16/07/2017 London News

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That's all from me, stay with us on BBC1,


Good evening, welcome to BBC London News.


The London School of Economics could be facing legal action


A group of postgraduates claim a block of halls near Borough


became overrun by mice, contaminated with mould and riddled


They're now crowdfunding to raise money to pay for legal fees,


in what they allege is a breach of its tenancy contract.


Students at the London School of Economics took these photos


of their University rooms at Sidney Webb House in Borough.


They say they were so unhygienic, they made the students ill.


Eye irritation, I also had intense headaches, coughing,


and because of that I went to the doctor and it was there


when the doctor said, you have to change your room immediately.


They say at least 15 students have gone to hospital because of problems


created by the conditions, but more were affected.


I developed a series of skin infections, which I never had.


It's reached the extent that I couldn't walk, basically.


I had to go to the emergency section of St Thomas and Guy's Hospital


Severe headaches, problems breathing, problems getting to sleep


at night, waking up with a very sore throat, a dry throat,


these are all symptoms related to mould exposure and mould spores


Students were initially offered ?100 as a goodwill gesture,


Now they're looking into taking legal action against the university.


Accommodation is difficult obviously, but universities


have a responsibility to their students,


They must be able to live in reasonable conditions.


As you can see, it's under refurbishment.


The LSE did say they were aware of the complaints


The University also says pest control was sent in.


The students say this was not the way they planned


To spend our time talking about mice and rodents and mould in our house


is something we did not sacrifice so much to come here to do,


They are now fund-raising for their campaign and are waiting


It's destroying native species on riverbanks,


Introduced in the 1800s as a garden plant, the Himalayan Balsam smothers


Now conservationists have found a novel way of dealing with it


and raising funds at the same time, as Yvonne Hall explains.


The Himalayan Balsam, brought to the UK by Victorian explorers.


Now it's spreading across river banks, gardens and allotments,


It really overshadows everything and that has a massive knock-on


The only way to get rid of it is pulling it up by hand.


Here, next to the River Stort in Hertfordshire, conservationists


and volunteers are trying to destroy hundreds of plants before


And each plant can shoot 800 seeds, up to 22 feet away.


Normally, once the Himalayan Balsam is cleared from the river banks,


it's just thrown away, but a while ago conservationists


were talking to the owners of a distillery.


Between them they came up with a plan to do something much


Then add them to alcohol, juniper, orange and lime


and a few more ingredients, and turn the invasive


The whole idea was for us to develop a gin that, rather than be


using botanicals that were farmed or foraged, were to use something


that was going to be thrown away, and the trust indicated


that they had these clearing projects.


Himalayan Balsam was one of the effectively rogue plants


and we were looking for a way to use it in a gin and then have a gin


that we could use to raise money for the trust.


And purely in the interest of investigative journalism


Definitely getting notes of invasive species there.


Let's get you up to date on the weather.


Any lingering cloud will clear, things could turn hazy with


temperatures up to 26 Celsius. Not bad.


Well that's it - Sonja Jessop will be here tomorrow morning from 6.20.