Lowestoft farmer rocked by theft of rams from out of their pen in Woodton
- Credit: Jacquie Collins
A year's hard work was undone in an instant for an aspiring young farmer, after his two prized rams were stolen from their pens.
Richard Weston, of Lowestoft, has gradually been building a flock of sheep since August 2016 and now has around 60 sheep.
However, his progress has now been halted, after his two rams were stolen from a pen off of Norwich Road in Woodton.
The rams, both of the Herdwick breed, were imperative to his business, as he looked to breed further lambs and increase the size of his flock.
Mr Weston, 24, said: 'It has had a great financial impact on me, but it is also devastating for me personally.
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'One of the rams stolen was the first lamb I have raised myself, so I had developed something of an attachment to it and wanted to watch it grow.'
The two rams - called Barfield and Frederick, were stolen overnight between Tuesday, August 1 and Wednesday, August 2, with tyre marks leading up to the pen indicating a vehicle was used in the theft.
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The larger of the two rams had been bought from the Lake District - the part of the country Herdwicks are most commonly found - and now Mr Weston is faced with the hefty cost of replacing them.
He said: 'Any money I made from the flock only covers the cost of keeping them, it doesn't pay the bills for me. I was hoping to continue its growth so that it does.
'However, this has practically sent me back to square one. I am currently self-employed doing various agricultural jobs, such as tractor driving and sheering, which is the only way I could afford to build the flock.
'I wanted to invest in more breeding ewes and continue building up the flock, but now I'm back where I started. It's so frustrating.'
Jacquie Collins, Mr Weston's mother, said: 'It has just been so disheartening, after Richard has worked so hard in his first year.'
Frederick, the smaller ram, has a distinctive red paint mark on him from when he was shown at the Royal Norfolk Show.
Norfolk police have appealed for anybody who may have seen anything suspicious in the Woodton area, or who may have information regarding the thefts to come forward.
Anyone with information should contact Norfolk police on 101 or anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.