Security fencing has gone up at a country park in County Durham to keep deer away from a lake following a tragedy last year.

Deer at Whitworth Hall Country Park, near Spennymoor, froze to death in the lake last December after being unable to differentiate the snow-covered frozen water from parkland and falling through the ice, the Advertiser reports.

Park staff had tried to dissuade the animals by using food and water but to no avail. Families were visiting the park's Christmas events at the time and were reported to be distressed by the scene.

In response park chiefs have decided to erect security fencing costing £3,000 to avoid a repeat of the incident.

"We put the fencing up as soon as the snow went last winter and the ground thawed. There are gates fitted into the fence, which is about 6ft high, and we are very much ready for winter this year."

"The fence means the deer are kept away from the lake so, hopefully, we won’t have a repeat of the problem," Mr Lax added.

Whitworth Park features Whitworth Hall, a Grade II listed mansion.

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