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  1. Updates on Thursday 7 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


Live updates have finished for today. 

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow morning.

If you see something you think we should know about, you can send in news and pictures using Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or by posting on our Facebook page.    

View from on high shows the extent of landslide that closed railway

These aerial shots of a stretch of the Settle-Carlisle railway line show the extent of a landslide that's gradually dragging the hillside down below the tracks.

View more on twitter

Network Rail, which provided the video, says 500,000 tonnes of soil and rock is on the move.  

Work to stabilise the slope will take until next March.  

Zoo 'can thrive without founder Gill', says partner of keeper who died

The partner of a keeper who was killed by a tiger at the South Lakes Safari Zoo says the establishment can thrive without its founder, David Gill.

This afternoon, after three days of deliberations, Barrow councillors said zoo owner David Gill's licence renewal has been refused.  

The zoo now has six months to come back with a new application excluding him from the management.

In 2013 a keeper at the zoo, Sarah McClay, was killed by a tiger. Her partner, David Shaw, watched as councillors were told by inspectors that Mr Gill was not fit to hold a zoo licence.

He said: "Until he's gone you won't see culture change. When he does go I think it will be instantaneous and I think the zoo and all the animals will be better off for it almost immediately."

Sarah McClay
Stephen McClay

Formers soldier says Iraq invasion was a mistake

A Cumbrian army veteran has said it was mistake to invade Iraq. 

James Wren, from Barrow, served with the 2nd Duke of Lancaster's Regiment in Iraq. He was speaking following the publication of the Chilcot Report which criticised the invasion

He  was on the same patrol in which Kingsman Danny Wilson died in April 2007. He says he saw the situation deteriorate, adding: "My personal opinion is we made the country worse, to be honest.

"From the first time I went there to the second there was a big difference, and all you've got to do is look at where the fatalities were."

South Lakes zoo must find new management or close

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

Here's the full story after councillors in Barrow refused to licence the South Lakes Safari Zoo unless new management is brought in.

The licensing regulatory committee sat for three days going through reports from inspectors and the zoo's response.

Animal in tree

Members concluded the zoo's founder David Gill was not fit to hold a zoo licence.  

Inspectors said they'd asked for new management because of concerns about the safety of animals and the tens of thousands of visitors that tour the zoo every year.

Whoever takes over running the zoo must apply for a new licence within the next six months.

BreakingDalton zoo refused licence

Martin Lewes


Councillors in Barrow have refused to issue a new licence for the South Lakes Safari Zoo.  

A new management will have to be established to take over from the owner, David Gill, and apply for a new licence within the next six months - and if that's unsuccessful, it may have to close.

More to follow.

Seventy years on, visitors still flock to Beatrix Potter's home

It's 70 years today since the Cumbrian home of the writer Beatrix Potter was opened to the public.

Beatrix Potter at Hilltop
National Trust

Beatrix Potter, who was one of the founders of the National Trust, had always planned that her house would be open with her belongings kept in place.

When the house opened in 1946, entrance cost one shilling (5p). Now about 100,000 visitors a year visit the house and gardens.

Lakeland prize winner celebrates water transport history

A book about the history of transport on water around the Lake District from Roman times has won the Lakeland book of the year award.

Robert Beale
Windermere Lake Cruises

Lakeland Waterways was written by Robert Beale (pictured) who works as a skipper on Windermere steamers, and Richard Kirkman.  

It won the Hunter Davies Book of the Year 2016, presented at Armthwaite Hall. 

NW conference hears of village flood ordeal

Weather: Clouds should break to sunshine

Thick cloud from this morning will continue to break throughout the afternoon revealing brighter skies and good spells of sunshine. 

However, there is a small chance of seeing one or two patches of drizzle.

Weather graphic

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

University: Job prospects improve for Cumbria graduates

Almost 97% of graduates from the University of Cumbria are in jobs within six months of getting their degrees, according to figures released today.

That's an increase from the 93% last year.  

The vice chancellor, Peter Strike, says the university's strengths in health care and teaching improve the graduates' prospects.

Volunteers turn out to clear flood debris

More than 100 volunteers turned out to help repair flood damage in parts of the Lake District worst hit by last winter's storms.

BBC Look North reporter Mark McAlindon went to Glenrididng to see them at work.

Volunteers tackle smaller jobs in the wake of Storm Desmond

New petition handed in to support Indian prisoners

The family of a Cumbrian man who's been held on weapons charges in India for one thousand days today, are handing in a petition to Downing Street. 

Seaman Guard Ohio

John Armstrong from Wigton and five other British men are serving a five-year prison sentence for illegally possessing weapons while working on an anti-piracy ship (pictured). 

The men have always maintained their innocence. The petition calling for their release contains more than 300,000 signatures.

Inspectors tell councillors: No confidence in zoo owner

A hearing on the future of the South Lakes Safari Zoo has been told they have no confidence that standards can be raised by its current owner. 

David Gill

Inspector Matthew Brash told Barrow Council's Licensing Committee that the zoo's owner David Gill (pictured) is not a fit and suitable person to hold a zoo licence. 

Karen Brewer for the zoo said the staff were a family, and wanted to work with the authorities. Councillors are expected to announce after lunch whether they will renew the licence or refuse it and close the zoo. 

County offers help to parents preparing for new school year

Cumbria county council's set up an online system for parents who need to claim free school meals or a grant towards uniform.

