Police are keen to trace two men following an arson attack at a South Tyneside allotments which left almost 300 racing pigeons dead.
A fire broke out at the allotments in Holder House Way, South Shields, at about 2am yesterday.
The blaze, which police believe was started deliberately, began in the pigeon loft belonging to Robert Jewitt and killed 250 of his birds.
It then spread next door to the loft belonging to Steven Giles and his dad - killing 36 of their pigeons.
Police are now trying to find two men who were seen in the area. It's thought they were dressed in dark clothing and on bikes.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "Police are working with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to establish the cause of the fire, however, initial enquiries suggest it was started deliberately and the incident is being treated as arson.
"Officers are carrying out enquires and keen to speak to any witnesses. Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen two men in the area - it's thought the were dressed in dark clothing and on bikes. "
Any witnesses should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 76 081215 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.