Wildlife crime under the spotlight

With 183 incidents in the last year poaching is the largest reported wildlife crime in Cumbria. The police explain how they fight it.


Coastal wetlands get lottery cash

Coastal wetlands in Cumbria receive a heritage lottery grant for £1.89 million pounds. It will be spent on improving the landscape.

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The 'Big Garden Watch': How you can get involved

For people living in built up areas or those looking to get out into the wider countryside the RSPB are organising events over the weekend of the 25th-26th of January.

Visitors to Whinlatter Visitor Centre in Keswick and Grizedale Visitor Centre in Ambleside on those days will be able to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch there as well as learning how to attract more wildlife into their gardens and how to identify the wildlife they see in them.

There will also be an event at Leighton Moss on the 18-19 of January.

You can register to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch 2014 and find out more information about events near you at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch or call 0300 456 8330.

Top 10 species spotted in Cumbria

  1. House Sparrow
House Sparrow Credit: Hinrich BÀsemann/DPA/Press Association Images
  1. Chaffinch
Chaffinch Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Blackbird
Blackbird Credit: Tim Brakemeier/DPA/Press Association Images
  1. Blue Tit
Blue Tit Credit: Tim Brakemeier/DPA/Press Association Images
  1. Starling
Starling Credit: Tim Goode/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Great Tit
Great Tit Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Coal Tit
Coal Tit Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  1. Jackdaw

  2. Robin

Robin Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport
  1. Long Tailed Tit
Long Tailed Tit Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wildfire Warning from Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage is warning people visiting the countryside this weekend about the dangers of wildfires.

The hot dry weather means uncontrolled fire could spread quickly across agricultural land and wildlife habitats.

SNH is asking people to be careful with cigarettes and disposable barbecues if they are out enjoying the sunshine.

  • Whenever possible, use a stove rather than light an open fire. If you do light one, keep it small and under control, and remove all traces before leaving.
  • Avoid lighting fires at all during prolonged dry periods, woods, farmland, peaty ground or near to buildings as fires that get out of control.
  • When using a disposable barbeque, put it on a heat-proof surface, such as sand or stones before you light it. Make sure the barbeque is cold before you take it away with the rest of your rubbish.
  • Dispose of cigarette butts in bins.


Full report: Wildlife protected along new Borders rail route

Work to re-build the Borders railway line is now underway, but while bridges are built and tracks are laid, construction workers need to think about protecting the local wildlife.

The track crosses over the River Tweed, which is home to otters, protected fish and a variety of flowers.

Jenny Longden has been visiting the site to find out what is being done to keep them safe:

Network Rail vow to protect conservation area

Tweed Viaduct in the Scottish Borders Credit: ITV News Border

The Tweed viaduct crossing the River Tweed is an area of special conservation under EU regulations, due to the presence of protected species.

Brook Lampreys and Atlantic salmon can be seen in this stretch of the river, and protected flowers and plants grow on the banks.

The Borders railway route is scenic and popular with walkers Credit: ITV News Border

Network Rail are working with Environmental Groups, such as SEPA, to make sure they disturb wildlife as little as possible while building the Waverley line.

Tweed Viaduct Credit: ITV News Border

Borders Railway team help protect local wildlife

Team members working on the new Borders Railway are working hard to protect the local wildlife situated along the new route line.

Barn owls, otters and badgers are among some of the species being protected by a project aimed at reducing the impact and disturbance to animal habitats during construction.

Some if the work already carried out includes providing local barn owls with an alternative nest box and protecting badger setts.

"An essential part of the re-development of the Borders Railway is to ensure that we are protecting species that have been integral to the Midlothian and Scottish Borders environment for many years.

"Although it is inevitable that a project of this scale will require some de-vegetation and other disturbance to make way for the new line, we are committed to working with SNH and SEPA in their regulatory capacity to make sure we work around important habitats and protected species or plants sensitively and, of course, appropriately."

– Andrew Mitchell, Project Environment Specialist for Network Rail

Experts hopeful for new ospreys in Cumbria

A large osprey tracked in the Scottish Borders Credit: ITV News Border

Hopes are high that a new pair of ospreys in Cumbria will make it 13 years of successful breeding at a site near Bassenthwaite.

Both of the birds are unringed and experts believe they are new to the area.

The first osprey egg in Scotland was laid at the Tweed Valley Osprey Project near Peebles the Scottish Borders last week.

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