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  1. Thursday 28 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


Live updates have now finished for the day.  

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, travel reports and weather forecasts.

You can send in news and pictures using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or by posting on our Facebook page.  

Cumbria's weather: Showers, and then more showers

Showers will continue for a while this evening and return overnight.Temperatures will fall to 13c (55F), and possibly lower in rural areas.

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here.

Rare crayfish moved to safety as teams clear gravel from river

Rare white-clawed crayfish have been moved by hand using nets and buckets from the River Kent through Kendal, to make sure they don't suffer from work to clear the gravel heaped up by the winter floods.

Men in river
Environment Agency

The crayfish are extremely rare in England, with Cumbrian rivers like the Kent being among their few remaining strongholds.

Officers had to find them by looking for suitable habitats, store them in cool boxes for transport, and then release the small creatures further upriver, before diggers moved in to clear thousands of tonnes of debris washed down by Storm Desmond.

Watch: Racing through the rain at Ambleside sports

Whatever the weather, it's peak season for village shows in the Lake District, involving traditional sports like fell-racing, hound trailing, Cumberland Wrestling - and cycle-racing on wet grass on road tyres, which must be a slippery experience in weather like today's. 

View more on twitter

Travel: Carlisle congestion continues on A6 and A69

Roadworks are continuing on the A6 London road and the A69 Warwick Road in Carlisle. 

With these being the two main roads into the city, there's considerable congestion on both.

View more on twitter

You can find the latest travel reports here.

BreakingPotter's first Peter Rabbit sells for £43,400

A first edition copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, has sold for £43,400 at auction - more than £8,000 above the best expectations.

It was sold by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury in London, at a sale to mark the 150th anniversary of the author's birth.

The Beatrix Potter the farmers knew: A champion breeder

Beatrix Potter, born 150 years ago today, was born into a wealthy family and added to that wealth with her best-selling children's stories.

She spent her money buying into the Cumbrian sheep-farming industry, and became a respected breeder, winning many prizes at country shows.

Beatrics Potter with sheep, shepherd and certificate
National Trust Images

She eventually owned a number of farms, encouraged her tenants to diversify to help them through hard times, and left her estate to the National Trust, which partly as a result owns one fifth of the Lake District.

For this week only: The box where mail gets a Potter postmark

This postbox, close to Beatrix Potter's home at Hilltop, near Hawkshead, is playing a very special part in the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of her birth.

Post box
National Trust Images

It's old enough that the author herself may have used it, and this week all mail posted in it will be franked with a special commemorative postmark.

Newspaper group: We launched quickly and failed quickly

More on the closure of the regional newspaper 24 launched by Cumbrian Newspapers Group.

David Helliwell, the editorial director at CN, said the venture had always been a calculated risk. 

He added: "We were proud of the design and content and had encouraging feedback and buy-in from advertisers, but unfortunately copy sales are just not high enough to justify continuing daily publication.

"We launched quickly, failed quickly and learned an awful lot along the way. 

"We're obviously disappointed it didn't work out but it hasn't diminished our appetite for trying new publications, be they print or digital."

Threatened mental health ward 'should stay open'

Directors of the trust that runs mental health services in Cumbria are expected to drop plans to close a ward at the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, at a meeting this afternoon.

Westmorland General Hospital

The Kentmere ward was threatened after inspectors said it didn't meet modern standards.

But after an outcry from local people, and a survey of patients, a report being discussed today says the risks of closure outweigh the "longstanding problems" of the ward.

The beautiful science behind Beatrix Potter's paintings

She may be best known for her children's stories with their charming pictures. 

But Beatrix Potter, born 150 years ago today, learned to paint by creating beautiful scientific illustrations such as these.

Painting of mushroom
Courtesy Armitt Trust

Before colour photography, scientists relied on artists like her for their publications.

More mushrooms
Courtesy Armitt Trust

The best collection of Beatrix Potter's scientific works is held at the Armitt Museum in Ambleside.

Rock fest fans told: Follow the signs

In past years big jams have built up because music fans heading to the Kendal Calling have followed sat nav instructions, which take them to the wrong entrance of the Lowther Park estate where the event happens.

View more on twitter

There are quite a few places in Cumbria where signs advise drivers not to follow their sat nav - for example,  the Red Bank road out of Grasmere.  

Let's see if we can gather a few others. You can email pictures to

Sat nav sign

County's economy 'needs £165m taxpayer help'

BBC Radio Cumbria's reporting on how the Local Enterprise Partnership has bid to the government for £165m worth of projects, from road and rail improvements to local business grants and flood defences

The LEP expects to hear the answer later this year - and it doesn't expect every bid to be approved.

View more on twitter

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy and wet

There's a rather cloudy afternoon to come across Cumbria, with further outbreaks of rain, some heavy enough to cause standing water and spray on roads. 

