By Catherine Priestley
Countryside enthusiasts have teamed up to help police tackle an increase in deer poaching.
A deer watch group has been set up to monitor Ferryhill Carrs nature reserve, at Ferryhill, and other poaching hotspots in the south Durham area.
Volunteers formed the group after attending a public meeting that was called by police following a series of incidents, including the slaughter of two pregnant deer, at the reserve in March.
They have erected signs in the area warning potential poachers that they are being watched, in a bid to deter further offences, and plan to report suspicious activity and evidence back to police.
One of the volunteers, who asked not to be identified, said: “I’m just an animal lover who was concerned to hear about the poaching and killing of deer.
“I asked around and a few people, including farmers in the Ferryhill, Bishop Middleham and Mainsforth areas who are worried about the problem, have come forward to keep their eyes open and encourage people who might be out walking to be vigilant and report anything that looks suspicious to the police.” More....