Hundreds of lambing ewes stolen from Norfolk farm

Stock photo of Sandy Lane in East Tuddenham, off the A47, near where hundreds of sheep were stolen.

Stock photo of Sandy Lane in East Tuddenham, off the A47, near where hundreds of sheep were stolen. PHOTO: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

A farmer has spoken of his shock after hundreds of lambing ewes were stolen from his mid Norfolk farm.

The sheep were stolen from a field at High Elm Farm, in East Tuddenham, near the A47, at around 9pm on Tuesday, January 15.

Farmer Jack Peacock, 29, owner of the 450 sheep grazing there, said: 'It's not something you often hear of here in Norfolk.

'We don't yet know how many exactly are gone.'

Mr Peacock, who owns the Sandy Lane family farm with his mother, Elaine, said he was away the night of the theft, but the sheep were checked on by a farm worker.

He said: 'We got a phone call from someone who said 'you've obviously moved your sheep'.

'The fence was there but the sheep were gone. We had a look and couldn't find them at first.

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'We had four people out looking for them.

'The guy who lives on the Thomsons Scrap Metal site said he saw some sheep being loaded on to a lorry after 9pm last night - and that's when it all started to make sense.

'He thought it was just farmers working late.'

Mr Peacock added: 'We have found some but until we go through them all tomorrow we won't know how many were taken.

'We found some evidence that someone had been parked in between two fields and loaded them there.

'Someone said they saw someone driving around the area at about 9pm at night.'

Mr Peacock, who has been working on the farm since leaving university, said the breed - Cheviot Mule - was unusual for this area.

He added: 'We're seven or eight weeks off lambing now and they're all fairly well in lamb.

'They can lose the lambs if they get stressed.

'If they've got a two deck, 30ft lorry they could probably load 130 to 140 sheep onto it in seven or eight minutes.

'They obviously knew what they were doing.'

Norfolk Police have appealed for witnesses; anyone who may have seen suspicious activity, people or vehicles, in the area on Tuesday evening; and anyone who may have any dash cam footage of the area to come forward.

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information should contact Norfolk Police on 101, quoting Op Solve and crime number 36/3983/19.

Alternatively, they are asked to anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.