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Somerset landowners overturn badger cull decision

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

A group of landowners in West Somerset has successfully overturned a decision to allow badger culling closer to their property.

They have been vaccinating badgers on their land, as an alternative to the cull. Natural England was proposing to remove the buffer zone between them and the culling area but has now backed down in the face of legal action.

Caffe Nero boycotting badger cull milk, faces boycott from farmers

Farmers say the cull is essential for eradicating TB in cows, while activists argue it is cruel and ineffective. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Caffe Nero says it has stopped stocking milk from farms in badger cull areas, after animal rights activists said they would protest - leading to anger from farmers.

The coffee shop chain now faces a possible boycott from farmers in Gloucestershire and Somerset, including the President of the National Farmers' Union.

The NFU's Deputy President has argued that the cull is essential for eradicating TB in cows, and a lifeline to farmers.

"The people who have made the threat of action against Caffè Nero are a small minority and it is extremely disappointing that the company appears to have bowed into pressure..."

“We need to remember that we are talking about controlling bovine TB – a disease which is spreading in cattle and badgers and will continue to spread if left uncontrolled. The pilot badger culls are a government policy, based on scientific evidence, aimed at controlling this disease which is a huge threat to dairy and beef farmers in the South West and other parts of the country."

“It is especially saddening that this has come at a time when the dairy sector is facing price pressures ... We would urge all members of the supply chain to continue support for British dairy farmers.”

– Minette Batters, National Farmers' Union Deputy President

Watch out for delays in West Somerset this weekend

The abnormal load will travel from Sedgemoor services to Watchet on Sunday Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

There are likely to be major delays on roads in West Somerset on Sunday.

A 16ft high, 16ft wide, 103ft long 145-ton boiler is being moved to a paper mill in Watchet, escorted by police. It will take up most of the road with few places for it to stop to allow traffic to pass.

It will start at 8am on Sunday, travelling from Sedgemoor Services on the M5 southbound to junction 24. It will head into Bridgwater on the A38, turn left onto the A39 Broadway and continue on the A39 through Williton to Washford Cross.

It will turn right onto the B3190 and on to the paper mill at Watchet.

Raccoon escapes from Somerset zoo

Missy the raccoon dug a hole to escape Credit: Tropiquaria Zoo

A raccoon has escaped from a zoo in West Somerset.

'Missy' got out of her cage at the Tropiquaria by digging a large hole overnight and disappeared. Zookeepers say she'll have no problems surviving in the English climate but they are worried.

They also say her escape was a surprise to her partner, Rocky, who's still in the enclosure and is missing her.

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Great South West Walk starts today

The walk stretches from West Somerset round to Dorset Credit: ITV News West Country

The Great South West Walk starts today. It's a series of guided relay walks along the South West Coast Path, which stretches from West Somerset right round to Dorset. A quarter of a million pounds is being spent improving the route, which was badly damaged by last year's wet weather.

Great South West Walk starts today

The walk stretches from West Somerset round to Dorset Credit: ITV News West Country

The Great South West Walk starts today. It's a series of guided relay walks along the South West Coast Path, which stretches from West Somerset right round to Dorset. A quarter of a million pounds is being spent improving the route, which was badly damaged by last year's wet weather.

West Somerset council to make savings to save its future

West Somerset council is needing to make savings Credit: PA

West Somerset council is so financially stretched that its very future is in doubt, according to a confidential report seen by this programme.

The council, one of the smallest in the country, will have to make savings over the next two years, but after that faces a merger with other authorities, it says.

The report, by the Local Government Association, says the sparsely-populated area is facing a growing budget deficit which means that it will not be able to provide even minimum standards of service in the future. Various options are proposed, including sharing services with other councils.

West Somerset say tey'll consider the report next month.

West Somerset council to make savings to save its future

West Somerset council is needing to make savings Credit: PA

West Somerset council is so financially stretched that its very future is in doubt, according to a confidential report seen by this programme.

The council, one of the smallest in the country, will have to make savings over the next two years, but after that faces a merger with other authorities, it says.

The report, by the Local Government Association, says the sparsely-populated area is facing a growing budget deficit which means that it will not be able to provide even minimum standards of service in the future. Various options are proposed, including sharing services with other councils.

West Somerset say tey'll consider the report next month.

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