A POPULAR tourist attraction has reopened to the public for the first time since May.

Hareshaw Linn, a walking route and waterfall in Bellingham, reopened on July 24 after it was closed due to severe rainfall.

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

A period of careful improvement works took place to make access to the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) safe.

Northumberland National Park Authority staff and volunteers worked alongside contractors to safely close the site, reinstate the washed-out track, clear debris, clean off bridges and crossings, clear landslips and reroute the lost section of the footpath.

Senior ranger at Northumberland National Park Authority, Margaret Anderson, expressed her gratitude to everyone involved in reopening Hareshaw Linn.

She said: "Hareshaw Linn is one of the most popular places to visit in Northumberland National Park and its temporary closure came just as the busy visitor season was upon us.

"We know this much-loved walking route has been missed by all and I would like to thank everyone for their patience, particularly everyone in the local community.

“Authority staff have been supported by volunteers, placement and school work experience students, and local contractors to complete the work needed to make the site safe again.

"It has been a real team effort and we’re delighted Hareshaw Linn is open again in time for people to explore during the summer holidays.”

The heavy rainfall in May caused the closure of both Bellingham Middle and Primary Schools.

Both schools suffered flood damage and used local community buildings for learning and participated in outdoor activities. Some pupils were taught remotely during the disruption.

Students at the middle school had to sit their KS2 Sats exams in the town hall and the school returned to normal teaching in early June.

All roads in and out of the village were impassable for several hours during the flash flooding, television satellite signals were lost and some homes saw brief power outages.