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  1. Parents who suffocated baby are jailed
  2. Police give farmers 21st century 'smit mark' paint
  3. West Cumbria apprentices train to meet global cyber threats
  4. Animals don't starve here any more, says zoo consultant

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel reports and a regular weather forecast for today, and this week. Here's a reminder of today's main developments:

We'll be back on Monday at 08:00 to do it again. If you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo, you can email them to us,send them using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria, or head to our Facebook page.

Have a very good weekend.

Cuteness alert as 'childhood friends' meet again

Alison O'Neill is another of Cumbria's tweeting farmers, using the social media to explain the life of a shepherd in the hills.

Here she shows an aspect of the relationships between sheepdog and flock that may not be widely known.

View more on twitter

Cumbria's weather: Mostly dry, cloudy later

BBC Weather

Tonight will be mostly dry with clear spells at first, turning a little cloudier across Cumbria ahead of a band of rain. Temperatures will dip down to around -3C (27F).

Weather graphic

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

Travel: Signals problem delays coast line trains

BBC News Travel

A signals problem at Parton is delaying trains on the Cumbria Coast line between Barrow and Carlisle for up to 45 minutes.

Flood plan could use troubled New Road area for overflow

Plans being put forward for a £24m programme of flood prevention works in Kendal could include a wall between New Road and the area on the riverside currently at the centre of a row over parking.

Kendal flood walls map
Environment Agency

Maps used to show on option for flood walls defending the centre of Kendal should the River Kent ever threaten the town again, show the area opposite Gooseholme, which would also be allowed to flood.

The council said it was working with the agency to make sure any development of the area as open space complemented the flood defence project.

There's a continuing public campaign to overturn a council decision to ban the decades-old unofficial use of the land for parking.

Flood prevention plans all over Cumbria are currently out for consultation and you can see details here.

Tax move brings two rare masterpieces to Kendal gallery

Martin Lewes


Two rare portraits by the famous 20th Century artist Lucian Freud are going on display in Kendal.

Portrait of Lady Scott
Lakeland Arts

Freud later became known for his unflinchingly realistic nudes, but the new acquisitions, Portrait of Lady Scott, (above) and Portrait of Hermione, are more conventional portraits, commissioned by Sir Oliver Scott.

Lakeland Arts

Freud rarely painted to commissions, and there is an extra local connection for the Abbot Hall, because the Scott family founded Provincial Insurance, for many years one of Kendal's main employers.

The paintings were given to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax, and together were worth £1.26m.

When they go on show tomorrow it will be only the second time they have been seen in public, and the first time in this country.

The portrait of Lady Scott has been shown in Tel Aviv, but apart from that they have been with the Scott family so it is a unique opportunity to see them."

Kerry OffordLakeland Arts Trust

Hundreds of patients now pick their own appointments

A scheme in South Cumbria's hospitals where patients with long-term conditions can see a doctor when they feel they need to, rather than have regular check-ups, is now being used by 900 patients.

The system now operates in rheumatology, respiratory, gynaecology and paediatrics.

Not having the regular appointments every few months frees up time at clinics so patients can have rapid access to the medical specialists if their condition flares up.

Barrow MP calls in RSPCA after zoo documentary

The Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock has referred a film about the troubled South Lakes Safari Zoo to the RSPCA.

Zoo entrance

The programme, Trouble at the Zoo, was on BBC2 last night, and while much of the film was about the work being done to improve the care of the animals, it included the death of a lion through eating contaminated meat.

Mr Woodcock said he wanted the RSPCA to consider whether the lion's death justified a prosecution.

Parents who suffocated baby are jailed

A couple who took their baby to bed after they had been drinking and suffocated the child by "overlaying", have been jailed for two years each.

Carlisle Crown Court head the couple, who came from Cumbria but cannot be identified, lived in a squalid home which did not even have a working toilet.

Judge Peter Hughes noted that a pathologist said it was unsafe for two adults to sleep on a single mattress with such a young child was an "unsafe practice". Both admitted cruelty.

The judge told the two: "It was a serious dereliction of the duty that you had to protect and safeguard your baby."

New winter weather warnings for county

Two new yellow warnings for snow and ice have been posted for Cumbria this weekend.

