Summer of Stories: In search of the Lake District’s elusive black cat
Westmorland Gazette Editor Andrew Thomas says Cumbria’s mysterious big cat weird tales really resonates with readers
What was this story about?
The sighting of a ‘big black cat’ in the Lake District (read all about it here)
How did you find out about this story?
A notification form a reader on The Westmorland Gazette’s website. The lady concerned had seen what she thought was a large black cat on the Lake District fells and so had looked at the Gazette’s website and seen that there had been previous sightings in years gone by. This gave her the confidence to get in touch with us.
Can you tell us about what work went on prior to publication?
Reporter Celia Powell contacted Sarah Howe and interviewed her to get the full story. We also arranged to have a photograph of her taken at the site of the ‘sighting’.
What was the reaction after publication?
The story sparked a lively online debate on the comments section under the report. The story generated around 3,000 page impressions.
Why will you remember this story?
This was a quirky story but we know from experience that stories about big black cat sightings are very well read — both locally and nationally.
Did this story tell you anything about local journalism? If so, what?
Unusual stories still have the power to generate a lot of interest among readers.