FOR two years flowers - planted by schoolchildren - have brightened up a patch of land in Pennington Hall Park.

Each plant carried a tag with the name of the pupil from Christ Church Primary School in Leigh who planted it and the garden has been lovingly cared for by the Friends of Pennington Hall Park.

But last week many of the plants were dug up and stolen by heartless thieves in the night.

FoPHP member Trisha Taylor, who made the discovery, said: "It is soul-destroying to see holes where there was once a plant.

"As every plant has a name tag of the child who planted it - so they can see and experience how a plant transforms - it is more upsetting.

"The plants are acquired by volunteers raising money or from donations and although one or two have gone missing in the past the plants are now disappearing in lots.

"It is so frustrating to see all that hard work undone by someone who just comes along in the night and pinches them. About five of the plants just disappeared overnight."

Thieves returned on Friday night and stole more despite a sign up telling people about the garden.

Trisha added: "We are trying to make the park a part of the community where people of all ages can go and enjoy themselves.

"We are hoping to open a cafe there but this kind of behaviour is not helping.

"We've had a big sign made which tells people why the garden is there so it is not like they are not aware of what they are doing. They must not have a heart at all.

"The schoolchildren all come down and look after their plant and see how the others are getting on as they grow. They don't understand why someone would steal them.

"If anyone can offer their support by helping in the garden and donating any wildlife shrubs or trees, they will certainly be cherished or even come and plant it yourself with your name attached."

For further details on how to help, call Trisha on 07740 856150 or e-mail