A deer had to be escorted back towards a nature reserve after enjoying the sea and sand at Weymouth Beach over the weekend.

James Cole, 42, went to Weymouth on Sunday to visit his parents with his son. They went for a walk along The Esplanade on Sunday morning and were shocked to see a deer running along the beach and swimming in the sea.

He said: "Myself, my son Harrison and my dad Martin, who lives in Weymouth, were out for a morning walk on Sunday around 8am. We spotted the deer running along the beach. It then turned round and ran back towards the clock tower and that's when I videoed it and it swam towards the harbour.

"At first I thought it was a large dog, maybe a doberman, and as it got closer it was very clear it was a deer and we were very shocked to see it at the beach. Almost like nature making the most of the quieter times."

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Dan Bell, director of Jurassic Jetski Tours Ltd, was cycling along The Esplanade when he saw the deer on the beach at Greenhill.

He said: "A couple of people were trying to approach it and I guess catch it so it could be returned back towards the nature reserve.

"The deer looked tired as I believe it was spotted entering the water some time before. A couple occasions the deer went down onto its knees so I assumed it was tired.

"The people trying to approach the deer were walking towards it from a direction that would only force the deer to run back towards Weymouth town.

"I advised them to stop and try from the other direction so that then if it did run at least it would hopefully go back in the direction of the nature reserve. I advised them to stand in a line on the beach so it wouldn’t try to run around or between them.

"There seemed to be enough people assisting so I continued on my way. I later heard it was a successful outcome and the deer returned back to the nature reserve."