Frustration as nut thieves target Swerford farm on three weekends

David Barbour of Heath Farm, Swerford, Banbury, had crop of walnuts stolen. NNL-181023-124022009
David Barbour of Heath Farm, Swerford, Banbury, had crop of walnuts stolen. NNL-181023-124022009

A landowner has been left frustrated after thieves stole around £700 worth of walnuts from his farm near Swerford.

The ‘biggest fall of nuts of the season’ at Heath Farm was stripped while David Barbour was at a farmer’s market on Saturday, October 14.

David Barbour of Heath Farm, Swerford, Banbury, had crop of walnuts stolen. NNL-181023-124000009

David Barbour of Heath Farm, Swerford, Banbury, had crop of walnuts stolen. NNL-181023-124000009

A week later, raiders returned to the wood for more but were seen by staff and confronted, but they would not hand over the nuts.

Even this Saturday, thieves returned but by then there were no walnuts left to steal.

Mr Barbour said the thefts, which are the first he has suffered in 12 years of harvesting, are unsettling as they must have known the nuts were there and that he was out.

“It’s annoying more than anything else. I’m quite an open guy and if people wanted some nuts they I can give them some but to walk in without any care and steal from somebody is beyond me,” he said.

The drive down to the collection of farm buildings, industrial units and holiday lets at Heath Farm is lined with walnut and chestnut trees. The storm on October 13, created a ‘carpet’ of walnuts the next day which were all taken by the thieves.

The following Saturday a group of men and a woman were seen collecting more nuts before driving off in a blue Volkswagen people carrier and a grey Volkswagen Golf.

In total, the farmer believes around 100kg of walnut were taken, equating to about 15 per cent of his crop.

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting reference number 43180313039.