Friday, 19 August 2011

Local break-ins spur police warning on open windows

Regent Street, Lancaster. Via Google Maps

Police are warning to people to be vigilant following two house burglaries in Lancaster and Morecambe.

As we previously reported, the first occurred sometime between 3.30am and 4.10am on Sunday 14th August when a man gained access to a house on Regent Street, Lancaster via an insecure window.

The man searched the property, selecting various items, before entering the bedroom in which the occupants were sleeping and turning the light on.

This woke the occupants at which point the man fled the property with items including two laptops, a wallet, items of jewellery and an iPod.

A further break in also occurred at some student accommodation just down the road and it may well be that the two incidents are linked.

Colwyn Avenue, Morecambe. Via Google Maps

 The second burglary occurred yesterday at around 12.30am, when a man entered a house on Colwyn Avenue in Morecambe, once again through an open window.

Once inside, he began to search the property, picking up the keys for a BMW parked on the driveway, before he was disturbed by the occupant and fled the scene.

Fortunately, he dropped the keys to the car on the driveway as well as a wallet he had picked up during his escape. He was wearing a white hooded top and grey tracksuit bottoms.

“If anybody has any information about either of these offences then I would urge them to contact police," asks Detective Sergeant Steve Craig.

“It is quite unusual and rare that in both instances the offenders were disturbed by the occupants causing them to flee from the scene. If anybody thinks they may have seen either man during their escape then I would like to speak with them.

“I would also urge people to be extra vigilant and make sure that all doors and windows are locked, particularly overnight, as these burglaries show that people can, and do, gain access to people’s houses in this way.”

• Anyone with information is asked to call Lancashire Police on 0845 1 25 35 45 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

University of Cumbria offers clearing opportunities open to disappointed students

Disappointed students who have received their A Level results today can call the University of Cumbria’s Clearing hotline for help and advice.

The University has set up a call centre to deal with the hundreds of calls expected over the next days and weeks from students looking for places starting in September.

There are predicted to be some spare places on various courses across the universities campuses, including Carlisle, Penrith, Ambleside, Workington, Lancaster and London.

“This is obviously a difficult time for students who didn’t get the results they had hoped for but my advice is not to panic and to give us a call," says Marianne Harris-Bridge, Interim Director of Marketing and Recruitment."We have opportunities available and there are options for everybody.

“We have courses in areas such as Sport, Business,Law and Computing and even if we don’t have the exact course a student wants, we might be able to offer something which can set them off down the right career path.

“Our call centre staff are trained to offer advice and support and they can put you through to course leaders and lecturers who can discuss which course is the right one for each individuals needs.

“Numbers of places available are changing all of the time so it’s worth just picking up the phone and making an enquiry.”

The university is also holding an Open Day at Lancaster, Carlisle and Penrith campuses on Saturday 20 August to give students and their families the chance to tour the site and meet staff and fellow students.

Marianne added: “Cumbria is ideal for students who wish to stay close to home or those who are moving here to study with us. We offer a friendly welcome and great opportunities.

“Importantly, more than 90% of our students are in employment or further study six months after graduating so we can offer great careers too.”

• The Clearing call centre (08080 024 024) is open on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August from 7.00am to 7.00pm, 9.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday 20 and 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 21 August. Visit for more information.

Appeal after Morecambe assault

Morecambe Police are appealing for information after an assault that happened in the early hours of Sunday morning (13th August).

At just after 1.00 o'clock on Sunday morning, police received a report of a fight that had happened on Christie Avenue around half an hour earlier, around 12.30am.

It would appear that the 23-year-old victim had been out walking his dog with two friends and as they approached Christie Avenue, they were approached by two men and an argument broke out. During the argument, one of the two men produced a knife and the victim received a small puncture wound to the arm.

“Luckily this was not as serious as it could have been and the victim only received a relatively minor injury which was treated with stitches at the hospital," notes DC Ciara Campbell of Lancaster CID. "However, this was a nasty assault and I would appeal for anyone who may have been in the area at the time that may have any information to come forward and contact us.”

