Police hunt brazen thief who ripped up rare and protected wildflowers from beauty spot near Rugby

They ripped chunks out of a protected beauty spot so they could steal the rare and fragile flowers

Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:11 am
Updated Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:12 am
Some of the damage left behind and, inset, a green-winged orchid. Photo: Warwickshire Rural Crime Team, Facebook.

Rural crime officers are searching for a brazen thief, or thieves, who dug chunks out of Draycote Meadows as they stole rare wildflowers.

For weeks residents visiting the site have been able to enjoy the site of the beautiful green-winged orchids, which typically flower in May and June and are classified as 'near-threatened'.

But on June 1 Warwickshire Rural Crime Team said they had received a report that not only had the flowers been stolen - whoever did it had damaged the meadow.

A spokesperson for the rural crime team also explained that the thief or thieves have nothing to gain - as the flowers require very specific growing conditions and are very unlikely to survive if ripped up and taken elsewhere.

The spokesperson added: "Draycote meadows is a site of special scientific interest and is therefore a protected site.

"The flowers themselves are afforded protection under the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981 which makes it an offence for an unauthorised person to uproot any wild plant.

"If you have information surrounding this incident please contact Warwickshire police on 101 quoting incident number 455 of 1st June 2021."