Firefighters had to dig a 4ft hole to rescue two elderly dogs stuck down a badger sett yesterday.

A deaf arthritic terrier cross, 15, and a Jack Russell, 14, ran into the sett on Bocketts Farm, south of Leatherhead, at about 7am.

Firefighters were called to the scene two hours later and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) gave permission for the dig.

Watch commander Steve Smith, from Leatherhead fire station, said: "They were running around as dogs do and ran in the hole and couldn’t get out.

"They had gone in head first and they couldn’t turn around. Older dogs get stressed so we had to dig them out."

Firefighters located the dogs using special cameras on poles and set to work with spades. It took four hours, plus a lot of manpower, to free the dogs.

Mr Smith said: "We kept expecting a badger to poke his head out. It was not a major emergency but it was quite satisfying."