HEARTLESS thieves stole memorial trees in a night time raid on a Huthwaite beauty spot - then dumped the plants when they could carry them no further.
The thieves struck at Brierley Forest Park between last Wednesday night and Thursday morning and uprooted saplings which had been planted by two local residents in memory of lost loved ones.
Donald Day (58), of the Carsic estate in Sutton, said he was devastated after finding out the tree he had planted in memory of his wife Vivian, who died in 2009 aged 50, had been dug up.
“These trees mean a lot to the people who have had them planted. It’s our way of keeping a link with the people we have lost.
“My wife and I were regulars at the park and we would come down here and talk about what would happen when she was no longer here. I found it very upsetting when I found out what had had happened to her tree.”
John Hill, of the Friends of Brierly Park group, said the other tree was dedicated to the memory of the wife of a sick elderly man
“This gentlemen would have been extremely upset because he was here every day to visit the tree. He has not been back since,” he said.
Park rangers found the trees in another part of the forest covered up and it is believed the thieves intended to return later and take them away.
The trees have now been replanted.