WORK will begin next week to restructure a walking route after it was severely damaged by heavy flooding.

Hareshaw Linn, a popular walking route and waterfall in Bellingham, was badly affected by a period of torrential rain in early May.

The area, which is managed by Northumberland National Park Authority, had to be closed for safety reasons as floodwater toppled trees, caused landslides and destroyed footpaths.

Access to Hareshaw Linn Waterfall remains closed. Northumberland National Park Authority has reopened access to the picnic area and will begin to restructure the walking path early next week.

A spokesperson from Northumberland National Park Authority said: "Following recent work to reopen access to the picnic area at Hareshaw Linn, Northumberland National Park Authority will start work on July 3 to address the landslip on the walking route towards Hareshaw Linn waterfall, and contractors will be aligning the footpath to re-route the access path.

Hexham Courant: Near Hareshaw Linn in BellinghamNear Hareshaw Linn in Bellingham (Image: Northumberland National Park Authority)

"The Authority expects this work will take a minimum of two weeks and hope that full access will be restored, and people will be able to visit Hareshaw Linn again from mid-July.

"Northumberland National Park Authority would like to thank everyone for being patient and respecting the closure of the site beyond the picnic area whilst work is being undertaken to make this popular site safe for both visitors and the local community."

The heavy flooding affected the primary and middle schools in the village.

Bellingham Middle School pupils had to sit their KS2 Sats exams in the town hall as damage from the flash flooding forced the school to close.

Community buildings were used to continue in-person teaching, but some pupils were also taught remotely.

Middle school pupils returned to school in early June, as interim headteacher Dan Ramshaw thanked staff for their hard work ensuring pupils' safety through cleaning and footwear procedures to maintain the cleanliness of carpets and flooring, with pupils cooperating. 

All roads in and out of Bellingham were impassable for several hours during the heavy rain in May, television satellite signals were lost and some homes saw brief power outages.