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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.


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.

  1. Duncan Sleightholme
  2. West Country (W)

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

Fears natural regional lanscapes could be lost

There's no doubt that the Westcountry has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. And when you know what you're looking for you can see clues which point to how people lived centuries ago.

In Roman times, the people of Somerset, Dorset and Gloucestershire lived in large villages and showed off their wealth with palatial villas. West of the Blackdown Hills in Devon and Cornwall they lived in smaller hamlets with a far less lavish lifestyle.

The evidence remains in the shape of the land today, but there's fears that these regional differences could be lost. Bob Cruwys reports.

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