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Police drone trial set for take-off

Drones are starting to be used to fight crime across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire from next month.

Thirty-five officers have been trained as part of a joint trial involving the Thames Valley and Hampshire forces.

The drones will be used to search for missing people or offenders on the run as well as policing large events or dealing with the aftermath of road accidents.

High quality footage from the drones can be beamed into control rooms or incident command units in real time.

The use of drones in policing is already wide spread across Dorset, Wiltshire, Sussex and Surrey, and has already helped secure convictions.

Police drones

Certainly in rural areas where we're trying to cover large areas of land, the use of drones rather than using large numbers of police officers is one of the significant benefits we think we'll get out of it

Ass Ch Const David HardcastleHampshire Constabulary

South of England weather: Largely fine and sunny

BBC Weather

Aside from the odd shower, it should be a largely fine day with plenty of sunshine and blue skies developing.

Fairly breezy at times. Highs of 22C.

Weather forecast for Southern England

Watch: Today's weather for the south

Sunny spells this morning but also there is a risk of a few showers.

Through the afternoon, more widespread and heavier showers will spread in from the south-west, potentially thundery.

Maximum Temperature: 21 to 24C.

Showers spreading in from the south-west

Endangered plant blooms again in New Forest

Heath Lobelia is one of the UK’s rarest and most enigmatic plants, occurring at just six sites in England.

It vanished from its last known site in Hampshire at the turn of the century, at the southern edge of the New Forest.

In 2018 the Species Recovery Trust started an programme of habitat restoration, clearing away scrub by hand in the locations where it was believed the plants might have grown, hoping to trigger the dormant seedbank in the soil.

Dominic Price, director of the trust, said: "It’s one of the most amazing recoveries I’ve ever witnessed. Each plant can produce up to 200 seeds, so it’s a massive step to permanently re-establishing a population."

Heath Lobelia
Species Recovery Trust

Southern Rail 'most hated' public transport company

Southern Rail

Southern Rail is the most unpopular public transport company in the UK, according to a study by Tempcover.

The insurance company looked at more than 3.2 million tweets and found 72% of messages posted about the train operator were negative making it the "most hated".

Great Northern (71%) and South Western Railway (69%) were not far behind.

The most popular train operator is Caledonian Sleeper with 76% of positive tweets, Tempcover said.

This is one cool cat

Holly Parsons-Hann from Basingstoke in Hampshire sent us this picture of her Persian cat.

She said: "Little P seemed to like the fan and I was trying to make sure he was drinking enough water, so as soon as I put the water in front of the fan, he was hooked. He's been there for over four hours so far and seems very content."

Little P
Holly Parsons-Hann

Meanwhile, Edward Bartlett's cat Catface has sought shelter in a shady spot in the garden.

Edward Bartlett

Severe accident: M3 Hampshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M3 Hampshire southbound severe accident, after J6 for .

M3 Hampshire - M3 partially blocked and it's slow southbound after J6, Basingstoke, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

How people are coping with the heat on the trains

BBC reporter Ed Sault sees how people are coping with the heat on the trains
BBC reporter Ed Sault talks about how rail commuters are coping with what is likely to be the hottest day on record in the UK.

Hampshire rail delays expected as hot weather speed restrictions in place

Rails painted to prevent buckling

Buckled rails near Glasgow in 2018
Network Rail

Network Rail and South Western Railway say they are working to mitigate the effects of predicted hot weather on rail services.

The companies say speed restrictions may have to be imposed on parts of the network to reduce the risk of tracks buckling in the extreme heat.

The most at-risk rails have been painted white so they absorb less heat, reducing temperatures by up to 10C.

Hampshire to run island public health services

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cowes on the Isle of Wight and the Hampshire coast

Hampshire County Council is to take over the running of public health services on the Isle of Wight.

The authority will deliver services including drug and substance misuse services, mental wellbeing support and sexual health assistance from next month, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The move, which has been requested by Isle of Wight Council, will not save any money but is aimed at ensuring the "best possible outcomes" for residents.

East Hampshire District Council declares climate emergency

East Hampshire District Council has said it "will continue to take urgent, positive and deliverable steps to reduce its impact on the environment" after it declared a climate emergency.

A spokesman said the council will continue "retrofitting homes" and planting 120,000 trees, one for every resident in the district, to curb carbon emissions.

Council leader Richard Millard said: “A local authority only has power over its own estate, but we will get our own house in order through a set of ambitious but achievable targets that will reduce this council’s impact on the environment and demonstrate to others what can and must be done.”

South of England weather: Hot and humid, but thunderstorms later

It's a hot and humid day, many of us will see temperatures climbing to the low 30s.

We should see some long spells of sunshine but it is a murky start with low cloud, mist and fog patches.

Overnight we will see some thundery downpours pushing from the south, and there's the risk of some frequent lightning.

South of England weather: Clody start, warm later

A rather cloudy start in places, but this will quickly thin and break to leave it dry with plenty of sunny spells.

Breezy at first but winds easing. Turning very warm or hot.

Highs of 25C.

Weather forecast for 22 July

South of England Weather: Cloudy with rain at times

BBC Weather

It's set to be mainly cloudy with rain at times and a brisk south-westerly wind.

The rain is likely to be occasionally heavy, perhaps with a rumble of thunder. Highs of 20C

Man killed in rock fall was from Hampshire

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Sandymouth beach

A man killed by falling rocks was 66 years old and from Hampshire, police have said.

The man was killed on Tuesday when rocks fell on to him shortly before midday at Sandymouth beach near Bude.

Richard Gibbons from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service told the BBC on Wednesday the man had been "up in the rocks and unfortunately suffered part of a rock fall".

He said: "The rocks fell on top of him and he was pinned by a substantial piece of stonework."

The man's body was recovered at about 15:45 on Wednesday at the end of a 28-hour operation by the fire service, coastguards and the police.

The man has not yet been named.

Funding agreed for new special needs school

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Chineham Park school site

Hampshire County Council has allocated more than £10m of government funding to build a new special needs school at the former Chineham Park Primary School site in Basingstoke.

Work to build Austen Academy is due to start later this year and is expected to open in spring 2021.

It will cater for 125 children aged between five and 16 who have social and communication difficulties, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.