Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Man dies in Dartmoor canoe accident
  2. --- A fallen tree trapped the canoeist in a 'roaring' river
  3. Paedophile hunters' evidence puts man in court
  4. Unauthorised waste caused explosions on ship, report says
  5. 'Parked cars prevent firefighters reaching emergencies'
  6. Ship's sword-slicing honour for young Devon steward
  7. Charity seeks to find people from famed photo archive
  8. British beach litter picker praises Cornwall
  9. Updates on Thursday 7 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 07:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Don't forget Spotlight on BBC One later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Get the latest news for your area from the BBC.

Totnes MP Wollaston's coffin stunt anger 'shows her egotism' says Labour

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Totnes Labour group has hit back at claims by MP Sarah Wollaston that a coffin left outside her constituency office was a "crass" stunt.

Coffin
Helen Beetham

The coffin was left in Totnes in a demo by Save Our Hospital Services that included members of Totnes Constituency Labour Party (CLP).

Peter McIlven, chair of Totnes CLP, said: "Using coffins in demos is a standard prop, we were not criticising Sarah personally, we were drawing attention to the effects of austerity on the NHS.

"For her to criticise it in this way and not look at the message says something about egotism.

"I think her calling it a vile gesture is wilfully misunderstanding."

Demo
BBC

Conservative Dr Wollaston, referring to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last year, said the effect of "delivering a coffin effigy" had passed some people by.

She tweeted: "It was not a ‘protest board’, it was a large model coffin that someone had taken some time to construct & the march was with an actual coffin as clear from the photographs of the demonstration @TotnesLabour should apologise."

Jake Gosling

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Torquay United's Gibraltar international midfielder Jake Gosling is to leave the club on loan to improve his fitness.

Read more

Pictures from scene of Dartmoor kayaker tree trap tragedy

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A man who died when he got trapped under a tree was with four others on the River Dart between Dartmeet and Newbridge, park rangers said.

Dart
BBC

Part of the river has been closed off while the emergency services recover the body.

Dart
BBC
Dart
BBC

Police, ambulance, fire service and mountain rescue are all at the scene, which is a popular area for kayaking.

Sherford 'green space' corridors to reduce flood risk

Lynne French

BBC News Online

The plan for the growth of Sherford, a new town on the edge of Plymouth, could be changed to make it more resistant to flooding after heavy rain.

Sherford
BBC

The plan involves having corridors of green space to soak up excess water. Within these areas will be drainage basins, which when the weather is dry, will be useable public spaces, including recreation areas.

However, when the weather is exceptionally wet, the basins can take excess water from the town, transforming into ponds and wetlands that allow the water to drain away naturally.

These new areas will safely transport and store rainwater, cutting water pollution, reducing the amount of surface run-off, easing the pressure on drains, and significantly decreasing the threat of flooding.

Impatient driver gets stuck mounting pavement near school

Cornwall Live

Parents collecting their children from a primary school in Helston watched in disbelief as an impatient motorist mounted the pavement in an attempt to get past a bus unloading pupils.

Work begins to increase lowland heathland on road verges

Adrian Campbell, Environment Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Highways England is working to increase low heathland areas on road verges in Devon and Cornwall.

Described as a "rare and threatened habitat", the lowland heathland has been in decline for about two centuries.

Heather gathering
BBC

Following targeted surveys locations along the A30 and A38 heather will be planted and managed to increase and improve the habitat for plants, animals and birds such as the nightjar and Dartford warbler.

The areas will include Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and Goss Moor adjacent to the A30, and Haldon Hill adjacent to the A38.

In total, eight locations across the Highways England network in the region have been selected as offering "excellent opportunities for heathland to be created, extended and/or restored".

Carer, 23, died after falling off horse without a helmet

Devon Live

A young woman died after falling from a horse on Dartmoor while riding without wearing a helmet or using a saddle.

Professional boxer found not guilty of drug dealing

Devon Live

A professional boxer has been found not guilty of drug dealing after the prosecution offered no evidence in his case.

