Police are asking for help after a thief stole 96 bales of hay - bale by bale.
The theft from Stirley Community Farm took place during the night of Friday, September 12, at Cold Hill Lane, Huddersfield and is believed to have taken the thief several hours to complete the task.
The farm is run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and manager Ian Smart said they had seen an unshaven man in his 30s driving a sporty, red, quad bike with a wooden, 4ft x 3ft trailer the following day – and it was believed he was then coming back for more.
He said: “I think the person who did this has his own horses but it’s going to be difficult to prove it’s our hay.
“It’s upsetting because the farm is run on a shoestring and it has taken a year to grow the crop and then to dry it so a lot of effort is involved.
“Then someone comes along and steals it. What they are stealing is food for our livestock.
“We had been quite lucky in not been targeted up until now but stealing from farms is becoming more common with sheep, machinery and diesel at the top of the criminals’ list.”
The bales of hay that were stolen are valued at £270.
Det Insp Jim Griffiths of Kirklees CID said: “There were 600 bales of hay in the field and the manager has noticed there were three stacks missing.
“The man we are looking for is white, slim build with short brown hair and was wearing a grey hoodie.
“It is a very unusual incident and anyone who has any information about this theft should get in touch with Pc Asad Kahut on 101.”