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  1. Tuesday 9 May 2017
  2. South Lakes Safari Zoo wins licence bid
  3. Fire crews tackle Barrow blaze
  4. Volunteers need to help restore bothy

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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As it happened: BBC Cumbria Live

We've been carrying on coverage for slightly longer than usual, following the news that the new company running South Lakes Safari Zoo has been granted a licence.

There will be more on this tomorrow as well as other news, travel reports and weather forecasts.

We'll be back from 08:00, so if you have a photograph you'd like to share, or you have news you think we should know, you can email ustweet us,or get in touch through our Facebook page.    

Have a very good evening. 

Inspectors 'highly encouraged' by zoo improvements

During the meeting, animal welfare campaigners said that over a quarter of a million people had signed petitions calling for the closure of South Lakes Safari Zoo.

However licensing committee members were also told that an inspection team - which had previously found several "deficiencies" in the way it was run - was "highly encouraged by improvements since the takeover in January.

Baby giraffe at zoo
Cumbria Zoo Company

Troubled zoo wins licence after takeover

Troubled South Lakes Safari Zoo had been threatened with closure following the death of hundreds of animals, and one of its keepers.

Founder David Gill was refused a licence, but had lodged an appeal, which allowed it to remain open.

He had also handed management of the site over to the Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, and a meeting of Barrow Council's licensing regulatory committee has now agreed to grant this company a licence to run it.

The Captive Animal Protection society had asked for it to be refused because of a history of animal suffering and neglect at the attraction, but Government inspectors said they'd been impressed by the culture of change.

Giraffe at zoo

New licence for South Lakes Safari Zoo

Councillors approve zoo licence.

View more on twitter

BreakingSouth Lakes Zoo granted new licence

Barrow council approves licence for Cumbria Zoo to run the S Lakes Safari Zoo subject to owner surrendering his old licence.   

Whitehaven crowds go to see Russian's superyacht

Staff at Whitehaven Marina estimate that 2,500 people went to see the Russian billionaire's superyacht, Lady M, which left its berth at the Sugar Tongue on this morning's tide, on passage to the Isle of Man.

Lady M at night, with ostentatious lighting effects
Whitehaven Marina Ltd

The Lady M's reputed to be worth more than £40m, and at 212ft long was too large to come through the locks at the harbour entrance except at high tide.

She belongs to Alexei Mordashov, who made his fortune in mining and steel.  He and his family are said to have spent yesterday touring the Lake District.

Firefighters damping down at Salthouse mills blaze

Firefighters are now damping down the fire which surged through old industrial buildings in Barrow this afternoon.

Salthouse mills long shot
Ray Guselli

The blaze at Salthouse Mills broke out soon after 12:00, and people living nearby were urged to stay inside and keep doors and windows closed.

Station officer Roger Exley said there was still a significant hazard from the various gases kept in cylinders at garages and workshops and fire crew would be there into the evening.

The cause of the fire is not known.

Cumbria's weather: A sunny evening and a clear night

BBC Weather

It'll stay fine and dry with plenty of sunshine this evening and staying dry and clear tonight. Temperatures dipping to a low of 4 C (39 F) overnight.

Weather graphic

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

Travel: Signals problem halts trains into Scotland

BBC News Travel

Virgin Trains West Coast services are said to be at a standstill between Glasgow central and Carlisle, because of a signalling problem.

Cross Country are accepting tickets between Edinburgh and Birmingham for the rest of the day.

Zoo's new chief exec talks of 'liberation' after founder steps back

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

The head of the new operator of the zoo at Dalton in Furness has told a meeting of Barrow council's icensing regulatory committee that it is "liberating to control their own destiny" without interference from the attraction's founder, David Gill. 

Karen Brewer, who used to work for Mr Gill and is now chief executive at Cumbria Zoo Company limited, said her team had a proven ability to make changes.


Government inspectors say they've been impressed by the change of culture at South Lakes Safari Zoo, and are recommended the new company be given a licence, which would enable it to stay open.

But the Captive Animal Protection society told members the licence should be refused because of the history of suffering and neglect, which led to its founder being refused a renewal.

A decision is expected later.

'Sun pillar' adds glory to Cumbrian sunset

Piers Palmer was not the only photographer to notice that the sunset had an extra feature last night - a sun pillar created by the light bouncing off ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.

