DOG training courses to help keep livestock safe on the Malvern Hills are due to restart this month.

The ‘Sheep Safe’ classes are run by a local dog behaviourist to teach dog owners how to encourage their pet to ignore livestock and reduce the chances of sheep worrying.

Beck Baker, community and conservation officer, said: "Sadly, dogs chasing and attacking sheep is a common occurrence.

"We’d like to remind dog walkers that any dog, big or small, docile or aggressive, has the potential to chase or kill livestock.

"So, all dogs should be kept on a lead near grazing cattle and sheep.

"The simple solution of putting a dog on a lead will help keep sheep and lambs safe.

"The courses are a good way of teaching dog walkers how to handle a situation when they might unexpectedly come across livestock on the hills and commons but we would encourage people to put their pet on a lead whenever they are near the cattle and sheep."

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Towards the end of last year, a sheep was found by a grazier dead on Table Hill, near to Joyner’s Meadow on the northern part of the hills range and around the same time, another sheep lost an ear and the flock was forced off the hill and into West Malvern by a dog.

To help dog walkers avoid the livestock or prepare to encounter livestock, the Malvern Hills Trust also provides a weekly Stockwatch update with the locations of sheep and cattle within temporary electric fencing on the hills and commons.