A HIKER who has set herself a challenge to walk the entire UK coast had an “awful” experience of travelling up the North East after her shoes were urinated in, items stolen and tent slashed in a devastating vandalism event.

Tracey Hannam, who was in the process of travelling up the north coastline, was pitched up near Finn's labrynth, in Whitburn, on Sunday (May 8) when she returned from looking for sea glass to find her items vandalised.

The charity fundraiser, who is currently supporting the RNLI, alleges that she saw the young suspects near to her tent that were laughing shortly after she found her damaged and soiled items.

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Following the “awful” experience, Tracey shared her thoughts during an emotional Facebook video, where she said: "I'm so appalled that any human being would do that.

"It clearly says I'm walking the coast for the RNLI, and they still thought it was ok to rip - with a knife - holes in my home when I'm trying to do something good."

Along with her tent being slashed, what appeared to be cigarette marks were also clearly visible.

Tracey, originally from Bath, added: "I'm absolutely shocked and disgusted. I don't feel comfortable staying here any more now, so hopefully the police can help find me somewhere to stay."

The Northern Echo: Tracey's tent was targeted in the vandalism incident. Picture: TRACEY HANNAM.Tracey's tent was targeted in the vandalism incident. Picture: TRACEY HANNAM.

Hearing about what had happened, a biker named Kevin and his brother Allan paid for Tracey to stay in the safety of a hotel overnight.

Following the incident and having posted about it on social media, Tracey said the kindness shown by strangers around the region, from North Yorkshire all the way up to the Scottish Border and beyond, had been 'incredible'.

The team at Roker's RNLI lifeboat station have paid for some new boots and to have 'Aggie' the tent fixed as a thank you for the effort, Tracey has gone to raising money for the charity.

The Northern Echo: Tracey is currently travelling down the coastline of the UK. Picture; TRACEY HAMMAN.Tracey is currently travelling down the coastline of the UK. Picture; TRACEY HAMMAN.

Despite what’s happened, Tracey isn’t letting this experience of the North East get in the way of her challenge – and she is already on her way to continuing the coastline journey.

In the aftermath of the incident, Northumbria Police have confirmed that an investigation is currently underway – looking into the vandalism.

A spokesperson for the police force said: “We are investigating a report of theft and criminal damage near Whitburn Beach at about 7.30pm on 8 May.

“It was reported that a group stole items from a tent before damaging it and making off. This behaviour is totally unacceptable."

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