Farm vandals ‘risking lives’

Farmer William Wright at one of the many points where his fence has been cut.

Farmer William Wright at one of the many points where his fence has been cut.

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A £1,000 reward has been put forward by the owners of a family-run farm in Buxton to help catch vandals who are risking lives by damaging fences surrounding a field where their livestock graze.

This site where their cattle graze has been plagued by vandalism, with the fence being cut in 26 places over the past 12 months alone.

Damaged fences at Haslin House Farm, Harpur Hill.

Damaged fences at Haslin House Farm, Harpur Hill.

Mary Wright, who runs the farm with her husband and son, said: “There has been extensive damage to these fences over the last few years, causing great concern for cattle safety with the chance of them straying into the Hoffman Quarry or even worse onto the main road via Fiddle Street.

“Also, great expense in time and materials has been needed to constantly repair these fences. We are just at our wits’ end.”

The NFU’s sister company, NFU Mutual, reported a 17 per cent rise in rural crime in the last two years, with an estimated cost in 2010 of £49.7 million.

Alison Pratt, spokesperson for Derbyshire NFU, said: “Rural crime is an increasing and very worrying issue for farmers all over the country but we understand that this problem at Harpur Hill has been going on for some considerable time.

“The issue is not just the cost of replacing the fencing, but the potential danger that straying livestock could cause. Removing fencing is irresponsible and could cost the lives of motorists and animals.”

She added: “Farms might appear to be easy targets for thefts and vandalism, but the farming community is determined to beat the trend. Actions such as this reward for information is just one way of drawing attention to the issue and perhaps catching the people who are putting animals and people in danger.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Derbyshire police on 101, quoting the crime number 18423/2012, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.