ACCURACY and fact-checking are important parts of a journalist's job - but on April Fool's Day that can sometimes be tricky. 

These are five Cumbria-related April Fool's stories that nearly got us...

1. Roadchef to open the UK's first-ever 'Sail Thru' on water at Killington Lake services

In exciting news for sailing enthusiasts and captains of the sea, motorway service station Roadchef is launching the UK's first-ever sail-thru on water at Killington Lake. 

Named as one of the most attractive service stations in the UK located on the M6 Southbound between Junctions 37 and 36, Roadchef’s latest offering means captains and their passengers can also enjoy a well-earned break.

The Mail: Concept art for the Roadchef 'sail-thru' Concept art for the Roadchef 'sail-thru' (Image: Submitted)

A branded jetty just like other iconic Roadchef locations means boats can moor while ordering meals via an intercom-equipped kiosk. Once the bag is secured, an employee delivers it straight to the customer.   

Launching soon - from kayaks and canoes to sailboats - the Killington Lake ‘sail-thru will be a place for captains to rest, refuel and recharge.

2. A66 to become A66(M) because of volume of traffic

Cumbria Road Watch, which is a social media page run by volunteers covering traffic updates in Cumbria, announced that the busy A66 will soon become a motorway given the volume of traffic that uses the road.

“A meeting was carried out on the roundabout table and has been decided by traffic cones that the #A66 will now be called the #A66M. Meaning with immediate effect it is now a motorway and you can jog the middle lane,” they said.

3. Mountain rescue team goes green with new electric vehicle

Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team has been trialling a new ‘MR-EV’ around their patch. A spokesperson said: “Initial thoughts are that its quiet running volume is much less disturbing for local livestock and ramblers, and the automatic gears are a lot easier for team members who drive modern cars and can’t cope with Land Rover gearboxes.”

The Mail: The EV was deemed too expensive despite a promising trialThe EV was deemed too expensive despite a promising trial (Image: Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue)

However, Elon Musk will be saddened to hear that the team decided not to go ahead with the EV purchase. The vehicle would cost £142024, and they need around £150-200k to build the new base at Foxfield.

4. AI-powered ‘clergybots’ to be trialled at Barrow church

St Paul’s Church, Barrow, has been selected for a new national trial of AI-powered ‘clergybots.’

The new artificial intelligence powered ‘curates’ will learn on the job and could be the future of the church. They will not only have a thorough knowledge of the Bible and the Church of England, but will actively learn, adapt and grow in their understanding of faith and human spirituality as they interact with parishioners.

The Mail: AI-powered clergybots could be the next big thing in the evangelical worldAI-powered clergybots could be the next big thing in the evangelical world (Image: Unsplash)

Rev. Simon Jones, a current second-year curate working with the church, commented “People have said to me, should I be threatened by this, but the way I look at it, we can all learn from each other. It’s not about replacing us, but augmenting our own capacities. Or at least that's what the Bishop told me. Anyway, the early models look really good, and one even showed me how to find the Collect of the Day in record time.”

5. Saltwater crocodile spotted at Rampside

Finally, Margaret Dennison warned other followers in the group ‘The Beauty of Barrow and Furness’ to be careful when paddling at Rampside.

“It’s that time of the year when the saltwater croc makes an appearance,” she said.

The Mail: Careful if you go paddling around Rampside...Careful if you go paddling around Rampside... (Image: Unsplash)

Others also warned of crocs under the jetty ramp on Roa Island, and even of Great White sharks around Newbiggin.