Live updates

Police investigate abuse claims at North Devon school

Chelfham Mill School in Barnstable has been closed for six weeks while police investigate claims of physical abuse Credit: School website

Police are investigating claims of physical abuse at a school in Barnstaple.

Chelfham Mill School caters for more than 50 children with emotional and behavioural difficulties between the ages of 7 and 18.

It is closed for six weeks while the investigation takes place. The school has issued a brief statement:

Chelfham Mill school is closed for an initial period of six weeks pending an investigation by external agencies. We are committed to supporting the investigation process.

– Katy Roberts, principal

Young school teacher killed in crash was "a star"

Shebbear College paid a warm tribute to Charlotte Simpson. Credit: Shebbear College

Tributes are being paid to a young school teacher from Devon who died yesterday after a car accident.

24-year-old Charlotte Simpson was an English teacher at Shebbear College. The school said Charlotte was incredibly popular, and worked closely with boarding students.

She was a keen sports coach and was also very committed to the Territorial Army. Charlotte died at Derriford Hospital yesterday, following Friday's accident on the A3079 at Cookworthy Buddle, Halwill, near Beaworthy.

She was a star, respected and loved by everyone at Shebbear for her wisdom, professionalism and warm-heartedness. We are absolutely bereft by her loss and our thoughts are very much with her parents and sister at this terrible time.

– Shebbear College


Puppy love: how a teenager was cured of depression

Looking after his puppy Charlie made a huge difference to Liam Landymore. Credit: ITV News

A teenager who suffered PTSD and depression after a traumatic experience has shown a remarkable change after helping train a puppy.

Liam Landymore from North Devon even tried to take his own life. His family felt unable to help him, until they bought him a vulnerable little puppy called Charlie.

Though the family already owned three other dogs, Charlie relied entirely on Liam - and it was looking after him that helped Liam gain confidence and self-esteem.

Devon charity Dogs Helping Kids have helped Liam train Charlie to help other younger children, and the two have formed a real bond.

Charlie has made a huge difference from when I was really low to how I am now and I can't wait for the next day and to spend time with all our dogs, Charlie and Sprout, Fly and Menace.

To think back then - when I didn't want to be on this planet anymore, didn't want to go out, didn't want to leave my room - and now I just want to go everywhere, explore, yeah it's just amazing.

– Liam Landymore, Dogs Helping Kids volunteer

The pair have worked together to help children in schools, where dogs can help calm boisterous pupils, boost concentration and confidence, and even help with reading - as our reporter John Andrews discovered.

Liam has spoken at university conferences about his experiences, and he and Charlie will soon be tackling the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the charity which has helped them so much.

Find out more about Dogs Helping Kids here.

Lynton & Lynmouth's iconic funicular turns 125

Princess Anne first visited the attraction in 2006 after a recommendation by her father Credit: ITV West Country

The Princess Royal will visit Lynton and Lynmouth's iconic cliff railway today to begin its 125th anniversary celebrations.

Princess Anne will meet descendants of the Marks family and the Jones brothers - the funicular's original design engineer and builder. The counter-balanced railway has become a popular attraction - and will carry tourists up the cliff for free tomorrow as part of the celebrations.

The Princess Royal first visited in 2006 after hearing about it from her father, Prince Phillip.

North Devon businesses join forces to promote the area

North Devon businesses join forces to promote the area Credit: ITV Westcountry

More than 200 North Devon businesses have raised £107,000 to help towards marketing the district this year.

Most councils across the region have withdrawn funding for tourism marketing from this season and so North Devon has formed its own Marketing Bureau paid for by local businesses who've stepped in to fill the gap.

The Bureau was launched this morning in Woolacombe, voted the UK's best beach by Tripadvisor reviews.

A lorry has also been decorated with a large image of Westward Ho! at sunset which will advertise the area as it travels around the country.

North Devon businesses join forces to promote the area Credit: ITV Westcountry


North Devon family raising money for heart tests

It's a simple test that can make the difference between life and death for healthy young people.

Sudden Adult Death Syndrome is normally traced to heart defects in teenagers and people in their twenties.

One family from North Devon, who lost a son to the condition, are raising money to ensure more young people get screened.

Seth Conway spoke to Brenda Luckett and John Luckett about their story.

Swan shot in head with metal pellet

Swan shot in the head with metal pellet Credit: RSPCA

A swan has been rescued in North Devon after a metal pellet was found in its head.

The RSPCA caught the adult male swan on Wrafton pond in Braunton last month. Staff found he had an air rifle pellet lodged in his bill.

The swan was then taken to RSPCA West Hatch in Taunton, Somerset, to be treated and has been returned to the pond.

Swan found with air rifle pellet lodged in his bill Credit: RSPCA

This poor swan had an air rifle pellet embedded on the fleshy lump at the base of his upper mandible.

We have been told that this swan is one half of a mating pair and has been for many years and they have reared numerous cygnets together so it is lovely to be able to reunite them just in time for breeding season.

– Deputy chief inspector Anthony Frow

Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to contact the RSPCA inspector line on 0300 123 8018.

A39 near Bideford closed after lorry overturns

There's been a serious collision between a car and a log-carrying lorry on the A39 near Bideford in North Devon.

The lorry has overturned, shedding its load of logs across the carriage way.

Police and other emergency services are at the scene. Paramedics treated the car driver at the scene and he has been taken to North Devon District Hospital with potentially life threatening injuries.

The road closed has been closed at Westleigh and Roundswell, and is expected to remain closed for most of the day.

Load more updates