A couple have told they came face-to-to face with a big cat on their patio.

Heidi Robinson said her husband, Dave, had gone outside at their Whatstandwell cottage to gather some logs when he encountered the beast.

Mrs Robinson, of Blundestone Lane, said her husband had joked that it was a werewolf, as it had been a full moon when he saw the animal.

"It was about 10pm and Dave was about to go outside to get some logs and went to the back door when this big black cat appeared and ran across the patio," said the 36-year-old.

"It then climbed up on to a garden wall and jumped over the side and there is about an eight-foot drop to the bottom.

"Then we saw it again out in the fields. It was about 200 metres away but clearly visible.

"It was stalking some cows and definitely moved like a cat but was far too big to be a household pet."

The couple got in touch with the Evening Telegraph after we revealed a picture of a paw print, taken by a Wirksworth farmer, who believed it belonged to a puma.

The three-inch-wide muddy trace of the mysterious animal was discovered by Peter Ward, of Millers Green, after his calves crashed through a metal gate and were found cowering in a nearby field.

Mr and Mrs Robinson found a similar paw print, about 8cm in width, in a mole hill near their home when they went to look for further evidence of what the animal could be.

Mrs Robinson said: "It is scary to think that something like that could be prowling around.

"I don't know exactly what it is but it definitely looked like a big cat."

The couple reported the sighting to Derbyshire police on January 26 and were referred to the British Big Cats Society.

It was only days after Mr Ward had reported finding the paw print to the force on January 19.

Mrs Robinson said: "Recently dogs on the lane have come back with sheep legs that they have found in the woods, but the rest of the animal is nowhere to be found.

"Also lambs have been killed in the area and a big cat could be behind the attacks."

Isabelle Colls, manager at the Derwent Hotel, in Derby Road, Whatstandwell, thinks there could be more sightings in the future.

She said: "It's a really scary thought. Longway Bank is not far from here. You don't really know for sure what might be around here. The two sightings are quite close together. There might be more in the future."

No-one from the British Big Cats Society was available to comment.