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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage for the day

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

That's it for live updates today, and for this week. Thanks for joining us.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday.

Scroll down through this page to find out what you've missed.

Have a great weekend.

Our live coverage across the week

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Regular updates for Beds, Herts & Bucks have now ended for the day, and week, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

You can of course scroll down to read anything you may have missed.

Have a great weekend.

And finally - it's that three-legged cat again

Helen Burchell

BBC News

You might remember we've told you before about Jasper, the three-legged cat who's become a favourite with Cambridge University students?

Jasper and student
Marshall Library

He's become the ultimate stress-reliever for students at the Marshall Library of Economics, where they've just run their latest "tea with Jasper" afternoon.

Taking tea with a three-legged bundle of fluff has proved a hit again, with students posting their favourite pictures on the library's Twitter feed.

View more on twitter

Isn't he adorable?

Marshall Library

Kidnap victim 'burned, bruised and beaten' and ends up with 68 injuries

A kidnapped man was "burned, bruised and beaten" as part of a 30-hour ordeal, a court has heard.

Gun used against victim
Bedfordshire Police

As we've been reporting, six men have been jailed for kidnapping a 20-year-old man on Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

Luton Crown Court heard the victim had a live shotgun put in his mouth, had his knees beaten with a mallet, had cigarettes stubbed out on his arm.

He was also stunned with a Taser-like weapon and gagged and beaten with a knife. One defendant also threatened to rape him.

Here is a transcript of part of the ransom call:

Offender: "Don’t mug me off. It’s gonna get really bad now innit cuz this kid’s no use to me, so I might as well put him out of his misery. Know what I’m saying?”

Relative of victim: "Listen don’t hurt him, he’s not done anything wrong.”

Offender: "Listen, I’m going to lay it down to you straight, get the gear and I’ll give you a call back, else you’re losing him, and I’m coming for you next.

"Forget this kid, you should be worried what I’m going to do after this kid.”

Shotgun used against victim
Bedfordshire Police

The court heard their victim had 68 separate injuries, although none were described as individually serious.

Det Ch Insp Adam Gallop said: "These six men were part of an organised crime group, and I’m pleased that they are now facing such a lengthy stint behind bars for their violent and unacceptable actions last June.

"This was a completely terrifying experience for the victim, a completely innocent young man who was just going about his day to day business when he got dragged off the streets of Luton. "Fortunately he was not seriously harmed and I hope that today’s sentencing will allow him to move on from this ordeal.

"The strong sentences delivered today send a very clear message – offend in this way, and you risk spending a very long time locked up away from your family and loved ones for many of the best years of your life."

Gang's sentences in full

As we've been reporting, six men have been jailed for kidnapping a man at gun point.

Here is a full list of sentences:

  • Mohammed Yousaf, 22, of Lyndhurst Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was sentenced to 12 years.
  • Muhammed Hussain, 25, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment, blackmail and a firearms offence. He was sentenced to 20 years.
  • Saqib Rehman, 20, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three and a half years.
  • Jalil Uddin,40, of Chatsworth Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to eight years and three months.
  • Mitchell Malik, 21, of Hillside Road, Dudley, was found guilty of false imprisonment, blackmail, and a firearms offence, but was found not guilty of kidnap. He was jailed for 15 years.
  • A 17-year-old boy from Luton pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was jailed for five years.

Woman found guilty of disposing of a body using a mobility scooter

Helen Burchell

BBC News

A woman, who moved the body of a man who died in her home to a nearby park, pleaded guilty to disposing of a corpse to obstruct a coroner at Cambridge Crown Court today.

Kelly Ann Almond, 34, of Fairview, Peterborough, used a mobility scooter to move the body of Stuart Wilkinson, 53, who died in her home on Sunday, 4 April, to a nearby park where it was later discovered.

A further charge of perverting the course of justice was dropped.

Mr Wilkinson’s cause of death has yet to be determined, however it is not believed to be suspicious.

