Travelling hunters

BLOOD sports enthusiasts from Northumberland are travelling to Lincolnshire for illegal hunts, warn police.

Lincolnshire wildlife officers say gangs from Manchester, Northumberland and even Devon and Cornwall are preying on local wildlife.

Dogs chasing hares are often videoed and the footage taken back to where the coursers live and used in major betting events.

Hare coursing is now illegal under the Hunting Act 2004 and anyone found guilty could face a fine of up to 5,000. PC Nigel Lound, a Lincolnshire Police wildlife officer, said the force had received several reports of people trespassing on private land, with many travelling in 4x4 vehicles during darkness.

"Traditionally, individuals come to Lincolnshire to run dogs at our wildlife," said PC Lound.

"The first the landowner will know about the activity is discovering tyre tracks the following morning and grim evidence that animals have been killed."