They say rain and hill snow over the county on Saturday evening will be followed by a drop in temperatures, bringing ice on roads and pavements, through until 11:00 on Sunday morning.

There will also be more wintry showers.

Business leader says county must attract young workers

Companies in Cumbria must find new ways to attract young people from outside the county to avoid skills shortages, according to the deputy chief executive of the county's Chamber of Trade.

Suzanne Caldwell said thousands of new recruits would be needed as older workers retired.

The core thing is that we attract more people into the county ... there are some organisations doing that very successfully and that's something that others need to look at and learn from."

Countess takes on president's role at county show

The Countess of Wessex has agreed to be president of the Westmorland Agricultural Society for 2018.

Countess of Wessex at show offices

Sophie visited the show in 2013, and has had a long-standing interest in agriculture and the countryside; she visited the office again yesterday, and will be at the show on 13 September.

Cumbria's weather: Brightening up, with scattered showers

BBC Weather

It should brighten up with sunny spells developing.

Scattered showers are possible this afternoon and turning a little breezier, with highs of about 6C (43F).

Weather graphic

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

Farmers told of 21st Century 'smit marks' paint for sheep

Police and farmers are bringing in a new paint so sheep found stolen or roaming can be returned to their owners.

It effectively brings a way of identifying sheep ownership dating back centuries, firmly into the 21st century.

A "smit mark", painted on a particular part of the animal and in a particular colour, visibly identified the shepherd; the new paint does the same thing, but it contains thousands of unique coded microdots, which be "read" with special equipment by police, or auction mart staff..

Meeting with pots of TecTracer on table
Cumbria Police

Supplies were handed out to farmers' representatives at a meeting yesterday.

Children's mental crisis service to go round the clock

Bosses say they've found a way to provide a specialist mental health service for young people in crisis out of hours for the whole of the county.

Earlier this week the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron asked the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt to look into the care of children and adolescents in South Cumbria, claiming the service was only available in office hours.

Today the Cumbria Partnership Trust and the Morecambe Bay clinical commissioners said they were now confident the service could be extended to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A spokeswoman said that care had always been available for young patients in an emergency, but it had been provided by staff specialising in adults; the new service would use specialists in crisis cover for young people.

Conservatives hold Eden council seat as widower takes over

The Conservatives have retained the Hartside seat on Eden District Council after a by-election, with the new member taking over from his late wife.

Rob Orchard received 175 votes, the independent Susan castle-Clarke 98, and the Green Party's Richard Henry, 58.

The by-election was held after the death of former Councillor Sheila Orchard.

Tree planting across county should slow flood run-off

More than 2,000 trees are being planted in the Patterdale area today to help slow down water run-off in heavy rain.

Eden Rivers Trust is trying to slow the flow of water and improve wildlife habitats on Place Fell.

Trees planted on the Tebay Common by the Woodland Trust, pictured below, are already being shown to reduce the amount of water coming off the fell into the nearby River Lune, and researchers from Lancaster University say they are working across several of the county's major rivers..

Trees on hillside
Woodland Trust

Severe accident: A592 Cumbria both ways

BBC News Travel

A592 Cumbria both ways severe accident, between Troutbeck and Hartsop.

A592 Cumbria - A592 Kirkstone Pass blocked between the Troutbeck junction and the Hartsop junction, because of ice and an accident.

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

Weather on the fell tops: Broken cloud and wintry showers

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft (900m): -3C.
  • Winds: Fresh or strong northwesterly, gusts 35mph.
  • Cloud: Broken cloud above 1,600ft (500m).
  • Visibility: Good, locally poor in wintry showers and hill fog.
  • Freezing level: Low levels, rising to about 1,100ft (330m) for a time.

The Lake District rangers who assess conditions on the top of Helvellyn say the the thaw yesterday and drop in temperatures today will result in "serious and committing conditions for walkers and climbers," and winter equipment and the knowledge to use it are essential.

New calls for changes at Cumbria enterprise agency

There are fresh calls this morning for changes to Cumbria's Local Enterprise Partnership, the organisation with the job of channeling government money into attracting investment to the county.

A report into the organisation this week said change was needed at the top to improve the way it operated, and former board members agree.