The case has been adjourned for sentencing until the week of 7 August.

Almond will remain on remand in custody.

Row breaks out in dock as gang is jailed

Scenes of anger broke out in the dock as a gang leader was jailed for 20 years.

Muhammed Hussain
Bedfordshire Police
Muhammed Hussain

As we've reported, Mohammed Yousaf, 22, Muhammed Hussain, 25, Jalil Uddin, 40, Saqib Rehman, 20, Mitchell Malik, 21, and a 17-year-old boy were sentenced at Luton Crown Court today.

They were imprisoned for a number of offences including kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail after a man was kidnapped from Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

Hussain was the first to be sentenced. When Judge Philip Bartle QC sentenced him to two decades behind bars, he reacted angrily and the judge had to temporarily leave court.

Mohammed Yousef
Bedfordshire Police
Mohammed Yousef

Sentencing the gang, the judge said: "This young man was being held hostage and being treated with such violence and contempt. These defendants were wholly indifferent to the suffering they were inflicting on him.

"It is impossible to exaggerate the effect this has had on him."

The court heard the gang believed two brothers had stolen cannabis worth £60,000 from them. The victim was the boyfriend of the two brothers' sister.

The victim's captors, said to be led by Hussain and Yousaf, made six calls to the alleged thieves during which the victim could be heard screaming and crying and pleading for his life, the court heard.

Increased police numbers at Strawberry Fair

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Police say there will be a slight increase in presence at this year's Strawberry Fair in Cambridge, in light of the recent attacks in Manchester.

Some 43 years on from its debut on Midsummer Common, the festival returns tomorrow.

Strawberry Fair
Andreas Beck

It's expected around 40,000 visitors will attend the festival across the day.

The annual event has seen the police numbers reduced over the years, with the force saying they "recognise the organiser’s responsibility to deliver a safe event".

Supt Laura Hunt said: "Following recent events in Manchester all events in the country have been reviewed and our response has been modified appropriately.

"With regards to Strawberry Fair, appropriate adjustments have been made to policing numbers, but there has been no intelligence to suggest there is any threat associated to this event."

Gang jailed for kidnapping man at gun point

Six men have been jailed for up to 20 years each after a man was kidnapped at gun point in a "gang-related" incident.

From top left, Jalil Uddin, Mitchell Malik, Muhammed Hussain, from bottom left, Saqib Rehman, Mohammed Yousaf
Bedfordshire police
From top left - Jalil Uddin, Mitchell Malik, Muhammed Hussain; from bottom left - Saqib Rehman, Mohammed Yousaf

Jalil Uddin, 40, Mitchell Malik, 21, Muhammed Hussain, 25, Saqib Rehman, 20, Mohammed Yousaf, 22, and a 17-year-old boy were sentenced at Luton Crown Court today.

They were imprisoned for a number of offences including kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail, after a man was kidnapped from Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

The group bundled the victim into the back of a car in the early hours of the morning, before taking him to an address in Ashburnham Road where he was held against his will for about 30 hours.

The gate to which the victim was tied
Bedfordshire Police

Calls were made to the victim's friend and threats were made to harm him and other family members.

The following morning, the victim was abandoned and left tied to the metal gate of a farm near Kensworth, at which point he was able to free himself and make his way home.

Hussain was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, Malik to 15 years, Yousaf to 12 years, Uddin to eight years and three months, Rehman to three and a half years, and the 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to five years imprisonment.

Bernie Sanders talks at Cambridge Union

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

You may have seen in other local press that US politician Bernie Sanders was a guest speaker at Cambridge Union today.

Mr Sanders, who lost out to Hillary Clinton to become the Democrats' candidate in last year's presidential election, spoke for about an hour in front of a sell-out crowd, with the Cambridge News reporting that tickets for the event sold out in just 38 seconds.

Bernie Saunders

Mr Sanders joins a long list of high-profile speakers at the union, including most recently Piers Morgan, Mary Berry and Stephen Fry.

