A FAMILY-RUN farm near Fordingbridge that has sold milk and eggs from its gate for about 15 years is stopping after being targeted by thieves for a second time in just over a month.

Midgham Farm was broken into on Sunday and in the region of £500 and £600 worth of Makita tools were stolen after a shed was forced open.

A Makita hand grinder and hand drill, along with five batteries and the charging unit were taken.

Last month, the farm was broken into overnight on February 7. Thieves smashed open the shed door, causing, between £50 or £60 worth of damage, and money was taken from an honesty box.

Graham Witt said: "[It's] not great. We started off doing it around 2005/2006 as a way of getting a bit more money for a few eggs as well as letting local people of Alderholt and Fordingbridge have fresh laid free range eggs and being able to see the chickens running around.

"It’s happened a few times before in the past but has increased in the last 18 months and gone from a few pounds in the pot going to breaking into the shed and stealing several hundred pounds worth of tools."

"It’s going to end all our farm gate sales," added Graham. "Hopefully, we will be able to sell what we would usually sell at the gate at farmers markets instead now, only time will tell.

"We’ve got to the point now we are going to keep the farm locked up, regardless of whether I’m on site working or up in the fields. That way there’s no excuse for any other person to be on the farm without a prior appointment. Also it means there will no longer be the easy target of cash about."

He said: "Unfortunately I've got used to it now. The same thing happened two years ago when they broke in on my birthday in May, then again two weeks later. There have been various other incidents over the last two years. We've been broken into five times, had things taken while we were up in the fields too. Off the top of my head there's been £50/£60 in cash, £500/£600 worth of Makita power tools, Stihl chainsaw, £1200 log splitter, half a dozen tractor batteries and we even had our red diesel tank emptied. That’s just in the last 2 years."

Anyone with information about the latest burglaries is asked to contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101.