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Why was Neil Armstrong chosen to be the first man on the Moon?

Astronaut Michael Collins on why Neil Armstrong was the Apollo 11 commander.
Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins recalls why Neil Armstrong was chosen to be the mission commander.

Mersey plastic levels should be 'wake-up call'

Levels of plastic contamination discovered in the River Mersey should be a “wake-up call” for the government to tighten controls on use of the material, an environmental pressure group said.

Tests by the Greenpeace ranked the Mersey worst among 13 UK rivers after it used nets to catch 942 pieces of microplastic within an hour.

Greenpeace testing river water

They included plastic manufacturing pellets and microbeads, tiny spherical pieces of plastic often used in cosmetic and household products, despite a partial ban on their use.

Greenpeace claimed its tests on the Mersey in Warrington showed it was likely to contain more plastic than the so-called "great Pacific garbage patch" between California and Hawaii.

Prof Jamie Woodward, from the School of Geography at the University of Manchester, said Greenpeace's analysis supports its research which showed microplastics in the river bed sediments in the Mersey catchment was "higher than in any other environment".

Recovered plastics

Greenpeace called for the government to introduce plastic reduction targets in its forthcoming Environment Bill.

The other rivers tested were the Exe, Thames, Severn, Great Ouse, Trent, Aire, Derwent, Wear, Conwy, Wye, Clyde and Lagan.

A spokesman for the The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it was funding “ground-breaking research into how microplastics enter waterways and working with the water industry to find new methods to detect, measure and remove microplastics from wastewater".

Woman fined £150 for feeding pigeon sausage roll in Bath
Sally-Ann Fricker was hit with a littering penalty after throwing a bit of sausage roll to the bird.

Nature Documentaries

Short documentaries about the natural world presented by Josie Long.
Singing with whales, a cloud of bats and the ballad of a rare bird - Josie Long presents short documentaries and adventures in sound about the natural world.

Whale Duet
A version of this story first appeared on the podcast Sound Matters
Interview by Tim Hinman
Produced by Andrea Rangecroft

Bats in the Attic
Produced by Jessie Lawson

The Lord God Bird
Originally broadcast in 2005
Produced by Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister of Long Haul Productions
The song - Great God Bird - was written and performed by Sufjan Stevens
To listen to the song in its entirety and to hear more Long Haul stories, go to 

Production Team: Alia Cassam and Eleanor McDowall
Produced by Andrea Rangecroft
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4