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Floodwater inches closer to Tewkesbury Abbey

Floodwater is inching ever closer to Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire as much of the South West remains on flood alert.

Flooding outside Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire
Flooding outside Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Large areas of Tewkesbury and the Somerset levels are already saturated from rainfall over the Christmas period.

A flooded car park near Tewkesbury Abbey
A flooded car park near Tewkesbury Abbey Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

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Recent rise of sightings in false widow spiders

A school in Gloucestershire will be closed tomorrow following an outbreak in false widow spiders.

The outbreak follows a rise in recent sightings of the spiders.

West Country (E)

'Further false widow spiders identified' this afternoon

The Dean Academy in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, has identified a number of false widow spiders in the school's computer block, as well as other areas.

A letter to parents on the school's website confirmed that the school would be closed tomorrow.

Vice principal Craig Burns said the academy had taken immediate pest control advice on discovery of the spiders. The letter posted online today read:

We have identified an issue with false widow spiders in the academy in our ICT block and therefore took immediate advice from pest control.

We therefore made the decision to close the ICT block for the whole of today so that pest control could fumigate the area.

Unfortunately, during this afternoon there have been further false widow spiders identified in other areas of the academy.

Click here to read the school's full letter.

West Country (E)

Factfile: How to identify a false widow spider

A school in Gloucestershire has been forced to close due to an outbreak of false widow spiders.

ITV News Westcountry has provided some information on how to identify a false widow.

  • False widow spiders have a large body, dark brown in colour, ranging from 7mm up to 14mm
  • The body of the spider has a glossy appearance, with a white pattern on the top
  • This kind of spider can generally be found in dry and undisturbed environments, like sheds and outbuildings
  • They are often active at night, and mainly hidden throughout the day, and there is likely to be more than one living in the same place

Source: Natural History Museum

Click here to read more about false widow spiders, and what to do when they bite.

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West Country (E)

False widow spiders cause school closure

The false widow spider resembles the black widow spider seen here in this picture Credit: DPA/Press Association Images

The Dean Academy in Gloucestershire will be closed all day tomorrow, following an outbreak of false widow spiders.

The Academy said it had taken advice from the Health and Safety unit at Gloucestershire Local Authority and C & D Pest Control, Chepstow, to close the school.

Protesters aiming to disrupt second badger cull pilot

Anti-cull protesters at an event organised by Somerset Badger Patrol Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Anti-cull protesters are on alert as a second badger cull pilot begins tonight in Gloucestershire.

Some 5,000 badgers are expected to be killed in controlled shootings by trained marksmen over six weeks in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Protesters are trying to disrupt the cull but the precise locations have not been announced, leading to a game of cat and mouse between protesters and marksmen.

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