IT HAS been a while since this newspaper reported a big cat sighting. Long-term readers will remember a spate of the sightings at the turn of the century, with Inkberrow a particular hot-spot.

Nothing was ever proved though there are plenty of perfectly sane and rational people who believe there are big cats roaming farm and woodland across the UK.

The so-called Beast of Bodmin Moor is perhaps the most famous of these animals. There are plenty of theories used to back up big cat sightings as fact.

One is that they are descendants of panthers and other such beasts released into the wild by owners who did not want to comply with the Dangerous Wild Animals Act when it was enforced in the late Seventies.

Others include zoo escapes that have never been formally reported, and that lynx – once native to parts of Britain – never truly became extinct.

Whether fact or fiction, big cat sightings tend to become something of a national obsession every few years.

Worcester men Wilson Hunt and Isaac Biddle are the latest to be convinced they have see a big cat, this time in the Grove Farm area.

Finding genuine evidence of such sightings is as rare as hen’s teeth.

We suspect there are no grey areas here – you either believe there are big cats in the wild in Britain or not.

But at least it takes our minds off the recession for a while.