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‘Farms are not playgrounds for bored kids’ - BBC’s Sara Cox speaks out after father’s farm hit by arson

The drive time presenter took to twitter where she thanked Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Bolton Borough for assisting with the incident.

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BBC Radio 2 presenter Sara Cox said farms were not playgrounds for ‘bored kids’.
BBC Radio 2 presenter Sara Cox said farms were not playgrounds for ‘bored kids’.
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‘Farms are not playgrounds for bored kids’ - BBC’s Sara Cox speaks out after father’s farm hit by arson

BBC Radio 2 presenter and farmer’s daughter Sara Cox has spoken out about the impact of arson attacks on farm after her father’s hay was torched by ‘bored kids’.

 

The drivetime presenter took to twitter where she thanked Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Bolton Borough for assisting with the incident, which took place on Saturday night (February 2).

 

One fire engine from Farnworth Community fire station attended the scene at Grundy Fold Farm near Little Lever, Bolton, ‘to reports of hay bales on fire’.

 

Ms Cox said: “Huge thanks to @FireBolton crew for helping my dad last night when a gang of young idiots set fire to his haylage, destroying it.


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“Farms are not playgrounds for bored kids – police have not been able to help [and we are] struggling to find a solution.

 

“[I] just want my dad and his property kept safe.”

 

 

Latest NFU Mutual statistics suggest arson was the second biggest offender for farm fires in 2016, accounting for more than 250 farm fires with a claims cost of more than £8.5 million.

 

Safety

NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist Tim Price said the impact of an arson attack ‘was one of farmers’ worst nightmares’, with the disruption caused by replacing feed and machinery as well as rebuilding repairs to damaged buildings often ‘massive’.

 

He said: “Beyond the financial costs, arson attacks can leave deep emotional scars on farmers and family members. The knowledge that someone has come onto your farm to deliberately cause serious damage and put lives at risk is very hard to put behind you.”

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service area manager Jim Hutton added: “Crews did a brilliant job of bringing the fire under control and limiting fire damage on the farm by using one hose reel. With the help of a tractor, nearby hay bales were moved away from the fire to ensure there was no further fire spread.

 

“This incident had the potential to be devastating to the farm as fires of this nature can spread quickly and cause a lot of damage.

 

“I would like to thank our firefighters that attended on Saturday evening for their hard work in putting the fire out, and to the farmer for their help in ensuring that we could limit the fire spread by moving nearby hay bales.”

NFU Mutual farm fire checklist: Arson

  • When possible avoid siting straw and hay stacks close to public roads and footpaths;
  • Separate hay and straw stack to prevent spread if one stack is set alight;
  • Fence off straw and hay stacks to prevent easy access;
  • Store accelerants securely away from straw and hay stacks;
  • Ask neighbours to report any suspicious sighting to you or the police;
  • Report sightings of trespass in barns and straw stacks to police and ask for patrol activity.
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