Dr Niki Sol, a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin who was at the event, said that she "loved the fact that he was able to bring about a lot of different points that mobilised the audience".

"I thought he was a very dynamic speaker," she said.

"Bernie Sanders said that Donald Trump's idea to pull out of the Paris climate agreement was a stupid decision, which the audience agreed with."

On whether she thought it was important Mr Sanders came to the union, Ms Sol said she was "not sure".

"I thought it was an interesting choice. I don't know if it was important to him from a political perspective simply because he is a senator," she said.

"But I think that part of his job working for social justice is that he knows he needs to mobilise as many people beyond himself, which I think he saw as a great way to talk to a lot of influential people that may be in power in the future."

Rookie cop helped people escape Bedford fire

Police say one of their new recruits was first on the scene at a fire in Harpur Street in Bedford yesterday afternoon.

It broke out in a fourth floor flat at about 13:45.

Bedfordshire Police said PCs Lesha Martin and Karen Jarman arrived by accident when they followed a vehicle being driven erratically. PC Martin was only in her eighth week of duty as they forced entry to the flat.

She said: "We helped around five people to get out, as well as the family dog. It was the first time I have ever had to break in a door on duty.

"I have quickly come to realise that policing is about far more than fighting crime, it’s also about protecting the public and doing all we can to keep people safe."

PC Jarman added: "Within moments the smoke became thick and black, and we couldn’t see past our noses. I dread to think what could have happened in that situation, but fortunately along with our emergency services partners we could ensure that everyone, including the dog, was safe."

Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service said the flat was 100% destroyed by fire and there was smoke damage to the first and second floors of the building.

The fire service's station commander Paul Goddard said: "It is thought that an electrical fault was the likely cause of the fire."

View more on twitter

Two vehicle crash in Wisbech

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Take care if you're travelling around Queens Road in Wisbech.

There's been a two-vehicle collision at the junction with King's Road, which police are currently dealing with.

View more on twitter

Police say there have been injuries, but they're not thought to be life-threatening.

We'll bring you more as we get it.

8,000 cyclists expected on Tour of Cambridgeshire this weekend

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Thousand of cyclists are set to descend upon the East of England Showground over the weekend, for the Tour of Cambridgeshire.


The mass cycling event is now in its third year, and takes in parts of Peterborough, Huntingdonshire and Fenland.

The tour first came to Peterborough in 2015 and has been a roaring success, drawing in cyclists from across the world.


The action starts tonight, with an Electric Bike Time Trial and a Folding Bike Fondo.

Tomorrow, 800 riders take part in a time trial, before the mass participation race on Sunday, with some 8,000 competitors.

Road closures and diversions are in operation around Sawtry, Ramsey and Whittlesey.

Slimmers' battles for loose skin surgery on the NHS

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

We reported earlier about Sharon Wells from Dunstable and her battle for surgery to have excess skin removed, having lost 16 stone (102kg) - half her body weight - over three years.

She says the NHS has refused to carry out the operation on three occasions, because her weight hasn't remained stable for two years.

"I think that's a cop-out. It's just excuses," she said.

"I'll get to two years and they'll say no because my body mass index has gone up and down."

The NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups told the BBC they were unable to comment on individual cases.

Sharon Wells
Sharon Wells

But Sharon's not alone in having faced a problem like this.

Paul Mason from Ipswich flew to New York in 2015 for surgery to remove excess skin.

He used to weigh 70 stone (440kg) and lost about 45 stone (285kg). He was also told it would be at least two years before he could have his loose skin removed on the NHS.

Sharon is now hoping a fundraising web page will help her find the £6,500 she needs for the surgery.

Paul Mason
Paul Mason

Hills road gearing up for roadworks

David Webster

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Hills Road in Cambridge is gearing up for another period of roadworks, as the council looks to add to its growing portfolio of cycle lanes, with an extension of the Hills Road cycleway.

