There is a full moon tonight.
But it is not just any full moon - this one is a 'blue moon'!
However, the moon will stay the same colour as any other night.
What makes this a blue moon is the fact it is the second full moon in a single month - there was another on July 2nd.
The next 'blue moon' won't be until January 2018.
Local people between the ages of 16-25 will be able to play an active role in governing Northumberland National Park and encouraging others to help look after it – today and for the future. Environment Minister Rory Stewart announced the setting up of the country's first National Park Youth Cabinet today during National Parks week.
National Parks are a corner stone of rural economies generating over £4 billion each year.
Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:
“With more than 90 million annual visitors to our National Parks they are an essential and very valuable part of rural life, bringing jobs and investment.
“It’s absolutely right young people – the future custodians of our natural world – have a say in how they are run.
“Important projects like this make that happen, giving teenagers and young adults first hand understanding of their true value – not just in monetary terms – but as part of our precious natural heritage.”
Glen Sanderson, Chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “Our Youth Cabinet puts young people at the heart of what we do at the National Park as they are an integral part of the decision making process, and we listen and learn much from their views. National Parks are amongst Britain's most valued treasures, and we are ensuring that we do all we can to encourage young people to learn about, explore, and care for our National Parks so that future generations can continue to enjoy these national assets for years to come.”
Ian Riddle, age 25, from Bellingham, Northumberland, joined the Youth Cabinet to encourage other young people to get involved in the National Park, he said: “I think it’s really important for young people to have their say and have the opportunity to get involved with the Park. The Cabinet offers young people from all backgrounds and walks of life the chance to have our voices heard and influence how the National Park is run.”
67 parks and green spaces across the North East have been judged to be some of the best in the country. Find out here if yours on the list.Read the full story ›
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.
You can find all the details of how you can get involved here.
Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) has published the results of its annual red and grey squirrel survey, which once again confirms that red squirrels can still be found in seven counties in northern England.
However, following two consecutive years of red squirrel range expansion, 2015 has seen a decline in the number of sites where they were seen.
Red squirrels were found in 44% of the sites surveyed between March and May, down from 53% in 2014.
Grey squirrels were found in 47% of survey sites, up from 38% last year.
It is suspected that a mild winter and bumper wild food crops have given grey squirrels a temporary advantage over our native reds.
“There is no cause for alarm here as fluctuations in squirrel populations linked to environmental factors are entirely natural and beyond our
control. We hope 2016 will see a return to positive trends."
Three MPs have published a joint letter in support of plans to create a potash mine near Whitby in North Yorkshire, describing it as a 'once in a lifetime opportunity'.
Fellow Conservatives Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby) and Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton) have joined the Labour MP Anna Turley (Redcar) in highlighting what they say are the benefits of the project.
The plan, put forward by mining company Sirius Minerals, was approved in April by Redcar and Cleveland councillors. It will go before members of the North York Moors Park Planning Authority on Tuesday 30th June.
The York Potash project, as it is known, would include a mine south of Whitby and a transportation system to take the material to a processing plant at Wilton on Teesside. It would cost £1.7bn and would be the UK's first new potash mine for forty years.
The mine would be situated on the edge of the national park. Opponents say it would blight the landscape and argue the area should be protected from development of this nature.
In their letter to park authority members, the MPs urge them to 'grasp the opportunity and approve the planing application for the benefit of all'.
The York Potash project brings with it the chance to secure a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of people in our area.
A positive decision will bring enormous social and economic benefits to the area by creating jobs, improving training and education opportunities for young people, providing community facilities and by generating more wealth in the economy.
They are a summer visitor to the British Isles that capture the imagination and hearts of many of us
But a report out this month says they are at risk of extinction - Ross Hutchinson has been to find out more
North Yorkshire County Council has said there is a "long way to go before any decision is made" regarding fracking in Kirby Misperton.Read the full story ›
Meet the latest furry addition to the WWT Washington Wetland Centre family - an Asian short-clawed otter cub.
The female cub has been nicknamed Little Squeak because of her high-pitched cries – and is an important part of conservation efforts to protect her species.
Ross Hutchinson went to find out more.
A baby otter has been born at the Washington Wetland Centre on Wearside.
The Asian short-clawed otter cub has been named Little Squeak because of her high-pitched cries.
She was born on 22 May to Musa and Mimi.
Aviculture and captive animal manager Kristian Purchase said: “It’s still early days for her, she currently weighs 149 grams, has no teeth and won’t open her eyes until she reaches about 40 days old, so it will be a few weeks before Musa and Mimi bring her outside."
Asian short-clawed otters are a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.