Concerns have been raised over potential pollution after pesticide was sprayed in an area around a protected village beck.

Over the past couple of weeks a hedge and grass area near Settrington Beck has been targeted by an unknown chemical.

A heavy timber gate was also thrown into the beck.

Alan Mitchell, who lives near the area affected said: "Unfortunately we’re not immune from the scourge of vandalism even in the quiet and genteel village of Settrington.

"Our garden backs onto the Beck that runs through the centre of Settrington and the Beckside boundary of our house was vandalised last week; our heavy, white, timber picket gate was thrown in the Beck and somebody has sprayed pesticide up the hedge, on the verge below and on the grass between the path and the beck. It looks like just our house has been targeted so we feel a bit persecuted and hope that nobody else has to suffer this sort of criminal damage. A fellow resident pulled the gate out of the beck last Thursday afternoon and we rehung it but the grass and hedge look a real mess now.

" I've reported it to the Environment Agency, we do not know the type or strength of pesticide chemical used but can see the damage getting worse. We're worried about any health dangers to members of the public and potential pollution of Settrington Beck a protected Chalk Stream with voles

"I’ve also informed the Police, North Yorkshire Council , Neighbourhood Watch and many residents in the village who have been very sympathetic and supportive which is quite heart-warming. It’s difficult to understand the mindset of somebody who would just carry out such senseless acts.

Luckily vandalism is very rare in Settrington and we’re not sure if the perpetrator was a complete stranger or somebody hiding within our midst."

Anyone with further information should contact the North Yorkshire Police using crime number NY28092023-0279?