TRIBUTES have been paid to a prominent Northumbrian farmer who has died at the age of 37.

Rachel Lumley died suddenly at the Cumberland Infirmary on Monday, July 13. The cause of her death is currently unknown.

The former Blanchland farmer was well known across the Tyne Valley as a member of Northumberland Young Farmers for almost a decade.

Posting on Facebook, the group said: "It is with great sadness we hear of the loss of former Whitley Chapel member Rachel Lumley.

"Rachel’s membership of Young Farmers spanned nearly 10 years, during which she travelled on the YFC Discovery programme, held the role of club secretary and competed in many competitions including a memorable performance on stage playing the leading lady in Whitley’s Drama in 2007.

"Rachel’s warm and bubbly personality and great sense of humour has left us with so many memories and her passion and enthusiasm for British Agriculture will be greatly missed in farming circles and by all those who had the pleasure of knowing her.

"Our heartfelt condolences go to Rachel’s family and friends at this sad time."

Rachel was educated at Hexham's Queen Elizabeth High School before attending Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

She gained national attention when she founded the Love Lamb Week campaign in 2015, which has gone on to become a major national event.

An experienced wool handler, the same year, she was appointed secretary of the English Shearing Circuit and was one of Northumberland County Show's chief shearing stewards.

Although she spent much of her life in the Tyne Valley, in recent years she lived in Penrith with her partner, John and their young daughter, Francesa.

In 2017, she represented England at the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, held in New Zealand.

Her father, Ken Lumley, said: "The farming community as lost a hard working member.

"We don't know what happened, there was no long term condition.

"Rachel was an enthusiastic young farmer who took part in many events.

"An email has been set up for any dedications for her daughter, Francesca, at Donations can be made to Positive Langwathby Action for the Young."

Rachel was laid to rest at Ladys Wood House, Penrith on Wednesday.