THE country's longest-running Farm Watch scheme is celebrating 25 years of success.

The achievements of Wear and Teesdale Farm Watch were commemorated in a ceremony near Barnard Castle at which it was awarded £4,000 by Durham police and crime commissioner, Ron Hogg.

It will help the group buy more radios in order to enhance its battle against rural crime and vandalism.

Neighbourhood Police Inspector Kevin Tuck, who works closely with Farm Watch, said: “Wear and Teesdale’s Farm Watch is the longest running in the country, and it is the biggest and the best.

“We do all we can to help the community. Criminals don’t work to geographical boundaries, so neither should we.”

Barnard Castle PCSO Liz Finn, who attended the event, said: "It was an evening for volunteers to celebrate.

“They all give up their time for the community and thanks to them we have achieved so much.”

Farm Watch was founded in 1989 by farmers Peter and Gladys Stubbs.

Since then, the scheme has won the Country Crime Fighters Award for Best Community Scheme and has attracted more than 800 members and 60 volunteers.

For more details or to join the group follow @farmwatch1 on Twitter.