A BLIND man says he is being put at risk by overhanging tree branches and stray dogs.

Roger Elgood, 62, was the headteacher at Teesside High School for Girls but moved to Saltburn after he lost his sight.

He says his life is made a misery by hedges and trees that overhang footpaths, with branches sticking out at waist level and higher. Mr Elgood has been hit and scratched several times and fears that he could suffer a serious injury.

Mr Elgood is also becoming increasingly fearful for the safety of his guide dog Tate.

"Loose dogs constitute a major distraction and danger to working guide dogs, as well as the obvious hazards to traffic," he said.

"Naturally, dogs will defend their territory but guide dogs carry the heavy responsibility of guiding their blind owners.

"Dogs that bark at them from behind their fences distract them and can unnerve them, undermining their highly cost-intensive training. The estimated value of a working guide dog can be in excess of £30,000 so the matter is not trivial."

Mr Elgood now has to plan a route to avoid the dogs and trees.

"The general attitude of the public is extremely co-operative and helpful - it is just a few people who I don't want to name and shame who aren't."