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Celebration as Pooley Bridge opens

The first crowds cross the new Pooley Bridge Credit: ITV News Border

The temporary bridge in place of the one that was washed away during December's storms in Pooley Bridge is now open to traffic.

It was blessed by the Bishop of Penrith before the crowds delighted in being able to walk and drive to the other side of the village without a lengthy diversion.

It's been a day of celebration in the sun as the bridge is now ready for Easter tourists, to the joy of local businesses.

The new bridge ahead of the official opening Credit: ITV News Border

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Pooley Bridge set to reopen

The temporary bridge has been finished a week ahead of schedule Credit: ITV News Border

A new temporary bridge is set to open in Pooley Bridge today, reconnecting the village, which has suffered from lack of trade since its historic bridge collapsed during the floods.

Storm Desmond damaged dozens of bridges across Cumbria but the loss of Pooley Bridge was particularly dramatic.

The village, on the northern tip of Ullswater, is rural and relies heavily on tourism, sparking a campaign to get the bridge back by Easter.

The temporary bridge has been completed a week ahead of schedule and a programme of celebrations is planned for the whole day.

Penrith Town Band will play from 11.45am, ahead of welcome speeches and a blessing from the Bishop of Penrith. The first cars will be allowed over at 12.25pm.

The bridge will need to be replaced by a similar listed structure but it's not known when that will happen.

The collapse of Pooley Bridge was one of the most dramatic moments of the floods Credit: ITV News Border

Watch: Electric sheep cars around Ullswater

A flock of electric cars designed as sheep have started their new lives as alternative transport for tourists at popular businesses around the North Lakes.

They're available for hire as a way of tempting people to leave their car at home for a visit to the Lake District. Fiona Marley Paterson reports.

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Making room for a view

Ullswater after the clear up Credit: Gordon Lightburn

The iconic views of Ullswater’s western shore are open to residents and visitors once more, thanks to a project to clear scrub and manage trees that were increasingly obscuring the view.

Local residents identified the views along the lake shore were becoming increasingly covered by trees, with residents and visitors unable to fully appreciate the beauty of the lake.

This led to the launch of Felling for Views – a project led by the Lake District National Park and Eden Rivers Trust as part of the Ullswater Valley Plan.

Ullswater before the clear up project Credit: Gordon Lightburn

Since August volunteers have undertaken work including tree thinning, scrub clearance and control.

It is hoped it will also help improve safety along the A592 and have a positive effect on the lake shore.

Projects ranger for Lake District National Park, Dylan Jackman, said:

This has been a real success story for Valley Planning. We listened to the community and put Felling for Views into action, creating some stunning vistas from the northern section of the lake that are already benefitting visitors and residents.

It’s a great start and we plan to continue working with others to reveal further view across the lake.”

– Dylan Jackman

Ullswater's young people ask for more outdoor activities

Young people in Ullswater have asked for more outdoor events in their area Credit: The Lake District National Park

Young people from Ullswater have asked for more outdoor activities in their area.

The 24 11 to 22-year-olds too part in a series of activities with the Lake District National Park, including camping, climbing and wild swimming.

For many of the young people it was the first time they'd explored their local area in this way, with all of them asking for more events like it to take place.

Park management ranger, Rec Cathey, said the area’s young people often felt marginalised and had little experience of pursuits enjoyed by millions of visitors who flocked to their valley.

“They told us they want more outdoor activities, so we linked with The Outward Bound Trust to make things happen.

“We wanted to make events free and accessible so everyone could be included. The response has been fantastic, particularly for our first weekend expedition.

“The idea is to get young people to look at their surroundings in a new light and see why working together is so important.

“We want to captivate the valley’s next generation and foster long-term commitment to the area. It’s been an amazing success story and we hope the work will be written into local strategies and continued in perpetuity.”

– Rec Cathey, Lake District National Park

Mother highlights dangers of open water swimming

A campaign to teach school children about the dangers swimming outside.

It's been launched ahead of the school Summer holidays and just days after the death of a teenager in Dumfries who drowned while swimming in the River Nith.

Lori Carnochan went to meet one mother who knows the dangers of open water swimming only too well.

Mother's turns heartache into campaign tool

Beckie Ramsey from Chorley lost her son after he drowned in a quarry lake in July 2011.

Becky's son Dylan was swimming with his friends in the water when his body started to go into shock due to the cold temperature. He was under the water for around three minutes.

He was given CPR but died, aged 13.

Becky hopes that sharing her story will help others learn about the dangers of outdoor swimming, and perhaps help prevent another unnecessary death.

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