IT WAS a stressful day for Stewart Lathangie from Pyeston farm, Markinch, near Glenrothes, as he searched for a young beef calf, which eventually was found stuck down a six-foot-deep hole in one of his fields.

He explained how he had almost given up the search for the beast before coming across it, in what he thought was a badger hole.

“We started our search at quarter to eight this morning to look for the calf, who we suspected had been missing from the night before. Over the course of the morning and into the early afternoon we phoned the police, chapped on doors and even phoned network rail as we have had cattle killed on the lines in the past.

"We even got the local game keeper involved who helped look for the calf with his dogs before we came across what we thought was a badger hole around three o’clock.

“We had to use a digger to get the calf out – it’s a big February born calf, which luckily was unharmed. It has since been reunited with its mum, who is one of 16 first time calving heifers that were in the field," he explained.

“We had started to panic that morning and thought at first it might have been theft, as there were no broken fences and the heifers didn’t seem too distressed. It’s clear now that the mother never left the side of her calf, but we just didn’t see the hole for ages. The field runs over underground mining and it appears it was in fact trapped in a mining hole,” concluded Mr Lathangie.