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West Country (E)

Environment Secretary accepts farmers' criticism

The Environment secretary, Owen Paterson, has accepted criticism from farmers who have complained it is too difficult to apply for flood recovery money.

The minister was in Somerset this morning to announce the next phase of funding.

Until now, flooded farmers could only apply for up to £5,000. Now they can apply for £35,000 worth of relief.

But some farmers say the forms are too complicated and difficult to complete.

If you're a farmer and need some help applying for the flood recovery fund, you can ring Somerset County Council on 01823 355427 and speak to Abigail Vickery and Anne Langdon.

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Owen Paterson to announce Flood Recovery Fund plans in Somerset

Owen Paterson will visit Somerset today Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Environment secretary, Owen Paterson, will be in Somerset this morning to announce the next phase of the flood recovery fund for farmers.

From 28th of April the Farm Recovery Fund will be open to applications for grants of up to £35,000.

Farmers will be able to apply for the cash to help cover the costs of restoring flood damaged agricultural land.

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High bathing water standards at South West beaches

A surfer at Fistral Beach Credit: PA

More beaches than ever in the South West have achieved the highest bathing water standards this year according to the Good Beach Guide.

One hundred and seventy three beaches across the region were awarded the status, thirty percent more than last year.

It's thought last year's dry summer improved the water quality.

Roof and first floor of Tiverton pub destroyed in fire

The cause of the fire at the Twyford Inn in Tiverton is under investigation Credit: Michael Slater

The roof and first floor of a pub in Tiverton have been destroyed in a fire. It broke out at the Twyford Inn in Newport Street just after 10 am.

The ground floor is severely damaged by fire and water.

The fire was put out by crews who brought in an aerial ladder platform, ladders and a thermal image camera to check for hot spots.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Fire Service and Police.

Western Power are also in attendance, isolating the electricity supply to the property.

West Country (E)

TB hits farm of Dorset badger cull campaigner

A Dorset farmer who campaigned for the Badger Cull to be extended into the county, has spoken of his despair at the discovery of TB on his farm.

This afternoon Paul Gould from West Stour began the heartbreaking task of loading a quarter of his prize cattle onto a lorry to be taken off for slaughter. Eli-Louise Wringe has spent the day on the farm and has this report.

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