The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.
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even at lower levels of light dusting to come as well. Winter not
over yet. Tonight, dramatic footage
of the moment a cliff This was the moment a section
of garden including a summerhouse We'll hear from the owner and ask
whether anything can be done The farmer in a wrangle
with south west water. The next one came in at nearly
?10,500 and it was me that the ceiling, not the water.
But why has his three-month bill gone from ?1,000 to ?10,000?
Songs and smiles as youngsters at Children's Hospice South West
record a special CD to mark its 25th anniversary.
And I'm at RHS Garden Rosemoor to find out what an Apple has in common
with a pig's knows. People are being told to stay away
from the cliffs in East Devon after what's being described
as a significant cliff Tonnes of rock and soil
collapsed on to East Beach, leaving homes on Cliff Road even
closer to the edge. People living there have long
campaigned for action to shore up the cliffs
and protect their properties. Weakened by a rock fall yesterday,
the land supporting the shed at the top of the East Cliff gives
way without warning. There was no noise to warn us
what was gone to happen It used to be surrounded by land
but now all that is left is part My neighbour phoned me from next
door and she told me that some of the garden had disappeared
so I went and had a look About ten minutes later
I looked out the window, blinked twice and decided
that the shed actually You also then had another three
metres of garden where my gardener had been standing not half an hour
before this happened. I keep telling him not to go
there and I think he has learnt But also you can see where the land
had actually slipped down. That piece is going
to go imminently. There are 12 properties
along the cliff edge Thegardens have slowly
disappeared in recent years in cliff falls extensively
reported on Spotlight. Tony Miller fears it's only
a matter of time before more There is bound to be
another fall shortly. These things happen without any
warning and can be quite small or they can be quite drastic,
as the one was yesterday. Although the houses here
are directly in the line of fire, when this cliff erodes back further
it exposes the whole of the town to south-easterlies,
which can be devastating. East Devon District Council sent us
a detailed statement. They say that East Devon's cliffs
form an outstanding part of the Jurassic coastline
but they are made of soft rock and it makes
them vulnerable to cliff They say they have now finalised
a beach erosion management plan and they have put that out to tender
and are looking for They say the recent cliff fall
here at East Cliff will not qualify for emergency funding or approval
because it is in private ownership. The council told us it will continue
to monitor the situation "Astronomical" and "unbearable"
that's how one tourism leader is branding planned business rate
hikes affecting self-catering Ministers say the nationwide rates
review of all businesses makes the system fairer,
with three-quarters seeing no change But there are calls
for an urgent rethink for the self-catering sector,
amid claims it's being The Poldark effect and the weak
pound encouraging staycations Tourism in the south-west has been
surfing a bit of a wave recently. But there is a fly in the ointment
for many of the region's self catering businesses as they face big
hikes in business rates from April after a nationwide
government review. We've been going for 40 years
and this is the biggest tax hit And it is a major problem for us
and we are worried about the future. 23 people are employed
at this family business, a complex of 15 cottages near Looe,
open all year round, where extras are on offer to keep
the visitors choosing Cornwall -- Here, they are facing a rise
in their business rates of 135%. That means more than
?2000 a month on top It's not just that it's not fair,
it's that it's not sustainable. If we want to bring people
to Cornwall and even to the UK, we are competing not just with other
businesses in England but also we want to bring tourists
here rather than going to France or wherever so it's a big
hit that is going to... You know, I'm sure there
will be business closures Based on turnover, not profit,
the hit is particularly being felt by the hundreds of complexes
in the region, like Treworgey, Tourism leaders are lining up
to call for a rethink. I'll tell you what, if my income tax
went up by 140% I think I was worse than a loser,
so it is not a matter of habit than a loser, so it is not
a matter of a bit of winning and losing,
this is quite catastrophic for some businesses, so I think it is time
for the government to step back This will mean less profitability,
which means people will pay themselves less,
which means there will be less investment and ultimate outcome
is less stock with less quality The impact on coastal and rural
communities is going to be looked at by a tourism inquiry chaired
by a south-west MP. The government's asked quite rightly
