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Charity abseil cancelled after seagull dive-bomb threat

"Seagulls are fiercely protective of their offspring," disappointed organisers conceded. Credit: DPA

A charity abseil down the side of a hospital has been postponed due to fears seagulls would dive-bomb fundraisers.

The 100-foot abseil, down Yeovil District Hospital, in Somerset, was due to take place tomorrow to raise funds for a new special care baby unit.

But organisers were forced to cancel the event when a seagulls' nest containing baby chicks was discovered yards from the launch site during final preparations.

A spokeswoman for the Flying Colours campaign, which aims to raise £500,000 for the unit, said the event would take place once the birds had moved on.

"The seagulls are fiercely protective of their offspring, and even during the inspection the inspectors were dive-bombed by the seagulls," she said.

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Woman was trapped 150 ft up in cathedral bell tower

A woman was trapped 150 ft up in Somerset's Wells Cathedral after she fell through a void in a wall.

The woman became trapped 150 ft up in the cathedral's bell tower. Credit: PA

The 60-year-old fell 30ft and became trapped in a void between two walls in the cathedral's bell tower.

She was winched up onto the roof and given pain relief, before being airlifted by helicopter to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

A Wells Cathedral statement said: "No details are yet available as to how the incident occurred but all further high parts tours and cathedral tower tours are cancelled until further notice while a review of the incident takes place."

Video shows rescue helicopter for trapped 60-year-old

Video footage shows a rescue helicopter landing at Wells Cathedral in Somerset, to rescue a woman trapped between two turrets.

The 60-year-old is believed to have fallen 30ft after plunging through a void in a wall, while on a tour of the cathedral.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokeswoman said a helicopter from RAF Kinloss in the north of Scotland airlifted the woman to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, with what are believed to be arm and pelvic injuries.

Video courtesy of wellsjournal.co.uk.

Woman, 60, falls 30ft after cathedral wall gives way

A woman is recovering after plunging through a hole in a wall at Wells Cathedral in Somerset.

The 60-year-old fell 30ft and became 'wedged between two turrets' just after noon today, and had to be winched up by a helicopter.

The woman had to be airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol after the incident at Wells Cathedral, Somerset. Credit: PA

The woman was said to have arm and pelvic injuries and be in a state of shock but was not suffering life-threatening injuries.

Dredging begins across flooded Somerset

The UN biggest study into the impact of climate change released today warned severe flooding will be more frequent as the effects of climate change are felt across the globe.

Read: Global experts warn global warming damage 'severe, pervasive and irreversible'

Governments have been urged to prepare for the risks of climate change such as higher sea levels, and adapt to the changing weather patterns it may bring.

In Somerset today residents celebrated as dredging started in the River Parret, as part of the Environment Agency's 'Flood Action Plan'. Measures such as dredging could become more common, as Dan Rivers reports.

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Dredging begins in flooded areas of Somerset

Dredging is underway on the the flood-hit Somerset Moors and Levels this morning.

Workers from Land & Water dredging the River Parrett Credit: ITV News West Country

Work is beginning on a 200-yard stretch on the River Parrett, before excavators start on a five-mile stretch of river near Burrowbridge.

The work is on a key part of the river which has been specially identified for dredging and where "significant amounts" of silt have built up, the Environment Agency has said.

The River Parrett has built up 'significant amounts' of silt Credit: ITV News West Country

Local campaigners and residents have blamed the extent of the crisis on a lack of dredging on the River Tone and River Parrett.

Gav Sadler, of Flooding on the Levels Action Group (Flag), said the dredging was "a very encouraging sight, but is just the beginning."

Local campaigners have criticised a lack of dredging of rivers in Somerset Credit: ITV News West Country

"We would like to see all the rivers dredged," he went on. "Another issue is we don't know the quality of the dredging they are going to do.

"We would like to see a little bit of transparency from the Environment Agency," he added. "This affects our lives, we want to make sure they do a proper job."

Land & Water removing silt from the River Parrett today Credit: ITV News West Country

Environment Agency: Dredging an 'important milestone'

The start of dredging the Somerset Levels is "an important milestone" in the Government's attempts to repair the country after December and January's floods.

Dr Paul Leinster, Chief Executive at the Environment Agency, said:

Today is an important milestone in the work to reduce the risk of flooding to people, property and land in Somerset and we welcome the additional money from Government that has allowed us to undertake this further dredging.

– Dr Paul Leinster

Environment Agency begins dredging Somerset Levels

The Environment Agency will begin dredging river beds in Somerset today as part of wider Government plans to clear up flood hit parts of the country.

Water surrounds flooded properties on the Somerset Levels near Bridgwater in February this year. Credit: PA

Initial work on a 200-metre stretch of the River Parrett will get underway at 9am, ahead of dredging of an eight kilometre stretch of river near where the Tone and Parrett meet at Burrowbridge.

Dredging - where silt and bottom sediment is removed from the riverbed - is part of the Government's £100m 20 Year Flood Action Plan.

The Environment Agency came under huge criticism for failing to dredge the rivers that drain the floodwaters after the south of England was battered by storms.

Flooding throughout December and January of this year is thought to have affected 6,500 homes and businesses as well as leaving some villages completely cut off from the outside world.

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