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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West on Thursday, 16 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all from Local Live tonight

    We will be back at 7am tomorrow bringing you all the latest news, sport and weather for the West of England.

    Here's Ian Fergusson with Friday's weather forecast. 

    It's going to be breezy and cooler in the morning with patchy rain in the afternoon.

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather for the West with Ian Fergusson
  2. Powerboat racing in Bristol's docks: Yes or No?

    A powerboat racer returned to Bristol's harbour in 2015

    Former elected mayor George Ferguson says that a return of powerboat races in the Harbourside would damage Bristol's green credentials. 

    This clashes with Marvin Rees who said talks were under way to bring back the sport during his first major speech last October.

    The event was stopped in 1990 after accidents and the death of some competitors.

    Former champion powerboat racer Steve Kerton said: "The development in safety for the boats, the rescue crews and driver safety and training that they have to go through is far safer than it used to be."

  3. Man guilty of killing UK's rarest butterflies

    
          A composite image of Philip Cullen and a Large Blue butterfly

    The man found guilty of capturing and killing Large Blues says he is "appalled by the sentence" and said he will appeal. 

    Phillip Cullen, 57, was found guilty of six offences relating to Large Blue (Maculinea arion) butterflies, which are endangered globally. 

    He said there was "no evidence against him" and added "as a conservationist...I am very, very embrassed not to be believed and found guilty".

    Bristol Magistrates Court was told that Cullen was seen with a net at a two sites in Somerset and Gloucestershire on the same day in June 2015.

    The court heard Large Blue butterflies were found at Cullen's home in Cadbury Heath, Bristol, on 12th February last year. 

  4. Brean Down conservationists on the hunt for a new grazier

    Ponies on Brean Down

    Conservationists are searching for a new grazier to help them with conservation work along Brean Down.

    The National Trust owns the 65-hectare site which is at the furthest tip of the Mendip Hills and overlooks the North Somerset coastline.

    The project first began in November 2015 and ran until May when a herd of Dartmoor ponies were brought in to graze and clear the scrubland.

    Ian Clemett from the Trust said: "It did do it the world of good, the hill is in a good state now but it will start to grow up again."

    Grazing livestock helps to clear the land of brambles and improve the limestone grassland's biodiversity.

  5. Cheltenham Gold Cup: A look at the runners and riders

    Cue Card ridden by Paddy Brennan

    Cue Card will bid to make amends for a late fall last year when he lines up for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.

    The popular steeplechaser,  under the guidance of trainer Colin Tizzard,  will have stablemate Native River among his rivals.

    A strong Irish challenge includes the two-time runner-up Djakadam who bids to secure a first win for trainer Willie Mullins.

    Outlander, for in-form Gordon Elliott, and Sizing John are other contenders.

    And as we've been reporting, Lizzie Kelly on Tea For Two will be the first woman to ride in the race for 33 years.

  6. It's Eddie Redmayne - honestly!

    Eddie Redmayne
    Image caption: Aardman Animations Early Man stars the Oscar winning actor

    Eddie Redmayne's prehistoric character in a new film from Bristol-based Aardman Animations has been revealed.

    The Oscar-winning actor voices Dug, a courageous caveman hero who belongs to a hapless tribe.

    Early Man, which is set for release in January 2018, also stars Bristol's Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams.

  7. Thousands of Children of the 90s babies return to help latest study

    Alex (centre) at the Focus@24 clinic

    One of the world's largest population studies, which started in Bristol 26 years ago, has welcomed its 3,000th participant to a new clinic aimed at researching human health all the way from babyhood to adulthood.

    Alex Hughes-Games (pictured centre above) was one of the original babies who took part in Bristol University's Children of the 90s (CO90s) project, he's now 25 and has agreed to be part of the study's Focus@24+ clinic.

    "It’s just really nice to be part of a special group of people who’ve been doing their bit for science from birth onwards," he said.

    CO90s research is known for many discoveries including the benefits of eating oily fish during pregnancy, "getting grubby" boosts children's immune systems and the link between peanut allergy and peanut oil in skin creams. 

  8. How long should mothers breastfeed for?

    Baby feeding from bottle

    Earlier we told you how Bristol's Claire Tchaikowski, the partner of Massive Attack producer Neil Davidge, has made a  new film  about the little-known nutritional benefits of human breast milk beyond infancy.

    She wants women who decide to breastfeed for longer to feel empowered and supported in that choice.

    Women in the UK are advised to begin breastfeeding an hour after their baby is born and then exclusively for six months.

    In fact just 1-2 per cent of women exclusively feed their baby with breast milk up to the age of six months, the NHS' 2010  Infant Feeding Survey  found.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends continued breastfeeding, along with other sources of nutrition, for two years or more.

  9. Cleaning up at the Cheltenham Festival

    The Jockey Club, who run Cheltenham Racecourse, has set itself a target of sending nothing to landfill by 2020. 

    More than 65,000 people a day will visit the Festival this week and they'll leave behind plenty of rubbish. 

    But over the last five years the racecourse has raised its recycling rates from eight to 70 per cent.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Cheltenham Festival recycling.
  10. Headlines from your BBC Local Radio station

    Radio

    BBC Radio Bristol

    Four men from Bristol and Bath have been jailed after the discovery of what police described as an "Aladdin's cave" of drugs, cash and goods. 

