A COUNCILLOR has hit out after thieves stole trees from decorative flower pots in Bromley Cross.

Around 20 conifers, standing no more than a foot tall, have gone missing from pots put around the village to the dismay of the volunteers who planted them.

Cllr Alan Wilkinson said he noticed the thefts earlier this week, with the trees only planted four weeks ago.

He said: “I think it is just disgusting that someone has stolen them.

“I don’t think it is vandalism. All of the other plants are there, there’s no soil on the floor — I think someone has just uprooted them, put them in carrier bags and taken them to make a hedge somewhere.

“It is straight forward theft. They are not very expensive, they would only be a couple of pounds each, and it is disgusting when someone comes along to pinch them.”

Conifers are a popular choice for residents looking to improve the privacy around their properties, as they can grow to a large height.

Voluntary group Friends of Bromley Cross bought the plants through fundraising and donations, and help maintain the planters which are dotted along Blackburn Road, Darwen Road and outside houses, shops and Walmsley Primary School.

Cllr Wilkinson added this is the first time in many months that anyone has tampered with the planters.

He said: “We had a planting session last year and we have experienced vandalism in the past, but over the last six months nobody has touched anything.

“A lot of the residents have been looking after them, and I’ve had so many people comment how lovely the planters are as they drive through the village.

“One lady from Preston contacted me and said how beautiful she thought the village looked, coming down through Egerton in Bromley Cross.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.