England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

New playpark will make 'massive difference'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ben O'Connell

A new play park will make a "massive difference" to children in a Northumberland town, councillors have been told.

West Bedlington Town Council has been given the green light to build the facility on land known as 20 Acre Field, off Church Lane.

A meeting of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council was told it would provide a small football pitch along with a number of items of play equipment of varying height, all enclosed by a 1.2-metre, round-top metal fence.

The plan was in response to a number of requests from families in the Millfield estate, as the two other play areas in the parish were on the west side of town.

Councillor Mark Swinburn said it was "essential to provide these facilities", but "a shame" it fell to local councils rather than being provided by housing developers.

Site of play area

Police issue poacher information plea after sheep deaths

The deaths of three sheep at a farm in Northumberland are being investigated by police.

The injuries of the animals found at the farm near Matfen were so severe two of them died at the scene and one had to be put down by a vet.

Northumbria Police is asking the public to look out for potential poachers, and has issued advice on how people can help.

The most suspicious sign is a group of vehicles parked in a rural area such as by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, farm track or bridle path.

If possible, give a description of the vehicles and any suspects including what they are wearing, whether they have dogs with them and if they have accents, which would help determine where they come from.

Potential evidence, such as tyre marks or blood should be photographed, or if possible preserved by covering with something like a plastic bag until police arrive.

Wildlife Officer Lee Davison said: "This information not only assists the attending officer so they know what they are looking for but it also helps us gather evidence and progress investigations."

Fire crew rescues ditch-stranded horse

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service pulled of an "amazing rescue", after a horse fell down a ditch.

Its rider used the What3Words app to give an exact location, and if you've not heard about it before, here's an explanation.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: A19 Northumberland eastbound

BBC News Travel

A19 Northumberland eastbound severe disruption, between B1319 Dudley Lane and A1 J80.

A19 Northumberland - A19 in Annitsford partially blocked and stationary eastbound between the B1319 Dudley Lane junction and Seaton Burn, because of an overturned car. Congestion to Seaton Burn.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A697 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A697 Northumberland both ways severe accident, from Embleton Close to Rothbury Road.

A697 Northumberland - A697 Front Street in Longframlington closed in both directions from the Embleton Close junction to the Rothbury Road junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

North East areas added to 'at risk register'

Mark Denten

BBC Look North

Two Northumberland sites have been placed on Historic England's "at risk" register, which is out today.

Conservation areas in Hexham and Blyth are among the 247 new sites considered to be at risk by the organisation. You can see the Heritage at Risk map here.

Meanwhile, 310 sites - including St Andrew's Church in Sunderland - have been removed from the register as they are regarded as saved.

Severe accident: A187 Tyne And Wear both ways

BBC News Travel

A187 Tyne And Wear both ways severe accident, from Minton Lane to A1149 Coach Lane.

A187 Tyne And Wear - A187 Prudhoe Street in Percy Main closed in both directions from the Minton Lane junction to the A1149 Coach Lane junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Traffic return to Salters Bridge

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daniel Holland

Traffic has returned to a Newcastle rat run for the first time in two years.

Salters Bridge in Gosforth was reopened on Sunday to help relieve congestion during disruptive roadworks on the nearby Killingworth Road commuter route.

Residents had pleaded with Newcastle City Council to keep the bridge shut permanently, and say that they are already plagued by dangerous speeding, long queues, and "stand-offs" between aggressive drivers.

They have also spotted a huge lorry and a cement truck crossing the Grade I-listed ancient monument, something the council has called “incredibly reckless”.

Audrey Macnaughton, of the Garden Village Action Group, says traffic levels are not yet back to their worst but that speeding and tailgating are posing major concerns.

Pollution monitors on Hollywood Avenue have also shown a massive spike in harmful emissions.

The council says that CCTV cameras will be installed on the bridge and that footage of any offences will be sent to Northumbria Police.

Salters Bridge

Northumbria Healthcare Trust rated outstanding

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

The services provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been rated as outstanding for a second time by the Care Quality Commission

Inspectors assessed urgent and emergency services, medical care and maternity at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, medical care at North Tyneside General Hospital and maternity at both Alnwick Infirmary and Berwick Infirmary.

The trust also maintained its previous ratings of outstanding for being effective, caring and responsive and good for being safe.

In the emergency department, there had been no patients who had waited longer than 12 hours without being admitted. The department also met the national four-hour target for eight months between March 2018 to February 2019.

We found many of our previous concerns had been addressed well and the trust was working hard to advance its services overall. Our findings have been made clear to the trust and where we have found concerns we will follow these up through our ongoing engagement with them. We will continue to monitor the trust and return to reinspect when appropriate.”

Sarah DronsfieldHead of Hospital Inspection

Plastic bag found in stomach of dead sperm whale

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A plastic bag has been found in the stomach of a sperm whale which died on the Northumberland coast.

The whale became stranded and died last week and a safety cordon was put in place due to harmful bacteria and to stop trophy hunters from taking the whale's teeth.

The whale has now been removed from the beach between Cambois and Sandy Bay and an autopsy was performed on the carcass, during which a large plastic bag was found in its stomach.

