Country Life Today: How crime in the countryside is on the up once more

In today’s news round-up we bring you news of rising crime, the saving of an 11th century castle and a farmer whose mission of mercy to save a cow didn't impress magistrates.

Countryside crime rising across Britain

Rural crime rose by 12% in 2018, according to figures from the insurer NFU Mutual. The company claims that organised gangs are taking advantage of the isolated locations of farms ‘to steal machinery, raid tool stores and even butcher sheep in the fields’. Quad bikes and tractors are the number one targets for thieves, and they’ve driven much of the increase.

It’s the first such rise since 2011, and Tim Price, spokesman for NFU Mutual, blames organised crime. ‘Today, we are seeing another rise as organised criminal gangs with links to money laundering and drugs find ways to beat security and steal farm vehicles,’ he said.

Full story (The Guardian)

Save trees by washing up

The general public have been urged to use their waste water to give vital support to young trees.

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Councils across the UK, including Cambridge, Sheffield, Camden, Kingston-upon-Thames, Waltham, Enfield and Richmond, are urging to the public to do their bit to support newly-planted trees by helping to keep them well-watered.

Tap water, rain water and apparently even dishwater is suitable for the purpose, according to local authorities, provided no chemicals stronger than washing up liquid are in the mix.

Full story (Country Life)

Castle receives much-needed TLC

Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire has been removed from the ‘at risk’ register, thanks to extensive repair work.

The castle, which dates back to 1070, was deemed to be at risk in 2003 due to the poor condition of the ruins. Wakefield Council launched the £5 million ‘Key to the North’ project, backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to protect the castle from further damage.

Full story (Country Life)

Noisy neighbours

Noise complaints over roosters, crickets and frogs have led French politicians to take action over unreasonable expectations of the countryside.

MPs are backing a Private Members’ Bill to protect rural noises from ‘holidaymakers or neo-rurals, who can’t cope with this kind of nuisance’.

We wouldn’t mind having such a law closer to home when neighbours make unreasonable complaints about the cockerel crowing…

Full story (Country Life)

On this day…

In 1100, Henry I (1068-1135) was crowned king of England. Henry was the fourth son of William the Conqueror.

Footpaths scheme to protect against livestock accidents

Action has been taken to help protect walkers and ramblers from livestock attacks.

Such incidents have resulted in serious injury and death, with cases costing farmers thousands of pounds in legal fees and fines.

A footpaths scheme in Cornwall will involve signage at livestock field entrances to notify walkers of alternative routes.

Full story (Farmers Weekly)

And finally… the farmer banned for speeding to aid stricken cow

A farmer has been banned from driving after he was caught speeding at 111mph to the birth of a heifer.

Geoffrey Brown was 41mph over the legal limit on the A30 at South Tawton, Devon, on 13 April.

The 48-year-old admitted speeding and was banned for 56 days and fined a total of £437 at Exeter Magistrates’ Court.

Full story (BBC News)