A GAMEKEEPER from Lord Barnard's Raby Estates, in Teesdale, has been injured in a late-night attack by poachers.

He was sitting in a Land Rover on estate land at Hilton, near Barnard Castle, at 11pm last Friday, when he was approached by four men.

One threw a punch which cut him behind the ear. He did not need hospital treatment.

The men are believed to have been driving a red Subaru Legacy estate.

Police have urged anyone with information about the attack or who knows the car's registration number to come forward.

Inspector David Allaway, of Barnard Castle police, said: "Foot-and-mouth closed the countryside last year but now, with it opening up, we are starting to get a few more intruders back in. Sadly we have ended up with an incident like this. Fortunately we don't get a lot, but one is too many."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on (01833) 637328.