for tourist operators to pay a higher minimum wage,
to pay better wages to their workforce,
which is very welcome, I'm sure, by everybody,
but it is an extra cost for them and now they're getting a double
whammy with the business rate. The government says across all types
of business in the south-west the majority of bills are staying
the same or falling and there is a cap for the first few years
for those that are facing increases. It says there is transitional help
available and the changes overall A farmer from Bickleigh
near Tiverton says he's been involved in a wrangle
with South West Water for almost The company says it's
still investigating what's happened and is trying to resolve the issue,
but Ray Hull says he's been told Our Environment Correspondent Adrian
Campbell has been to see him. Ray Hull farms at
Bickleigh, near Tiverton. He says he and his wife have been
upset by repeated demands for money from South
West Water over years. Each one of these cattle can drink
around ten gallons of water a day. It can be even more when they're
in calf but Ray says when the bill came in in 2009 he was
flabbergasted by the size of it. I think the first one in August was
for about just under ?1000, which was a lot of money for three
months' water in 2009. The next one came
in at nearly 10,500. It was me that hit
the ceiling, not the water. And obviously that's
when our battle, I suppose, with our water
suppliers started. Ray says his normal water bill
from South West Water is around ?1200 a year but in May 2009 he says
he was sent a bill for more than He says after complaining
to South West Water they cut the amount they said
he owed by around half. But according to his
records, the latest Ray claims problems began
after the company attempted to deal with low pressure in
the pipes to the farm. He believes a leak in 2009 happened
because pressure was far This is where I was
checking the meter every We contacted South West
Water about Ray's bill. In a statement,
they told us... "This has
been a complex case which has required ongoing in-depth
investigation. We are continuing to work
with Mr Hull to achieve a But Ray says, after years
of dispute, there is still an outstanding amount which is
unsettling for him and his wife. It has an effect on you that you've
got, it's rather like the Sword of Damocles over your head,
saying, "?5250, please." keeping a careful check on every
drop of water they use. Three out of every ten people over
the age of 60 are affected weakness and ways to tackle it
are now the focus of Plymouth academics who are leading
a European research It makes people much more likely
to have a fall or develop conditions Our Health Correspondent Jenny
Walrond reports from the University So, this is just like the one
they use to look at the babies Jill Willock is having
her leg muscles assessed at the University
of St Mark and St John. I've been unable to undertake
any exercise whatsoever Researchers want to see how
which muscle she has lost and whether she rebuilds it
through The reason this research
is important is that one in three over-65-year-olds will fall
at least once a year. Muscle weakness is
a key factor in those files and many people never
regain their mobility. The university is coordinating
the research with 14 other institutions and has
a 1.45 million euro EU grant, something they are particularly
proud of following the Brexit This is a partnership
that we are coordinating across 15 European partners that
covers education, industry, all related to science and scientific
study around muscle, physiology, So to be given that level
of responsibility for such a big grant shows a confidence I think
that Europe has in us and I think This is the thigh muscle,
so we see the bone here. As well as looking at patients,
they are examining MRI scans and looking at individual muscle
fibres to see prone to falls, their metabolism
goes really bad, they get diabetes, they get too much fat
inside the muscles and in the body and overall they get a premature
ending of life. They hope their research can find
ways to simply and cheaply assess what is happening to people's
muscles, to pave the way for improvements to treatments
and other interventions which could reduce
the cost to health services of falls
and physical activity. The five judges who heard
the two-day appeal by a former Plymouth-based Royal Marine
against his conviction for murder have said they will announce
a decision at a later date. Sergeant Alexander Blackman's QC
told the Court Martial Appeal Court that the conviction was unsafe
because psychiatrists said the soldier was suffering
from a mental illness when he killed an injured Taliban
fighter in Afghanistan. The judges will take time to review
the evidence and the law before The Conservative MP for Torbay,
Kevin Foster, is seeking an urgent meeting with NHS bosses after plans
emerged yesterday to close 32 He says there hasn't been
enough consultation. The hospital says it will treat
patients elsewhere and says patient In a moment we will be catching up
with Sir Ben Ainslie to find out why he is training in Bermuda.
