A GNOME who has brightened up the Tyne Valley during lockdown has been handed a lifeline.

Affectionately named Gnomeo, the colourful garden ornament has stood at the roundabout at the bottom of Hallstile Bank, in Hexham, since March. He was one of several displayed around the town at the time, and is one of very few still remaining.

But concerns were raised last weekend when Gnomeo’s hat was damaged, and partially removed.

Coun. Derek Kennedy, who represents Hexham West on Northumberland County Council said a resident had now repaired the hat, while another, known only as Sherlock Gnomes, was investigating the damage.

He said: “We’ve not involved the police. He’s there to brighten our spirits, and I urge everyone to look after him. Gnomeo now has a new female friend.”