Grandfather heartbroken after allotment was torched in suspected arson attack

A grandfather has been left heartbroken after his beloved allotment was destroyed in a suspected arson attack - killing 30 of his chickens and ripping through a log cabin - days before his 70th birthday.

Northumbria Police are now investigating the huge blaze, which engulfed the site and caused extensive damage before it was put out by the fire service, as suspected arson.

Mr Walker's grandson Anth Bate, 21, said his grandad had visited the allotment every day since the death of his wife Valerie in 2011.

Mr Bate said that his grandad's tools, a generator and a chopsaw had also been stolen from the site.

He added: 'It was his pride and joy. It's awful, he's more upset about the chickens than the place because he says it can be rebuilt."