©North Yorkshire Police

Police are appealing for the owner of a large amount of farm equipment dumped by the roadside to come forward.

A walker found the stash of stolen goods, which includes pto shafts, hydraulic pipes, Simba rams, a three-phase pillar drill and a floor-standing grinder, near Helmsley in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.

Officers believe the equipment was stolen from farms and then stashed at the roadside to be picked up at a later date.

See also: Read the latest news on farm crime

PCSO Sean Simpson, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Someone who was out walking found this stash of farm equipment. We have no idea how long it has been there.

“We don’t know where it has come from because a lot of it is unmarked. There are some iconic agricultural items as well as driveshafts from tractors.”

The stash of machinery parts found by a walker

©North Yorkshire Police

Tim Price, rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, said tool theft remained stubbornly high on the agenda of rural thieves.

Indeed, the latest rural crime figures show that tool thefts are among the top three type of thefts carried out in rural areas in many UK regions.

“We believe thieves target farm workshops and tool sheds in winter months because they can get on to farms under the cover of darkness,” said Mr Price.

“It is also unlikely that anyone will be about to spot them on cold winter nights.”

Mr Price urged farmers to seek information on the origin of kit, such as pto shafts, offered for sale from people outside agriculture.

Farmers or rural businesses who believe any of the equipment may belong to them have been urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.