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Lucky lottery winners

A couple from Somerset have almost 2 million reasons to be smiling tonight. Richard and Dione Buss won the lottery after buying a ticket while they were on holiday in Cornwall.

David Woodland has been to meet them and to find out what they plan to spend all that money on.

Everything you wanted to know about Rock Samphire - the latest 'IT' vegetable

by Jonty Messer

It's billed as the new vegetable of the moment and it's called Rock Samphire. It can only found on the edge of sea cliffs and there's a huge rise in demand for the tasty plant in British restaurants. It means those who harvest it find themselves in some precarious places.

Six facts about Rock Samphire:

1) It's real name is Crithmum maritim

2) It's leaves are described as having "pleasant, hot and spicy taste"

3) It used to be sold by hawkers in the streets of London who called it Crest Marine

4) It's sometimes called 'sea asparagus'

5) It's best picked early season (June) when the stalks are nice and tender

6) The stems, leaves and seed pods may be pickled in hot, salted, spiced vinegar


West Country (W)

More birds wash up on beaches

Hundreds of guillemots were taken to the West Hatch wildlife centre to be cleaned in February. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

More birds are being washed up on beaches across the south-west coast covered in a sticky substance, the RSPCA has said.

The guillemots have been collected from beaches stretching from Mevagissey in Cornwall to Plymouth and Whitsand Bay.

An RSPCA spokesman said: "Five of the birds have been taken to the RSPCA West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton, Somerset, where unfortunately they have been put to sleep to end their suffering.

"There is no indication of where the pollution is coming from."

In February, hundreds were killed by the pollutant, which affected a 200-mile stretch of coastline.

Experts at Plymouth University found the mystery substance was almost certain to be an oil additive known as PIB.

But the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it had been unable to trace the source of the spill and confirmed it had closed the investigation.

Looking back at former Marine's spectacular rock climbs

The funeral takes place on Monday of one of the West Country's greatest adventurers.

For decades Mike Banks, who lived near Bath, led pioneering mountaineering and polar expeditions around the world.

He began climbing in the 1940s as an instructor for the Royal Marines. The sea cliffs of Bosigran in West Cornwall were his training ground.

But what made him most remarkable, was that he kept tackling some of Britain's most spectacular rock climbs when he was well into his 70s.

Our reporter, John Alcock, filmed the former Royal Marine Commando on some of his most amazing climbs:


West Country (W)

Communities across South West urged to prepare for flooding

The Environment Agency is warning communities in the South West to remain vigilant for flooding following the rain this morning and with further heavy rain expected later today and into Thursday.

Rain will fall on saturated ground, which is expected to lead to surface water and river flooding.

This is likely to lead to some flooding of property and roads, and cause travel disruption.

There are currently three flood warnings in place for the Somerset Moors and Levels but more are expected to be issued across the region later today and into tomorrow morning.

Our teams have been out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding.

We urge people to keep up to date with the weather forecast and remain prepared for flooding in their area by signing up to receive free flood warnings and staying away from dangerous flood water or attempting to drive through it.

– Nick Roseveare, Environment Agency

Those in areas at risk should check the Environment Agency website for the latest information or by calling the Flood Line on 0845 988 1188.

West Country (W)

Environment Agency warns coastal communities of flood risk

High tides and gales force winds could cause coastal flooding in parts of the region. The Environment Agency has issued 11 flood warnings.

Spring tides and strong south easterly gales could cause problems for coastal communities in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall tomorrow and over the weekend.

A large area of low pressure across the North Atlantic has increased the risk of storm surges.

Agency gangs have been out checking flood defences and closing tidal flood gates at a number of coastal locations including Truro, Polperro and Plymouth Sutton.

The critical periods will be the early morning tides over the next three days.

If they co-incide with rain, there’s a risk of tide-locking where water is held in rain-swollen rivers and cannot escape into the sea because of the high tides.

This could result in localised flooding. We urge people to remain vigilant.

– Nick Roseveare, Environment Agency

Those in areas of risk should check the Environment Agency website for the latest information or call 0845 988 1188.

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