Thieves have stolen 750 litres of white diesel from a large farm estate in Lincolnshire.

The diesel, worth more than £1,000, was stolen from a tank in a farmyard at Little Limber sometime between Friday 10 January and Tuesday 14 January.

Any information on the theft should be reported to Lincolnshire Police on the telephone number 101.

Police were also alerted to two suspicious men filmed on CCTV wandering around a farmyard in nearby Normanby le Wold at around 1.30am on Tuesday (14 January).

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “The men are seen to enter the grounds of the premise in Normanby le Wold and look around but it’s not believed that anything was taken.

“Police attended and carried out a full area search but were unable to locate the men. It’s not known if these incidents are linked.”

According to rural insurer NFU Mutual, its figures for 2012 showed oil theft claims totalled £1.5m and average claims costs were £1,431.

An NFU Mutual rural affairs spokesman said: “Theft of red and white diesel account for three-quarters of fuel theft claims, with heating oil accounting for 23% and bottled gas 2%.

“The worst affected region of the UK is the South East with 17% of claims, followed by the Home Counties and the West Midlands with 16% each.

“Heating oil and red diesel, typically used by farmers to power tractors working the land, are both essential in the countryside. Despite recent falls in fuel prices, fuel thieves are continuing to target farm and domestic fuel tanks – sometimes stealing more than 1,000 litres in a single raid.”

NFU Mutual is urging its members to consider a number of inexpensive methods to deter thieves. These include: moving tanks to secure locations, planting shrubs and erecting fences to hide exposed tanks, installing locking caps to tanks, checking fuel levels on a regular basis and working with other residents and businesses in local watch schemes.

Use our Crime Register to report farm crime in your area.