Fallen tree traps canoeist in 'roaring' river

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A park ranger has described the river that claimed a canoeist's life this morning as "roaring".

The man was with a group of canoeists when he became trapped under a tree in the Dart Gorge between Darmeet and Newbridge, on Dartmoor.

Rob Steemson, from Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: "The river obviously rises and falls quite quickly, but this morning it was roaring.

"With the heavy winds as well, quite a few trees have come down overnight and unfortunately that's what's trapped this person."

Man killed in canoe accident was part of group

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A man has died in a canoeing accident on the River Dart.

Rob Steemson, a Dartmoor National Park ranger, said the victim was with a group of six to eight canoeists, when be became trapped under a tree in the Dart Gorge between Dartmeet and Newbridge.

"One canoeist has been trapped under a tree and unfortunately the person has passed away," he said.

Part of the river has been closed off while the emergency services recover the body.

Sunny spells, but some showers later

BBC Weather

Mainly dry this afternoon, with some spells of sunshine developing.

However, some scattered showers will move in towards the end of the day and may turn to sleet or snow this evening.

Fresh or strong northwesterly winds will make it feel colder, with a maximum temperature of 9C (48F).

Thursday's weather map
BBC

Woman, 94, with broken shoulder waits hours for ambulance

Plymouth Herald

A 94-year-old Plymouth woman who broke her shoulder in a fall and was left screaming in pain had to wait almost four hours for an ambulance.

BreakingMan dies in Dartmoor canoe accident

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

A man has died after his canoe became trapped under a tree in the Dart Gorge between Dartmeet and Newbridge, emergency services have confirmed.

Police, ambulance, fire service and mountain rescue are all at the scene.

The river has been closed between Dartmeet and Newbridge while the body is recovered, emergency services told the BBC.

Emergency services
BBC

Time for cake

A giant cake modelled on Britain's largest warship has been presented to the Queen.

The 8ft-long (2.44m) creation has taken centre stage at the commissioning ceremony for the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier in Portsmouth.

An Edinburgh cake designer created the edible replica of HMS Queen Elizabeth for the event. It took more than 100 hours to complete, and required 7kg of flour as well as 160 eggs.

The commanding officer's wife Karen Kyd and the youngest member of the ship's company Steward Callum Hui, 17, from Lynton, Devon, have cut the cake.

Cake
MOD

Severe accident: A30 Cornwall westbound

BBC News Travel

A30 Cornwall westbound severe accident, between A39 and A3058 Beacon Road Summercourt Central.

A30 Cornwall - A30 closed and queuing traffic westbound between Indian Queens and Summercourt Central, because of an accident involving a van and tractor.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Smaller fire engines considered because of parked cars

BBC Radio Cornwall

A fire service is considering buying smaller engines so it can squeeze through car-filled streets.

Firefighters have been delayed in attending a number of emergencies because of "inconsiderate" residential parking.

In Plymstock, Devon, firefighters have attended two shouts recently on foot because they couldn't get a truck through.

Katherine Billing, from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said firefighters will put on sirens, go door-to-door knocking but - in an emergency - getting the truck through is a priority.

"Sometimes we try to physically push them [cars] out of the way. When we can't get the hoses to reach the property, then in that event we may cause damage to someone's vehicle, but that is the last resort."

Fire engine
BBC

Dartmouth man pleads guilty to child sex offences

Ben Woolvin

BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

A Devon man has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of attempted sexual communication with children, including one count of attempting to meet a 14-year-old girl after sexual grooming.

The case against 56-year-old Michael Watton, of Dartmouth, relied on evidence gathered by so-called paedophile hunters who mount stings to catch sex offenders by posing as child decoys in internet chat rooms.

Michael Watton
BBC

Watton was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on 4 January.

Captain drinking on empty stomach before he crashed trawler into rocks

Devon Live

A court has heard that the captain of a trawler which crashed into rocks at Mount Batten Pier had been drinking on an empty stomach before the collision.

