Live updates

Rural crime: £60k of property stolen in December alone

Northumbria Police officers have stepped up their patrols in one part of Northumberland, after more than £60,000 worth of property was stolen from homes, cars and outbuildings in one month alone.

Quad bikes, jewellery, cash, tools and diesel were all among the items stolen from the West Tynedale area, which includes the villages of Blanchland, Bellingham and Greendale.

Police said a Range Rover vehicle worth £35,000 was stolen from outside one property and canoes worth £5,000 were taken from another.

"Many of the perpetrators will know the areas concerned, they could be in the area during the day and return after dark to steal what they have seen, while others are more opportunist and will walk into a farmyard and steal insecure property.

"As ever the community is our eyes and ears and I'd like to remind people to be vigilant."

– Insp Kevin Oates, Northumbria Police

Have you been a victim of rural crime?

Advertisement

  1. National

Fox beheaded in pro-hunting warning

An investigation is underway after an image of a fox's head on a spike was posted on Facebook with this message from a pro-hunting campaigner Credit: SWNS

Police are investigating after an image of a fox's head impaled on a spike was posted on Facebook by a pro-hunting campaigner.

A man from the Hartlepool area reportedly posted the disturbing image, along with the message: "I keep my promises 1 ban = 1 fox."

"You have cost a fox that was not near a farm or any livestock its life," the man wrote, according to The Northern Echo. "Just for you. Any more bans and another fox dies."

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "Police have been made aware and are following up inquiries.

"Part of our enquires would be to liaise with the RSPCA. If there has been cruelty involved, it would fall under something we would investigate."

An RSPCA spokeswoman said that it was investigating the "distressing" image, which has since been deleted from Facebook.

Energy company wants to frack in North Yorks

Fracking could be carrie out near a village in North Yorks. Credit: ITV

An energy company is applying to carrying out fracking for gas near a village in the North York Moors.

Third Energy drilled for samples at Kirby Misperton last year, and believes there could be a significant new gas reservoir in the area.

Anti-fracking campaigners say they are concerned about contamination of the water supply.

The next stage will be a high risk assessment, before the full application goes ahead.

20 North East historic sites added to 'at risk' register

Twenty historic sites across the North East have been added to an 'at risk' register due to their condition.

English Heritage publishes an annual report which identifies listed buildings and historic sites most at risk of loss or decay.

Since last year, 27 sites have been removed from the list after investments of £768,000 in the region.

In the North East:

  • 8 buildings or structures have been taken off the Register and 5 have been added.
  • 4 churches and places of worship have been taken off the Register and 9 have been added.
  • 14 archaeological sites have been removed from the Register and 3 have been added.
  • 1 conservation area, Spittal in Berwick upon Tweed, has been removed from the Register this year, 3 conservation areas including Alnwick, Northumberland and Chester-le-Street, County Durham have been added.
St James Church, Benwell Credit: English Heritage
  • The 13th century Church of St Andrew Winston on the banks of the River Tees has been added to the list this year. There are several structural issues in the building and the roof needs repairing. The congregation has agreed a repair project. The work is underway with financial help from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is due to be completed by 2015.
Hamsterley Hall,Hamsterley Mill,Rowlands Gill,County Durham. Credit: English Heritage
  • Hamsterley Hall has suffered from decades of decline leaving the property with an estimated repair bill of £4m. The hall was already on the Heritage At Risk register but is now classified at the highest level of risk.
Coquet Island, Northumberland Credit: English Heritage
  • Coquet Island is one of a number of remote islands off the Northumberland coast. The remains of a monastic cell and a medieval tower have been removed from the Heritage at Risk register this year after a repair project and grant of £93,000 from English Heritage.

Advertisement

Cleveland Way footpath re-opens after landslip

The section of cliff on the Cleveland Way suffered a landslip Credit: National Park Authority

A section of pathway along the Cleveland Way near Whitby has been reopened after the cliffside suffered a landslip. The National Park Authority was forced to cordon off a section of the popular walking route following the slide this week. The section is now open again to walkers after a local landowner allowed the Authority to re-divert a short section of the walkway through a nearby field.

A groundsman erects a fence to re-direct walkers around the landslip on the Cleveland Way Credit: National Park Authority

£11.2m visitor centre for Hadrian's Wall given go ahead

South east view showing main visitor entrance Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

Northumberland National Park Authority, YHA (England and Wales) and partners, are celebrating after plans for The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre were officially given the green light.

Plans for the £11.2m centre, which is to replace the existing 1960s Once Brewed facilities with a flagship visitor attraction, training and educational centre, were referred by a third party to be determined by the Secretary of State.

Northumberland National Park Authority Chairman Cllr John Riddle, said: “The long term gains of the project include economic growth and job creation which will offer a step-change benefit for the whole of the North East and then there are the benefits you just cannot put a price on – including the impact the project will have on young people from a training and educational perspective.

The first floor cafe will feature panoramic views Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

Consultation has played a huge part in a participative design process, with over 1,700 members of the public sharing their ideas and feedback.

Stuart Evans, Sill Project Director at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “As part of the next stage of development, we want to continue this process and invite anyone who would like to contribute to come forward and help us realise the project’s full potential. Working together, we have such a wonderful opportunity through The Sill to compliment and support the excellent tourism offer in our region and open up the landscape to a whole new audience.”

The team now looks to push on to achieve £3m match funding needed as well as submitting its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the remaining £6.9m, with an outcome expected early 2015.

Aerial view of The Sill Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd
Load more updates