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Saturday 1st November 2014

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Giant Russian sea eagle escapes from Yorkshire and flies to Blackpool

North Yorks Police picture of Nikita
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NIKITA has been found hungry and dirty in Poulton-le-Fylde six days and 60 miles away from her home in the Yorkshire Dales.
An astonished birdwatcher spotted her 8 foot [2.4m] wingspan as she crossed the Pennine hills yesterday morning. More sightings of the heaviest eagle in the world led her trainer Chris O’Donnell to a field outside Blackpool. He had been hunting his Steller’s Sea Eagle for four days after she bolted during a training exercise at Hawk Experience, Brackenbottom, near Horton-in-Ribblesdale. On the Arctic coasts of North East Asia, the giant birds of prey kill salmon, ducks, geese, swans, cranes, herons, gulls, mink, foxes and small domestic dogs. North Yorkshire police warned people, ‘Please take care when letting small animals out into the garden’, as Nikita appeared to be following the River Ribble towards Lancashire.
When Chris closed in on the field at Poulton Nikita bolted again, ‘She nearly got hit by a truck, which was a very bad thing, obviously. She went round in a big circle then landed back in the field.’

Chris tempted her to his fist with two juicy rabbit legs and the pair travelled home by van. Back at Greengates Farmhouse near Pen-y-Ghent, which is the base for Chris’s travelling eagle and vulture show, he said, ‘She looks a bit dirty around the edge, but I would like to really, really thank everybody who has taken the time to ring in.
‘She is happy, healthy and has had a really good feed, and I am sure she will be much happier waking up in her own environment.’
One of the Lancashire birdwatchers who had correctly identified the Steller’s Sea Eagle complained when he heard that she is named Nikita, ‘In Russia, where she comes from, Nikita means “victorious” and is never given to a girl. It all went wrong in 1985, when Elton John wrote that song Nikita about an imaginary East German woman border guard. Five years later Luc Besson directed a film featuring a female assassin called Nikita. All quite wrong. But a very nice bird of prey for my notebook.’

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Audit information

The Lancashire & North West magazine is celebrating more success. The glossy, monthly publication which has the largest circulation of any county magazine in the UK, has recorded yet another increase, with a new circulation of 39,089 copies per month for the period 1st January to 31st December 2013. This figure is independently verified and certified by the respected Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the national media organisation which rigorously checks the circulation claims of newspapers and magazines across the UK.

The latest increase means that our lead over the circulation of our nearest rival is now 19,063 copies per month.

We believe this circulation figure of 39,089 equates to more than 390,000 readers per month as we believe at least 10 people read each of copy of the magazine during its long shelf life, providing terrific value for advertisers. Also the electronic version of the magazine is replicated on our website for years to come adding to the advertising benefits as the electronic version also carries the adverts.

Indeed, we believe that The Lancashire & North West magazine is read more than 4.6 million times per year giving real value to our advertisers now and in the future and offers a great read.

This success is remarkable for a magazine that nine years ago, just before the present locally based management took over, had an unaudited circulation of only around 5,000 and that was over a two month period when only six issues a year were being produced. Indeed, each of our monthly issues now has a higher circulation than our annual circulation was when we took over.

Editorial director Anthony Skinner said: “This is a meteoric rise outstripping our magazine competitors. Our readers love the magazine. We offer a unique proposition for our advertisers and value for money, quality writing and great photography, ensuring there is always plenty to read.

'It’s a winning formula and our circulation is still rising when most other publications are falling – we must be doing something right.'

For general enquiries and advertising contact Emma Ganderton on 01253 336588 or at emma.g@lancashiremagazine.co.uk

For editorial enquiries contact Anthony Skinner on 01253 336588 or at anthony.s@lancashiemagazine.co.uk.

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