Sun Pillar
Piers Palmer

He was kind enough to send us this picture of the sky above Bassenthwaite.  

If you have a photograph you'd like to share, or you have news you think we should know, you can email ustweet us, or get in touch through our Facebook page.   

Fire crews from across Furness battle Salthouse blaze

Fire engines from as far as Grange to the east and Broughton to the west have been called into Barrow to fight the fire at Salthouse Mills.

Ray Guselli

The blaze was reported in a range of buildings described as garages, and local social media reports talk of at least one explosion.

Four pumps called ground monitors, which lay down very large amounts of water, have now subdued the billowing smoke that towered over parts of Barrow when the fire first broke out just before noon.

People living in the area have been urged to stay inside and keep doors and windows closed. It's not thought anyone's been hurt, or buildings evacuated.

Ambleside B&B named as 'best in England'

The Nanny Brow, which overlooks the road between Ambleside and Langdale, has been given a top award by the AA.

Nanny Brow
Nanny Brow

Susan and Peter Robinson took over the country house, built in 1904 and one of the best Arts and Crafts properties in the area, in 2009, and faced a major restoration job as it had been empty for some years.

This week it was named guest accommodation of the year for England, in a series of awards nominated by by AA inspectors who between them see 2,000 B&Bs a year throughout Britain.

Travel: Barrow street closed as fire crews fight blaze.

BBC News Travel

St Lukes Avenue in Barrow is closed in both directions between Salthouse Road and Roose Road, because of the fire at Salthouse Mills.

Labour councillor crosses to Conservatives over Trident policy

A Labour district councillor from Barrow has switched loyalties to the Conservatives, saying Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party "only seems to want to close Barrow down".

Simon fell and Gordon Murray
Simon Fell/Conservatives

Gordon Murray, shown here on the right with Simon Fell, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Barrow, said only the Conservative party backed the programme of building the submarines to carry Trident missiles.

Labour councillor Brendan Sweeney said this was nonsense, and the party "fully backed Trident" at both local and national level.

Mr Sweeney also said that Councillor Murray had at various times supported the Liberal Democrats, as well as Conservatives and Labour.

New zoo company to present its case for licence to councillors

The company trying to get a licence to run the zoo near Dalton in Furness will give evidence this afternoon to a meeting of councillors who'll decide its fate

The Safari Zoo has been leased and run by Cumbria Zoo Limited since January, but it's still licensed to owner David Gill, pending his appeal against refusal. 

Mr Gill is said to take no part now in running the zoo.


The changes brought in by Cumbria zoo have impressed government inspectors, but it must also convince councillors of its financial viability, and questions on this will be heard in closed session.

The meeting will also hear from two animal welfare charities, the Born Free Foundation, and the Captive Animal Prorection Society, which both believe the zoo should be closed down.

Five fire engines at Barrow blaze

Five appliances were called to a blaze at Salthouse Mills in Barrow, in what the fire and rescue service describes as a garage.

Salthouse fire
Ray Guselli

The blaze sent a large pillar of smoke over the eastern side of the town, but people in the area say it has now subsided.

Some reports suggest there was at least one explosion, and people have been asked to stay away. 

The mills is a former industrial area, much of which is now derelict.

Volunteers line up to lift the roof on Honister bothy restoration

BBC Radio Cumbria

We've more on the project to restore Dubs Hut at Honister, which is used as a bothy, or mounttain shelter, by climbers and walkers.

Since BBC Radio Cumbria covered the story on Facebook and on air, and we reported it here, a number of outdoor enthusiasts have come forward.

If you want to join them, all the details are here.

Ossy's name could go on Copeland council chamber

A former Mayor of Copeland could be honoured by naming the council chamber after him.

Ossy Coyles had a 30-year career on the council, was twice mayor, an honorary alderman, and also served on his local parish council.

He died late last year at the age of 97.

Ossy Coyles
Copeland Borough Council

Copeland councillors are expected to agree the idea at their annual general meeting this afternoon.

Window warning over Barrow fire

The blaze, at Salthouse Industrial Estate, is ongoing.

View more on twitter

Cumbria's weather: Cloud breaking to allow some sun

BBC Weather

It should be a dry afternoon, with breaks in the cloud to allow the sun to get through. 

