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ALL THE LATEST NEWS, VIEWS AND STORIES FROM AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA:SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER


All you’ll ever need for your home and garden!


Listers Studio occupies the 11,000 sq ft mezzanine floor with beautifully displayed furniture for all tastes and budgets.


New ranges of living room, dining room and bedroom furniture are on show along with furnishings for every room in the home including carpets, curtains and rugs.


Downstairs has a well designed area of giftware, soft furnishings and lighting, which incorporates all the latest fashions, colours and trends.


A new bathroom showroom has been developed with a choice of either, the latest state of the art or traditional designs available to choose from.


A shopping experience not to be missed!


Low Road, Cockermouth Cumbria CA13 OHH 01900 827282


Complement your kitchen or bathroom with an even wider range of accessories from the biggest and best brand names.


Why not transform your garden with a selection of our wide range of plants and a set of new garden furniture?


The Lakes Home Centre still offers an extensive range of DIY and gardening products.


Complete your shopping experience and relax in our fully air condioned tea room with homemade fayre and a warm Cumbrian welcome.


The Lakes Home Centre truly is a shopping experience not to be missed!


During the school holidays, Marjorie and I have had a few pleasant surprises. Although neither involve anything rare or unusual, I would like to mention two of them.


The first surprise occurred when we took our eight-year-old grandson to RSPB Campfield. near Bowness-on-Solway and he decided he would like to do some pond dipping.


We collected nets, a plastic tray in which to place our captures and a leaflet showing some of the pond life we might find and then headed across the Discovery Field to the boardwalk at the edge of the pond. Fairly quickly, several species of water beetle were found, some tiny shrimps, water louse and a couple of tiny stickleback fish.


Then there was a shout from our grandson who had caught a monster; it was much larger than anything else we had caught, about an inch-and-a-half long, with a solid looking body with a long tube projecting from the rear end; it seemed to have only four legs and at the front a huge pair of pincers. After studying the identification leaflet we realised we had caught a water scorpion.


Reading about it later, we learned the tube at the rear is its breathing tube and the pincers are adapted legs it uses to seize its prey. Although it was the first time I had seen one, we understand they are quite common in suitable ponds. We


WWW.THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK Surprises!


spent several minutes watching this and our other finds before returning them all to the pond.


We have had one or two slow worms in our compost bins for several years but this year we had seen five, of which at least three were females. They have a thin black line along the spine unlike the males which are plain. Towards the end of August, I went to put some peelings in the compost bin. It was quite warm and the sun was shining on the black plastic bin and I thought that the slow worms were likely to be basking near the


FROM MY PERCH


top so they could gain energy for the day. When I opened the bin, to my surprise and delight there was one plump slow worm and four tiny ones which had just been born. Slow worms, like common lizards are ovoviviparous, that is the eggs are retained in the females until they hatch and only after this do they emerge. The babies were silvery, not much thicker than a pencil lead and about two inches long. Yesterday, Marjorie counted fifteen in the same bin. They will probably stay in the compost bin until late-autumn, when they and the adults will go into hibernation until April. Whether any will stay with us after that I have no idea but I hope they stay nearby, as they are harmless except to slugs and the like. They are long-lived, females are not mature until five or six years old and they have been known to live to over fifty. They are not very aptly named as they are neither slow nor worms but legless lizards.


The West Cumbria RSPB Group’s next


indoor meeting is at 7.30pm on 3rd October, in United Reformed Church, Main Street, Cockermouth, when Chris Winnick, Chairman of Cumbrian Butterfly Conservation will talk about Butterflies of the North West. All are welcome.


More details from www.rspb.org.uk/groups/westcumbria or from Group Leader Dave Smith on 01900 85347 or Marjorie and Neil on 01900 825231.


Neil Hutchin 21 SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE 418 PAGE 61


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