Snow joke... the white stuff is coming!

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Warning
Met Office

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow and ice which could affect parts of Devon and Cornwall on Friday and Saturday.

View more on twitter

Road verge heathland plans: 'Difficult to restore habitat'

Adrian Campbell, Environment Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Highways England is hoping to increase the amount of wildlife along some of the region's roads and reverse a sharp decline in heathland.

The habitat has seen a massive decline in the last 200 years.

The agency says there are several areas in Devon and Cornwall, including the A30 and A38, where road verges are suitable for heathland species.

Steve Hussey, from Devon Wildlife Trust, said: "Restoring what are, effectively, ancient landscapes, is difficult and has taken nature hundreds of years.

"Our land is very fertile. It's often a matter of stripping out that fertility and that gives wild plants and habitats a chance to thrive."

Traffic slow in Truro due to roadworks

BBC Radio Cornwall

  • Slow-moving traffic near Truro on the A390 Union Hill with temporary traffic lights for roadworks, with queues back to Tresillian
  • On the A39 Wadebridge bypass, temporary traffic lights for roadworks with busy traffic

Firefighters 'annoyed' by parked cars

BBC Radio Cornwall

Firefighters in Devon and Cornwall are warning people that irresponsible parking is preventing them from quickly getting to emergencies.

On one occasion recently, crews had to respond on foot.

View more on twitter

Watch manager Terry Brokenshire said: "It's quite annoying when you can see it [the fire] in front of you, but you can't get there."

Firefighters told the BBC they've sometimes had to carry equipment a long way because they have been unable to get close to the incident.

Travel update for Devon: Roads partially blocked in Totnes and Exeter

BBC Radio Devon

  • In Totnes, Pathfields is partially blocked around Weston Lane due to an accident
  • An accident in Exeter has partially blocked New North Road around Elm Grove Road

Plymouth crowd hard to get says Liam Gallagher

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Singer Liam Gallagher has said the crowd at his gig in Plymouth "played hard to get."

The Oasis frontman tweeted his comments after the sell-out concert at the Plymouth Pavilions on Wednesday night.

He added: "We got there in the end, stay dangerous".

View more on twitter

Ship's sword-slicing honour for young Devon steward

A Royal Navy steward from Devon is being given the honour of cutting the cake to accept HMS Queen Elizabeth officially into the senior service.

Callum Hui from Lynton has been chosen because - at 17 years old - he's the ship's youngest crew member.

RN Steward Callum Hui
PA

"This is my first ship, straight out of training, and just to have the honour of cutting the cake on commissioning day - it is exciting stuff."

He said the service tradition will be a definite peak in his short career, describing it as "probably one of the stories you tell your kids".

The young steward will be joined in slicing the aircraft carrier cake with a sword by the wife of the ship's commanding officer.

Guests at the commissioning ceremony will include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, as well Steward Hui's mother and brother.

Matt Evans

Canadian international back Matt Evans is set to make his first Cornish Pirates appearance for over a year.

Read more

Ship's engineer burned by incinerator ash gas explosion

Lynne French

BBC News Online

An engineer took four months to recover from his injuries after being badly burned by one of two explosions on a ship in Plymouth.

The Nortrader was transporting unprocessed incinerator bottom ash (U-IBA) from Plymouth's waste-to-energy plant to Beverwijik in Holland when the explosions happened in January.

Engineer's burned coat
MAIB
Engineer's burned coat

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said the blasts were caused by the ash, which had been wrongly classed as non-dangerous, releasing hydrogen and other dangerous gases when it became wet.

It said the explosions could have been avoided if regulations had been followed correctly and has recommended that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Environment Agency work together to identify "reliable methods and protocols for testing non-homogeneous solid bulk cargoes".

It has also recommended the Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Cargoes) regulations 1999 are updated.

Plymouth MP apologises for sending out leaflets

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard has said sorry for distributing leaflets which said the party would "cancel existing student debt".

Mr Pollard said the Labour Party wants to scrap tuition fees, rather than existing student debt.

