An apparent “religious ritual” resulted in a dead sheep being left on one of Northumberland’s most popular beaches.
Villagers in Bamburgh in North Northumberland said some kind of “pagan ritual” was carried out during the night on the sands of the beauty spot, near to the historic castle.
A dead sheep was found on the beach the following day, and it is rumoured that the strange act also included a goat and fire.
But police said the event did not cause the death or suffering of any animals.
Officers said that, while a group of people have been “spoken to and advised about their activites”, the unusual matter is being investigated only for “potential health and safety breaches”.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said the force was informed of the discovery of the sheep at 2.35pm on Wednesday, April 2.
“On April 2, police received a report that a dead sheep had been found on the beach at Bamburgh,” the spokesperson said.
“Full inquiries have been carried out and police have spoken to a number of people.
“It has been confirmed that, while an event did take place on the beach, attended by people who do not live in the area, we’d like to reassure residents that no animals were killed during this event.
“It appears to be isolated and those involved have been spoken to and advised about their activities.
“The sheep was already dead before this event took place and there is no evidence that any animal cruelty has taken place.
“Details have been passed to relevant authorities regarding potential health and safety breaches.”