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Polls open for Euro and local elections

Polls open for Euro and local elections Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

It's polling day across the south west - with Euro elections taking place - and, in many areas, local elections.

In Cornwall voters are making a little bit of history by taking part in the first UK trial of recyclable cardboard polling booths.

Seven hundred will be in use across the county. Polling stations are open until ten o'clock tonight.

Cornwall awaits decision on winter storm repairs

Cornwall council await decision on winter storm repairs Credit: Tracey Suckling

Cornwall Council is still waiting to find out how much help it'll get with repairing the damage done by the winter's storms.

It estimates that it'll cost the authority more than twenty one millon pounds to make good the destruction caused by the weather. A meeting today will discuss the options facing the council as it looks to find ways of financing the cost of the clear up.

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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:

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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.

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