A FORMER Herefordshire headteacher has been found safe and well after disappearing for almost two days.

Patricia Chesters, who was head of the Westfield School, Leominster, for more than 20 years, had been reported missing by a friend.

She was found early last Thursday by a police dog handler, close to her home in Pencombe, before being taken to hospital for a precautionary examination.

"This was a large-scale, co-ordinated search for a vulnerable missing person," said Insp Peter Wilson.

The search for the 59-year-old involved police dog handlers, helicopters and house-to-house inquiries.

Police thanked members of the public for their assistance, including the Longtown Mountain Rescue Team.

"Happily, and thanks to the efforts of numerous police officers assisted by members of the public, we were able to locate Mrs Chesters safe and well," said Insp Wilson.

"The successful conclusion was in no small part due to the amazing response from the community in Pencombe and the surrounding area.

"As soon as the search began, the village hall committee gave officers unlimited use of the building and staff at the local school also allowed officers the use of photocopiers and other facilities.

"And members of the Longtown Mountain Rescue Service proved invaluable when it became clear that the search would take in large areas of open countryside."