THOUGHTLESS guns on pheasant shoots have been blamed for a series of power cuts in the Heyshott area.
Now the Scottish and Southern Electricity Board is contacting organisers of shoots in the area and pointing out the serious consequences of hitting power lines.
Richard Knight, a retired senior captain with British Airways who has lived in the area all his life, was one of many villagers in and around Heyshott who have been the victims of a series of power cuts over the past year.
He was without power from December 23 to December 27 and most recently was left in the dark for last Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday.
But when engineers arrived, they told him at least four power cuts recently had been caused after lines had apparently been hit by shot.
“The lines are being peppered with shot which is getting into the insulated wires.”
Mr Knight, who has himself organised shoots, said: “I have never known a beat to drive pheasant over power lines. I am astonished that guns could contemplate firing through the line of cables and old people and young families are suffering as a consequence of these actions.”
A spokesman for Southern Electric Power Distribution said: “I can confirm there have been incidences of third party damage to our network in the area, which we believe to have been the result of shooting activity in the vicinity of overhead lines.
“Regardless of the cause of damage, our first priority is always to restore power as quickly as possible. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by these interruptions.
“While we can’t be absolutely sure how the damage occurred, our local staff will be getting in touch with landowners and shooting interests to highlight the issue and the potential dangers. We hope we will be able to reduce the risk of future incidents and would always ask people to alert us by calling 0800 072 7282 when any accidental damage may have occurred.”