Mysterious bundles of cash found on the streets of a County Durham pit village were left behind by a couple who felt an “emotional connection” to the area.

The pair, who wish to remain anonymous, have told police they received an unexpected windfall and wanted to give something back to the people of Blackhall Colliery.

At least 12 packets containing £2,000 were found between 2014 and the end of last year.

The pair deliberately left the money where it would be found by people in need, often waiting to make sure it had been picked up.

In November Durham Police thanked a resident who had repeatedly handed in one such packet, sparking national media attention. Officers admitted they had no idea where the money was coming from.

It is not clear whether the couple, who sought no recognition for their generosity, will continue to leave cash on the streets of the village.

But police say that everyone who found money and handed it into police has had it returned. Detective constable John Forster, said:

I’m really pleased we have an answer to this mystery and I'm glad we can now definitively rule out the money being linked to any crime or a vulnerable person.

Detective constable John Forster