RESIDENTS in a quiet cul-de-sac got a shock when 12 horses galloped into their street.

The horses arrived in Shaw Wood Close in North End, Durham City at 8pm tonight.

One resident, Dr Philip Sanderson said: "I just went to put my rubbish out and I saw these horses go running past me.

"They are going onto the grass, and all the gardens are being eaten.

"No-one seems to know where they have come from.

"We have rung the police, but it probably isn't a matter for them - we need a dozen specially trained horsemen to catch them."

A number of people thought to be of foreign nationality were seen in the area trying, and initially failing, to catch the horses, before they were eventually led away at 9pm.

A spokesman for Durham Police said traffic officers were in pursuit of the horses, which had also been sighted on the A167 and on Whitesmocks.

"Traffic officers have been in that area and are trying to find the horses," he said.

Dr Sanderson's wife, Diana said: "They caused an awful lot of damage before they were eventually led away.

"It was actually quite frightening because they were so large."