THE Durham Police helicopter was called out after a resident spotted two men shooting geese at a lake yesterday.

It was flown to the scene close to the historic Escomb Saxon Church, near Bishop Auckland, as the water could not be reached by vehicle.

The chopper located the two men, with shotguns, and three dogs at the lake and made contact just after 4.15pm.

As the pilot flew close to the ground air support officers asked them to meet officers waiting in the village.

Two dead geese and the weapons were later seized, though neither of the men were arrested.

A spokesperson for the force said they had permission to shoot in the area and licences for the firearms.

Officers are investigating whether any offences under the Wildlife Crime Act were committed.

The two dead birds were taken to Consett Police Station for examination.