POLICE have targeted the car parks at an award-winning country park near an Elizabethan manor house amid fears the site is being used by drug-takers.

Searches were carried out and "robust" action taken against those found with drugs after concerns were raised about offences being committed within the Oakwell Hall country park, in Birstall.

Formed from a mix of old woodland, farmland and a reclaimed colliery, over 110 acres of country park surrounds Grade I listed Oakwell Hall, which was visited by Charlotte Bronte in the 1830s and was immortalised as 'Fieldhead' in her 1849 novel 'Shirley'.

The quality of the country park is such that it has won the admiration of the judges in the coveted Green Flag Award thanks to its period gardens, nature trails, mountain bike track, playground and picnic areas.

However, police decided to start a crackdown on problems at the site last year, with the neighbourhood policing team covering the area setting it as a priority in September.

The Batley and Spen NPT has now provided an update on the situation on the Force's 'My Neighbourhood' section.

It reads: "Due to the increase in police presence, calls for service to this location have drastically reduced.

"People believed to be using drugs in the car parks were searched and any person found in possession of controlled drugs were dealt with robustly. We will continue to patrol and monitor the location to prevent any escalation of incidents."