I am writing these notes on a gloriously sunny morning, with a cloudless sky, while watching Whiskey and Coco searching out blades of grass to eat which were not there yesterday. I am nice and warm but the temperature outside would make a Husky Dog shiver. No rain thank goodness. The last few dry days have allowed us to get the first application of nitrogen fertilizer onto the wheat. The sprayer travelled surprisingly well considering the very wet February we had. Now we need a few days with calmer winds to allow us to clean up the fields due for spring barley and beans with roundup prior to drilling. It would be nice to think that I could report everything drilled by the time I write the next notes. What will be will be!!
What are the two most serious obstacles to security in our homes and businesses in rural Suffolk? I would suggest cordless drills and angle grinders and hoodies! The former because it is so easy for thieves to cut their way into buildings and the latter because they make CCTV virtually useless in identifying robbers. We were the victims of a break in a fortnight ago when thieves failed to break a padlock on a building and smashed their way through asbestos sheeting 8ft up a wall. They were quite specific in what they wanted – satellite guidance screens and receivers from sprayer and tractors. One bag full of goodies, easy to carry and probably shipped off to Eastern Europe within a couple of days. Much easier than stealing vehicles or livestock. Fortunately, we had raised the level of insurance on this equipment as it has become the target of choice. It is designed to be moved from vehicle to vehicle and so is removable without tools.
To add insult to injury we were targeted again the following night. We had replaced the broken padlock with another much heavier and much secure one and set up a wildlife camera trap inside. The padlock was drilled off the door and we have nice footage of three hoody clad things shuffling around the inside of the shed. Completely unidentifiable. Quad bike, lawn mower and power tools were taken in that raid. Apparently two other local farms were attacked at the same period of time and clusters of thefts are occurring all over the place with the same bits of equipment being targeted.
We will be increasing security after the event and I apologise to anyone if we appear to be less accommodating over accessibility. Footpath walkers are always very welcome and a tractor or piece of machinery blocking the cart track or entrance to the yard does not mean you can’t come through. School parking arrangements will not change, and we will try to make the yard available for large gatherings out of school hours as long as we know about them. Eventually the intention is to install extra security lighting, CCTV over the whole farmyard and alarm the workshops. I’m sure our bale stacks are not used by courting couples, but you have been warned!!