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Thieves will even steal the trees

Worcester Editorial 8th Jan, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

OUTRAGED residents in Warndon have spoken of their anger after a number of trees were stolen from a new community orchard.

A group of volunteers planted 15 saplings last month after Worcester City Council launched a scheme to spruce up the area off Aconbury Close.

But Coun Andy Roberts, councillor for the area, said he was furious to find out that two of the 6ft apple trees had been taken from the site over the festive period before four more were removed last weekend.

“I know there are terrible things going on around the world and matters have to be kept in proportion, but I’m furious that someone, who must live within walking distance of the new orchard, could be so callous,” he said.

“It seems to highlight the difference between those who are willing to help to make Worcester a better place and a selfish minority who will exploit their efforts without conscience.”

Dan Robb was among the volunteers to get to work on the new orchard which they hope to embellish with 60 trees over the next three years. But he fears more could go if further measures are not put in place to try and stop the thieves from coming back to the site.

“There are only nine left now and if this carries on there will be none left,” Mr Robb said. “We need to do something desperately to stop this from happening.

“We have put fours posts in, with wire all the way around, which protects them from dogs and sheep, but it does not protect them from people.

“It is a lovely field and it is going to be a lovely orchard once it is established, but then people go and do this. It’s just sad.”

The incident is understood to have taken place between 2pm on Friday, January 3 and 9am on Monday, January 6 and a spokeswoman from West Mercia Police said they now urging people to come forward with information.

She added: “The Warndon Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) will be conducting patrols in that area and we are asking members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in the area immediately so we can trace those responsible and trace the stolen trees.”

Anyone with any information about the trees should contact the non emergency number 101 and ask for Warndon SNT, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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