Plea over livestock attacks near Derwent Reservoir

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Media captionWarning follows a spate of incidents involving sheep being chased by dogs

Dog owners have been urged to keep their pets on a lead near a Peak District reservoir this spring after a spate of livestock attacks.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said there has been a rise in the number of sheep being chased and attacked by dogs near the Derwent Reservoir.

Five organisations made the plea to visitors with dogs after one attack involved 100 sheep being chased.

The NFU said The Countryside Code has "simple guidelines" for visitors.

'Awful sight'

The other four organisations, the National Trust, Severn Trent Water, Peak District National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, said it was important to get the message across to keep dogs on leads near farm stock.

Andrew Critchlow, from Derbyshire NFU, said: "With lambing time soon upon us, these sheep are heavily pregnant, so it is even more important that dogs are kept under close control and preferably on a lead.

"I've seen the results of dog attacks on sheep and it is an awful sight... Even the best-trained family pet can turn into a wild animal and chase and kill sheep."

Simon Wright, from the National Trust, said: "With spring approaching, ground nesting birds such as lapwing and curlew are disturbed unless dogs are on leads."

Mr Wright added it was a legal requirement for dogs to be kept on leads between 1 March and 31 July on the moorland that surrounds the valley.

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