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Pigeon covered in cooking oil gets washing up liquid bath

Oil can be very dangerous if it gets on birds' feathers. Credit: RSPCA

A pigeon found covered in cooking oil has had a much needed bath at RSPCA West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton.

The adult pigeon was found in Ilfracombe harbour in Devon with his feathers coated in vegetable oil - which can be very dangerous.

RSPCA veterinary nurse Natalie Stahl said: “Oil can be incredibly damaging to birds – affecting their plumage and their ability to stay warm and dry.".

Her team used normal washing-up liquid and warm water to help remove the sticky oil - thought it took a number of baths to clean the pigeon up and bring him back to full health.

"This poor pigeon has really been through the wars."

– Natalie Stahl, RSPCA veterinary nurse

The centre is hoping to release him back into the wild in the coming weeks.

Consultation looks at halving the number of community beds in North Devon

Consultation looks at halving the number of community beds in North Devon Credit: ITV News

A consultation is underway on proposals to halve the number of community hospital beds in North Devon to help save £11 million.

The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has come up with options, including losing two of the four community hospitals at Bideford, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe and South Molton.

It says it can look after significantly more patients at home than in hospital.


Campaigners start project to clean up region's beaches

A project to improve bathing water quality at two of the region's beaches has been launched today.

Wildersmouth at Ilfracombe in North Devon and Porth in Newquay, Cornwall are predicted to fail the latest bathing water tests.

The charity Surfers Against Sewage has been working with the Environment Agency on a Cleaner Coastal Catchment Initiative to improve the water standards.

It involves working with local residents, businesses and land owners to change their practices.

The solutions with the cleaner coastal catchment are really simple, it's things like never use the toilet as a wet bin, think before you flush, don't put fats, oils and greases down the sink.

For farmers it's about improving land management practices, so keeping cattle out of streams, and keeping pollution from the run off of the land out of those streams as well.

– Andy Cummins, Surfers against Sewage

With it's central position, the town's Mayor says it's vital to get a good bathing water rating at Wildersmouth or visitors will be put off.

Ilfracombe is here because of the beaches and because of the sea, and if we lose some of the quality of that then we lose a little bit of Ilfracombe. That's the reason it developed in lots of ways because the Victorians found it a wonderful place to come on holiday and lots of other people have as well, so we need it to be clean.

– George Squires, Mayor of Ilfracombe

Watch the full report by Kathy Wardle here:

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.

Cyclist killed in crash in Ilfracombe

The crash happened near Berry Down Cross in Ilfracombe this morning, 20 July Credit: ITV News West Country

A cyclist has died after a crash in Ilfracombe this morning, 20 July.

The man, who was in his 40s, was seriously injured after being hit by a car on the A3123 near Berry Down Cross.

He was taken to North Devon District Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A second cyclist, who was travelling with him, was treated for minor injuries in hospital but later released.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw the crash, which involved a Skoda Citigo, at 7.30am.

Ceremony to name Ilfracombe's new lifeboat

A 98-year old will have the honour of naming Ilfracombe's new lifeboat. Credit: ITV News West Country

Ilfracombe's new lifeboat will be named at a ceremony this afternoon.

A local 98-year old will have the honour of choosing the name after giving the largest single donation towards the vessel.

In total £150,000 was raised - the money's also been spent on a new launch, recovery system and renovating the lifeboat station.


New lifeboat arrives in Ilfracombe

The Barry and Peggy High Foundation Credit: ITV News

The Barry and Peggy High Foundation arrives at Ilfracombe.

In front of hundred of supporters and well wishers it was transferred onto its new launch and recovery vehicle to be taken into its new home.

The Barry and Peggy High Foundation Credit: ITV News

New lifeboat to be unveiled in Ilfracombe

The Spirit of Derbyshire lifeboat Credit: ITV News

The Spirit of Derbyshire lifeboat in Ilfracombe is soon to be replaced.

The Mersey class vessel is to be moved from the town as a new Shannon class boat is to take its place.

The new lifeboat is expected to arrive this afternoon before crew train on the new equipment for almost a fortnight before it comes into active service.

Family homeless after Ilfracombe fire

Devon & Somerset Fire Service say they responded to a serious house fire last night within 'normal stated emergency response standards' despite it happening during strike action.

Five fire crews were called to a three-story property in Brookdale Avenue, Ilfracombe just after 1am. The residents had been evacuated but the fire was described as 'developing'. The property was badly damaged but crews managed to stop the fire spreading to neighbouring homes.

This was clearly a serious and developing fire which has devastated a home. Whilst our thoughts are with the residents of the property who have lost their possessions in the blaze we are pleased that they were able to evacuate the property.

A detailed fire investigation will be completed to establish the cause of the fire. The initial investigation is currently underway.

– Area Commander Nick Manning
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