Lancashire

Daughter opens Eric Morecambe birdwatching hide at Leighton Moss

Gail Stuart opens the Eric Morecambe hide at RSPB Leighton Moss
Image caption Mrs Stuart was joined by an Eric Morecambe impersonator to cut the ribbon

The daughter of Eric Morecambe has opened a new Lancashire hide built in the memory of the comedy great.

Gail Stuart cut the ribbon on the hide, which replaces one built in 1986, in a ceremony at RSPB Leighton Moss in Silverdale.

Mrs Stuart said her father would be "utterly delighted" with the building.

Annabel Rushton, of the RSPB, said while people remembered Morecambe as a comedian, "fewer people are aware that he was a keen bird watcher".

Image caption Alongside his comedy career, Eric Morecambe was "a keen bird watcher"

Ms Rushton said Lancaster City Council and the South Lakeland RSPB had funded the construction of a hide named after the comedian in the 1980s "in tribute to him and his love of birds".

She said that original hide had "recently succumbed to the elements after many years of wind, rain and high tides".

The Leighton Moss reserve is the closest RSPB site to the town of Morecambe, the comedy legend's home town which also gave him his stage name.

Mrs Stuart said her father was "passionate about his birdwatching and wildlife" and would see the hide as "an added tribute".

"This is very much the Morecambe boy and I think he would be absolutely delighted," she said.

The new hide was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lancashire Environment Fund and Higher Level Stewardship.

It is larger than the 1986 hide with bigger windows than its predecessor and wheelchair access.

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