Suspected theft of hundreds of hedge plants at King's Lynn recreational space
Around 300 hedge plants have been stolen from a recreational open space in Lynn last week.
Having only planted them at the end of March, members of the Harding’s Pits Community Association were dismayed to find the plants had disappeared on Thursday morning.
After receiving lottery funding, the plants were grown to define the boundary edge of Harding’s Pits as the borough council had been moving the lawn on their land.
Members of the association were told the plants were definitely still there on Wednesday morning by a dog-walker so they believe the theft occurred later that evening.
Chairman of Harding’s Pits, Rob Archer, said: “I would not suggest it was vandalism, I would suggest it was theft.
“It would have taken a lot of effort to pull them out to only get a couple hundreds of pounds if they were sold on.”
Mr Archer added the opportunity to replant them may be lost this year as early spring is the ideal time for planting.
The group reported the suspected theft to the police, who said they could not do anything about it.
As a result, the group have circulated an appeal for information on social media, despite Mr Archer saying he is “not hopeful” for any news.
Eight different species of plants were sprouting in order to expand the range of habitats within the pits as well as defining the boundary.
Rick Morrish of the Harding’s Pit Association said: “What a sad indictment it is within our community that somebody thinks it is appropriate to steal from a public open space managed by volunteers of the community for their own ends.
“There were a few plants lying around with some of them scattered about.
“I just wondered whether the newly built estate has acquired a set of plants to go in a new garden.”
Harding’s Pits is one of the largest Doorstep Greens in the country, covering five-and-a-half acres of land between the rivers Ouse and Nar.
Doorstep Greens bring open space for recreation and wildlife conservation to local communities.
Mr Morrish added: “Even though we have had this dry weather, I do not think we had a single plant that had not grown into life.
“Back in 2004, we agreed with the borough council that all of that land would be taken on for the Doorstep Green. Doing this planting would define our site and add more biodiversity.”