    BBC Somerset

    BBC Somerset has learnt that Wells MP James Heappey and Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh have been interviewed by police as part of their investigation into general election expenses. 

    BBC Gloucestershire

    Cheltenham Town have wished manager Gary Johnson a quick recovery after undergoing unexpected heart surgery today.    

    BBC Wiltshire

    A man's been arrested this afternoon on suspicion of the murder of 25-year-old Jordan Taylor in Trowbridge and an area around County Hall in the town has been cordoned off as part of the investigation.  

  11. Butterfly collector conviction: 'Unnecessary to collect butterflies from the wild'

    A Large Blue butterfly

    A butterfly collector has been found guilty of killing the UK's rarest butterfly. Phillip Cullen, 57, was found guilty of six offences relating to the Large Blue .

    The Butterfly Conservation charity has its own policy on collecting, breeding and taking photos of butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera). 

    It says no butterflies or moths should be killed or collected casually, unthinkingly and without good reason.

    It adds that collecting, breeding or photography should never be carried out in a way that would endanger, or have any long-term adverse effect, on any population of butterflies and moths.

    Quote Message: It is unnecessary to collect species from the wild and we discourage any collecting apart from for legitimate scientific research." from Dr Caroline Bulman Butterfly Conservation
    Dr Caroline BulmanButterfly Conservation
  12. Drug dealers living 'the high life' jailed

    
          L-r Jay Cowell, Joe Wilkins, Mark Howard and Jose Paulo De Sousa were arrested following a two-year investigation

    Four men have been jailed for a total of more than 30 years at Bristol Crown Court. 

    Jay Cowell, 42, Joe Wilkins, 29, Mark Howard, 40, and Jose Paulo De Sousa, 49, (pictured left to right above) were all convicted after a two year police operation.

    Quote Message: Jay Cowell lived in an Aladdin’s cave of wealth, he was a high level dealer, living a rich lifestyle buying expensive and lavish items including luxury cars, artwork, designer clothes and electronic gadgets, while preying on the vulnerable." from Det Insp Tony Hubbard Senior Investigating Officer
    Det Insp Tony Hubbard Senior Investigating Officer

    Police seized money, drugs, cars, art work and jewellery from houses  in Gay's Road and Soundwell Road in Hanham, Bristol.

    Cowell was jailed for 13 years, six months for “his significant role”, Howard for eight, Wilkins seven and De Sousa for four.   

    Watch, car and jewellery seized by police
  13. Butterfly collector conviction: What is the Large Blue?

    Video content

    Video caption: The Large Blue butterfly is thriving on reserves in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

    Phillip Cullen, 57, has been found guilty of six offences relating to Large Blue butterflies .

    Here's a few facts about the largest and rarest of the UK's butterflies. 

    • It has a wingspan of more than two inches and can be identified by a row of black spots on its upper forewing.
    • The species became extinct in 1979 but is now thriving after reintroduction in 2004.
    • Conservationists say there is a population of more than 10,000 on reserves in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
  14. Man who beat and stole drugs from pensioner guilty of murder

    Tony Swift

    A man has been convicted of killing Cheltenham pensioner Tony Swift before stealing his cannabis and selling it on.

    Tony Swift, 68, was found with head injuries at his flat in October 2015. 

    A jury at Bristol Crown Court today found Lee McClatchley, 31, of Cromwell Road, Cheltenham, guilty of murder following a three week trial.

    Quote Message: That day he was a desperate man seeking to put right a number of dodgy deals. I believe he saw Tony as a soft target and tried to rob him of his stash but it all went wrong in the flat and he battered Tony to death." from Det Insp Richard Pegler Senior Investigating Officer
    Det Insp Richard Pegler Senior Investigating Officer
  15. BreakingButterfly collector guilty of killing UK's rarest butterfly

    Phillip Cullen

    A butterfly collector has been found guilty of killing the UK's rarest butterfly.

    Phillip Cullen, 57, was found guilty of six offences relating to Large Blue (Maculinea arion) butterflies, which are endangered globally. 

    Bristol Magistrates Court heard he was seen climbing over a locked gate with a net at Collard Hill, near Street, Somerset, on 18th June, 2015. 

    Conservation volunteers watched Cullen chasing and swiping at a Large Blue butterfly with the net before leaving the site with white plastic bags hours later. 

    Cullen also allegedly clambered over a gate into Daneway Banks near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, on the same day. 

    He was approached by a volunteer after being seen with a net and claimed he was interested in parasitic wasps. 

    The court heard Large Blue butterflies were found at Cullen's home in Cadbury Heath, Bristol, on 12th February last year. 

  16. BreakingScrambler bike crash in Gloucester

    An 18-year-old man has been injured following a collision involving a scrambler bike.

    Police have closed roads at the Blakehill Way roundabout in Abbeymead, Gloucester.

    Abbeymead, Gloucester
  17. Why is breastfeeding a toddler deemed so controversial?

    Tamara Eccleston

    We've been reporting on a film encouraging mothers to breastfeed beyond babyhood that's been made in Bristol.

    Women who breastfeed their children beyond the first few months of infancy are not a common sight in our society, as highlighted by the model Tamara Ecclestone recently .

    She was criticised for posting a picture on social media of her feeding her three-year-old daughter with one Instagram user saying: "For babies yes it's beautiful but for two years old it's disgusting."

    Ecclestone said it was a "very sad and surprising sign of the times" that the image had prompted negative comments, after uploading a second breastfeeding picture .