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Green MEP attacks Hinkley announcement

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West Credit: PA: Lynne Cameron

The Green MEP for the South West has criticised the government announcement to guarantee £2 billion to underwrite the proposed nuclear electricity generation plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, which is due to be built partly with Chinese money.

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, whose constituency Hinkley would be built in and long term critic of Hinkley says it is astonishing the government is "begging for Chinese money".

Wheeling out the Tory spin machine shows the government’s desperation. This is not new money at all. Numerous deadlines for signing this flawed deal have now been missed with French companies facing technological delays and Chinese companies facing financial difficulties.

It is astonishing that the government will go begging the Chinese for money in the middle of a stock market crisis while neglecting our incredible renewable resources in the South West. The Navitus off-shore wind development in Dorset alone would have secured enough energy to power 700,000 homes. There is clearly an ideological pro nuclear, anti-renewables obsession at the heart of government. While this government sees fit to subsidise foreign companies to support an old industry it is deliberately destroying UK companies and undermining investment opportunities for small-scale investors building the energy of the future.

The Tories are snubbing British citizens who have shown their willingness to invest in community renewables and support the clean, green energy of the future with which our country, and particularly the South West, is so richly endowed.

– Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West

Westonbirt says goodbye to Victorian tree

A giant redwood tree - which was over 100 years old - has been cut down at Westonbirt Arboretum.

It was rotting on the inside so staff at the woodland had to make the difficult decision to chop down the Victorian age tree.

The time has sadly come to fell a magnificent giant redwood that has graced Main Drive since the Holford family started their arboretum in the mid-nineteenth century, as its health has been in decline for many years.

As trees reach the end of their lives they tend to go into decline and as managers we try to care for specimens through this process, for example by gradual crown reduction.

However, we can only delay, rather than prevent, the inevitable. Sooner or later we have to say goodbye.

– Mark Ballard, Curator, Westonbirt Arboretum

Footage from the Forestry Commission.

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New green energy projects could be set up in region

New green energy projects could be set up in region Credit: ITV News West Country

There could be two new green energy projects set up off the North coast of Devon and Cornwall. The Crown Estate, which manages the UK seabed, has given approval for leases on two sites - one for a wave energy scheme off North Cornwall ,the other a tidal based project off North Devon.

A wave hub is currently in place off St Ives.

Campaigners to clean up west country beaches

This weekend hundreds of volunteers are expected to scour the region's coastline looking for litter and other debris washed up on the shore. It's part of a campaign by the pressure group Surfers Against Sewage.

It warns that, although our beaches look clean at first glance, they can be strewn with plastic and other debris that threaten marine habitats.

Campaigners to clean up west country beaches

This weekend, hundreds of volunteers will scour the region's coastline looking for litter and other debris washed up on the shore.

It's part of a campaign by the pressure group Surfers Against Sewage. It warns that, although our beaches look clean at first glance, they can be strewn with plastic and other debris that threaten marine habitats.

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Marine Conservation Zones Petition Handed to Government

Environmental groups from the West Country have criticised the government over plans to limit the number of areas where marine life is protected. Today a framed copy of a petition with quarter of a million signatures was handed in to Parliament by wildlife groups from across the country.

It asks Ministers to create more marine conservation areas around our coasts. Only a quarter of those proposed will be recognised this year. Environment Minister Richard Benyon says more zones may be added later, and that the government is starting with those areas that have the strongest case.

LATEST REPORT: Save Stowey Quarry campaign

Campaigners are waiting to hear if they've won their fight to prevent asbestos being dumped in Stowey Quarry near Chew Valley. A decision is due over plans for the site, which have been met with strong opposition. Local people say it could contaminate the area's water supply.

Our reporter Richard Payne sent us this report from the site

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