THE Hairy Bikers have made a visit to a bakery which was founded in Tynedale.

Dave Myers and Si King have been exploring the best of northern British food for their show 'The Hairy Bikers Go North' and made a stop at the Big River Bakery in Newcastle.

The community bakery, founded by Andy Haddon, of Wylam, is a social enterprise which specialises in slow ferment, handmade breads, savoury goods and sweet treats made with British flours and local ingredients, and aims to contribute to the well-being of its community by sharing the skills of its bakery team.

Mr Haddon said: "The Hairy Bikers spent a whole day with us at the bakery and we had a great time.

"They were very relaxed company and chatted with all the team through the day.

"We made stotties and pease pudding, although I think I messed up the pease pudding a bit!

"The team should be proud as when they tasted out stottie sarnies they agreed it was the best stottie ever."

Big River Bakery first started as a volunteer-run climate change initiative through a social enterprise named Earth Doctors Ltd.

The bakery was a spinout from Wylam Green Street, a climate change action group started by the village's residents around 15 years ago.

In 2013, budding bakers made bread for the Wylam Summer Fair and asked people if they should start a bakery, with the responses overwhelmingly positive.

They started selling breads on Fridays in an underused bakery at Dilston College and on Saturdays at Wylam library.

The bakery, which was entirely volunteer-run at this point, travelled around Northumberland, before moving into Newcastle in 2017, which saw demand for the bread and the courses they run increasing.

In 2019, they decided it was time to find a permanent home for the bakery and renovated a derelict property in Shieldfield in Newcastle following a successful crowdfunding campaign.

They now also have a bakery based on campus at Teesside University.

Both bakeries run employability programmes to support those who are in long-term unemployment, and have taken on staff through the Government Kickstarter programme.

See the Big River Bakery on the BBC2 series 'The Hairy Bikers Go North' next Thursday (November 11) at 7pm.