HOLIDAY homeowners across South Lakeland have been warned by Cumbria Police to be extra vigilant after extremist threats were issued against them in an anonymous letter to this newspaper.

The typed letter allegedly represents a group of 25 people unable to buy a property in the area calling themselves The Popular Liberation Army of Westmorland.

Received on Saturday, the letter, which was headed "Let it be known", states: "The Popular Liberation Army of Westmorland hereby pledge that we will one day see an end to the occupation of the Kingdom of Westmorland by incomers, holiday home owners and the encroaching leech-like scum of that ilk.

"The Popular Liberation Army of Westmorland wholeheartedly support the Cornwall National Liberation Army, The Cornish Liberation Army, Sons of Glendower, Sons of Dunmail and any other group which pledges to rid our towns and villages of holiday home owners.

"We are at present 25 people who were born and bred in Westmorland and who are unable to buy a property in the land of our birth.

"In 2005 a holiday home in Windermere was set fire to and various acts have taken place to damage holiday homes and holiday lets throughout Westmorland.

"With funding from America and with specialist training we are now able to start our battle for the liberation of the North West."

It is not known whether the letter is a hoax and it is now in the possession of the police who have started an investigation.

"We take all threats of this nature seriously," said a Cumbria Police spokesman. "The police now have the letter and are in the process of assessing the group's intention. We would ask all holiday homeowners in the area to be estra vigilant and if they see anything suspicious, to report the incident straight away to the police.

"We would also urge the local communities that have a holiday home nearby to be extra vigilant and to report anything suspicious as soon as possible by calling 0845-3300-247 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111."

Meanwhile, a group claiming to be fighting for Cornish liberation has issued threats to celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein, who have business empires in the north of the county.

The Cornwall National Liberation Army said it would strike the chef's restaurants at Padstow and Watergate Bay in retaliation for them alienating local people and causing inflation to house prices. Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating the claims.