Kind Chris gives Dorothy something to smile about

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A HEARTBROKEN allotment holder who saw 18 of her pet birds shot dead will soon have new stock, thanks to the kindness of a young neighbour.

Dorothy Neave, 63, is still getting over the shock of finding her beloved hens and ducks dead in her Margaret Street allotment in Widdrington Station after they were shot with an airgun last month.

But Mrs Neave, who found her birds a comfort after the death of her husband Alistair in December, was determined that she would not give up her hobby.

Now fellow villager Chris Baron has stepped in to offer his support by hatching six hens and six ducks in his own incubator for her.

The 19-year-old, who is currently working at Kirkley Hall’s new zoo before beginning a zoology course at Newcastle University in September, said he was pleased to be able to help out.

“My Grandpa David Baron is on the parish council and he told me about this lady whose ducks had died so I thought I would give her some more,” he said.

“I have my own incubator and I have just had a batch through, which are just about ready, so I can get on with the ones for this lady soon.”

Mrs Neave was delighted to accept the offer.

“I was going to buy some more hens and ducks so I was over the moon when I was told about this youngster who is doing this for me. I am very grateful. It is a lovely gesture.

“We’ve moved all the allotment around to put the birds’ huts in different places and we are going to put higher fencing up.

“There have been a lot of people saying how sorry they were when they heard about what had happened with the birds being shot.

“They all thought it was a very callous thing for anybody to do.”

A duck that was injured in the attacks died last week, but a wounded hen, named Maisy, is making a good recovery.

The birds were shot in two incidents overnight on Sunday, April 17 and Monday, April 18. Anyone with information should contact police on 03456 043043.