POLICE in north Lancashire have begun a series of special operations to catch a poaching gang thought to be responsible for killing a third of the area's wild deer.

Officers are stopping and searching cars and working with The Environment Agency, gamekeepers and local landowners to track down the poachers.

They believe at least 40 animals have been killed and many more left to die as the poachers seek quality venison.

Their activities have virtually wiped out the entire herd on the Lancashire and Cumbria border.

For the full story see Friday's Westmorland Gazette.