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Seeing stars over Dartmoor

A West Country photographer has captured these extraordinary images of the Milky Way over Dartmoor.

Jon Scott, from Plymouth, says the conditions were near-perfect, with no moon and clear skies. But Jon suffered for his art - he had to hike for five hours to reach the best viewing point, and was up to his knees in marsh for much of the night!

By morning heavy fog was covering the entire moor and visibility was down to about 50 metres. I had to navigate out using an old-fashioned compass and OS map, certainly not for the faint hearted!

– Jon Scott, photographer
Milky Way over Dartmoor Credit: @jonscottfilm
Dartmoor sky at night Credit: @jonscottfilm
Perseoid meteor shower Credit: @jonscottfilm
Milky way over Dartmoor Credit: @jonscottfilm

Fish genetically mutated by Cornish mining

Research at Exeter University has linked the evolution of fish to pollution from Cornwall's mining boom.

Scientists have found that pollution from historic mines in the South West has "severely affected" the genetic diversity of local populations of brown trout.

The report highlights the difference between so-called clean rivers like the Camel and the Fal, with more contaminated rivers such as the Hayle.


Prince Charles letters reveal he was FOR the badger cull

The letters were published today after a long legal battle Credit: PA

Letters from Prince Charles made public for the first time have revealed how he was FOR the badger cull.

After a lengthy court battle, the Prince's correspondence to Labour ministers a decade ago have been published. In one of his letters to the Prime Minister he says it's "intellectually dishonest" that the over-populated badgers can't be culled.

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
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