Farm blaze destroys 200 bales

The barn blaze at Low Middleton Farm, Belford. Fire crews from Belford, Seahouses and Berwick attended. Pictures by Steve Miller
The barn blaze at Low Middleton Farm, Belford. Fire crews from Belford, Seahouses and Berwick attended. Pictures by Steve Miller
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FIREFIGHTERS spent nearly 12 hours tackling a farm blaze after more than 100 tons of hay went up in flames.

Crews from Belford, Seahouses and Berwick were called to the inferno at Low Middleton Farm at around 6pm on Tuesday.

But when they arrived the 30m by 15m farm shed was well alight, with around 200 bales inside.

Farmer James McDonald, 79, whose son Robin, 48, runs the business, said: “We think it was an electrical fault that started it. No lives were lost as we managed to get all the animals out. The shed has been there since the 1960s and at the moment we don’t know the full extent of the damage. Obviously, it will have to be investigated.

“My son was working in the adjoining cattle sheds when he smelled something and then of course when he got there it was too late.”

The McDonald family has been farming at Low Middleton for only five years and have experienced fires before.

But they now have a massive clean-up operation on their hands to get the area ready for lambing.

“It is just as well that it didn’t happen a little bit later because it is where we put our ewes for lambing,” Mr McDonald said.

“We now have to get the place cleaned out and put the lambing sheds back in there.

“But obviously that is all up in the air at the moment.”

During the fire the electricity board was called after damage was caused to overhead cables.

The Environment Agency was also informed after it was found that the shed on fire had an asbestos roof.