Blaze destroys cows’ winter feed – arson suspected

The blaze at Knox Hill Farm in Harrogate destroyed a barn full of winter feed.
The blaze at Knox Hill Farm in Harrogate destroyed a barn full of winter feed.

A Harrogate farming couple were left devastated on Sunday night when a suspected arson attack destroyed a barn full of winter feed for their cattle.

Firefighters were called to Knox Hill Farm on Ripon Road at around 6pm after neighbours spotted the blaze, and worked into the night to prevent it from spreading to other outbuildings.

The blaze at Knox Hill Farm in Harrogate burned fiercely into the night and was still smouldering the next morning.

The blaze at Knox Hill Farm in Harrogate burned fiercely into the night and was still smouldering the next morning.

None of the farm’s herd of beef cattle was harmed.

Farmers Anne and Mike Harrison said there had been no stray fireworks in the area, but that they had often caught neighbourhood children playing in the open-sided Dutch barn, which stands next to a public right of way passing through their land.

Firefighters who attended the scene confirmed that arson was a possibility.

Mr and Mrs Harrison believe they are covered by their insurance policy, but worry that finding replacement winter feed in sufficient quantity will be difficult at this time of year – and even if they can source some, they now have nowhere to store it.

More information follows.