FARMERS who have sold milk and eggs from their gate for around 15 years say they have been forced to stop after being targeted by thieves twice in a month.

Makita tools worth between £500 and £600 were stolen from Midgham Farm near Fordingbridge earlier this month.

A hand grinder and hand drill, along with five batteries and the charging unit, were taken.

The farm was also broken in February. Thieves smashed open a shed door and money was taken from an honesty box.

Farm owner Graham Witt said his family have sold milk and eggs to people from Alderholt and Fordingbridge in 2005.

"Thefts have happened a few times before in the past but it's increased in the last 18 months," he said.

"It's gone from a few pounds in the pot going to breaking into the shed and stealing several hundred pounds worth of tools.

"It’s going to end all our farm gate sales.

"Hopefully, we will be able to sell what we would usually sell at the gate at farmers markets instead now. Only time will tell.

"We’ve got to the point now we are going to keep the farm locked up, regardless of whether I’m on site working or up in the fields.

"That way there’s no excuse for any other person to be on the farm without a prior appointment."

In total, burglars have broken in five times.

"We've had things taken while we were up in the fields too," Mr Witt said.

"Off the top of my head there's been £50 to £60 in cash, £500 to £600-worth of Makita power tools, a Stihl chainsaw, a £1,200 log splitter and half a dozen tractor batteries taken.

"We even had our red diesel tank emptied.

"That’s just in the last two years."

Anyone with information should call Hampshire Constabulary on 101.