Berkshire hay shortage sparks theft warning from police

Rural communities in Berkshire are being warned to be on their guard against hay thieves this summer.

Hay and straw are currently in short supply because the dry spring has led to low silage yields.

There is also a lack of carry-over stock because of a wet summer last year resulting in prices being between 20% and 40% higher than last year.

Helen Evans, of Thames Valley Police Horse Watch scheme, said: "We want to warn the rural community to be aware."

The warning follows several thefts of hay and straw around England in the past months.

Ms Evans, who covers the Wokingham area, added: "With the possibility of hay and straw being in short supply, and therefore more expensive, in the coming months please think about ways of securing your hay, straw, bedding and forage."

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