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The BIG Butterfly Count 2015

Credit: Joan Rodger

Today sees the start of the 2015 Big Butterfly Count.

It is a simple way to keep track of butterfly numbers in the UK - and you can help.

All you need to do is spend 15 minutes observing butterflies and make a note of all those that you spot. It is that easy and can go a long way to help make sure butterflies continue to be a feature in our region.

How many can you spot? Credit: Big Butterfly Count

You can find all the details of how you can get involved here.

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22 firefighters tackle Teesside grassfires

Young people on Teesside are to be educated about the dangers of starting grassfires.

Cleveland Fire Brigade say a series of grassfires at a Teesside beauty spot at the weekend were started deliberately.

At one point almost a quarter of the service's entire fire engine fleet was called in, with 22 firefighters tackling the blazes on Eston Hills.

The brigade believe the fires were started by youths and so have begun a campaign to educate them about the dangers of grassfires and the economic costs, which is estimated to stretch to thousands of pounds.

Spring around the corner as venues begin new season

It may still feel very much like winter, but for the National Trust, the 'summer' season is just beginning.

It may be still grey outside but blue skies are just around the corner Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

Some of the region's favourite tourist attractions open their doors to visitors again after closing for the winter.

The venues include Souter Lighthouse in Whitburn; Wallington, near Morpeth; and Cragside near Rothbury. Between them, they welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors every year from March to November.

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