Officials say many families miss out on the help, and this could also mean the school misses out on a Pupil Premium worth up to £1,320.

Since 2014, all children in reception and years one and two have been automatically entitled to free meals, and councillors fear some parents who could claim for continuing help, miss out.

Father of Iraq soldier 'let down' after Chilcot

The father of a Cumbria soldier who died in Iraq says he feels let down after the publication of the Chilcot report into Britain's involvement with the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Kingsman AlexGreen

Kingsman Alex Green from Warrington was serving in Iraq with the 2nd Batallion, The Duke of Lancaster Regiment, when he was shot and killed by a sniper,  He was 21.

His father, Bill Stewardson, says: "I'm more demoralised than anything because I'd chosen to believe that the people who took the decisions were well qualified to carry out such an enormous task and it's now come out through the report that they operated in a very sloppy manner."

You can hear the full interview with Mike Zeller on BBC Radio Cumbria here.

How rail engineers will stitch landslip slope back together

Network Rail says repairing the landslip that's closed the Settle-Carlisle railway line since last winter is a bigger project than rebuilding the railway line at Dawlish in Devon when that was washed away by high seas.

Engineers say 500,000 tonnes of soil underneath the  line near Armathwaite is sliding into the River Eden below

Graphic of railway repair
Network Rail

Rows of steel tubes full of concrete will be driven into the bedrock, and a concrete slab will be placed on top to support the track bed.

Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “The tunnel-like structure we’re building will safeguard this section of railway for generations to come. If the land gives way again, the railway will not."

Police appeal for missing man after car is found in Lake District.

Police say a car belonging to a man missing from Manchester has been found in a car park near Ambleside.

Darren Merritt
Cumbria Police

Darren Merritt, 41, was last seen in November last year at his home in Leigh. 

Now police have found a Fiat Punto, registered to Mr Merritt, in the car park at Blea Tarn. Officers say they don't know how long it had been there.

They've appealed for anyone who knows where the missing man, is, or Mr Merritt himself, to make contact.

University staff strike in pay row

Staff at the University of Cumbria are taking strike action today. 

Members of the University and College Union are involved in a national dispute over pay and working conditions.

The university said earlier that it would be operating as usual.

Mountain rescue teams in flood rescue funding-drive

The county's mountain rescue teams need to invest in more swift-water rescue equipment and training so they're ready for future flooding, according to Richard Warren, the chairman of the Lake District Mountain Search and Rescue Association. 

Mountain rescue flood operation
Getty Images

The volunteer teams have been building up their equipment and training for water rescues since the floods of 2005.

Mr Warren says this foresight meant they were equipped and ready to play a major role rescuing people during Storm Desmond. 

Now he says they need to raise around £70,000 to add to, and upgrade their equipment, to be ready for more major flooding events. 

Curle ponders trialists after friendly 5-1 scoreline

Paul Newton

Sports Editor, BBC Cumbria

Carlisle United eased to a 5-1 win in their pre-season friendly at Kendal Town last night. 

The United goals came from Jabo Ibehrem, Patrick Brough, Jamie Devitt, Mark Ellis and a trialist forward.

The United boss Keith Curle set to make a decision on his trialist players in the next few days.

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Decision day looms for troubled zoo

A decision is expected today on the future of the South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton-in-Furness. 

Zoo signposts

A highly critical Government inspectors' report last November has been followed up by further concerns this year - with owner and licence holder David Gill accused of having "profoundly negative impact on the welfare of the animals". 

The zoo company argues he has now stepped back - but the inspectors remain sceptical about the proposed new regime in charge and whether Mr Gill will still want to control the business he owns.

Barrow councillors are taking three days to decide whether to follow a recommendation to reject the zoo's request for a licence extension.

Landslip rail line 'will be closed for another nine months'

A stretch of the Carlisle to Settle railway line - which has been closed since a landslide after the winter storms - won't fully re-open until March next year.

Network Rail

About 500,000 tonnes of earth gave way underneath the tracks at Eden Brows near Armathwaite following weeks of heavy rain. 

This means the section of line, between Carlisle and Appleby, will have been closed for more than a year. 

Network Rail, which is responsible for the track, is spending £23m, to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Cumbrian MP: We didn't understand Iraq

The Cumbrian Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who served in Irag as a deputy governor just after the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime, says the Chilcot Report published yesterday doesn't concentrate enough on the middle eastern country itself.

Rory Stewart

We were completely out of our depth, and the same was true of the United States."

Rory Stewart MPMP for Penrith and the Border, and former deputy governor in Iraq

Mr Stewart, who's a government minister and MP for Penrith and the Border, says he found soon after his arrival that the invasion forces didn't understand the local conditions, or the people.

"We didn't speak enough Arabic, we didn't know the country well enough, we didn't have enough troops, but that's only the beginning. 

"Within a few months there it was obvious we should not have been there at all."

Weather: Getting brighter and drier

The start of the day will be cloudy with some patchy rain or drizzle.  

But the cloud should thin and break, bringing brighter spells and sunshine this afternoon. 

Temperatures should reach 17C (63F).

Weather graphic

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

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be updating the latest local news, weather forecasts and travel news through to around 16:00 this afternoon.

If you see something you think we should know about, you can send in news and pictures using Twitter @BBC_Cumbria, by emailing us at or by posting on our Facebook page.