An arson attack on farmland in Braunton has prompted an appeal for witnesses from police.

Fire crews from Braunton and Barnstaple were called to the incident at Braunton Great Field at around 2.45pm on Tuesday.

A barn and its contents, which included timber and machinery, were destroyed by the fire.

The barn was thought to be a popular nesting place for bats and birds.

Police say it is the third incident of its kind to happen in the area, and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

DC Bradley Stow said: “The incident happened in the middle of the afternoon so we expect there may be witnesses to this crime.

“Thankfully no one was injured in the fire, however, this is the third incident of this nature to happen in the area and although we cannot rule that they are linked, the incidents are concerning.

“We are urging people to be vigilant and stay alert in the countryside following the spate.

“Fires that are caused deliberately or carelessly can have devastating effects on the environment and endanger people’s lives and homes.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101.dc.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting the crime reference CR/059251/20.