320m of hedge stolen from farmer’s field

Farmer Michael Keeler at Spratts Green. Credit: Danielle Booden

By Ruth Lawes
Published: EDP24 December 22, 2020

Around 320m of hedgerow was stolen from the field in between Buxton and Aylsham. – Credit: Joanne Keeler

A farming family has been left in disbelief after thieves stole hundreds of metres of hedging from their field near Aylsham.

Neighbours alerted Joanne Keeler and her father Michael Keeler, both from Horsford,  that 320m of mixed bushes had been stolen from the family’s land in Spratts Green, on Burgh Road.

The thieves took the entire hedgerow, including the roots, plastic casing and support canes, overnight on Sunday (December 20). It had been planted only three weeks earlier and cost around £5,760.

Ms Keeler, who is also a Horsford parish councillor, said: “I was shocked when I found out. My first reaction was ‘no way’. You just can’t believe someone would steal a hedge, can you? It is shocking that you can’t even put some hedging down. It doesn’t feel like you can have anything at the moment. Nothing feels safe.”

The 37-year-old said she believed it had been a “semi-professional job” as the hedges had been pulled out cleanly.

She added: “Obviously hundreds of metres of hedges would be too much for a household, so the thieves clearly had a job for it.

“You wouldn’t just go past the field and think ‘Oh look there is a hedge I’m going to steal that.’ It must have been semi-organised. I would only imagine that the thieves must be replanting them somewhere else – where that would be I don’t know.”

She added: “Nothing like this has ever happened to me or my family before. It is really bizarre. I spoke to the guy who planted the hedge and he said the same thing – as did the police.”

A spokesperson for Norfolk Police said: “I can confirm police are investigating the theft of 320 metres of hedging from Burgh Road in Norwich between 4pm on Sunday December, 20 and 8am on Monday December, 21.  Enquiries are in their early stages and anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting reference number 36/89510/20.”

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