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Farmer jailed for renting out land to grow cannabis

Edward James decided he could make more money out of drugs than chickens. Credit: Exeter Court Service

A farmer from Barnstaple in North Devon has been jailed after he began growing cannabis and hired out his land to growers.

Edward James decided he could make more money out of drugs than his normal business of rearing chickens.

The 68-year-old was paid rent by two men who set up growing rooms in a lorry container and a barn on View Farm in Barnstaple.

He was jailed for 15 months at Exeter Crown Court today.

Dorset badger cull application submitted

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

An application to cull badgers in Dorset has been submitted to Natural England.

A number of farmers hope to obtain a licence to kill the animals, which are thought to infect cattle with Bovine TB.

Similar culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire proved controversial, and failed to meet their targets.

Earlier this week, volunteers in the county were given a grant by a wildlife charity to continue their programme of vaccinating badgers against the disease.

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Anti-badger-cull charity awards money to vaccinating volunteers

The Dorset Badger Vaccination Project is free to farmers. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Badgers will continue to be vaccinated against TB in Dorset, after volunteers were given a grant by a wildlife charity to carry on.

The Dorset Badger Vaccination Project offers a free service to farmers and landowners. Last year they vaccinated more than 80 badgers across the county. The volunteers say they would not be able to continue their work after 2015 without the money from the International Fund For Animal Welfare.

The IFAW is "strongly opposed" to the government's badger cull, and sees vaccination as a humane alternative.

The volunteers say a growing number of farmers are approaching them about their services.

New nature reserve and wildlife haven for Dartmoor

Bellever Moor and Meadow could become a haven for wildlife. Credit: ITV News

A forestry site on Dartmoor is to become a new nature reserve.

Bellever Moor and Meadow is owned by the Forestry Commission, but has been leased to the Devon Wildlife Trust to manage alongside its other reserves.

It says it wants to turn the 70-hectare site into a wildlife haven.

Rare butterfly coming back to the West

The Heath Fritillary is one of the rarest butterflies in the country. Credit: Iain Leach

One of the UK's rarest butterflies is making a comeback thanks to a new site in Exmoor National Park.

The Heath Fritillary has multiplied in numbers, thanks to work by the Park Authority to create suitable coppice clearings in nearby areas

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Devon MP calls for Caffe Nero to show some "muscle"

Caffe Nero have stopped buying milk from dairy farmers in the badger cull zone Credit: Dave Thompson/PA

A Devon MP is calling on Caffe Nero not to give in to threats from animal rights activists over the badger cull.

The chain has stopped buying milk from dairy farmers in the badger cull zone in Somerset following threats to employees and property. Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish, warns that giving in could encourage more intimidation in future.

These farmers have had a real struggle to rid themselves of TB and it's part of government policy and they should not be targeted in this way. And I just want Caffe Nero to show some muscle - to actually stand up to people rather than cave in.

– Neil Parish MP, Conservative, Tiverton and Honiton

Fourth highest attendance for Royal Cornwall Show

126,256 people visited the Royal Cornwall Show last week Credit: Royal Cornwall Show

The Royal Cornwall Show attracted close to a record attendance last week with 126,256 people visiting over the three days.

It's the fourth highest attendance in the show’s 222 year history and represents a 9,535 increase on last year’s figure.

Show secretary Christopher Riddle has welcomed the news and puts it down to a combination of factors.

Perfect weather and a wide range of things to see and do has obviously played its part in the success but there is so much more to take into consideration.

We were privileged within the cattle section to have hosted the National Show of Devon Cattle and the prestigious beef and dairy Burke Trophies on top of our normal classes.

The support across all of the competitive sections has been, once again, extremely strong.

It’s been another celebration of the very best that Cornwall has to offer and we’ve had a superb show.

The sheer volume of traffic leaving the show on the final evening caused delays for some people leaving the event; we’ll be working hard in conjunction with our traffic management contractor to make sure this is doesn’t happen in the future.

– Christopher Riddle, Show secretary

Plans are already underway for next year’s show, which takes place on 9th, 10th and 11th June 2016.

Royal Cornwall Show back for a busy 2015

Getting ready to be on show. Credit: ITV News

More than 100,000 visitors are expected at this year's Royal Cornwall Show, which runs from today until Saturday 6th. Held at the showground near Wadebridge since 1960, it's a big fixture on our region's calendar - with displays, stalls and events celebrating food, farming and country life.

Local food producers prepare for a busy few days. Credit: ITV News

With a new parliament in session and uncertain times for the industry, farmers will be using the Show to press for more help to preserve their future, and highlighting the need for more young people to join the business.

Farming Minister George Eustice is due to speak at the Show tomorrow.

Farmers will be using the Show to press for more help to preserve their future. Credit: ITV News

Tune in to ITV News West Country from 6 tonight, when Ian Axton, Kylie Pentelow and Bob Crampton will be reporting live from Wadebridge, and bringing you all the highlights from day one.

In the meantime, our reporter Steve Hardy went along to see some last-minute preparations.

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