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Britain's largest fly has been found in Devon

This is the first time in 15 years that the hornet robberfly has been found in the area. Credit: National Trust

An enormous predatory fly - the largest in the country - has been found at a National Trust farm in Devon.

The hornet robberfly is harmless to humans, but it's a "fearsome predator" of grasshoppers, and its larvae feed on the beetle grubs in cow dung.

Once common across southern England, its numbers have fallen dramatically due to losing its habitat - and this is the first time it has been seen on the East Soar farm near Bolt Head in 15 years.

Credit: National Trust

"We were both surprised and delighted to find this spectacular fly, Britain's largest, on National Trust land near Bolt Head."

– Rob Wolton, who discovered the fly

"A lot of work has been carried out by the Trust and our tenants over the last 4 years to improve the condition of the coastal area for the benefit of a wide range of wildlife. We are really pleased to see discoveries like the hornet robberfly which would not survive without the right grazing conditions."

– Emma Reece, National Trust Area Ranger

Ever written to an author? This fan got an amazing response

10-year-old Molly Adam with her favourite book and a drawing from the author Credit: Truro High School for Girls

A pupil from Truro High School for Girls got the surprise of her life when her letter to the Children’s Laureate resulted in a series of hand drawn cartoons.

10-year-old Molly Adam sent an email to her favourite author, Chris Riddell, who created characters like Goth Girl and Ottoline, as part of a class project to contact well-known writers.

She also asked him some questions and was amazed by the responses - drawn as a series of charming cartoons.

Do you have a pet? Credit: Chris Riddell
What does it feel like when a book comes back from the publisher accepted? Credit: Chris Riddell
Which book is your favourite book out of the ones you have written? Credit: Chris Riddell
What is your favourite book? Credit: Chris Riddell

The whole school was touched by the popular author's response and says it would love him to visit.

No place like gnome: Devon woman's record-breaking collection

People come from all over the world to see Ann Atkin's 2,000 gnomes. Credit: ITV West Country

A woman from Devon is in the Guinness Book of World Records with her collection of 2,000 garden gnomes.

They're gnomes-of-action - motorbiking, helicopter-flying, tree-climbing - and Ann Atkin from Bradworthy says people come from all over the world to see them.

Today our own Kate Haskell was one of them - and tried to keep her gnome puns under control.

Kate finally fits in. Credit: ITV West Country

And if you want to see the forecast Kate mentions just take a look at our weather updates page.


Children's TV village Trumpton will be set alight tonight

Children's TV village Trumpton will be set alight tonight Credit: ITV News

A North Devon group famous for building enormous bonfires with novelty scenes and figures will be setting fire to their latest creation tonight.

This re-creation of the Children's TV village Trumpton will be set alight later this evening.

Around 20,000 people are expected, while raising thousands for charity.

A message in a bottle - a hundred years on

A bottle that was washed up in Germany containing a message has been returned to Plymouth - more than a hundred years after it was dropped into the sea. It had been dropped into the North Sea between 1904 and 1906 and was recently washed up on a beach at Amrum.

George Bidder, Researcher & bottle dropper Credit: Plymouth MBA

The bottle was one of a thousand being used to study currents in the North Sea. A shilling was promised to anyone who returned a bottle to Plymouth's Marine Biological Association. The MBA has honoured its promise, and has sent the couple who found the bottle one shilling.

The Winklers with their shilling Credit: Winkler family

Young busker raises over £50,000 for children's hospice

10-year-old Madison Glinski has raised the money in just over a year. Credit: ITV West Country

A 10 year old busker from St Ives has raised over £50,000 for a local charity.

Madison Glinksy has been playing her violin in the streets of Cornwall since April 2014.

She set a target of raising £50,000 for the Children's Hospice South West after hearing about the work the charity does for life limited children.

But Madison has now gone over her target and has handing over a cheque for £52,006 to the charity today.

I feel overwhelmed and really happy that I've finally reached my target. I've had to do lots and lots of busking but it's gone by really quickly because I've enjoyed every single moment of it. My mum wants me to rest now but I want to keep fundraising.

– Madison Glinkski
Madison hands over her cheque to Children's Hospice South West. Credit: ITV West Country

Its overwhelming to think that one young lady is so inspired by the needs of other children, I can't believe what she's done in such a short space of time.

– Mary Murfin, Children's Hospice South West
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