A WOMAN was airlifted to hospital after being hit by a tree brought down by high winds.

A mountain rescue team and air ambulance were called to an isolated area near Keld, in Swaledale, on Saturday afternoon.

A group of people training for their Duke of Edinburgh award came across the woman who had serious injuries after being hit by a large tree.

The woman, in her thirties, from the Teesside area, was out walking alone and suffered serious head and back injuries.

She was stranded for 20 minutes before being found by the Duke of Edinburgh team, who raised the alarm.

Paul Dennig, rescue controller for the Swaledale Mountain Rescue team, said: "The woman had clearly suffered severe injuries and we had a local farmer with a chainsaw on stand-by in case we had to cut the tree off her, but fortunately the rescue turned out to be straightforward."

It is thought the woman was airlifted to North Tees Hospital by the air ambulance.

The high winds are also being blamed for four serious scrub fires which swept across moorland at Danby, Egton, Commondale and Bransdale, in North Yorkshire, on Saturday.

read the full story in The Northern Echo on Monday.