The work will add two 350m (1148ft) cycle paths to each side of the road at the junction of Long Road and Queen Edith's Way. It will join the existing path which starts at the Cambridge Leisure Park, and currently runs for 1km (0.6 miles).

The road will be closed southbound for more than three months between Long Road and the Addenbrooke's Hospital roundabout.

Roadworks on Hills Road.

The existing cycle lane which starts at Cambridge Leisure Park, stops just short of the Long Road junction. When finished, the path will connect the leisure park to Addenbrooke's.

Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, says the length of closure "is a balance".

"The key thing here is that we've come up with a scheme that is going to be far less inconvenient than the 21 months that the earlier scheme took - which allows for continued northbound flow," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"The earlier discussions were whether or not to shut it completely.

"So for 14 weeks, during the summer where traffic is quieter, we're going to have one way shut."

Your pictures: Hazy sunshine

BBC Weather Watchers

OK, so it's not quite as sunny or warm as yesterday across Beds, Herts & Bucks but our BBC Weather Watchers have captured some hazy sunshine breaking through the cloud.

Skyline in Goffs Oak
BBC Weather Watchers/David
Goffs Oak
Flowers in Westoning
BBC Weather Watchers/SueBeth
Great Brickhill
BBC Weather Watchers/Gadget Girl
Field in Great Brickhill
Field in Stevenage
BBC Weather Watchers/carlas garden

Hertfordshire's Inflatable Planetarium Goes on Tour

The University of Hertfordshire is offering the knowledge of the universe to parks and festivals by loaning out its inflatable planetarium.

It usually lives at the University's Bayfordbury Observatory, and takes trips out to schools to teach children about space.

But this summer it's planning to travel further afield with its next stop being the Letchworth Festival later this month.

Inflatable Dome erected on a field
University of Hertfordshire

The planetarium has a six-metre high (19.5 feet) inflatable dome, a high definition projector and 360 degree sound to simulate the wonders of the universe, from our solar system to the rest of the Milky Way galaxy and beyond.

Your pictures: Rain?

BBC Weather Watchers

No sign of today's forecast of torrential rain yet, although there are definitely some signs across Cambridgeshire.

Our BBC Weather Watchers have been out and about capturing the sights... before they get drenched!

Ramsey St Mary's
Offord D'Arcy

A1 fully reopened after fatal crash

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The A1(M) through Hertfordshire is slowly returning to normal after a crash this morning in which a motorcyclist died.

View more on twitter

Graham Taylor train engine unveiled

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A London Midland engine named after the former Watford and England manager, Graham Taylor, embarks on its maiden voyage at 13:36.

It's after a commemorative plaque on the side of a Class 350 model was officially unveiled by Taylor's widow, Rita, on platform 10 of Watford Junction station.

Rita Taylor, Graham Taylor’s widow
Halkin UK

The naming ceremony included speeches and music from a string quartet before football memorabilia was auctioned off for charity.

Football shirts
Halkin UK

The train engine will retain its new name for the rest of its working life.

It will be used on the West Coast Main Line, which passes through stations serving some of the places where Taylor was a manager, including Watford, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton and Wembley.

Motorcylist dead after crash on A1 - dash-cam appeal

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Police have confirmed that a man died in a crash which closed part of the A1(M) in Hertfordshire this morning.

They received reports that a motorcyclist had collided with the central reservation on the northbound carriageway close to junction six for Welwyn just before 07:30

The air ambulance was called, but the rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both carriageways were closed, but it is gradually being reopened.

View more on twitter

PC Andy Ralph from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Forensic Collision Investigation team, said: "It is very important that we fully investigate the incident to try to establish the circumstances that led to the collision.

"In order to do this I am asking anyone who witnessed the collision, or the events leading up to it to contact me.

"Additionally, a lot of motorists have dash-cams installed in their vehicles now and it’s possible the incident may have been captured on video.

"If this is the case, again please contact me."

