A group of men from Hartlepool have been arrested after a badger sett was dug up in a field.
North Yorkshire Police received reports from people concerned about the behaviour of a number of men on a field behind Wath Court, which is home to a number of businesses near Hovingham, Helmsley.
The force has said five men from the Hartlepool area have been arrested in connection with the incident, which involved the digging up of a badger sett.
A spokesman said: "The men have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
"Thank you to the members of the public who reported this to us - you all act as our eyes and ears and we encourage you to continue to report any concerns or suspicious activity to us.
"Anyone with any information is asked to contact police."
The incident happened shortly before 10am on Friday off the B1257 between the villages of Hovingham and Slingsby.
Badgers and their setts - or the burrows they live in - are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, in England and Wales.
Anyone with information which could help police is asked to call 101, press 1 and pass information to the force control room, quoting reference number 12190006245.