BAGS of rotting bird bones and animal carcasses have been spotted in rural north Northumberland villages, sparking a warning from police that they will not tolerate wildlife crime.
During a village clean-up in Swarland residents found bags of pheasant or chicken carcasses lying in a ditch at Black House Bank, near the bottom of Leamington Lane and the Shiel Dykes turn off. A deer skin, still fresh but without its innards, was also found between Leamington Lane and Swarland Grain Dryers.
At last week’s Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council, member of the public Susan Richardson highlighted the problem.
She said: “I went to pick it up on the clean-up and couldn’t because of the smell. There were lots of bones lying in the ditch.
“There were about six bags just dumped there just lying in the water course.”
Clerk Lisa Hamlin added that bags of bird carcasses had been dumped at Bockenfield as well.
“Bin bags full of pigeon bones were left in the layby weeks ago,” she said.
“Just the feathers and bones were left, it was horrible.”
Evidence of deer poaching has also been sighted in the area.
Lisa was out walking her dogs when she came across a deer that had just been killed in the woods.
She said: “It was by the battle ground. I called the police and they told us to leave as someone might come back for it.”
Parish councillor Suzanne Stanley said: “We found the deer skin when we were out walking at the bottom of Leamington Lane in Swarland. All the insides had gone and it was definitely fresh. It was just lying on the ground.”
The findings have caused police to issue an urgent message to poachers and those wanting to commit crimes against wildlife.
Alnwick Neighbourhood Inspector Sue Peart said: “Poaching is a continual problem in the more rural areas of Northumberland and the poachers themselves cause a large amount of damage to the environment as well as stress and harm to the animals they hunt.
“We take the issue of poaching extremely seriously and have a number of farm, game and land watch schemes throughout the county, which are constantly providing information on any suspicious vehicles or people in the area to police. Then when we receive information from the public we respond.
“Hopefully anyone considering coming to the area to poach, or commit any crimes, will take note that the police and the communities here in Northumberland are vigilant and that we will not stand for it.
“Our residents are our eyes and ears in the rural areas and if you come into the area to commit crime then you face being caught and action being taken by police.”
Anyone with information about wildlife crime or any other crime can contact Northumbria Police on 03456 043043 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.