Deegan 'will be a leader' for Cambridge United

Nick Fairbairn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Ben Strang, head of football operations at Cambridge United, believes their new signing Gary Deegan will be a leader "on and off the pitch".

The Us signed the experienced midfielder on a two-year deal, after the 29-year-old former Hibernian and Southend man left Shrewsbury on Wednesday by mutual consent.

Ben Strang
Getty Images

He's the fourth summer signing for the Us after David Amoo, Jabo Iberhe and Emmanuel Osadebe.

"It was a prerequisite to that position, to bring in someone who can not only control the game, but also control the dressing room and be a big character in there," Mr Strang said.

"What you see on the pitch is what he is off the pitch.

"He's a real competitor and a winner."

Woman refused excess skin surgery after losing 16 stone

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A Dunstable woman who lost 16 stone (102kg) has been told she can't have her excess skin removed on the NHS.

Sharon Wells weighed 28 stone (178kg) and couldn't tie her own shoelaces - but lost about half her body weight over three years through dieting and exercise.

She wants to have excess skin on her arms and stomach removed, but says that the NHS has refused to approve the surgery because she hasn't yet kept the weight off for at least two years.

Sharon Wells
Sharon Wells

She said: "If I hold my arms out, it looks like sagging skin. But it's not just a cosmetic issue.

"I suffer from sores and if they get infected it'll cost the NHS money.

"My doctor first said about applying for surgery, saying I deserved the help, but I've been turned down three times.

"It's an ongoing battle and I'm absolutely devastated."

The BBC contacted the NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups for a response, but they say they are unable to comment on individual cases.

Sharon is now hoping to have the surgery carried out privately and has set up a fundraising page to try and raise the £6,500 cost.

WWT confirms 'very sad' stilt chick deaths

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Sad news for bird lovers. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) has just confirmed the little black-winged stilt chicks which hatched at Welney Wetland Centre have indeed been taken by a predator.

Earlier we heard from a bird watcher who believed they'd been eaten, and Mark Simpson, from the WWT's Slimbridge HQ in Gloucestershire, has now said "it appears the chicks are no more".

Black-winged stilt
WWT Welney

He said: "We understand two chicks hatched at the fenland centre, but earlier this week the parents were spotted flying away to the other side of the reserve, alerting staff to the fact 'something was wrong'.

"There are predator-proof fences which would protect the ground-nesting wader birds from attack by foxes or badgers, but a bird predator or stoat could have possibly been responsible.

"It's very sad, but we're hopeful the adults will come back next year and try again."

In 2014, the RSPB reported that black-winged stilts had hatched in Britain for the first time in 27 years.

Internet speeds increased across Cambs and Newmarket

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

More than 20,000 households and businesses can now get some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country.

Person typing on a laptop

Openreach has begun switching on pilot areas in Cherry Hinton, Huntingdon and Newmarket for a partial fibre service called

It's claimed the technology can boost speeds to more than 10 times the UK average - allowing a two-hour film in high definition to be downloaded in just 90 seconds.

Works under way on Cambridge car parks

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

As you can see from the picture, work to improve the Grand Arcade car park in Cambridge is well under way, with new flooring being laid on the top level.

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The work, which began on 15 May, is part of a £1.2m scheme to improve three car parks in the city, and also includes Grafton East and the Queen Anne.

All three will have a reduced number of spaces available while the work is carried out, through until 24 September.

Man charged with betting shop robberies

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man has been charged with two robberies at bookmakers in Hertfordshire and Essex,

A female worker was sprayed in the face during one of the incidents, at the Coral store in Elizabeth Road, Bishop's Stortford, on the evening of Monday, 29 May.

As we reported on Tuesday, it is not yet known if the victim has suffered permanent eye damage and police said they were working to establish what the substance was.

A 51-year-old has been charged with two counts of robbery.

The second charge relates to a robbery at Jennings bookmakers in Clacton-on-Sea on 14 May.

