A charity has been left counting the cost after a heartless thief stole a trailer from its site over the weekend.
The Sussex Pony Grazing and Conservation Trust discovered the crime on Sunday morning (August 2) after receiving a call from someone walking their dog above Litlington, in the Cuckmere Valley, who had come across seven ponies out on stubble fields. Trust staff made their way there and carried out an extensive search, eventually finding signs of them deep within Friston Forest.
Later, reports from horse riders in the Jevington area helped locate them and the ponies were safely returned to Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve.
Staff soon discovered the ponies were able to escape through a gate that had been broken open. Thieves had ground the lock so as to steal a 12ft Ifor Williams flatbed trailer - a very distinctive model with eight load-securing rings set into its brown load-carrying area. The trailer had been locked and concealed within the Trust’s corral.
Grazing co-ordinator Monty Larkin said: ‘This is particularly bitter as the Trust has just raised funds to purchase a livestock trailer and we’re now faced with struggling to replace the stolen trailer.”
The Trust carries out a specialised grazing service across East Sussex, with its 85-strong herd of Exmoor rescue ponies.
The theft has been reported and anybody with information is asked to contact police.
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