Anyone with information about the incident can call Lancaster CID on 01524 596712 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

A 26-year-old man from Morecambe has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of wounding with intent.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Wolfwood animal charity announces fund-raiisng event

Do you know what happens to the stray dogs of Lancaster and Morecambe that are rounded up by the Dog Warden? When you call the RSPCA about young chicks that you have found fallen or pushed out of their nest, do you know what they do with them? 

No, neither did Dave Morgan -  until he met Stephen Wakelin of Wolfwood – Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation and Rehoming of Rescue Dogs...

Wolfwood was set up by Steven Wakelin, a local man born and brought up in the Morecambe area, four years ago in donated accommodation south of Lancaster just off the A6.

"We're devoted to the rescue and re-homing of the least wanted dogs from the area and are constantly expanding our work with Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation," a spokesperson for Wolfwood says. "Our district covers  Lancaster, Morecambe and the ever - increasing surrounding area. 

"We recover orphaned, injured and displaced wildlife, give them sanctuary and nurture them back to health, in the  hope that eventually they can be released back into the wild."

Since opening Wolfwood in early 2007, Steve and his team have seen a steady flow of unwanted and lost dogs, urgently needing new homes, passing through his kennels.

So many in fact, that their facilities and resources of what is a temporary home for the charity, are strained – to put it mildly.

Across the yard is the area where rescued wildlife is housed. The mix is amazing, including hurt and injured hedgehogs, orphaned baby hedgehogs, an injured magpie, injured starlings, two young chicks needing feeding every 20 minutes.

Then over the road is an enclave and pens for recovering wildlife and domesticated animals with every kind of bird, duck, chicken and animal that you can think of getting the best of attention and veterinary help they need until such time as they can be released back into their natural habitat.

In separate fields there are the eight rescue horses and ponies that Wolfwood is permanent home to, and where volunteers built a new stable, to their own design, just in time for them to be snug and warm during last year's snowy weather.

As you can imagine all of this costs money and, like similar animal local animal charities such as Animal Care, as a charity lots of money is something Wolfwood hasn’t got. So they need help from the generous people of the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

With that in mind, the Bay Veterinary Group are organising a ‘Sponsored Dog Walk’ on 21st August with proceeds being divided between Wolfwood and RSPCA. The event starts at Bay Vets, 12 Market Square Milnthorpe at 1.00 pm and consists of a gentle, hour-long, walk through Dallam Park and surrounding area.

There will also be a raffle and tombola and anyone who would like their dogs to take them for a walk should contact Wolfwood on 015395 62770.

Of course, special events are just one way local people can help Wolfwood. It goes without saying that donations of money and time are of special help. Perhaps you could volunteer to walk the dogs – they love company – assist at the sanctuary or the charity's charity shop on Bowerham Road. Or you might be able to organise other events and fundraising.

Any amount of time and money donated and raised will help Wolfwood get closer to the one thing that they desperately need – a sanctuary that they own - and which will give them the freedom they need to continue to provide fantastic facilities for animals in need.

Perhaps by your help we can change Wolfwood from Lancaster’s best kept secret to what it surely is – a jewel in the crown.

• If you would like to know more, or can help in any way, contact Wolfwood by email at, tel: 07931 220 094. Web:
• Their shop is at Bowerham Road, Lancaster LA1 4BN. Tel: 07971 518 335

Police appeal after Regent Street break-in

Police are appealing for witnesses following a burglary in Regent Street, Lancaster at the weekend.

The incident happened on Sunday 14th August, between 3.30am and 4.10am. A man forced his way into a house and has searched various rooms before entering a bedroom upstairs. Once inside he turned the light on and disturbed the sleeping occupants. The offender then ran out and left the house taking various items with him.

Two laptops, jewellery, cash and an iPod were all stolen.

A further break in also occurred at some student accommodation just down the road and it may well be that the two incidents are linked.

The break-ins have prompted Regent Street residents to step up their security. "We are thinking about getting a more secure back door," one told virtual-lancaster.

“I would appeal to anyone who may have information to come forward and contact police," asked Detective Inspector Martin Pearson. "If anybody has been offered cheap goods, or saw something suspicious in the area to get in touch.”