There'll be light winds and temperatures of up to 15C (59F) in the warmest places.

Weather graphic

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

Attempt to block zoo licence decision fails

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

Two objectors have failed to delay a decision on whether or not to grant a licence to the new management at the trouble South Lakes Safari Zoo.

At the start of the meeting of Barrow council's licensing regulatory committee this morning, they asked for more time to look at a paper that was published last Friday.

However, the chairman, Councillor Tony Callister, said the late publication did not "prejudice the public", and the committee voted to proceed.

Crash vehicle owner claimed car had been stolen

A driver who claimed his car had been stolen at the time it was involved in an accident has admitted offences including careless driving, fraud and perverting the course of justice.

Hadyn Morgan Davies, 65, and from Howard Street, Penrith, made a bogus report to police and claimed from his insurance company after the accident on the A66 last summer.

Appearing at Carlisle Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to three charges, and will return for sentencing in June.

Dog owners warned over snake bites after pet's close escape

John Bowness

BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

A Cumbrian vet says dog owners need to know that if their pet is bitten by an adder, it's important to get professional help as soon as possible. 

Marcelle Cassar and Dottie

Marcelle Cassar from Kendal was speaking out after a Jack Russell, Dottie, got a snake bite while being walked on Scout Scar near the town. 

The pet recovered after an injection of antidote, which had to be brought from a regional store in Preston.    

Travel: Accident cleared near Cockermouth but delays remain

BBC News Travel

The accident on the A66, between the Fitz roundabout and Chapel Brow near Cockermouth is now being cleared, but there is still very slow traffic past the scene.

Lots of green hills, near and far away

The fresh grass of early summer's positively glowing at the moment.

Carolyn Farthing Dunn caught the colour on Catbells, near Keswick, and was kind enough to send us this picture.

Catbells ridge
Carolyn Farthing Dunn

If you have a photograph you'd like to share, you can email ustweet us, or get in touch through our Facebook page.      

Bothy restoration team appeals for volunteer slaters

A conservation charity's appealing for Cumbrian volunteers to help replace the roof on one of the Lake District's highest traditional buildings. 

Dubs Hut
Neale Robertson

The Mountain Bothies Association, which maintains basic open shelters for use by climbers and walkers, says it hopes to start re-roofing Dubs Hut, near Honister slate mine, at the end of July. 

The hut, originally built for the mine, stands at almost 1,600ft above sea level. It's one of three buildings within the national park that are looked after by the charity.    

Weather on the fell tops: Patchy cloud, otherwise excellent visibility

Temperatures at 3,000ft: Rising to 4C.

Winds: Moderate to fresh northeasterly becoming moderate and variable by mid morning.

Cloud: Patchy cloud around 1,600ft - 2,300ft in north and east.

Visibility: Generally excellent outwith the mist.

Freezing level: 3,000ft at first, rising above the summits.

Cumbria's weather: Dry and rather cloudy

BBC Weather

It should be a dry day with variable, often large amounts of cloud this morning. There will be light northeasterly winds and a maximum temperature of 15C (59F).

Weather graphic

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

Severe accident: A66 Cumbria both ways

BBC News Travel

A66 Cumbria both ways severe accident, between A595 and A595 Main Road.

A66 Cumbria - A66 blocked and slow traffic in both directions between The Fitz Roundabout in Cockermouth and Chapel Brow Roundabout in Bridgefoot, because of an accident involving van.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

New zoo firm hopes for licence to stay open

The firm that's hoping to keep the controversial South Lakes Safari Zoo open should find out today whether it's getting a licence for the next four years.

Zoo gates

The death of a keeper and a series of highly critical reports, one listing the deaths of almost 500 animals, led to the zoo's founder David Gill being refused a licence.

Closure of the zoo has been suspended while he appeals, and in the meantime a new management company, Cumbria Zoo, has been trying to get clearance from inspectors and Barrow Council to take the zoo over rather than disband it.

Some animal charities say the new firm is tainted because it's run by Mr Gill's former senior management team, but at a meeting today councillors will be told they have made improvements and deserve a licence.

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other items that catch our eye from across the county, until about 18:00.

As always, you can get involved. If you have a photograph you'd like to share, or you have news you think we should know, you can email ustweet us,or get in touch through our Facebook page.