First ever ‘Protect Your Farm’ event provides support to rural community
More than 60 members of the rural business and farming community attended the first ever ‘Protect Your Farm, Protect Yourself’ event.
Held at Three Counties Showground in Malvern on 22 November, the event was organised by both Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils.
Up to 20 organisations including West Mercia Police, Public Health and Environment Agency were on hand to offer promote advice and services with a particular focus on rural crime, health and wellbeing, economy and finance.
During the evening, a live Q&A session was hosted by former BBC H&W radio presenter, Mike George. The panel included Sam Durham, Chief Land Management Advisor at NFU, Dr Frances Howie, Director of Public Health at Worcestershire County Council and Jake Freestone, Farm Manager at Overbury Farms.
Jack Hegarty, Joint Chief Exec for Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils, and Chief Supt. Kevin Purcell, West Mercia Police, were also on the panel.
Topics ranged from organised rural crime, fly tipping and modern slavery to mental health and insurance.
Cllr Rob Adams, Member of the Rural Communities and Economy Panel for Wychavon District Council, said: “It was brilliant to see the rural farming and business community engage with the police and other organisations to tackle such important issues as rural crime and mental health. We hope they gained the advice and support they need to protect their farm and themselves.”
Lou Tooze, Business and Rural Crime Liaison Officer for South Worcestershire, West Mercia Police, said: “It was great to be part of something that encourages the rural communities to come together and address their concerns, share best practice and provide innovative crime prevention ideas. For me, it was a fantastic example of how a multiagency approach can be extremely valuable. It is about working with and building confidence in our rural communities and ensuring them that the issue of crime in rural areas is not being ignored”.
Visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/rural-communities-and-economy-advisory-panel for more information on the organisations involved.