Leah Harrison on now suspended instructor-led walk with pupils when tragedy struck

Darlington schoolgirl Leah Harrison. <i>(Image: NORTH YORKSHIR POLICE)</i>
Darlington schoolgirl Leah Harrison. (Image: NORTH YORKSHIR POLICE)

A "full investigation" is to be launched following the death of a ten-year-old Darlington schoolgirl by a mudslide at a council-run outdoor adventure centre.

Leah Harrison, 10, was a year six pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Darlington and tragically lost her life when a mudslide struck during a school trip yesterday (May 22).

She was with fellow pupil on an instructor-led walk as part of the experience.

The year six group, who had recently finished their SATS exams, were on an instructor-led walk as part of a day trip to Carlton Adventure Centre using a "popular" route when the incident happened.

All outdoor activities and breaks at the site have now been suspended.

The Northern Echo: Leah Harrison.
The Northern Echo: Leah Harrison.

Leah Harrison. (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

Tributes from her family have described Leah as a "beautiful" girl who will "never ever be forgotten".

Now, the council-run site has issued a statement expressing their devastation at the news as they confirm a full investigation into the incident will be carried out.

Denise McGuckin, Managing Director of Hartlepool Borough Council, which operates Carlton Adventure said: ‘"We can confirm that a tragic incident occurred during one of the Centre’s instructor-led outdoor education forest walks near Carlton-in-Cleveland yesterday.

The Northern Echo: Tributes left at the school for Leah.
The Northern Echo: Tributes left at the school for Leah.

Tributes left at the school for Leah. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

"We are utterly devastated and heartbroken and our thoughts are with Leah’s family and friends and all those affected.

"We are working closely with our partner agencies to carry out a full investigation and we are temporarily suspending all outdoor activities and residential breaks managed by the Council.

"Whilst the investigation is being carried out it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."

Tributes have already been pictured at the school for Leah including a soft teddy football with Leah No1 on it, as it was noted that Leah had dreams of becoming a Lioness.

The Northern Echo: Carlton in Cleveland.
The Northern Echo: Carlton in Cleveland.

Carlton in Cleveland. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Chief Executive of the Lingfield Education Trust Nick Blackburn has issued a statement on behalf of the school, paying tribute to Leah as the trust remains in a "state of shock".

He said: "The full details are still emerging but this is clearly a heartbreaking tragedy. Leah was a much-loved part of our school and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and the school staff.

"Counselling is being arranged within the school for pupils and staff. We are all in a state of shock and we would ask that the privacy of the family and the school community is respected while we try to come to terms with what has happened."


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Mr Blackburn added: “Leah had her heart set on being a Lioness. She was a really friendly, lovely and bubbly pupil at the school who was well-loved by her friends and the school community.

“We have layers of support here at the school, we have an in-school counsellor who is available for all children today.

“We are also working with a specialist trauma counsellor for some of the pupils who were on the trip.”