It is not believed the bag was the cause of the whale's death.


Woman unable to lift head gets surgery lifeline

A woman from Northumberland who has a rare condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome has undergone a life saving operation in Spain.

Liv Woodburn, 35, from Embleton, has the condition which prevents her from walking and supporting the weight of her head.

Earlier this month she was flown by air ambulance from Newcastle to Barcelona and underwent specialist surgery.

Meanwhile, family and friends and her husband Gary are still trying to hit a fundraising target of £100,000 to cover medical bills.

Liv Woodburn

Coast Road delays caused by emergency repairs

Gilly Hope

BBC Travel

There are delays on the Coast Road heading into Newcastle while emergency repairs are carried out.

There are long queues on the westbound carriageway caused by the emergency removal/repair of a damaged telegraph pole.

Drivers are being warned they face long delays.

Cannabis and nitrous oxide canisters found at student party house

Legal notices have been served on a student house in Newcastle after police were called to a house party.

Earlier this month officers had to force entry to the party in Jesmond after reports up to 100 students had barricaded themselves inside.

Once inside police found smoke detectors had been covered up and windows and doors had been blocked off, presenting a potential fire risk.

When officers from Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Police revisited the address to issue legal notices on the occupants, they discovered cannabis and approximately 240 nitrous oxide cannisters inside the house.

A digital campaign #SaferPartying is being relaunched to encourage the city’s student population to be aware of the risks of large house parties

We don’t want to be a council which says students can’t have fun. Newcastle is a city of destination for students due to our excellent universities, but we really do expect people to show common sense and respect."

Councillor Nick KempNewcastle City Council cabinet member for Environment and Regulatory Services

Tests to be carried out on sperm whale

Tests are due to be carried out on a sperm whale which died after being washed up in Northumberland.

The 43ft (13m) mammal was first sighted off Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and then in the Wansbeck estuary, between Cambois and Sandy Bay, on Friday.

It had been struggling off shore before the tide went out, leaving it stranded.

Members of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said the young male's prognosis had been "incredibly poor", even if refloating it had been possible.

People are now being urged not to touch it because of the risk of infection.

Sperm whale
Owen Himphreys/PA

Severe accident: A19 Tyne And Wear both ways

BBC News Travel

A19 Tyne And Wear both ways severe accident, from A185 to A193 Tynemouth Road.

A19 Tyne And Wear - A19 Tyne Tunnel in Tyne and Wear partially blocked and queues from the A185 junction to Howdon Roundabout, because of an accident involving.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Extinction Rebellion holds Newcastle junction protest
Residents and schoolchildren were part of the action at a busy Newcastle junction during rush hour.

Severe disruption: A1 Tyne And Wear northbound

BBC News Travel

A1 Tyne And Wear northbound severe disruption, at J79 A1056.

A1 Tyne And Wear - A1 Western Bypass in Tyne and Wear lane closed on entry slip road and it's slow northbound at J79, A1056 (Gosforth Park), because of a break down.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Sperm whale struggling off Nothumberland coast

A sperm whale has been seen struggling in the water off the Northumberland coast.

The 15ft mammal has been spotted not far off the coast and people who gathered on the shore described it as a sad sight.

View more on twitter

'Confined space' training aims to save lives

Steph Cleasby

BBC Look North

A new facility has been built in North Tyneside which is being used to train people from a range of industries in how to survive in dangerous confined spaces.

People who sign up to the course, run by AIS Training, find themselves putting on breathing equipment and crawling through tunnels.

It puts people through a range of scenarios and includes a labyrinth of tunnels, mock plant and electrical rooms, as well as a number of small confined spaces with entry hatches.

Many of the participants work in the oil and gas industry.

Lee Wilson, operations manager at AIS Training, said: “Every year in the UK, several people are killed or seriously injured in confined space incidents so training is essential for anyone working in this type of environment."

AIS training course

Red squirrel deaths 'distressing', wildlife group says

Five dead squirrels have been found in less than two weeks in Havannah Nature Reserve, near Hazlerigg, Newcastle.

Save Newcastle Wildlife's Rachel Locke said tests to determine the cause of death will be carried out by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, although it is thought a virus could be to blame.

"This is devastating for the red squirrel population and extremely distressing to see. It is now a waiting game to see what the results reveal," she said.

"Red squirrels are a UK endangered species, and Newcastle is said to be the last English city with a population of red squirrels. It is vitally important we find out what’s going on and how we can minimise any further risk."

The Havannah Nature Reserve has 42 acres of woodland, wetland and heath land and is the sole red squirrel breeding site in Newcastle. It is managed by the Newcastle Parks Trust.

Dead red squirrel found in Havannah Nature Reserve
Save Newcastle Wildlife

Man charged with baby son's murder

Alison Freeman

BBC Look North

A 27-year-old man has been charged with the murder of his three-week-old son in Wallsend.

Denis Erdinch Beytula appeared via video link at Newcastle Crown Court this morning.

