A Cambridgeshire farmer needed 14 stitches after being struck by a metal bar during an encounter with illegal hare coursers.

Will Wombwell, of JD Wombwell & Son, Ickleton, was hit in the face with the metal bar after he came across a group of men in one of his fields on Wednesday (12 July).

“They were trying to get away and I was trying to shut the gates on them to keep them there,” Mr Wombwell told Farmers Weekly.

Big money is bet on hare coursing – which sees dogs chase, overtake and turn a hare. But the activity, which causes damage to crops and fields, is illegal in the UK.

Mr Wombwell praised the work of Cambridgeshire police’s Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT), saying it was a real deterrent against hare coursers.

But he said Cambridgeshire was a large county which made it difficult to combat what was an increasingly widespread problem.