The man is due to appear at Hatfield Remand Court today.

A1 partially reopened after serious accident

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

There's some good news for drivers delayed by the A1(M) closure in Hertfordshire this morning but it looks like disruption will continue for some time.

The air ambulance was called to reports of a motorcyclist colliding with the central reservation at junction 6 for Welwyn at about 07:30.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Verulamium excavation throws up Roman dating question

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Earlier this year we told you about some "significant" archaeological finds from the Roman town of Verulamium which were uncovered during gas main works in St Albans.

Well, the work is continuing and in a new hole, dug in a wooded area right by Bluehouse Hill, a known building has been uncovered - a town house first documented in the 1950s by Sheppard Frere.

Verulamium Park excavation
Jessica Barnes

Verulamium was the third largest city in Roman Britain and has been mapped by various excavations over the years, but this latest uncovering has thrown up doubt over the building's original dating.

District archaeologist Simon West said: "It's incredibly close to the surface so we think it was built later than previously thought.

"We thought it was from the mid-2nd Century to the 3rd Century, but it's literally under the top soil so it could be the 4th Century or later.

"It could be another little piece of evidence to suggest later Roman activity or early post-Roman."

Because of the complicated archaeology in this latest trench, the National Grid has decided to dig another one, which could reveal more unknowns.

"It's going to be between two known buildings, but we don't know what's there," Mr West said.

Verulamium Park excavation
Jessica Barnes
Verulamium Park excavation
Jessica Barnes
The uncovered building so far shows a robbed wall and a tessellated floor, probably a corridor room

Met Office warning for... torrential rain!

BBC Weather

After the scorching weather we had across the region yesterday, the Met Office is now issuing a yellow weather warning for rain.

They say there is the risk of torrential downpours between 13:00 and 23:00

It's all because a patch of very warm, humid air is on its way from France, which brings the threat of thunderstorms.

"Whilst most places will miss the worst, it could lead to localised surface water flooding and difficult driving conditions. Frequent lightning and perhaps hail could be additional hazards," says the Met Office website.

However, if you've got hay fever, look away now...

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Air ambulance called to A1 crash

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Hertfordshire Police has told us more about this morning's serious collision on the A1(M), which has closed a section of the road in both directions.

Officers were called to reports that a motorcyclist had collided with the central reservation near junction six for Welwyn just before 07:30.

Emergency services including the air ambulance are at the scene.

Highways England said that the road is likely to remain closed for several hours - northbound between junctions four and six and southbound at junction six.

Junction 6 of the A1M

Hole death firm accused of 'negligence'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The partner of a father-of-two found dead at the bottom of a 5ft (1.5m) hole in Luton has accused a water company of negligence.

Matt Wilmot, 40, was found in the excavation, dug by Affinity Water, near his home in Devon Road on Sunday.

His partner of 24 years, Tania Banks, said the hole was uncovered and barriers around it knocked down.

Affinity Water declined to comment while investigations into Mr Wilmot's death were taking place.

Matt Wilmot
Tania Banks

Ms Banks said: "There wasn't a cover over the hole and we were told the barriers had been knocked down, so the hole was there.

"I think it definitely should have been more secure. They came around after (Mr Wilmot's discovery) and put up metal barriers - why secure it more now if you thought it was safe enough to begin with?

"I would class it as negligence," she said. "There is no way it should have been left like this."

Black-winged stilt chicks 'eaten'

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Earlier in the week we brought you news that a pair of black-winged stilts had chosen to breed on the reserve at the Welney Wetland Centre.

Well, it appears nature may have taken its course, and we've had reports that the newly-hatched chicks have been eaten.

Black-winged stilts
WWT Welney

Bird watcher Gary Rawling, from St Neots, said it was likely they hadn't survived.

"I don't know how long they'd exactly been there, but it'd only been for a week or so," he said.

"I got a message saying that they were there, and then the next day - they were gone, which I thought was odd.

