THOUSANDS of pounds worth of specialist farming equipment has been stolen from a Ryedale farm.

Sometime between Friday 4 and Monday September 7, offenders stole a mobile sheep handling system and a sheep weigher from a farm near Hovingham, North Yorkshire.

Specialist rural crime officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce are investigating the theft and are appealing for residents' help.

The two stolen items – a Rappa mobile sheep yard and a Ritchie Draft Pro weigher – are worth a total of more than £9,000.

The sheep handling system was not packed up, and so the offenders would have likely had some knowledge of the system to be able to remove it.

A police spokesman said: "Theft of farm equipment has a significant impact on rural businesses.

"Officers are asking anyone with information about this theft to get in touch. For example, did you see or hear anything suspicious in the Hovingham area?

"Or have you seen the items offered for sale?"

Anyone who can assist the investigation is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce by phone on 101. You can also email PC Mark Atkinson, Please quote reference number 12200156817.