More than 700 primary schools have failed to reach minimum government standards in the three Rs

Joy ride: See Devon's coastline by boat

Great British Escapes: The coast

Explore the outer edges of our island heritage

Fire ravages home on private Green Island in Poole Harbour

Firefighters are tackling a blaze on an island owned by a multi-millionaire.

Search for ferry passenger halted

An air-and-sea-rescue search for a ferry passenger who is believed to be missing overboard was suspended last night after five hours.

Search launched for kite surfer

An air, sea and land search has been launched for a missing kite surfer.

Bournemouth hit by flash flooding

There was flash flooding today after torrential rain hit the south coast.

Last Weekend: Room for more on the Isle of Purbeck

"Burnbake campsite is full," said a woman's voice on the answering machine. "We do not take bookings. We will change the message when pitches become available."

Premier mulls Wytch Farm buy

Premier Oil is considering buying BP's 68 per cent stake in the Wytch Farm oil field in Dorset.

Bournemouth appoint Lee Bradbury as manager

Bournemouth have appointed Lee Bradbury as their new manager.

Chandlers forgive, and seek help for Somalia

Paul and Rachel Chandler, the British couple held captive by Somali pirates for more than a year after their yacht was hijacked, want to make closer contact with the people of Somalia and try to persuade the international community to help restore law and order in their country.

More tests on bodies of father and son

Police were conducting more tests today to find out what happened to a man found dead with his young son.

Pensioner is hurt 'tombstoning'

Coastguards warned about the dangers of "tombstoning" yesterday after a 75-year-old man jumped from an 80ft beauty spot and was seriously hurt.

Bournemouth starts its own weather forecast

Bournemouth has launched its own weather service, claiming a "disastrous" Met Office forecast put off thousands of potential visitors last year.

European herons relocate to Kent as temperatures rise

Britain has a new breeding bird species – or at least, it very nearly does. A pair of purple herons have begun nesting at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' (RSPB) reserve at Dungeness in Kent, and are thought to be sitting on eggs.

Millionaire wins battle to build eco home on own island

A millionaire has won a fight with planners to build a luxury eco-home on his own south coast island.

Conservationists hope fake nests will see ospreys stay

Ospreys, the majestic fish hawks which are spreading in the wilder parts of Scotland, the Lake District and Wales, are being offered the chance to set up home in the gentler landscape of Dorset – in fake nests.

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