A 'TOUGH cookie' mum gave birth to her second son in the back of a van parked on a petrol station forecourt.

Natasha Clarke's husband Ben was forced to deliver baby Idris Joseph Ieuan – younger brother to Tadhg, two – in the couple's Volkswagen T5.

They had been on their way to hospital, but Idris was in a rush – and the nine-pound baby was born at the Texaco garage in Sandford Road, Wareham.

Staff at the petrol station brought out Champagne for the couple afterwards.

Ben said: "At about 5.30pm, Tash had been having contractions every ten minutes or so.

"We live in Creech, so we decided to get going, but all of a sudden it started to speed up.

"We didn't even get to the bottom of the road before everything started happening at once."

After abandoning the attempt to get to hospital in time, Ben pulled over in a corner of the petrol station between two cars and called the maternity unit.

With the phone on loudspeaker, a midwife talked the couple through the birth.

"I can't say enough about the midwife and the hospital, " he said.

"They were absolutely amazing to us."

Ben added: "Tash was so fantastic. She's a tough cookie – an absolute trooper.

"There was no time at all – by the time the ambulance turned up, he was born and in his mum's arms. Everyone was brilliant to us. The staff at the garage came out with a bottle."

The family were taken to Poole Hospital to recover, but are now back home.

During their stay in the maternity ward, the midwife who talked Ben through the birth over the phone also came to visit.

"I can't say enough about them all, to be honest," he said.

"They were absolutely fantastic to us."

Although the location of little Idris' birth is unusual, other babies have been born in similar locations.

Last year, a baby girl was born on the front seat of a van in Dunswell, Hull.

In 2017, a baby boy was born at a BP in Coventry.

The year before that, in May 2016, bystanders rushed to the aid of a woman who gave birth on the forecourt of a Texaco in Medway, Kent.

And in 2012, a couple from Audenshaw in Greater Manchester celebrated the arrival of their baby at a petrol station in nearby Ashton.