A FARMER has spoken of the devastation caused to her farm after an illegal rave took place near Warminster at the weekend.
Jane Harley, of Valley Farm in Chitterne, revealed how 25 cattle escaped from a field after revellers broke down a 4ft fence and how she had to stay up all night along with two employees and two friends to try and protect her land as around 500 partygoers passed through it.
Police were made aware of the free party at around 12.30am on Sunday morning after the farm’s foreman spotted people setting equipment up at Quebec Farm, owned by the MOD, near to Valley Farm, but they did not have enough resources to shut it down immediately so allowed it continue until 7am.
Mrs Harley said: “Hundreds of people, most of whom already off their faces, parked in the village and followed the music – taking them on a two-mile route through the farm.
“Cattle are kept all over the farm behind electric fencing and we were worried about them escaping out onto Salisbury Plain – if they get out there they could very easily get lost.
“Then, as we feared, the sheer number of people climbing over one of the big fences meant it fell down and Aberdeen Angus cattle escaped. Thankfully we managed to retrieve all of them but it could have been far worse if we weren't there. It was a nightmare.
"We directed people down the road which led to the event and some people were compliant, but most didn't care and trampled through the farm anyway."
Mrs Harley said the sleepless night will set her back by about £1,000 as the fence had to be repaired by two workmen on Tuesday and her two employees will have to be paid overtime.
On top of that, she and her tireless helpers got no sleep ahead of working the next day and she is still clearing up a vast amount of litter left behind including broken glass, bottles and laughing gas canisters.
This site has been popular for illegal raves in recent years and Mrs Harley is urging revellers to think about people’s livelihood and well-being in the future.
“People just think they’re having harmless fun at these events but that isn’t the case; the traffic, noise and damage caused to land has a hugely detrimental impact,” she added.
“We’re not trying to prevent people from having fun, we just want them to think about others a bit before doing so.
"It is possible to get to these events without damaging people's property and the music doesn't have to be so loud."