Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Police Appeal After Man Stabbed in Lancaster

Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident in Lancaster, during which a man was stabbed in the arm.

Officers attended an address on Tarbet Street at around 1.45pm yesterday (Sunday, April 3rd) following reports of an assault.

Upon arrival it appeared an argument had broken out between group of four adults in attendance at the address, and in the course of this a 33-year-old male was wounded.

He was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital to be treated for the stab wound and a possible bleed on his lung.

He is now in a stable condition and was due to undergo surgery yesterday.

Detective Inspector Beverley Foster, of Lancashire Police, said: “The man was very lucky as he suffered a deep stab wound to his arm, which could have been a lot more serious.

“As it is he has suffered a bleed on his lung which requires surgery.

“We are now appealing for anyone with information about the incident to come forward to help us with our enquiries.”

A 35-year-old male, of no fixed address, has since been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent, after handing himself in to police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number 746 of April 3rd, 2016.

New worries over North West's Willow Tits

Photo: Peter Smith - NW Wild Images
One of Britain’s most endangered birds has suffered another dramatic plunge in numbers according to a new report - but work by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust aims to halt the decline using creation and restoration of habitats and raising awareness of the bird in the North West.

The Rare Breeding Birds Panel has just announced that Willow Tits are now down to just 2,000 breeding pairs in the United Kingdom.

Much of the willow tits’ decline is down to loss of habitat with developers seeing no merit in the willow scrub which these beautiful birds inhabit.

But volunteers working with The Wildlife Trust are working to restore habitat, create nesting areas and provide vital information about tit populations.

The Wildlife Trust’s Wigan Reserves Manager Mark Champion said: “The situation is critical and we need to ensure the willow tit is protected both locally and nationally. Last year we were reporting that there were 5,000 birds in the UK, this new report says we are now down to 4,000. This is not good news.”

Photo: Peter Smith - NW Wild Images
The main work is being carried out in Wigan, which is at the centre of a regional population accounting for a large percentage of the UK’s total. Thanks to funding from the Lancashire Environmental Fund and Biffa Award, work on the willow tit’s habitat by The Lancashire Wildlife Trust will continue well into 2017.

The Wildlife Trust recently put out a call for volunteers to help with habitat improvement and recording work and more than 50 people turned up to sessions in Wigan and Preston.

Mark said: “This proved that there is interest in supporting this bird, which is becoming an iconic species in Wigan. People around here are keen to support our work for a bird that is in real danger of extinction in the UK.”

Photo: Peter Smith - NW Wild Images
More than 10 per cent of the UK’s willow tits live in the area around Wigan, St Helens, Warrington and Chorley. Nationally the UK population has fallen by 90 per cent in the past 30 years placing it on the red list of species of conservation concern.

The RBBP report does not offer any better news with the decline seemingly increasing again.
The main population centre in the region is Wigan and stretches down to Woolston Eyes, adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal in Cheshire and Yarrow Valley and Hic Bibi in Chorley. You could actually say it is based on Rugby League territories around Wigan, St Helens and Warrington and, strangely, another 10 per cent of our national willow tits are also around Leeds and Bradford.
Mark said: “Without the central population grouping in the Wigan Wetlands willow tits would be extinct in the North West. A lot depends on Wigan, because the birds’ area does depend on links outward from this central point. Without it they would struggle.

“Numbers have fallen as woods have been cleared and tidied and land has been dried out by agriculture and poor management. Even good management of land has not helped the birds in a country where tree planting and scrub clearance is seen as best practice when dealing with wildlife.”
The willow tit’s plight is not helped by its large territories, often stretching up to an acre (the size of a football pitch) in areas of elder, alder, birch and willow scrubland, dominated by grey willow shrubs at Wigan Flashes nature reserve.

Mark said: “‘Normal’ habitat work involves clearing scrub and planting trees like ash and oak, but willow tits do not like this. The birds prefer the scrub where they build their own nest hole by digging into rotten wood in the soft timber tree stumps, less than a metre from the ground

“Another problem is bird boxes, aimed mainly at blue tits. In most nature reserves you would see bird boxes on trees around here that attract blue tits and great tits, which discourages the willow tits.
“We really need to remember the willow tit when we are improving habitats in woodland. Of course we want to create areas for the other birds but not at the expense of a unique sub-species of bird which you will not find anywhere else In the World.

“We must ensure we are not contributing to another extinction – this time on our own doorsteps.”

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the wildlife in Lancashire, seven boroughs of Greater Manchester and four of Merseyside, all lying north of the River Mersey.  It manages around 40 nature reserves and 20 Local Nature Reserves covering acres of woodland, wetland, upland and meadow. The Trust has 27,000 members, and over 1,200 volunteers.

• Anyone can see if records for their county have been received by RBBP by checking this spreadsheet. This file is updated whenever new data are received. The annual status update on our rarest breeding birds that RBBP provides is important because conservation effort is in part directed by these figures. The RSPB for instance use them in their species conservation work and in their annual State of the UK's Birds. You can access a full copy here or view the four pages on rare and scarce birds here: Rare and Scarce Breeding Birds report. And of course local birdwatchers who have diligently sent data to county recorders expect their contributions to feed into this work.