I was on that board for two years which isn't long enough to get a grip of it, I still don't know how those decisions are made."

Kevin BeatyFormer board member of LEP

But the LEP members say it is doing a better job.

We are making good progress, we have a very significant number of big programmes running across the LEP, we've got big road improvements that we're bidding for, we've got £200m of rail improvements that we are bidding on."

Jim JacksonPrivate sector board member

Zoo consultant: Animals don't starve any more

Jennie Dennett

BBC Cumbria

The new man in charge of animal care at the South Lakes Safari Zoo says better diets have put an end to animals dying from emaciation and fighting.

Animals including a kangaroo, a giraffe and several birds were all found dead with signs of malnourishment before 2017, when Barrow Borough Council stripped zoo owner David Gill of his licence.

Andreas Kaufmann

Andreas Kaufman, the Austrian zoo consultant now leading animal management, says the number of species is being reduced to enable better care of them.

We definitely do not have a single animal that dies from emaciation, because we feed them well, we do not have animals that get killed by other animals because they are fighting over food, and these were the causes in the past."

Andreas KaufmanZoo consultant

Appleby school starts half term early after snow

Appleby Primary School has closed because snow has prevented staff getting there this morning. It will reopen on 19 February due to half term.

The darkened room where Cumbrians train for global threats

The first set of apprentices are now being trained in West Cumbria to protect the nuclear industry from cyber attacks.

View more on facebook

Apprentices are being trained at Workington's Energus Centre, and what's being described as "ethical hacking" is being taught as a way of protecting businesses from attacks.

Business experts say it is a good example of the new jobs technology is creating, and where there will be skills shortages over the next few years.

Tom Cheesewright, a futurologist, says a lot of routine work can gradually be taken over by automation, and future jobs lie in areas where human can't be replaced by machines

Anywhere where you've got to create something new, where you're doing research, or where you've got to react to a rapidly changing environment, those human capabilities are really key."

Tom Cheesewright

Cumbria's weather: A cold start with heavy wintry showers

BBC Weather

It will be a cold start to the day a risk of ice through the morning, as well as some heavy snow showers on hills; there's a yellow warning for ice and snow.

These will fall as sleet or rain to lower levels, and gradually clear with temperatures between between 3C (37F) and 6C (43F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are, and details of the weather warning, here.

Travel: Bad weather brings delays and closes passes

BBC News Travel

The highest roads across the Lake District remain closed because of snow, and heavy wet snow and sleet is reducing visibility and causing dense spray on faster roads

A6 Shap summit
Cumbria County Council

This was the A6 over Shap soon at 07:30, with the temperature falling. Passes like Honister and the Corney Fell Road are well-known trouble spots but we've had reports of snow as low down as Sedbergham between Wigton and Penrith on the B5305.

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning, unless you have to travel anywhere very far above sea level, in which case it's not very good at all.

We'll be keeping you posted with the news, a regular weather forecast, and other nuggets that may catch they eye.

If you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo, you can email them to us,send them using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria, or head to our Facebook page.

Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


Time to call it a day, today. Here's a reminder of some of the main developments:

  • The top official who is supposed to keep an eye on academy schools in the region had, MPs were told last year, visited the troubled school in Whitehaven three times in two years. Today it turned out that while her staff had been on a number of occasions, Janet Renou had not, and one MP wants to know why;
  • A year after the people in charge of North Cumbria's hospitals decided to give consultant-led maternity care in Cumbria one more year to show it could be run safely and attract enough staff, that one-year trial is finally to start - so that's two years then;
  • And the Copeland MP Trudy Harrison got rather a tart response from a minister when she raised the vexed question of broadband internet links in her constituency, in the House of Commons.

And that got a tart response from a number of people, of which Anne Noble was one.

View more on twitter

We'll be back tomorrow to do it again, and If you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo, you can email them to us, send them using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria, or head to our Facebook page.

Have a very good evening.

Parliamentary chairman calls for Whitehaven explanation

The chairman of the Parliamentary education committee said he wants an 'urgent' explanation, after he was wrongly told the official monitoring academies in the region had visited the troubled Whitehaven school.