Temperatures reaching 17C (63F).

Weather graphic

You can get the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

Shipyard owner posts increased half-year profit

BAE Systems has posted improved half-year profits for the first six months of the year.

Net profits rose 5% to £408m, compared to £390m in the same period last year.

The company's also celebrating a new order, some of the work for which will be done in Barrow.

View more on twitter

Travel: Roadworks bring congestion on two main roads into Carlisle

BBC Travel

Roadworks are causing delays on the A6 London Road between Eastern Way and St Nicholas Street, and the A69 Warwick Road between Montgomery Road and Brunton Crescent. 

There are long delays.

Meet the man who loves going down the drain

Archie Workman from South Cumbria was Mr March in the Dull Mens Calendar 2015, mainly thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge of roadside gullies, gained while working as a lengthsman looking after his local lanes.

Today he is particularly excited!

View more on twitter

There's more to Archie than drains: He's a business mentor, and managing director of a business centre in Ulverston.

Cumbria police chief: I'll fight merger threat

Cumbria's police and crime commissioner Peter McCall says he'll fight "tooth and nail" to avoid merging the force with another county.

Peter McCall
Cumbria Police

A report being considered by the commissioner's audit committee today says changes in the way the government funds police could threaten its 'viability as an independent force'.

Mr McCall told BBC Radio Cumbria this morning: "There'll always be financial pressure, there always has been and always will be, but I think the independence of our force is critical."

Sell-out Kendal Calling festival guides in the fans

More than 20,000 music fans are expected to start arriving today at Cumbria's largest music festival.

View more on twitter

It's the 16th year of Kendal Calling and organisers have launched a special Twitter feed to keep people informed.

Winter sun and aerial view reveal ancient Cumbrian homes

This aerial photograph of a field near Killington in South Cumbria shows the faint remains of a settlement dating back to  late Iron Age or early Roman times.

Aerial picture showing traces of round houses
Historic England

It was one of a number of previously unknown sites revealed by a programme of flights organised by the government agency, Historic England, and published today as part of a Festival of Archeology.

First 'Peter Rabbit' goes under hammer on author's 150th anniversary

A first edition of the Tale of Peter Rabbit, the first of Beatrix Potter's famous children's stories, is among a collection of 100 items of memorabilia being sold at auction today.

Peter Rabbit book
Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions

Auctioneers say this is an exceptional example of the copies surviving from a print-run of just 250 books. It's expected to sell for up to £35,000.

The items amassed by the Lake District collector John Cawood are among a big selection being sold today by the London auction house Dreweatts and Bloomsbury.

BreakingCumbrian newspaper group scraps new 'Northern' title

Cumbrian Newspapers has announced it's ceasing publication of the regional daily it launched on 20 June.

"24", as it was called, was intended to compete with national newspapers that the company said increasingly ignored the interests of the north.

David Helliwell, editorial director at CN, said: "It was always a calculated risk to see whether there was enough of a gap for us to squeeze into beside the big beasts of the daily market and it hasn't come off."

Cumbrian Newspapers

Cumbria's police chiefs told finance threatens future

Changes in the way the government funds police forces may leave Cumbria's constabulary so short of money that it's not viable as an independent force, according to a report.

Police logo
Cumbria Police

The highly technical report being discussed by Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall is last on the agenda of the commissioner's audit committee, and doesn't go into figures.

But it says that from April there may not be enough money to maintain the the current level of service.

In a statement, the Home Office told BBC Radio Cumbria that it is still carefully considering options for police funding reform.

Cumbria's weather: Rain moving in

The outbreaks of rain already in the north of the county will spread to all areas. 

Some of this rain will be rather heavy, especially on high ground, although easing later on with further bright spells. 

There'll be light winds, and temperatures will reach 17C (63F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here.

Peter Rabbit stamps released on Beatrix Potter's birthday

Stamps depicting the best-known characters in the children's stories by the Cumbrian author Beatrix Potter have been released today to mark the 150th anniversary of her birth.

Beatrix Potter stamps
Royal Mail

The Royal Mail collection shows six characters and scenes from her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

In addition to the stamps, a Peter Rabbit postmark will be stamped on mail posted in what was Potter's local post box in Cumbria in the next week.

Travel: Roadworks continue in Carlisle and Windermere

BBC Travel

There are still temporary traffic lights by Brunton Park on Warwick Road, the A69 into Carlisle.

And repairs to a collapsed sewer are nearing completion in High Street, Windermere, which has been closed in both directions for the work.

You can find the latest travel news for the county here.

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning - and a virtual happy birthday to the author, scientist, conservationist and sheep farmer Beatrix Potter, who was born 150 years ago today.

We'll be reflecting on that and bringing you the rest of the news, weather and travel through to about 16:00 today.

You can send in news and pictures using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or by posting on our Facebook page.