Farming conference returns to Blenheim Palace for a second year

Blenheim Palace has hosted its second farming conference for the local community – with a range of talks on rural crime, diversification, cash flow and mental health.

Over 100 people gathered at Blenheim Palace this month for the second Rural Crime Farming Conference, held in partnership with Thames Valley Police.

Speakers included Kaleb Cooper of Clarkson’s Farm, who spoke about diversification; while Robert Courts MP spoke about the importance of local food production; and Matthew Barber PCC who explained the high priority he places on rural crime in his policing plan.

Meanwhile, Datatag outlined how to protect farming machinery from theft; and Toby Morris from Windrush Business Services covered the vital issue of cash flow for farmers.

Inspector Stuart Hutchings, from Thames Valley Police’s Rural Crime Taskforce, who gave an overview of the current crime trends affecting farming, commented: “It’s vital for police to have a close relationship with the communities we serve and hopefully this annual event supports their efforts and that of the wider farming community.

“Tackling rural crime is all of our responsibility and by working closer together, we can create a hostile environment for offenders. Tackling all types of rural crime is a priority for Thames Valley Police.”

Matthew Barber, who is police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “Events such as the Rural Crime Farming Conference provide both myself and Thames Valley Police the opportunity to hear first-hand about the issues currently facing rural communities.

“The Rural Crime Taskforce continues to see positive results in tackling rural crime across the Thames Valley. Rural crime remains a key priority in my policing strategy and, by working together, we can ensure that rural communities are kept safe.”

For more information on Blenheim Community events and news, visit

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