PICTURES: Arson attack at Burgess Hill farm

  • Arsonists target a Burgess Hill Farm
  • Two tonnes of hay destroyed
  • Same farm targetted last year
  • Police hunting for perpetrators

Arsonists have attacked a Burgess Hill farm in a repeat of last year’s hay bale fires.

Two tonnes of hay was destroyed in the blaze at a farm in Freeks Lane, which West Sussex Fire and Rescue (WSFR) confirmed was deliberate.

Farmer Andrew Ellett said: “It’s probably kids playing with matches.

“It’s the first sunny day of the spring and they’ve tried to burn everything we’ve got. The fire service said there were a lot of people there when they turned up.”

Andrew described the arsonists’ actions as ‘dangerous’.

“They must think it’s funny. This time of year isn’t as bad, but in the summer it could spread to anywhere,” he said.

Hay bale fire at Freeks Lane. Picture by Eddie Howland

Hay bale fire at Freeks Lane. Picture by Eddie Howland

The blaze started at around 6pm on Tuesday night, and destroyed one large stack of hay bales.

“It happens quite often. It’s difficult to stop it.

“It’s difficult when the public keep encroaching on the countryside,” Andrew said.

In September last year 20 tonnes of hay was destroyed at the same farm.

They must think it’s funny. This time of year isn’t as bad, but in the summer it could spread to anywhere

Andrew Ellett, farmer

“It will get to the stage we’ve got to think about how much we need it, or keep it somewhere else,” the farmer added.

Sussex Police are investigating the fire.

A spokesman confirmed: “A fire of two tons of hay bales in Freeks Lane, Burgess Hill, which broke out about 6.25pm on Tuesday (March 10) is being investigated as arson.

“West Sussex Fire and Rescue put the fire out.

“Police are appealing for witnesses to the fire.”

If you have any information contact 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 1362 of 10/03.

Last year there were also hay bale fires in Cuckfield and Hurstpierpoint.

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