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  1. Border

Call for drones to tackle seagulls

Credit: Press Association

Aerial drones could be used to tackle aggressive seagulls in a west Cumbrian town.

Copeland Borough Councillor Graham Roberts says the remote-control aircraft should be used to spray gulls eggs with a sterilising liquid to prevent them hatching.

Seagulls have proved a particular menace in Whitehaven over recent months with reports of birds swooping on people, snatching ice cream from children and dive-bombing shoppers in the town centre.

Drones have been used in France to tackle seagulls and Councillor Roberts believes it's time to consider this method of control in Cumbria.

"We have to do something about this. Yes, seagulls are a part of life by the sea but if a child has its eye pecked out we'll get the blame. "When you walk down the harbour with food they intimidate you and are scaring people away. This [the use of drones] has worked in France. Why not here?"

– Cllr Graham Roberts

Copeland Borough Council is set to discuss the seagull issue and possible methods for combating the birds later this month.

“We realise seagulls, whilst a defining feature of any seaside town, do cause problems. Unfortunately the law makes it difficult to cull them, as they’re a protected species. It is illegal to remove nests and eggs or to kill birds because they are disliked, considered noisy or thought to be damaging to property.

“One major thing the community can do to help is to eliminate the birds’ food sources. Don’t feed them and don’t drop food outside. Placing extra waste beside your wheelie bin can also attract them. We’d also ask anyone who can, to come and ask for a wheeled bin rather than bags. They are much more effective at keeping the gulls out and where practical we will accommodate bins.

“As responsible property owners we try to make sure gulls do not nest on our buildings – and we would urge other property owners to do this too. Removing nests before eggs are laid or after the young have flown can help. Our staff can also advise building owners how to stop birds nesting there in the future. Spikes, mesh and other low-cost measures can be effective.

“We continue to survey and monitor breeding pair numbers and hope that, with a combination of the methods above, we can as a community control the problem.”

– Julie Betteridge, Director of Customers and Community Services Copeland Borough Council


The Royal Lancashire show back!

Organisers of this year's Royal Lancashire Show are hoping it will be a success after a decade of problems. The event, run by Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society, will feature an educational theme instead of livestock competitions.

Credit: Royal Lancashire Show

Despite a forecast of rain organisers have taken steps to ensure it will not be a washout.

Cuadrilla moving HQ to Lancashire to boost fracking operation

Credit: PA

Energy firm Cuadrilla is to relocate its headquarters to Lancashire where it hopes to frack for shale gas.

Last month the company announced it would appeal against decisions by county councillors to refuse planning permission for two sites.

Cuadrilla has now said it will move its head office to Lancashire at the beginning of next year as "a visible symbol" of its commitment to shale gas exploration in the county.

The firm wants to frack and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells at each of two sites between Blackpool and Preston.

New "Big One" at Blackpool to clean up the coast

Blackpool is to get another Big One but its not a new roller coaster. Its a new outfall pipe to try and clean up the waters off the coast.

Blackpool's new Big One is a kilometre long Credit: United Utilities

The new pipe is a kilometre long and weighs more than 2000 tonnes. It'll act as a relief valve for the town's sewer network during periods of heavy rain. Its been kept in North Wales and will take a team of engineers six weeks to install it in a specially built trench in the seabed off the Blackpool coast.


  1. National

Lancashire County Councillors reject fracking plans

Fracking work at the Little Plumpton site Credit: Peter Byrne / PA Wire

County councillors have rejected plans to frack for shale gas in Lancashire, according to reports.

Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to undertake exploratory drilling and fracking at a site in Little Plumpton, between Preston and Blackpool.

Planning officials recommended approval of the operation subject to a number of conditions but the council's development control committee have rejected the advice and voted against it by 10 to four.

Members of the public stood up and applauded the decision as the motion was passed.

The Government has said it is going "all out for shale", and claims it the controversial procedure would create jobs and growth, as well as reducing energy prices and cutting the country's reliance on gas imports.

However opponents insist that the process, which pumps water underground to release gas trapped in shale rock, causes earthquakes, can pollute water supplies, and could lead to inappropriate development in the countryside.

Super Shed scoops a top prize

For most of us a shed is a fairly tatty building at the bottom of the garden where we keep tools and junk. But that's certainly not the case for one shed owner on Merseyside.

Tracy Lewis' Owl House

This is the Owl House by Tracy Lewis from Hightown, Sefton. And her rather spectacular design has won her the Eco Category in the 2015 annual Shed of the Year competition... Resembling an owl due to the unique curved wooden window frames, its made entirely from cob, recycled plywood and collected recycled glass bottles and even has a grass roof. Used for relaxing in, it contains a bed and comfy chairs and overlooks the dunes at Hightown.

Controversial power station route to be chosen

National Grid will be announcing the route it has chosen for building connections to link the proposed nuclear power station near Sellafield to the grid.
Environmental campaigners say giant pylons will ruin the Lake District landscape. They have argued that most of the huge cabling should be hidden under the Irish Sea.

Artist's impression Credit: ITV Granada

The decision follows a 12 week consultation period.

Bailiffs on the hunt for illegal fishing

On the first day of the coarse angling season bailiffs will start patrols along waterways in Lancashire clamping down on illegal fishing and checking anglers are fishing legally with current, valid rod licenses.

Credit: pa

Nationally Environment Agency officers checked more than 70,000 licences in 2014 and prosecuted more than 2,100 licence cheats. Between them, they were ordered to pay fines and costs in excess of half a million pounds.

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