"It's likely that if the water levels were so low, a stoat, weasel or badger may have got across the fen and taken them.

"You've also got gulls, sparrowhawk or peregrine that may have got them."

We've contacted the centre at Welney to find out more.

Part of the A1 closed after 'serious collision'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Part of the A1M through Hertfordshire has been closed after a serious collision and it looks like there could be disruption all morning.

View more on twitter

Graham Taylor train engine to be unveiled

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A London Midland engine named after the former Watford and England manager, Graham Taylor, will be unveiled today.

One of the company’s Class 350 models has been fitted with a commemorative plaque, which will remain for the rest of its working life.

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

A ceremony will be held at 12:00 on platform 10 of Watford Junction station, which will include speeches and music from a string quartet.

But the company has warned that members of the public may be refused entry to the platform if numbers exceed safe levels.

The train will be used on the West Coast Main Line and pass through stations serving many places where Taylor was manager including Watford, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton and Wembley.

A London Midland train on a platform.

Steve Helfet, head of West Coast services at London Midland, said: "We hope that passengers travelling on this train will take a few moments to remember Graham, a true football hero."

Scott Duxbury, chairman at Watford Football Club, said: "London Midland’s respectful suggestion about Graham was put to his family for approval and we’re delighted they accepted this offer.

"Alongside other planned tributes, this gesture is a mark of just how widely Graham’s work and warm personality were appreciated across our town."

Our live coverage today

Today we're focusing on BBC Radio Northampton's general election debates across the country.

The BBC is hosting discussions in Northampton South and a separate county-wide debate.

Our coverage will appear on the BBC News: Northampton index.

Ballot boxes
Getty Images

Fundraising effort for family of man found dead in hole

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A crowd funding page has been set up to raise money for the family of a man found dead at the bottom of a hole in the pavement in Luton.

The body of Matt Wilmot, 40, was found on Sunday morning in the excavation dug by Affinity Water on Devon Road.

His partner's sister, Donna Banks, has started a web page to try and raise £2,000. It's already reached 60% of its target.

She said: "I want her to have time to grieve, to give her [the dead man's partner] some breathing space.

"It's unbelievable the amount of support we've been getting from everyone.

"A lot of their friends can't get their head around it either. It's just such a shock for everyone."

Floral tributes for Matt Wilmot.

Bedfordshire Police said it was not treating the discovery as suspicious.

A file on the case has been sent to the coroner.

Volunteer cops helped Hertfordshire hospitals combat cyber attack

It's been revealed that Special Constables with expertise in IT systems outside of the police force stepped in to help the Lister Hospital in Stevenage when it fell victim to a cyber attack last month.

Lister Hospital sign

Hertfordshire Police SC James Hyde, whose day job is at communications company EE, was one of the team who helped diagnose and clean computers in order to thwart the ransomware/malware which struck the NHS in May.

He even came back to finish when he was officially off the clock.

He said: "Due to the nature of the computer virus, each computer had to be visited in person and with several thousand computers on site; it soon became apparent that it was going to take some time to get through them all.

"A few of us voluntarily returned in a civilian capacity the next day to continue the efforts of helping the hospital get back to normal."

Friday’s live updates for Beds, Herts & Bucks

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Good morning and welcome to our feed of regular updates for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

The weekend is just around the corner and we'll be here from now until 18:00, rounding off the week with the very latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Speaking of the weather, from the pictures our BBC Weather Watchers have captured so far this morning, it looks like the sun is at least trying to break through. We'll have a full forecast shortly.

Skies over Stevenage.
BBC Weather Watchers/carlas garden

You can contact us at any time via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Good morning

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Welcome back to live updates for Cambridgeshire on Friday, 2 June.

We'll be with you until 18:00 to bring you the latest news, sport, weather and travel as it happens around the county.

Sunrise in Histon

Coming up, more on the black-winged stilts at Welney, plus a Met Office weather warning for... rain!

You can get in touch by email, Twitter and Facebook.