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Andy Hurry leaves Somerset for England

Andy Hurry will head up England's Development Programme Credit: Somerset CCC

Andy Hurry, Somerset County Cricket Club's Director of High Performance is to leave the club to take up a new post as the Head of the England Development Programme. He will leave the County Ground in October.

Andy Hurry has made an immense contribution to the Club over 13 years and his commitment and passion for the Club are unparalleled in my view.

“I am extremely sorry to see him depart but delighted that his skills and attributes have been recognised by Team England. He will be sorely missed by all of the staff at the Club and he departs with our very best wishes for the future.”

– Guy Lavender, CEO, Somerset CCC

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Grain exports resume from Plymouth

This shipment consisted of 2600 tonnes of milling oats and was carried by MV Fri Lake. Credit: Wessex Grain

The first shipment of local grain to leave Plymouth in two years has been shipped to Germany.

The shipment from producers in Devon and Cornwall was organised by Wessex Grain and consisted of milling oats bound for the German market.

“There has been a good crop of oats this year and we have been exploring the best ways to serve our customers in Devon and Cornwall and ensure that they get the highest possible price. Moving the oats by ship out of Plymouth gives us access to markets outside the UK, and is much more efficient than moving it by road in the UK to one of the two mills for oats in this country.

– Simon Wilcox, MD, Wessex Grain

Pat Phibbs will stay on at Sandy Park

Pat Phibbs in action versus Perpignan in 2011 Credit: Clementz Michel/ABACA/Press Association Images

Australian Pat Phibbs has today agreed a short-term deal to stay with the Exeter Chiefs.

32 year old Phibbs, who is in his second spell with the Devon club, initially joined a few weeks ago on trial, but an injury crisis has led to Chiefs Head Coach Rob Baxter offering him an extended contract.

Dave Lewis is currently out with an elbow injury and fellow scrum-half Haydn Thomas took a bang to the head in last Friday's win at Gloucester,

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Big cocaine seizure at Plymouth port

Part of the consigment of cocaine seized in Plymouth Credit: Border Force

Around 100kg of cocaine has been seized after an operation by Border Force officers at Plymouth port.

The seizure was made on 18 September when officers searched a lorry carrying concentrated orange juice that had arrived on the 4.15pm ferry from Santander.

A large quantity of cocaine was found concealed in the trailer. Tests to establish the final quantity and purity of the drugs are continuing but it is thought that around 100kg was recovered and the total value will run into millions of pounds.

The haul totalled around 100kg of cocaine Credit: Border Force

The National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command is investigating the smuggling attempt. A 62-year-old man from the Manchester area was arrested and later bailed until November pending further inquiries.

“This is an extremely impressive seizure and I would like to praise the vigilance and hard work of my officers who have ensured that a substantial amount of cocaine has been kept off our streets. “Seizures like this demonstrate how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight against the trade in illegal drugs. “Working with law enforcement colleagues including the NCA we are determined to do all we can to prevent drug smuggling and put those responsible behind bars.”

– Carole Upshall, Border Force Regional Director

“This was a very significant seizure of cocaine worth millions which has been prevented from reaching the streets. It represents a significant dent in the profits of the criminals responsible. "One man has been arrested so far and our investigation continues."

– Pete Avery, National Crime Agency

Seahorse project gets £475,000 boost

A seahorse swims through seagrass Credit: The Seahorse Trust

A project which is hoping to conserve seagrass and seahorses has been granted £475,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The research is being led by the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth which will look to find out more about native seagrass and seahorses across the south west of England and help to conserve fragile seagrass eco-systems.

Although there are over 30 species of seahorses worldwide, there are only two species native to the UK – the Spiny Seahorse and the Short Snouted Seahorse, both can be found along the south west coast.

Seagrass beds can be found across the south west coast Credit: Keith Hiscock

The Community Seagrass Initiative – which will cover the 191 mile stretch of coastline from Looe in Cornwall, to Weymouth in Dorset – will engage volunteers to help monitor the health and biodiversity of seagrass beds, with sailors, canoeists, divers and even internet users all set to be encouraged to take part in the project. There is also a major public engagement element, which will aim to connect the coastal community with this important element of our natural heritage.

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