SHOTGUN shells have been found on a public footpath near an Isle of Wight shooting range — and the owner believes they were left there deliberately by 'spiteful' protesters.

A large heap of spent cartridges was discovered last week by a dog walker who reported them at nearby Shepherds Chine Shoot, Brighstone.

Owner Gerry Short said: "It's just sick, and spiteful.

"As soon as I was told about them I realised someone had left them there deliberately, probably as some kind of protest.

"Some moron who doesn't like shooting."

Mr Short said the shells would not have been dumped by anyone using the range.

He believes they were taken from the range and deliberately scattered on the path.

He said: "People are given a drum the spent cartridges drop into as soon as they fire, so they never even touch the ground.

"At one point we lost a drum of these empty cartridges. It just vanished off the face of the earth.

"None of those cartridges would have come from anyone who uses our range.

"It just wouldn't make sense, and none of us use that footpath."

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