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Plastic bags pose a risk to our marine habitat

Plastic bags can smother plants like seaweed Credit: Dr Dannielle Green

Researchers at Plymouth University have shown the damage discarded plastic bags can have on our marine life.

A study lasting just nine weeks revealed that the bags, whether biodegradable or not, smothered life on the sea bed by stopping oxygen and sunlight from getting through. As a result animals living on coral reefs could be strongly affected and even wiped out altogether.

Dartmoor saving endangered butterfly

Dartmoor has become a strong habitat for the species.

Dartmoor is being credited with saving a rare butterfly from extinction.

The High Brown Fritillary was classed as critically endangered last year, but has seen a 180% increase since, as the moor has become its stronghold - helped by last year's warm spring.

The High Brown Fritillary has increased in numbers by almost 200%. Credit: Butterfly Conservation


Cliff collapse closes coast path in Devon

Council officers are due to inspect the scene of a cliff collapse at South Hams in Devon.

Falmouth Coastguard described Sunday night's landslip at Butter Cove in Bantham as substantial. You can see the scale of it in this photo taken by the police helicopter, which was called out to survey the fall. The coast path is closed in the area for safety reasons.

The police helicopter took this shot of the cliff collapse at Butter Cove Credit: NPAS Exeter

More pictures!

A view of the partial solar eclipse from Tavistock, Devon.

A view from West Devon Credit: ITV News

Castle Primary School in Tiverton had fun watching the spectacle.

Credit: Castle Primary School

Rich Wiltshire took this superb photo of the eclipse in Bridgwater.

Credit: Rich Wiltshire

These impressive shots were taken in St Ive, Liskeard, by Paddy Long

Credit: Paddy Long
Credit: Paddy Long

John Habbishow took this one in Barnstaple.

Credit: John Habbishow

Could the UK's biggest tidal power plant be based in Somerset?

The power of the tide could generate 8% of the UK's energy Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A Somerset lagoon could be turned into one of the UKs biggest tidal power plants, it was announced this morning

Bridgwater Bay could become home to a plant which will capture incoming and outgoing tides behind giant sea walls, using the weight of the water to power turbines.

The company behind the scheme revealed plans for a similar operation in Wales, and confirmed it was already carrying out tests in Bridgwater Bay.

The Bridgwater lagoon along with three others could provide 8% of the UK's electricity for 120 years.

We have the best tidal resource in Europe and the second best worldwide. We now have a sustainable way to make the most of this natural advantage.

– Mark Shorrock, Chief Executive of Tidal Lagoon Power


Raised road to Muchelney opens tomorrow

The road to Muchelney disappeared during last year's floods Credit: ITV News

Final preparations are being made for the official opening of the newly raised road into Muchelney.

The road became an iconic image of the flooding on the Somerset Levels last winter - and the village of Muchelney was cut off.

The road is one of several projects to prevent future flooding on the Somerset Levels - including dredging eight kilometres of the rivers Parrett and Tone.

Solar panels to be installed at Art Deco hotel

There had been considerable opposition to the plans for solar panel in the grounds of Burgh Island Hotel Credit: ITV News

Controversial plans for 200 solar panels to be placed in the grounds of the Burgh Island Hotel have been approved.

The famous Devon hotel - loved by crime writer Agatha Christie - had to overcome considerable local opposition to gain planning permission.

Hotel bosses say the energy generated will be used to run the 85-year-old building.

Cornwall's real Secret Garden celebrates 25 years since it was re-discovered

The abandoned gardens near Mevagissey were rediscovered 25 years ago today

One of West Country's best loved gardens, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its re-discovery.

The gardens had slowly slipped into decline after the estate's gardeners had left to fight in the First World War and became overgrown with brambles and ivy.

They were re-discovered in 1990.

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