THE HEARTBROKEN brother of a veteran female farmer killed in a quad bike accident has paid tribute to her as “a real country person”.
Liz McIntosh, 64, died when her vehicle overturned on a road on the 700-acre sheep and cattle farm she owned at West Todholes, Elsdon, in north west Northumberland.
Mystery surrounds the accident, as there were no witnesses.
An active conservationist, divorced Ms McIntosh – who would have been 65 on January 18 – had run the farm for over 30 years.
Yesterday her farmer brother John Boon, of Beamish, County Durham, said: “We are all terribly shocked.
“Liz was far more than a farmer – she loved the countryside, she was a real country person, a conservationist.
“She also had a forestry design service which she ran as a business, and she travelled doing forestry consultation work.
“As far as the accident is concerned, it is a bit of a mystery.
“She was on the road in the farm and the quad has come off the road for some reason we don’t know.
“Liz was out on her own in the afternoon, and although she had a farm helper, he was not with her at the time the accident happened.
“The police have taken possession of the vehicle and there will be a post-mortem, so we must wait and see what the investigation reveals.”
Mr Boon added: “Liz had no children, but all the family, nieces and nephews and all of us, are very, very upset.
“Although our parents were medical people, we are a farm-owning family and farming is the life we chose.
“Liz owned the farm at Elsdon and had been there for more than 30 years. She was well-known and well-loved.”
A chartered forester born in Newcastle, Ms McIntosh studied geography at Newcastle University before training to become a farmer.
She set up her own company, Forest Design Services, and among other projects in 2008 was commissioned by Scottish Woodland to evaluate the tree planting plan for Threestoneburn Forest on the eastern edge of the Cheviot Hills.
She also allowed young fieldwork and ecology students to use her farm for course studies.
Otterburn parish council chairman John Hartshorne, whose students worked with her through his Albion Outdoors fieldwork business, said: “Liz was a very nice person. She was a great conservationist and very knowledgeable about plants.
“This is terrible news. We are a small community and everyone knows each other.”
In Elsdon, close friend Barbara Foti said: “We are devastated. She has been a friend of mine since we were little girls.
“Liz was very strong, very tough and enjoyed what she did. We are devastated and we can’t believe it.”