The committee was told by the national schools commissioner, Sir David Carter, that Janet Renou had made three visits to the troubled Whitehaven Academy in two years.

But a BBC request under freedom of information established that the visits had all been made by Ms Renou's staff.

The chairman , Sir Robert Halfon, said: “As there appears to be a discrepancy between Sir David Carter’s evidence to the Committee and the response to a freedom of information request, I hope that the Sir David will be writing to the Committee as a matter of urgency.”

Sir Robert Halfon

Student midwives get first training for stillbirth care

Midwifery students at the University of Cumbria are first in the country to have counselling training in how to deal with mothers who have stillbirths.

Until recently, how to deal with the situation didn't form much of a midwife's training, but now a bereavement charity is funding some of a university degree course in midwifery.

Fatima Bulah, who is is a trainer from the Stillbirths and Neonatal Deaths charity, says fifteen children die at birth every day.

We're hoping to ensure that all professionals who work with parents who experience the sad loss of a baby are able to provide the best possible care at that difficult time."

Air ambulance flies in after walker falls into tarn

The Great North Air Ambulance was called in after a woman fell into the freezing waters of Red Tarn Beck; luckily, she was well enough for the air ambulance simply to fly her down to the Patterdale mountain rescue base for warming up.

View more on twitter

Cumbria's weather: Rain clears to leave an icy night

BBC Weather

The rain will continue this evening and will then clear south-eastwards tonight to leave clear spells, but also wintry showers pushing in from the west. Temperatures will fall to -1 to 2C (30 to 36F).

There is a yellow warning of ice and possible snow showers later in the night.

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are, and details of the weather warning, here.

Travel: Crashes on A590 and A591

BBC News Travel

Three crashes in South Cumbria are causing delays this evening.

There's an accident on the A590 eastbound at Gilpin Bridge, with the traffic backing up towards Lindale.

There's another on the A590 at Ulverston Road in Dalton, affecting traffic between Barrow and Ulverston.

And finally, a three-car crash is partly blocking the A591 at Staveley, between Kendal and Windermere.

Minister tells MP: Cumbrians 'not taking up broadband'

The Copeland MP Trudy Harrison has been told by a government minister that many people are not taking up broadband in rural areas, even when it is available.

Ms Harrison had asked the minister for digital development, Margot James, for better high speed internet access in West Cumbria, but the minister say many people did not take advantage of faster fibre cables, even when they were fitted..

A minister's told a Cumbrian MP that more people could get better broadband

Winter clings on to the high Lakeland ridges

It may have been a milder day in the valleys, but the rangers who compile the Lake District Weatherline report found winter still in control on the approach to the top of Helvellyn.

View more on twitter

£50,000 plan to make 'disabled' toilets more accessible

South Lakeland councillors are being asked to set aside £50,000 to help local groups make accessible toilets suitable for a wider range of people.

Disabled symbol

The authority doesn't provide public toilets, but supports a number of groups, such as parish councils, that do, and the idea is to allow them to upgrade existing accessible toilets.

A spokesman said it had been inspired by the standards of Changing Places, a national organisation which is campaigning for better facilities for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.

The fund forms part of a budget being discussed later this month.

Hospital provides more space for kidney treatment

A former maternity ward is being converted at Whitehaven's hospital to provide more people with kidney dialysis.

The North Cumbria hospitals trust, which runs the West Cumberland Hospital, says the changes will allow an extra 16 people to receive the treatment.

West Cumberland Hospital

The trust is providing a training room to allow more patients to use home haemodialysis.

The clinical director for renal services, Dr Andrew Bow, said there was a growing need for dialysis, and the new space would mean more people could be treated in west Cumbria rather than having to travel to Carlisle.

Addict jailed for bedside theft from woman, 80

A drug addict who took a handbag from a sleeping 80-year-old four days before Christmas has been jailed.

David Robert Purdie
Cumbria Police

David Purdie, 23, of Geltsdale Avenue, Carlisle, could remember nothing of the burglary because he had taken drugs at the time, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

He took the bag, which contained cash and jewellery, but was caught by police after a chase through nearby gardens. He admitted burglary.

Recorder Michael Murray told Purdie: "You should be utterly ashamed of yourself."