An investigation is under way into the mystery death of a woman hill farmer involved in a quad bike accident.
Liz McIntosh, 64, was crushed to death in the incident at her 280ha sheep and cattle farm in West Todholes, Elsdon, in north-west Northumberland.
Her devastated farmer brother John Boon, of Beamish, County Durham, said: “There were no witnesses to the incident. Liz was found dead and we are not sure how this happened.
“The quad and the trailer have come off the road and she was crushed into it. Neither vehicle overturned and it’s all a mystery.
“She could have had a medical failure, such as a heart attack or a blackout, but it would be pure speculation for me to say anything more than that. The investigation is in the hands of the coroner and the police.”
Ms McIntosh, who was divorced and had no children, had farmed at Elsdon for more than 30 years.
She studied geography at Newcastle University before completing a diploma in landscape design.
Ms McIntosh worked for Berwickshire County Council and went on to study a forestry degree. She also worked for the Forestry Commission and established her own company, Forest Design Services.
She was very knowledgeable about plants and invited fieldwork ecology students on to her farm for field studies.
Although she had no formal farming qualification, Ms McIntosh became a valued FWAG adviser in Northumberland, Mr Boon said.
“Liz talked the language of farmers and was very good in her farming advisory role,” he said.
“She was mainly a hill farmer with some cattle. She was tough and very intelligent, but she was also very caring and had a great sense of humour, too.”
Northumbria Police has appealed to any witnesses to the incident, which happened last Friday (11 January), to contact officers in the Road Safety Unit on the 101 non-emergency number.