POLICE are appealing for the owner of an abandoned tent and camping equipment to come forward.

A major search was launched at the weekend after the tent was discovered in woodland on the border of County Durham and Gateshead, but search teams were unable to find the owner.

Police in Consett received a report about the tent in Chopwell Woods, near Lintzford at Rowlands Gill on Saturday (May 31) from a member of the public.

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A dog walker had noticed the tent the previous weekend and became suspicious when it looked like it had been abandoned.

Police carried out a search of the red, two-man tent which was found to contain a considerable amount of camping equipment, including a blue rucksack, clothing, a stove, utensils and a sleeping bag.

The tent was left in place overnight, but when no-one returned to the site by the following day police seized the equipment and started to try and identify an owner.

Search teams, assisted by the dog support unit and Fell Rescue have been conducting searches of nearby woodland and officers carried out house-to-house enquiries, but were unable to trace the owner.

Inspector Keith Wardle, from Consett Police, said: "There is a substantial amount of equipment, most of which we believe is new.

“Once we started looking through the items it became apparent there was nothing which would identify an owner, but we do believe someone must know the person they belong to.

"I would encourage the owner to come forward and we can reunite them with their belongings.

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham Police on 101 and ask for the Consett beat team.