Mr Beytula (pictured below at a previous hearing) had previously been charged with the attempted murder of the baby Andrei Stefan and of his partner, the baby’s mother Andreea Stefan.

Prosecuting, Nick Dry said: "Sadly his baby son has now died and that fact is reflected in the indictment which had been lodged."

Andrei and his mother, 21, were found in a critical condition after being stabbed at an address on Portland Close in Wallsend on 2 October. The baby died four days later.

The defendant was not asked to enter any pleas.

He will next appear at the court on 31 October.

Denis Erdinch Beytula at court

Funeral for girl killed in suspected hit-and-run

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

The funeral is due to take place later of a 10-year-old girl who died when she was hit by a car in Newcastle.

Melissa Tate died after the incident on Hillsview Avenue in Kenton three weeks ago.

Connor Marsden, 23, from Ambridge Way in Kenton, has appeared in court charged with causing death by dangerous driving and a variety of other offences and has been remanded in custody.

The youngster's family said her donated organs had helped to save the lives of four other children.

Melissa Tate
Family photo

Campaigners raising cash for squirrel road bridges

Nisha Joshi

BBC broadcast journalist

Campaigners are trying to raise hundreds of pounds to install two squirrel bridges over a road in Northumberland.

Dozens of the increasingly rare red squirrels have been killed this year crossing the road near their home in East Cramlington Nature Reserve to reach Seghill woods.

It is estimated each rope bridge will cost about £600.

Northumberland County Council has agreed to install and maintain them.


Shearer and Carrick return to open £800,000 boys club pitch

Jonathan Swingler

Video Journalist

Tyneside-born football stars Alan Shearer and Michael Carrick returned to their boyhood training ground to unveil a new state-of-the-art pitch.

The pair both attended Wallsend Boys Club before joining big name clubs.

They returned to officially open a new £800,000 all-weather pitch.

More than 65 players from the club have gone on to play professionally.

Shearer said he had fond memories of his time there.

Alan Shearer and Michael Carrick
Northumberland man saved by pet dog after collapse
Ilah the labradoodle comes to the rescue after her owner collapses during the night.

Fresh delays for motorists on busy Newcastle road route

Julie Cush

BBC News

Motorists using a notoriously busy route in Newcastle are facing 10 weeks of delays.

Killingworth Road, in South Gosforth, was closed in July 2017 for a £13.5m scheme to install a new Metro rail bridge and widen the road.


After a number of delays it reopened in July this year, but from today temporary traffic lights will be in place for more work to be completed.

Newcastle City Council said work on the road would be finished next spring.

A spokeswoman for the council said due to "particularly disruptive" construction on the route, temporary traffic lights would be installed to restrict traffic between the Haddricks Mill junction and the Killingworth Road Metro bridge until mid-December.

Severe accident: A697 Northumberland both ways

BBC News Travel

A697 Northumberland both ways severe accident, from B6341 to Muncaster Steads.

A697 Northumberland - A697 closed and it's slow in both directions from New Moor Crossroads in Edlingham to the Muncaster Steads junction in Longframlington, because of a serious accident. Diversion in operation - traffic travelling towards Scottland should use the A1 and 1068.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Girl's organs 'save four children's lives'

BBC Newcastle

Organs from a 10-year-old girl who died after being hit by a car have helped save the lives of four other children, her family told BBC Newcastle.

Melissa Tate was struck by a car in the Kenton area of Newcastle on 25 September and died in hospital the next day.

Her nana Lisa Tara said the family was trying to get through things day by day and had "to think about all the positives Melissa left behind".

She urged more people to become donors.

Ms Tara said Melissa, known affectionately as Missy, told her family when she was aged just eight that she wanted to sign up as an organ donor.

Melissa Tate

Woman killed in Blyth crash named

Hannah Irman
Northumbria Police

A woman who was killed in a two-vehicle collision in Blyth has been named as 21-year-old Hannah Jane Inman.

She died in hospital after the yellow Skoda Fabia she was passenger in was involved in a collision with a lorry on Coniston Road.

The 22-year-old driver of the Skoda and the 38-year-old driver of the HGV were not seriously hurt in the collision.

Her family said: “Hannah you shining star, you’ll be sadly missed.

“You were bright, beautiful and had a bubbly personality. Your kindness touched everyone who ever met you.

“Sleep tight angel, love you always!”

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has since been released under investigation.

Mother and child stabbed in Wallsend

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A mother and her child have been stabbed in Wallsend.

Police were called to reports that a woman and her son had been assaulted inside an address on Portland Close at about 14:15.

The pair have been taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

A man in his 20s, who is known to the victims, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Northumbria Police says extra officers will be on patrol this afternoon and throughout the evening.

Woman dies in collision in Blyth

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A 21-year-old woman died in a two-vehicle collision in Blyth, Northumberland, last night.

At 20:20 police received a report of a collision involving a yellow Skoda Fabia and an HGV on Coniston Road.

The female passenger of the Skoda was taken to hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. Her family is being supported by specialist offices, Northumbria Police said.

Neither the male driver of the Skoda nor the driver of the HGV were seriously injured.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and he remains in custody.