A number of dead crows and magpies have been found in people's gardens.

Police operating in the rural areas of the Ribble Valley and Pendle say the dead birds have been found in gardens around the Sabden Road area of Higham after being shot with an air weapon.

The incidents have caused upset for residents, but police say they are keeping an open mind as to the reasons the birds have been shot due to general laws around the culling of such species.

A spokesperson for the police said: "Over recent weeks the rural task force has been notified of a number of incidents where dead crows and magpies have been found in gardens around Higham particularly around Sabden Road after being shot with an air weapon.

"This has caused a great deal of upset and anxiety to the residents who are finding these birds in their gardens.

"We are aware that under general licences carrion crow can be culled in the course of conserving endangered wild birds, preventing attacks on livestock, spreading disease and taking feedstuffs along with preventing damage to crops, whilst magpie are limited to conserving endangered wild birds and attacks on livestock, and thus at this time we have an open mind into the reasons why these birds may have been shot.

"We would like to take the time to remind the person who is shooting these birds that if they are legally shooting them to be mindful and respectful of their neighbours however if the person is doing this unlawfully we would urge you to stop or you will be liable to prosecution.

"If you would like to pass us any information in this matter please feel free to contact us at ribblevalleyruraltaskforce@lancashire.police.uk."