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History for free this weekend

They're normally closed to the public or charge admission but this weekend, venues across the south-east will be throwing open their doors to the public. The Heritage Open Days scheme is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with guided walks and tours throughout Kent, Sussex and Essex.

David Johns has been for a preview, speaking to historians Caroline Stanford and Chris Jones; heritage walks coordinator Fiona Woodfield and shop owner Sue Luck.

Volunteers to capture badgers for innoculation

They are either seen as charming, nocturnal creatures who are a rare treat to spot - or as a bacteria-ridden pest bringing disease to our farmers - badgers polarise opinion like perhaps no other wildlife creature in this country.

Long linked with the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis, the animals have, in some parts of the country, been culled to stop the spread of the disease. But in East Sussex, a project's underway to vaccinate the creatures instead.

David Johns explains, talking to Kate Edmonds from the Sussex Badger Vaccination Project; Annie Vernon from the National Farmers Union; and wildlife conservationist Trevor Weeks MBE.

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  1. London

Sussex school investigation from 'late 1960s to 1980s'

Sussex Police have contacted 20 people who have reported sexual and physical offences against them by school staff at Ashdown House Preparatory School in Forest Row, East Sussex, police has said. In a statement, a spokesman said:

Arrangements are in hand to interview the others, some of whom live abroad. The investigation continues and now spans a period from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.

– Sussex Police
  1. National

Ex-head of Boris school held over alleged sex assaults

The former headmaster of a prep school London mayor Boris Johnson attended has been arrested on suspicion of historic sex assaults.

London mayor Boris Johnson. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Clive Williams, 69, was also questioned by officers on Wednesday over allegations of child neglect, Press Association sources said. He was the headmaster at Ashdown House Preparatory School in Forest Row, East Sussex, for more than 25 years before leaving in 2003.

A computer and documents have been seized by police investigating the claims against Mr Williams, who was released on police bail and has not been charged.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Officers investigating allegations of historic sexual abuse at a school in East Sussex have arrested a local man. The 69-year old was arrested at an address in Barcombe on Wednesday July 9 on suspicion of sexual assaults and child neglect.

"A computer and documentation were seized for examination. After being interviewed, the man was released on police bail on the same day until November 11, while inquiries continue."

New campaign to target illegal tobacco trade

Trade in illegal tobacco available at ‘pocket money prices’ is the target of a county-wide campaign.

The East Sussex Tobacco Partnership is launching the campaign to highlight the dangers of illegal tobacco and target those involved in its supply.

Illegal tobacco is available in various places in the community including the workplace, private homes, pubs, markets, car boot sales and on the street. The distribution network is unregulated and tobacco is easily accessible to children and young people.

Work to protect young people is undermined by the wide availability and accessibility of illegal tobacco at pocket money prices. The illegal tobacco trade is not a victimless crime. Cheap, illegal tobacco makes it easier for our children to smoke and become addicted. I would urge anyone who is aware of where illegal tobacco is being sold to report this information. Reporting activity anonymously via Crimestoppers enables colleagues in Trading Standards to act on this intelligence, and contributes to improving the health of local people by disrupting trade.”

– Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex County Council

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Snowy owl chicks first to be hatched in 15 years at zoo

The two snowy owl chicks have hatched at Drusillas Park Credit: Drusillas Park

Two snowy owl chicks have hatched at Drusillas Park in East Sussex and are the first to be successfully reared at the zoo in over 15 years.

Although they are fluffy and grey now, their new white feathers will replace the down as they get older.

The chicks will gradually turn lighter and "whiter" as they get older Credit: Drusillas Park

Rescue operation to free a deer trapped in child's football goal

Volunteer rescuers attended a deer rescue with a difference. Trained members of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out to a report of a deer with its antlers entangled in a child's football goal.

The risky rescue took place at the edge of Abbotts Wood close to Robin Post Lane in Hailsham. Two ambulances attended on site and rescuers searched for the deer before discovering it at the edge of the wood in tall vegetation.

"As we approached the deer it dragged the netting and metal poles from the damaged frame with it" said Trevor Weeks from WRAS. Trevor had to tackle the deer and pin it to the floor. The netting was the removed** before Trevor jumped away allowing the deer to get up and run off back to the wild.

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TRAVEL - ROADS: EAST SUSSEX - A27 accident involving a lorry and car at Coldean

The A27 Westbound is closed at Coldean in East Sussex. There is slow traffic due to a spillage of diesel and recovery work. The accident involving a lorry and a car happened between the A270 Lewes Road and A23 London Road (Patcham).

The lorry has spilled a substantial amount of fuel and a car has spun as a result. A clean up and recovery is underway.

Rare black lemur born at zoo in East Sussex

The baby lemur was born last month and has been growing in confidence Credit: Drusillas Park

A rare black lemur has been born at Drusillas Park in East Sussex.

The baby was born last month at the zoo's walkthrough enclosure Lemurland.

Under the careful eye of mum Clementine, the new arrival has been growing in confidence and will soon be exploring its surroundings.

The sex of the baby is not yet known although over the next few months, it will be clear to tell.

If it's a male, it will be all black with orange eyes whereas the females are brown with long whitish ear tufts.

Only then will the keepers name the baby!

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