IT has been years since it reared its mysterious black head but Herefordshire’s ‘big cat’ is, apparently, back – and this time it has allegedly been caught on camera.

A wave of ‘black beast’ sightings were reported during the late 1990s.

But reports later dropped off and by 2002 the county had claimed bottom place in a nationwide table of sightings.

But all that could be about to change after Hereford man Steve Hall saw a feline-like creature, about two-and-ahalf feet tall, stalking its way over farmland near Newtown Crossroads and recorded it on video.

The 30-year-old said: “The wind was blowing in my direction so it couldn’t sense me.

“It was just walking across the hedge and then it saw us and sat in the hedge a bit watching.”

Steve and his friend Dave Went were walking their dogs on the other side of the field when they saw it but managed to zoom in and get a shaky shot of the animal before it made off.

Dave said: "I thought I saw one a few years ago but I wasn’t too sure as it was dark, but this footage proves they are local. It was far too big to be a domestic cat.”

Throughout the 1990s, several county residents were said to have seen a large animal, including two policemen who saw something similar in the headlights of their car at Durlow Common.

Nothing has ever been proven but Steve, who was out filming his own pets for a website he runs when it happened, is adamant this is the real thing.

“I go out all the time in the countryside and know the difference between a cat and a dog,” he said. “This was definitely a big cat.”