Sheep graze in a fieldLibrary photo © Tim Scrivener

Sheep rustlers have struck at a west Cumbrian farm, stealing 14 in-lamb ewes.

The sheep, marked with ear tags number UK102197, were taken from a farm at High Harrington in the early hours of 29 April.

Cumbria Constabulary is appealing for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious to get in touch.

See also: Cumbrian farmers and police join forces to combat rural crime

Anyone who is offered the sheep to buy should also contact Cumbria police on 101, email or telephone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

According to rural insurer NFU Mutual, rural crime cost Cumbria £700,000 in 2015, a year-on-year rise of 5%. Sheep rustling was among the crimes on the rise.

Meanwhile, police in Northern Ireland are seeking information over the theft of sheep in the Sperrin Mountains.

Twenty-one Blackfaced horned hoggets were stolen from common grazing near Moneyneena, Draperstown, County Derry.

The sheep were well marked in red and were branded.