A farmer has called on the community to pull together after hay bales at her farm were set ablaze by arsonists.

The fire was started in the early hours of Monday with straw bales set alight on land at Redhill Valley Farm in Olveston near Thornbury.

A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset police said: “Officers noticed hay bales on fire while on patrol in Redhill Lane, Olveston at 1.10am.

“They called the fire service who quickly extinguished the blaze.

“It is believed the fire may have been started deliberately.”

Firefighters from Thornbury fire station attended the incident and used one high-pressure hose reel and a hay fork to extinguish the fire by spreading it over a large area.

The farm is owned by Lisa Meachin along with her sister Jenni.

Lisa received a phone call around 2am, alerting her to the fire.

“Luckily the police were doing a patrol of villages and they saw these flames as they were passing,” said Lisa

“They were very quick and it’s very fortunate the police were driving past.

“The damage was minimal,” she added

Firefighters extinguished the blaze after rolling the bales across a nearby field.

“That’s the worst bit having to clean it all up,” said Lisa.

“They had to do it but it’s just an inconvenience. “It’s a shame but you have got to move on haven’t you?

Following a drought in the summer, the farm has been forced to buy in fodder at increased prices.

Fortunately only two bales were lost in the blaze.

Lisa has called on farming communities to look out for each other following a number of similar incidents.

In September a fire in Ingst caused the roof of a barn to collapse.

“It’s happening all the time,” said Lisa.

“All we are trying to do is feed the nation.

“Farming communities need to stick together, that’s for certain.

“It’s a shame people don’t appreciate them,” she added.

Lisa is determined to not let the fire derail her thriving business.

Last year she opened The Dutch Barn, three holiday homes next to the farm.

Jenni’s daughter Emily has recently launched gelato company Wholly Cow, which uses milk from the farm.

Anyone with information about the fire should call 101 and quote reference 5218241164.