Farm Field Break-in

Fence between bridge and Swingate Wood 11 am
Fence between bridge and Swingate Wood 11 am

I heard from Maggie at  Woodlands Farm that they had suffered from further criminal activity over the Christmas period. She e-mailed to say:

On December 30th on a routine check of the ewes in the fields, we found the metal palisade fence by the bridge at the end of Hillview/Old Coals fields had been broken. This could not be an accident or done by a casual walker, someone brought bolt cutters to do that. See attached photo of broken fence and path they made through Swingate Wood to get there.

Volunteers went up immediately and mended the fence. An hour later a different volunteer, he would not mind me saying he is an elderly person, heard noise and voices from the area, walked up and found men cutting the repaired bolts to break in again. They threatened him with violence. He rushed back to the farm mess room. We called the police who appeared immediately, but neither the police and cars who went to the Dryden/Keats Road end, nor the people who went through the farm, caught anyone.

From the tracks on the path and the noise heard by the volunteer we are pretty sure that the would-be intruders were intending to bring a motorcycle onto the fields.

Obviously fence mended yet again that day and we will need to keep alert. We have ewes expecting lambs in March/April up in the fields, on the driest parts of the farm.

The site of the break-in is close to the currently blocked stretch of  the Green Chain Walk mentioned in previous posts; the path goes through Swingate Wood before reaching the gate to the farm. Doubtless this will harden the resolve of the farm volunteers to prevent open access to their fields from that end of the farm.

Ewes and their lambs at Woodlands Farm
Ewes and their lambs at Woodlands Farm


3 Replies to “Farm Field Break-in”

  1. Are we sure they wanted to ride motorbikes across the farm fields? There are a lot of people that would like to see the Public footpath re-opened to the public. I know of many people who walk through to the closed gate and have to turn back, there is never any signs saying that the path is closed. I think if the farm were to better sign the fact the footpath is open or closed then it would help. But ultimately this is a public footpath and it should be open.

    1. We had to turn back on Sunday. It was the first time we had walked this section of the Green Chain – very misleading to have the sign pointing towards the farm from Keats Road and when you get there it is locked. Very frustrating.

      Although I am sorry to hear that volunteer was threatened with violence.

    2. The response from GreenChain is a very cheap dig! Are they claiming that it’s the Farms own fault they were vandalised? Are they condoning this act of vandalism or worse still encouraging it? The farm has said it has a witness who heard sounds and tracks which led them to believe a motorcycle was being brought into the fields. Do GreenChain know different?

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