A HELICOPTER "came down with a bump" in a farmer's field this morning.

The privately owned, former Royal Navy helicopter, performed an emergency landing at about 9.40 in a field of crops in Bishopstone, near the recreational ground.

The pilots, Terry Martin and Gail Barkes, escaped unhurt.

Gail said: "It was a controlled landing due to engineering difficulties.

"We landed in a turnip field, unfortunately.

"It's a vintage naval helicopter and we were on our way to an event.

"It's designed to land on completely flat ground, so there was some damage."

Dr Ian Smith, who witnessed the incident, said the helicopter had been flying very low in a circuit, before descending very suddenly and quickly.

He said: "The helicopter appeared to be in trouble, and was looking for the nearest landing place I suppose.

"The helicopter came down with a bump, leaning to either side before the engine was turned off.

"I saw it descend and came out to have a look and there was a small crowd gathering.

"It was a shock to everyone who saw it. It certainly alarmed local people.

"It was just a question of it coming down very suddenly.

It was obviously a bit frightening for the pilots, and for the people watching".

The police were called at 9.50am to a field at the junction between The Croft and High Road in the village.

The land owner was also present at the scene.