Primer Minister Theresa May brandished the leaflet during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday saying the Labour Party should apologise.

Theresa May waving leaflet
BBC
Theresa May referred to the leaflet in Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday

Directing her comments at the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the Prime Minister said: "What is the Labour Party doing? It is putting around leaflets that say, 'Labour will cancel existing student debt'. It is time he apologised for the grossly misleading Labour leaflets."

Mr Pollard said sending them out was "wrong" and they were "made by volunteers for the local elections".

He said: "As soon as I found out about it, I issued instructions that it shouldn't be delivered. We've got to get those leaflets right. This one has slipped through the net."

View more on twitter

Unauthorised waste caused explosions on ship, report says

One of two explosions which badly injured a ship's chief engineer were caused by unauthorised and dangerous waste from Plymouth's waste-to-energy incinerator, a report says.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch said the Nortrader was anchored off Plymouth with a cargo of unprocessed incinerator bottom ash (U-IBA) when the explosions happened on 13 January.

Blast damage on Nortrader
MAIB

The ash was not included in the schedule of authorised cargoes of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.

Despite this, there had been 34 shipments of U-IBA from Plymouth to Beverwijk in Holland since the incinerator plant started operating in 2015, but no steps had been taken to get approval to carry it, as required by the code.

"Had the explosion on Nortrader not taken place, these unauthorised and dangerous shipments would probably have continued without change," the report said.

A number of recommendations have been made by investigators.

Police appeal after woman missing from Teignmouth

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

Police are appealing for help to find a 49-year-old woman who is missing from Teignmouth.

Rosalind Osbourne was last seen leaving the Wetherspoons pub on Station Road on her red mobility scooter which has a gold bow on the front.

She is described as a white woman of medium-large build and has brown shoulder length hair.

She was wearing a green coat and scarf, black trousers, and black and white spotted shoes.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police.

Rosalind Osborne
BBC

Boost for heathland in the region

BBC Spotlight

Highways England is hoping to encourage the growth of heathland along some of the region's roads following a sharp decline in the habitat over the last 200 years.

A number of scarce birds use lowland heathland as their primary habitat, such as the nightjar and Dartford warbler.

Road and heathland
BBC

As well as reptiles, many rare and threatened invertebrates and plants are found on lowland heathland.

Eight road locations across the South West have been identified, including the A30 and A38.

Hospital trust cancelled 87,000 outpatient appointments

Cornwall Live

The Royal Cornwall Hospital cancelled a total of 87,546 outpatient appointments last year - equal to about 240 every single day.

Tide times for Devon and Cornwall

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

If you're planning a trip to the coast this blustery Thursday, here are the all-important times of high water around the region.

Tide times
BBC

There's a full weather forecast in the lunchtime news at 13:30 on BBC One and also on Spotlight this evening at 18:30.

Travel update for Cornwall: Accident on A30 near Bolventor

BBC Radio Cornwall

  • An accident has partially blocked the A30 westbound around Bolventor
  • Slow traffic in Redruth on the A3047 due to roadworks and lane closures at the Mount Ambrose roundabout
  • Reports of standing water on the road from Lanivet to Bodmin - approach with care
  • Near Penryn on the A39 there's slow traffic on the approaches to the Treluswell roundabout.

Travel update for Devon: Deep surface water on A39

BBC Radio Devon

  • On the A39 between Blackmoor Gate and Woody Bay we've got reports there's deep surface water
  • Heavy traffic on the A38 around Chudleigh heading towards Exeter
  • Slow and queuing traffic on the A380 around Kingsteignton heading towards Exeter due to a lane closure for roadworks
  • In Plymouth on Tavistock Road there's busy traffic approaching the Derriford roundabout in all directions due to roadworks
  • Lane restrictions for roadworks between the M5 and Tiverton on the A361. Slow-moving traffic towards Tiverton
  • Bideford Long Bridge is closed to traffic for resurfacing work. The A39 diversion route is now very busy