VANDALS have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage joyriding on tractors at a farm near Malvern.

The damage was discovered at the weekend at the family-owned Knights Cider farm at Storridge, just north of Malvern.

Two tractors which were being used to carry out maintenance work to the cider orchards had been started up and driven around, causing extensive damage to the machines themselves, as well as to cider apple trees.

Keith Knight of Knights Cider said: “We don’t know how they got them started because they didn’t have the keys in, but they did and they caused so much damage.

“A member of the public walking their dog on Sunday saw the tractors abandoned in the orchard, and came to tell us.”

He said that the same evening, before they had had a chance to remove the tractors, one of them was started up and ridden round again, causing further damage and leaving it astride one of the damaged trees.

“The tractors were being used to carry out essential work, and that has had to be delayed. It must have caused damage of £10,000.

This incident is not the first problem the farm has encountered this year; several weeks ago, sheep, including ewes in lamb, had been chased around fields by children, causing one of the animals to die.

Mr Knight said: “We have built this farm up from nothing over the past 50 years, and we have always been happy for people to walk on our land, but these people who have done this are just vandals.

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, quoting incident number 171s/090619.