Around 40 dead crows were mysteriously dumped in a ditch in Hook.

The pile of black feathers was discovered in Vicarage Lane, Hound Green, last Friday (July 4) by Doug Wheeler, chairman of Mattingley Parish Council.

Councillor Wheeler, from Heckfield, Hook, quickly called Hart District Council to report what he had found and said: “As you can imagine, in this heat that had started to stink and attract a lot of flies.

“They were covered in maggots and were in my opinion an environmental hazard. The smell almost made me sick.”

Cllr David Simpson, county councillor for the area, said he was “horrified” by the discovery.

He said: “It is a complete mystery as to where these birds came from.

“Someone either caught them, shot them or dumped them. We do not know yet.

“Most residents in this small community would not do something like this.

“Most of the people in the village are responsible citizens.”

Hart District Council’s street care team removed the pile of birds the same day as they were reported and is now investigating the matter.

John Elson, head of technical and environmental services, said: “Because of the large number of dead birds, the request was dealt with urgently.

“I am very pleased with the response that was provided by the street care team who do such an excellent job to keep the roads in Hart clean.”