And some early spring colour in the sunshine today,
Children with life-limiting illnesses have released their very
own CD to mark the 25th anniversary of Children's Hospice South West.
Music therapy is one of the highlights for many
of the children at the hospices in Devon, Cornwall and Bristol.
Yes, and now, with a little help from family and friends,
they've chosen and performed 30 tracks for the special CD
which will help raise money for the charity.
Spotlight's Andrea Ormsby has the story.
For Sam, he doesn't have any vocabulary, he can't say words,
but with music he seems to come alive and Carolyn's just been
amazing in that she has worked with him for so long she's got
to know him, what he likes and what actually will get him to open up.
I think I've got the best job in the world.
To be able to offer children a space in which they can actually really
Sam's song is the first of the 30 tracks recorded by the children
It's just amazing to think that my son is on a CD.
But the fact that it's something that we can treasure forever,
it's a memory that is there forevermore now and we can share
that with all our family and it's just been so special.
For Sam to be involved and for us to be part of that.
Singing Bridge Over Troubled Water is the Children's Hospice South West
Joint Choir, singing together for the first time after just
It's one thing that we can do to add to that precious treasure chest
of memories that families accumulate while they're staying with us
It has been absolutely tremendous and the CD,
we just want to share with everybody because it's got some
Windchimes are her favourite sound ever.
The children have chosen the songs because they have a very significant
meaning for them so it might be that it's their sister's favourite song,
it might be a song that a parent has written in memory of their child
who has died, so the booklet really, I think, has to be read
alongside listening to all the beautiful contributions.
Even a world-renowned countertenor is on the CD.
Iestyn Davies said he was delighted to contribute.
The CD costs ?5 and can be ordered from the Children's
All proceeds go to the charity, which needs to raise
nearly ?10 million to keep the three hospices going.
Sir Ben Ainslie started sailing at Restronguet Sailing Club near
Little did anyone know then that he would become the most
successful Olympic sailor of all time, first winning a silver
and then four gold medals at consecutive games.
After the London Olympics he switched his attention
to the America's Cup - the oldest international sporting
trophy - and he tasted immediate success the following year on board
Now he's aiming to do something that's never
been done before and win the America's Cup for Britain.
Tony Husband was in Bermuda as Sir Ben and his team launched
the boat they hope will sail them to victory this summer.
Around half of the America's Cup team have left their main base in
Portsmouth and here at the Royal Navy dockyard. The temporary help
officially opened on Monday. It coincided with the launch of the
boat in which Britain will aim to win the America's Cup for the first
time. They will hope this was the only force start -- is the only
false start of the campaign. A pivotal day for the team. Lunch hour
race boat, get it in the water, -- launch our. It is many man-hours in
terms of design and engineering and our note builders who have done a
fantastic job to get it in the water. Land Rover BA are have been
training here since November in their testable and their rivals are
all around them so it raises the state 's. Full is -- we are
developing our report very well but we don't know it all so we can learn
a lot from watching techniques other boats sail weather and other
components they have stopped we are a long way from the end product. The
boat will have a crew of six led by Sir Ben Ainslie but also current
Olympic medallist Giles Scott. The hydrofoils can see the boat reach a
top spiral of 60 mph. They will get the idea of the kind of catch up
that they face as a start-up team. The establish likes of Artemis
aboard are strongly fancied to do well in this year's qualifiers but
there is so much optimism around Land Rover Bar and they really feel
this time Britain could bring the cup home.
Looks horrible in Bermuda! Much nicer here!
What fruit do you think we're talking about if we mention
Some of you may remember them as old fashioned
These types of heritage apples are being planted in a bid
to save some of the more unusual varieties from extinction.
It's all happening at the Royal Horticultural Society's
Lucie Fisher has been to take a look.
The first blooms are breaking the ground here at Rosemoor, an
And one of those is an orchard dedicated
to protecting rare species of Devon apples.
