taking place across the network from Christmas Eve until 3 January 2016 as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan. This means there will be no Southeastern trains at London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo East and Cannon Street over the period, including three working days.

Passengers will still be able to reach London with services diverted to Victoria and Blackfriars, or terminating at New Cross for London Overground connections. In addition, stations between Deptford and Westcombe Park, including Greenwich, will be closed and trains replaced by buses.

Southern and Thameslink trains from London Bridge will not be affected.

Commuters should leave plenty of time for their journeys.

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Winchester Cathedral: one of the busiest places in the region this Christmas

How much preparation have you done for Christmas so far? All ready? Are you leaving it to the last minute?

For churches in the South it's their busiest time of the year - and for months they've been preparing for carol concerts and Christmas services.

No where more so than at Winchester Cathedral - where for the last decade thousands have flocked to the ice rink and Christmas market. Rachel Hepworth reports

The secret behind Christmas kisses

This month, most of us will be giving out Christmas presents… but we're not the only ones. Mother Nature also brings us a few gifts at this time of year - and, this week, we'll be looking at them in a special series all about Christmas crops.

Tonight we start with mistletoe - to find out why it's so popular and why it's associated with Christmas kisses. Lauren Hall reports.

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