Wanted posters have been appearing around Loxwood and the surrounding areas as the owners of the Loxwood Meadow offer a £10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist or arsonists who set a barn and seating area alight in the early hours of Friday 27th July.
Home of the Loxwood Joust and located off the B2133 north of Billingshurst, the fire that caused an estimated £35,000 of damage also endangered the 50-acre woodland and the people that were on site in the meadows at that time. Thankfully, the barn was unoccupied and no-one was hurt; with the quick response from the fire brigade also ensuring that the fire did not spread to the surrounding tinder dry woodlands.
Police are investigating the arson and PC John Blight of the Chichester Investigations team said; “Our enquiries have so far not identified the motive or those responsible for this offence, but the offer of the reward by the land owners, subject to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible, may well produce information.”
Maurice Bacon, who owns the farmland said “The Loxwood Meadows are special, and have received recognition for their wealth of natural habitats and ecofriendly management. We are so very lucky that the fire that was started in the midst of the very hot, dry weather did not decimate them. I really hope that this reward will trigger people’s memory’s for information that will lead to the capture of the arsonists, and that our distinctive posters will also encourage people to come forward if they can help.”
Should you have any information, you can contact the police online, or call 101, quoting serial 212 of 27/07.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111