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Chair of Environment Committee says there are partial solutions to the milk crisis

A committee of MPs says the government could do more to protect dairy farmers from fluctuations in milk prices.

The region's farmers have staged blockades in protest at low milk prices, which they say will drive them out of business.

Retailers say they've had to lower the price of milk because of an over-supply.

The Chair of the Committee Anne McIntosh says there are partial solutions.

  1. West Country (E)

MPs: Dairy farmers need greater protection against falling milk prices

It's been a volatile year for dairy farmers Credit: Reuters

Dairy farmers need greater protection in the face of sharp falls in the price of milk, MPs have said.

Since last summer the dairy industry has been hit by significant falls in milk prices in the face of rising supply and falling demand, particularly from China and as a result of the Russian trade ban.

The sharp reversal in fortunes, coming after prices hit their highest level for several years, has been driving dairy farmers out of business every week, with the total number in the UK falling to below 10,000 for the first time.

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Filmmakers capture a year in the life of Dartmoor

The film captures the beauty of autumn on Dartmoor Credit: Alex Nail & Guy Richardson

The scenery of Dartmoor is some of the most inspiring in the world. Two photographers were so inspired that they created a time-lapse film of the National Park showing its changing face throughout the seasons.

It took a painstaking attention to detail and extraordinary dedication. The results were so good that the eight minute finished film has been bought by the Dartmoor National Park Authority itself.

Our reporter Jacquie Bird has been to meet Alec Nail and Guy Richardson, the men behind the cameras, and find out a little about how they did it.

You can watch her report here:

Sharp decline in bird species in Cornwall

Cornwall Wildlife Trust says there are 15% fewer birds than 30 years ago. Credit: ITV News West Country

Many common species of birds are in sharp decline in Cornwall - according to The Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

It has found that there are 15% fewer birds than there were 30 years ago.

The charity says loss of habitat and intensive farming are making it harder for birds to survive.

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Opposition grows to 700 homes at Mudford

Plans for more than 700 homes on the edge of Yeovil are attracting opposition.

The site near Mudford is included in the district council's draft development plan for the next fourteen years.

Villagers fear building the houses near Mudford will cause traffic problems and lead to flooding. A planning application is being processed and will be decided next year.

I just can't believe that they couldn't have found a better site to develop than this. It doesn't have the infrastructure. We've had thousands and thousands of homes thrust upon us over the last few years and you can't keep growing and growing on one side of the town.

– Tony Cavalier, Friends of Mudford Action Group

Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust fights funding cuts

Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust which manages green spaces and the marine environment has lodged a petition with the local council with over 4,000 signatures protesting at plans to cut funding by 50%

Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust petition is delivered to Torbay Council Credit: TCCT

To date more than 4180 signatures have been raised since the petition began on October 3rd. The number of signatures is more than 3 times the number required to ensure the petition motion will be discussed at the next Council meeting on October 30th.

’I'm glad that so many people of Torbay have stood behind this petition. Our green spaces and coastline are integral to the beautiful place we live in and we need to protect this for future generations’.

– Jill Ward,Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust

NFU pleased with badger cull

NFU pleased with badger cull Credit: PA

The six week badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset officially ends today. It's the second year that badgers have been shot to try to stop them spreading TB to cattle. Last year the cull was extended because not enough animals had been killed. Protesters say it's been a failure again this year, but the National Farmer's Union disagree.

I think generally we are pretty pleased with how it has gone. In large parts of the area we are seeing very few badgers left on the ground now. Unfortunately there are one or two areas where we haven't been able to be as effective as we'd like to because of the actions of protesters but largely we are very happy with it.

– Andrew Guest, National Farmers' Union

9 in 10 against badger cull, according to new poll

One alternative to culling is badger vaccination

Results from a poll on the recently trialled badger cull suggests that 9 out of 10 people in the UK are against the practice.

The trial cull in Somerset officially ended today. Of the 2000 polled, only 3 in 4 were aware of the cull. They were then given information about the UK trial, and the Welsh government’s success in cutting bovine TB through vaccination rather than culling.

The final poll then showed that 89% said that they wanted the government to stop culling badgers, and instead to follow the Welsh example.

The poll was carried out by ComRes, and was commissioned by Care for the Wild and the Badger Trust.

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