RNLI charity walker's tent slashed and boots 'urinated in' while pitched on Whitburn beach

Tracey said the incident, which saw her tent vandalised and some of her items stolen, left her shaken Credit: Tracey Hannam

A hiker walking the entire UK coast to raise money for charity had her tent slashed, possessions stolen and shoes urinated in while pitched up near Sunderland.

Tracey Hannam was set up near Finn's labrynth, in Whitburn, on Sunday 8 May when she returned from looking for sea glass to find her pitch vandalised.

The visitor, who is on the North East leg of her walk in aid of the RNLI, alleges she saw a group of young people laughing near the scene.

She said she did not think anything of it until she got closer to her tent and found the damage.

In an emotional Facebook video, Tracey spoke of her tent, affectionately named 'Aggie', being slashed across the top and sides.

"I'm so appalled that any human being would do that," she said. "It clearly says I'm walking the coast for the RNLI, and they still thought it was ok to rip - with a knife - holes in my home when I'm trying to do something good."

Along with her tent being ripped, she spoke of it appearing to have been burnt with a cigarette and the guy lines having being pulled out.

The video, filmed at the coast near Whitburn beach, shows Tracey's possessions strewn across the ground.

She said her shoes had been urinated in and two battery packs were missing.

Tracey, from Bath, added: "I'm absolutely shocked and disgusted. I don't feel comfortable staying here tonight (Sunday) any more now, so hopefully the police can help find me somewhere to stay."

Hearing about what had happened, a biker named Kevin and his brother Allan paid for Tracey to stay in the safety of a hotel overnight.

She told ITV News Tyne Tees: "Who'd have thought a random man in leather would pay for my hotel room and then I was taken there by two men in uniform. It's every woman's dream!"

Following the incident and having posted about it on social media, Tracey said the kindness shown by strangers around the region, from North Yorkshire all the way up to the Scottish Border and beyond, had been 'incredible'.

The affectionately named tent 'Aggie' was slashed whilst Tracey looked for Sunderland seaglass Credit: Tracey Hannam

The team at Roker's RNLI lifeboat station have paid for some new boots and to have 'Aggie' the tent fixed as a thank you for the effort Tracey has gone to raising money for the charity.

She said: "Their kindness makes it feel like I've been rescued by the RNLI. I'm so proud to be walking for them."

Despite her humour, Tracey added: "It's definitely shook me up a bit that something like that can happen - that anyone could do that.

"I've walked over 4,000 miles and never had a problem, never felt vulnerable.

"Thank god I wasn't in the tent, thank god it wasn't at night, but I will definitely be more careful now."

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “We are investigating a report of theft and criminal damage near Whitburn Beach at about 7.30pm on 8 May.

“It was reported that a group stole items from a tent before damaging it and making off. This behaviour is totally unacceptable."