Rural crime and trespassers are making life a challenge at the farm on the M62

We’ve had several visits from our local police force in the last few weeks.

Rural crime and trespassers have been a challenge at Stott Hall Farm this week
Rural crime and trespassers have been a challenge at Stott Hall Farm this week

After my constant phone calls and desperate pleas of help, they are finally taking my complaints seriously.

Rural crime is severely underestimated and can have a terrible impact on those affected. Apart from the cost and inconvenience caused, the social impact can be devastating. I often feel very vulnerable at Stott Hall, even more so now I have John-William.

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Aside from the break-ins and sheep theft, we have the constant stream of people trespassing, desperate for a glimpse of the famous farm house. It’s an unwelcome intrusion in our lives, especially when strangers are poking around our yard.

My tolerance of this behaviour is fast running out and thankfully it seems we are now to have a degree of help from the police.

Our television aerial remains broken leaving us in a seemingly unending loop of Grassmen, Ice Road Truckers and Downton Abbey. On the plus side I know just about every mowing field in Ireland; I’m confident I could haul pretty much anything from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay; and Downton Abbey has taught me everything I need to know about life as a butler, footman or lady’s maid.

In amongst our contracting, ice road trucking and turn-of-the-century upper class life viewing, John-William manages to get a bit of True Grit, Chisum and the Magnificent Seven in. At some point during one of his many Cowboy and Indian marathons he informs us that he will be legally allowed to change his name when he’s eighteen.

Considering his love of Westerns, various possibilities surge through my head; Wild Bill Hickok, Ned Kelly, Goodnight Robicheaux. Thankfully though, he’s opted for John Wayne, so no great name change!!

Unfortunately Ozzie, our young Limousin bull, is not improving. His injury is clearly giving him considerable pain despite endless anti inflammatory injections and pain relief. His temper is also of concern and he is becoming increasingly reluctant to enter the cattle crush.

He exits like a racehorse out of the starting gate, nostrils flaring, eyes scanning the shed for someone or something to take his wrath out on. I can hardly blame the poor chap, right in the middle of what will undoubtedly be his favourite time of year, he’s injured, sidelined, and must be feeling like a pin cushion.

To add insult to injury, another bull has joined his harem of girls and is now doing his job. His frustration is understandable.

Another batch of sheep has been sheared, fly sprayed and their lambs wormed. As we are so far behind, a good friend of Paul’s came to help out. Of course it wasn’t long before they, somewhat misguidedly, attempted to out clip each other. After a long, hot day bent over wrestling big mule ewes, they were both crippled and unable to walk unaided.