So this is one of 90 trees that is to be planted
here in what is to be the heritage orchard,
and one of the people planting those trees is Pete.
It's incredibly important to maintain
this amazing kind of diversity of varieties,
Hollow Core, Crimson Queen, Johnny Round.
I mean, some of these names, you know,
people will remember from their childhood and they're
And they are evocative for Pete, too.
Down in the poly tunnel he showed me some of their
So, you won't see any of these apples for sale in the shop
They are all very unusual varieties, which is the whole
We want to ensure that they continue and don't get lost.
There is one here called Pig's Nose, which
is very descriptive of just the shape of apple,
So these are the kind of apples, then, that you wouldn't see
in a supermarket if presumably they looked like a pig's nose.
No, we wouldn't see any of these in a
Which is kind of the reason we are creating this heritage
Everyone wants a perfect apple or a perfect piece of fruit
or vegetable and the ones which might be less
than perfect to look at are probably better tasting.
This attempt to protect an older, quirkier specimen
from more dominant others could end up being the difference between rare
And you never know, the gardens here at
Rosemoor may actually end up encouraging a resurgence in demand
What a good idea. Good to see some signs of spring as well.
You grow apples? I have an apple tree. And I saw some
crocuses. I love the snowdrops.
I hadn't -- a hint of spring. Let's see what the weather is going to be
like. Apple trees like some cold weather?
Yes, not while they are in blossom. We have had plenty of sunshine
today. It makes a huge difference. A lot of sunshine for most of the
south-west of all a bit more cloud creeping in from the east. We start
with a look across Plymouth Sound where we had an unusual visitor.
This is a South African frigate coming in for exercise during the
course of the day, and from here we go to some spring bulbs. These
crocuses look great. Also beneath the trees some beautiful shots of
flowers coming out. Spring is starting to show. Sadly the frost
and the cold is going to come back. We have easterly winds developing
over the next 24 hours. We have hardly had any today but those
easterly winds will develop and continue to give us some pretty low
temperatures over the next ten days. Perhaps a hint as we move into next
week of some slightly less cold air but the cold is already upon us and
temperatures are falling. Overnight tonight, a widespread frost.
Temperatures could get down to zero, even -1 overnight. A widespread
frost but not much moisture so I do not think we will see too much in
the way of ice. The only chance is on some of the minor routes over
high ground weather has been water coming out of the hedgerows. A
frosty night, reasonable start tomorrow with some sunshine but we
are going to continue to see more cloud creeping in from the east
during the day. With such cold air there is a chance of a few wintry
showers from the East and they could produce some showers in parts of
Dorset and Somerset. Along the south coast, the chance of a few showers,
mostly of rain, affecting the far south of Cornwall and the southern
half of Devon but we should get some sunshine tomorrow and perhaps 6-7 -
eight Celsius. A cold wind coming in from the east south-east. The
easterly breeze will continue on Friday. We will all see frost and
quite widespread. For most of us it will be dry but a cold wind and that
cold wind, the source of error, part of Scandinavia, will make it feel
pretty raw. By the time we get into Saturday and Sunday, the
Scandinavian areas across us and it will be a cold few days. There was
some speckled cloud around today, not much through the night, clear
skies, so frosty in places, as low as -1, minus two. Showers on the
south coast. There might be a wintry flurry across parts of Dorset and
Somerset. Struggling temperatures, feeling colder because of the
strength of wind. The Isles of Scilly, bright and dry but quite
windy with Southeast winds. Times of high water. Some good surfing across
the North Coast but it is pretty cold. The outlook is continuing
frost at night, a lot of cloud from Friday through to Saturday and
Sunday and the cloud is thick enough for the odd flurry in the winter but
I have to say it isn't much to appreciate.
We had our weather symbols ready in case you needed them.
What is that supposed to be? A cloud!
when farmers leave their daily routines behind...
Right, here we come, Dorset! ..for a show day.
When author Sir Terry Pratchett died,
They called on Death to give Terry back.