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Vicars who know how to rock and roll

Five vicars play in the band Dogs Without Collars

Volunteer tree planting effort for endangered wildlife

A hedge sparrow
BBC
A hedge sparrow

Volunteers will be out planting more than 3,000 hedges and trees today, as part of conservation work on farms in Wiltshire.

The hedges will form a wildlife corridor for endangered species including the tree sparrow, whose numbers have plummeted since the 1970s.

The work is part of a conservation project started by a group of 31 farmers in an area of the Marlborough Downs.

Family pay tribute to "wonderful woman" killed in crash

Photo of Sue Gainey
Family photo handout

The "devastated" family of a cyclist killed in Chippenham this week have paid tribute to “the most family orientated person you could meet”.

Sue Gainey, 61, died following a collision with a car in Hungerdown Lane on Tuesday.

A statement released today by her family said Mrs Gainey “would do absolutely anything for anybody – as long as her family was happy, Sue was happy”.

They said Mrs Gainey loved her pushbike and they took comfort from knowing that she was doing what she loved when she died. They also thanked those who helped her in her final moments. “We’ve been overwhelmed with messages from friends and family, and we are really grateful to everybody who has offered their support – we hope everyone continues to remember Sue as the smiley, kind and caring lady that she was. “We are devastated to have lost her so suddenly and will continue to support each other through the difficult days, weeks and months ahead.”

Flooding causes problems in Dorset

A woman had to be rescued by firefighters when her car became stuck in floodwater in Dorset.

The 60-year-old became stuck when her vehicle was stranded in a ford in Aller Lane, Ansty, shortly before 14:00 GMT.

Trains have been suspended on Great Western Railway between Weymouth and Yeovil due to flooding on the railway.

The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for the River Wriggle and Chetnole and the Upper Frome near Maiden Newton.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service also warned that the A35 - the main route across the county - was under 3ft of water west of Winterbourne Abbas.

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Dorset Jurassic Skyline attraction comes down

Deconstruction work has started on the Jurassic Skyline tower in Weymouth.
Since it was built in 2012, almost three quarters of a million people have taken a ride on the Jurassic Skyline to enjoy  panoramic views of the Dorset coast and landscape.

But with declining visitor numbers in recent years,the operator Merlin Entertainments said that the £3.5 million Weymouth attraction is no longer financially viable, so it's been sold to an overseas company. 

Two years ago a mechanical failure resulted in 14 people including an 11 week old baby getting stuck for several hours in the rotating gondola at the top of the tower. The group was winched to safety by a rescue helicopter.

The permanent closure of the Jurassic Skyline was announced in August this year. Residents and visitors have expressed mixed feelings to BBC Radio Solent reporter Laurence Herdman about its demise.

The site will be cleared and made suitable for car parking. Depending on winter weather interruptions work is expected to be completed by the end of February 2020. Weymouth peninsula will remain open throughout the work with alternative pedestrian access put in place as necessary.

South West unemployment lower than UK average

BBC Business News

South West unemployment figures
BBC

Some 2.6% of “economically active” people - those aged over 16 - in the South West of England were unemployed in the three months to September, latest figures show.

The figure is lower than the UK figure of 3.8%.

However, UK wage growth has slowed and the figures showed the biggest annual drop in job vacancies in nearly 10 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said this was down to falling numbers of people working in retail, after the collapse of several store chains and the implementation of shop closure programmes by other firms.

Ninebarrow in Dorset

Clare Balding walks with folk duo Ninebarrow in Dorset.
Clare walks with Jon Whitley  and James (Jay) La Bouchardiere, two childhood friends born and bred in Dorset who moved back there after university and began playing folk music.   Jon’s father had run a folk club so it was in his blood so to speak as is the Dorset countryside.
When they started writing songs it was a natural process to incorporate the landscape and folklore of the county and this eventually led to them producing a book of the walks that they have enjoyed and written songs about.  They perform as a duo called Ninebarrow, a hill near Corfe Castle.
They’re walking one of their favourite and oldest walks of coastline, a circular walk beginning and ending in Worth Matravers. OS Ref SY 974 777

Producer: Maggie Ayre

£1.8m EuroMillions ticket unclaimed in Dorset

The search is on to find the owner of an unclaimed £1.8m EuroMillions ticket bought in Dorset.

The prize-winning ticket was drawn on 4 October. It has five matching numbers plus one Lucky Star paying out a total of £1,844,973.60 but no-one has come forward.

The ticket holder has until 1 April to claim their prize otherwise it will be donated to the lottery's good causes fund.

Chain ferry on track for return

It's been a long wait, but users of the Sandbanks ferry have been told the service is on track to return at the end of the month.

The ferry, which crosses the mouth of Poole Harbour, was taken out of service on 12 July after its drive shaft broke.

But it looks like it will back up and running in the next few weeks...

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Lines reopen but delays to last a while yet

Some lines have now reopened after a signalling problem between Brockenhurst and Weymouth.

But South Western Railway has warned delays are still likely to last for the rest of the day.

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Train problems to last 'until the end of the day'

There's not good news for people affected by signalling problems between Brockenhurst and Weymouth...

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Train delays due to signalling problem

Rail passengers are being warned of delays until 14:00 due to a signalling problem at Brockenhurst Station.

Commuters have reported services being delayed by up to an hour.

We've also been told of a power cut affecting Poole station.

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