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Work starts on Exmouth's infamous sink hole

It is thought the sink hole has been caused by a blocked water pipe underneath Credit: ITV News

Work starts today on Exmouth beach to try to fix a giant sink hole. Engineers believe a blocked water pipe underneath the beach is responsible. The two metre hole has opened a number of times over the last two months - especially after heavy rain.

“We are working with the tides, so digging will start as early as possible in the morning. We’re very confident we can resolve this problem and open up that area of the beach again for everyone to enjoy.”

– Nick Christo, East Devon District Council

Triple titans cause a stink at Eden Project

For the first time ever, the Eden Project has three Titan arums – the world’s biggest and smelliest flower – side by side in the Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project. When it flowers, it lets out a putrid stench that many liken to rotting flesh, hence its nickname of “corpse flower”. In the wild, the smell attracts insects and animals that pollinate the plant.

Titan Arums in the Rainforest biome Credit: Eden Project

“I’m very excited to be bringing these horticultural marvels to Eden’s Rainforest Biome this year. "I think that Titan arums are a spectacular plant and I’m happy to see that they have captured the imagination of our visitors too.”

– Tim Grigg, Eden Project
The Arums can reach 3 metres high Credit: Eden Project

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Concerns over seawater quality after heavy rain

Bathing water quality could be affected by the recent heavy rain Credit: ITV News

There's a warning that the recent heavy rain could affect water quality at some beaches in the region. It's caused by run-off from fields and outfall pipes getting into the sea.

South West Water says the problem won't last long but people should check its 'beach live' service for information.

More clues on origin of mysterious Exmouth sinkhole

This large sinkhole on Exmouth Beach has opened up three times over the last six weeks. Credit: Maritime and Coastguard Agency

More light has been shed on the mysterious sink hole on Exmouth Beach, which has opened up three times over the last six weeks.

Council engineers discovered a blocked water pipe deep under the sand - and now South West Water thinks it knows where it comes from.

"We believe the pipe in question is a surface water drain from the Foxhole Hill area of Exmouth.

We will be working with East Devon District Council to investigate further when the present wet weather has passed through and surface water levels have returned to normal."

– South West Water

The hole - measuring around two metres - seems to open up after heavy rain and the council’s streetscene team has cordoned off the area each time.

On the two previous occasions, the sinkholes have remained for a few days before sand and other beach materials washed up through the natural actions of the tides have refilled them.

Is the mystery of the Exmouth beach sink hole solved?

Large sinkhole on Exmouth beach could be due to blocked pipe Credit: Maritime and Coastguard Agency

The mystery behind the Exmouth Beach sink hole which has opened up three times over the last six weeks may finally be resolved.

East Devon District Council engineers have discovered a South West Water pipe deep under the sand which looks like it has become blocked in some way.

The engineers will now be working with South West Water and contractors over the coming weeks to resolve the problem.

Once the council has completed its investigations, it will be able to confirm a more accurate timescale.

The hole - measuring around two metres - seems to open up after heavy rain and the council’s streetscene team has cordoned off the area each time.

On the two previous occasions, the sinkholes have remained for a few days before sand and other beach materials washed up through the natural actions of the tides have refilled them.

We’re very confident we can resolve this problem and open up that area of the beach again for everyone to enjoy.

– Nick Christo, East Devon District Council’s Streetscene Manager for the west of the district

Stop pouring fat down the drain, say beach campaigners

Ilfracombe is one of the beaches under scrutiny. Credit: Suzy Harrison/Press Association Images

Campaigners are trying clean up two beaches in Devon and Cornwall to stop them being branded unsafe for swimming.

Ilfracombe and Porth are both predicted to fail strict Environment Agency quality controls next year. Surfers Against Sewage are urging people not to throw items down the toilet and to stop pouring fat down the drain.

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Sheep killed by dogs in Braunton

Police are warning dog owners to keep their animals under control after 2 sheep were killed in an attack in North Devon.

The sheep were attacked on Fairlinch Farm in Braunton after 7pm last night, the farmer found 2 dead this morning and another was seriously injured.

Police are appealing for witnesses and say pet owners need to make sure they don't go into any fields with livestock.

"Incidents like these are very distressing for the farmer and animals. Owners must ensure their pets are not allowed into any fields with livestock.

Walkers in the countryside should keep their dogs in sight and always on a lead whenever near farm animals.

People who live near farms must make sure their pets are secure in their homes or gardens to prevent any attacks on sheep and other livestock.”

– PC Simon Ogden, Devon and Cornwall Police

Somerset road will remain closed until August

Work on the road at Beer Wall Credit: ITV News

People in Somerset cut off by flood relief work have had an apology from the county council - because the job will take an extra three weeks.

The A372 at Beer Wall near Othery was shut by floods and pumping work for months last year.

It's been closed since the beginning of April so culverts could be installed, and it's not due to open until some time in August.

Future of Devon bats to be decided at High Court

Future of Devon bats to be decided at High Court Credit: PA: Klaus Bogon

Devon Wildlife Trust is taking High Court action over a council decision to build houses on a site where rare bats breed.

Teignbridge District Council approved plans for 230 houses to be built 170 metres from land where greater horseshoe bats congregate to give birth and raise their young.

The case is due to be heard at Bristol later today.

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