Curious white markings left around lampposts and on streets in Witney have been revealed as the work of a local running club.

A few residents became worried after the marks appeared near homes, garden walls, parts of Holloway Road, West End and the back of Bridge Street.

But the marks were found to be the work of the Hash House Harriers, which uses a flour trail to guide its runners.

Following concerns from animal lovers that the flour was poison and had made their dogs seriously sick, a notice appeared on Witney: Spotted Facebook page: "Just to be clear the white stuff people are finding in Witney is for a running trail laid for tonight it is NOT poison."

Poster Sam Adams commented: "It's flour everyone, it's been there since yesterday and more pets would be ill if it wasn't."

Christina Hopkinson added: "Wow, what an adventure it's been watching all of this unfold. I'm glad we can all breathe a sigh of relief now."

Others remarked that although flour can be the source of allergies for many pets it is included in many dog foods and treats including Kibble.

Deborah Jephcott posted: "You may want your vet to look into another reason your dog has fallen ill. The lamp posts are on a route and marked with flour for runners."

Sarah Guntrip added: "It's flour for Hashing. Unless someone has since gone out and and laced the trail with something else I suspect your dog's illness is a coincidence - either that or it's gluten intolerant."

The mystery also produced a few jokey possible explanations.

One poster said: "I had a sniff Ive been running really fast for 3 hours I just ran to Aylesbury it’s strong stuff I’m defo joining that running club."

Witney Roadrunners said the Hash House Harriers use flour to mark out a route with signs their runners can follow and use powder so it gets washed away and leaves no trace.