• Anyone with information is asked to call Lancashire Police on 0845 1 25 35 45 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Appeal after another Lancaster cycle path robbery

Lancaster police are appealing for information after a man was robbed on the Lancaster-Morecambe cycle path earlier this month.

It was around 10.00pm on the 1st August when a 37-year-old man was riding along the cycle path next to the ASDA store on Ovangle Road and was stopped by two men.

The men blocked his way on the cycle path, produced a knife and demanded money. The victim handed over the money he had in his wallet and the men ran from the scene.

DC Ciara Campbell said, “I am appealing to anyone who may have been in the area at the time to think back, and if they remember seeing anything at all that might help to call police.”

The first man involved is described as white, around five feet nine inches tall and of stock build. He had black stubble and a local accent and was wearing a light grey hooded top with lots of black writing on the front with dark pants.

The second man is also believed to be white and of stocky build but he was described as being and was wearing a blue hooded top with ‘Lonsdale’ written across the chest.

DC Campbell continued, “I would be particularly interested in speaking with anyone who may have seen the robbery take place but would also be very interested in speaking with anyone who may recognise the descriptions of the two men we wish to speak to.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Lancaster CID on 01524 596641 quoting reference number BA1102792 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111”

Sunderland Point residents help police nab a car thief

Local residents have been praised by police for their part in assisting officers catch a car thief, who is now behind bars for four months.

Ryan Gorman, 22, of no fixed abode, took a blue Ford transit van from a property on Greenhalgh Lane, Greenhalgh, overnight on 11th August. At around 8.00am the van was sighted by officers in Morecambe, but it failed to stop and a controlled pursuit took place. Gorman, and an 18-year-old passenger, then abandoned the vehicle at Sunderland Point and fled on foot through a coppice.

A dog walker pointed police in the direction that the pair had made off and a number of residents then assisted officers by putting up an unofficial cordon around a field, forcing the men to head to the end of the Point. A police dog then found the two men hiding in a bush and they were arrested.

Gorman appeared at Blackpool Magistrates Court on Friday 12th August and pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent; failing to stop a moving vehicle; driving whilst disqualified and driving without third party insurance. He was jailed for 120 days and given a four-year driving ban.

The 18-year-old passenger was given a caution for being carried in a vehicle that had been taken without consent.

“When we arrived at Sunderland Point with our sirens blaring it was obvious to the residents that we were pursuing a criminal," says PC Bruce Irvine of road policing. "Without any request from us, they did all they could to help us catch the men – effectively giving them nowhere else to run and forcing them to try and hide in a gorse brush.

“Their efforts did not go unnoticed and I would like to say thank you to all those who got involved. Gorman had put members of the public in danger by taking the vehicle and then driving it without insurance and while disqualified, so it is pleasing that it was the public who assisted in putting him behind bars.”

Gifts galore and so much more at Williamson Park store

The gift shop at Williamson Park in Lancaster has undergone an amazing transformation.

Lancaster City Council gathered together an expert team consisting of members of the Visitor Information Centres, Customer Services and Williamson Park staff to redecorate the shop, whilst introducing new stock and raising the standards of customer service.

Hundreds of visitors come to the gift shop at Williamson Park every month to buy tickets for the Butterfly House, mini beast cave, woodland garden and to purchase souvenirs of their visit.

The renovations have created a modern appearance with wooden flooring, repainting, new windows, new desk counters and improved signage.

New visitors to the shop will be greeted by knowledgeable friendly staff, who can offer advice and information on Lancaster, other council facilities and local tourist attractions.

Visitors wanting to take home a reminder of their visit to the park will be amazed by the new choice that is available. There is a wide range of Williamson Park souvenirs such as branded binoculars, bendy pencils and compasses and the ‘I Survived the Mini Beast House’ badges are already proving to be a hit.

The shop is proud to stock "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" goods which are very popular with youngsters, and also a complete range of gardening goods in keeping with the nature of Williamson Park.

In order to assist the café during busy periods, the shop has a new fridge and freezer to sell drinks and ice creams.

Lancaster City Council is committed to raising the standards at Williamson Park for local residents and visitors. More improvements are scheduled for the autumn including some new residents who will be moving in to the Butterfly House and Mini Beast House.

• For the latest news and information on Williamson Park, please visit