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Hello, I'm Allen Sinclair, with the news from South Today.
And there's a warning to those enjoying the countryside this
weekend that huge areas are at risk from heathland and grass fires.
Hampshire firefighters have dealt with more than 50 incidents over
the past three days, among them a blaze on Yateley Common
which damaged woodland, threatened nearby properties
The ground still smouldering in parts of the six hectares
The recent warm weather has created a perfect storm.
Vegetation is dry, and people are around.
Bottles, broken glass on the ground there,
another example whereby the sun can react to it like
Another potential cause for the start of the fire.
I'm not saying that this was the one on this occasion,
but take your rubbish with you, take glass home,
This was the Yateley fire at its height,
one of 52 Hampshire Fire Rescue dealt
with within the week, and the number is growing.
The devastation caused by this fire is all too evident.
Wildlife animals will have perished in this fire, but thankfully,
no people were injured, although it came close to houses
It can't be ruled out that this fire was started deliberately.
It's the loss of the land, it's the damage the environment.
It will take years to recover from this.
Let alone, further still, the risk to the public,
These fires can take flight very, very rapidly,
hence, we quite often term them as a wildfire.
Whilst the preservation of these vulnerable open spaces is key,
the message is if you do encounter a fire, report it and don't try
The south's poultry farmers are allowing
their birds outdoors again, after restrictions to prevent
the spread of bird-flu from wildfowl were lifted.
In recent months, normally free-range hens have
That's meant that, since February, boxes of free-range eggs
have had to carry a label, pointing out that
the birds have actually been kept inside for their welfare.
When these hens were first shut inside the barn,
dozens died of suffocation as they crushed up inside against
They did get used to it, but now the restrictions have eased,
and the chickens are too, as you can see.
Production, I think, probably was affected a little bit.
They certainly ate more food, because obviously when
they're outside, they're grazing, weeds, grass, slugs,
They were marked as barn eggs rather than free range.
As from yesterday, they are now free range again, which is great.
This easing of restrictions by Defra comes with a warning attached.
All keepers must still comply with strict bio-security measures,
because the risk of a flock like like this one contracting bird
And the worry here on New Farm is the hens may have
to spend every winter inside until a vaccine is developed.
It's Good Friday of course, and worshippers at Christ Church
Cathedral in Oxford have been re-enacting the Easter story.
They held a procession around the cathedral,
stopping at various points to perform scenes for the public.
The aim of the event was to help children to better understand
the events leading up to the crucifixion.
Onto football, and Brighton are still on course
for the Premier League and remain top of the table,
Results elsewhere mean automatic promotion isn't yet guaranteed -
but they need just four points from the next four games.
There were three games in league one.
Oxford United lost by a goal to nil away at Bradford.
They played host to Scunthorpe, and also lost by one nil.
Swindon managed to salvage a point at least -
after a goalless draw at home against AFC Wimbledon -
but the Robins remain in the relegation zone.
In League two, an important draw for Portsmouth,
They went a goal down early in the first half at Fratton Park.
Their opponents, Plymouth, are currently second in the table,
and had hoped a win would secure their move up to League One.
But Pompey are hot on their heels in third, and Gary Roberts'
equaliser, plus results elsewhere, now guarantees Portsmouth
That's all from the South Today news team this evening.
We're back tomorrow at 6.20am, hope you can join us then -
meanwhile Sarah Farmer's here with the Easter
Thanks very much. We have considerably cooler weekend to look
forward to this time. A week ago, through the evening the cloud
thickens and outbreaks of rain are generally light and patchy in nature
venture into the early hours. venture into the early hours.
Temperature wise to look at Lowe 's demise of eight or 9 degrees. A
cloudy start to Saturday, and any remnants of that will ease across
the south coast drying out into the afternoon we will see good bright
and sunny intervals. Feeling pleasant in the sunshine with 13
degrees, but Keane north-westerly print three mega breeze remains to
content with. For Easter Sunday looks like we'll start with cloudy
conditions with rain working in from the north. Monday to see brightness
with the outside chance of a shower.