POLICE are hunting thieves who stole more than 30 newly planted trees from a Wigan school.
They had been planted by pupils at Ince CE Primary School less than a week ago as part of the school’s Jubilee celebrations, with Latics manager Roberto Martinez guest of honour.
They had been donated to the school as part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee project and included several Birches and a special Royal Oak Tree.
But when teachers went into school on Monday morning, they were horrified to find that more than half of the 61 trees had been dug up and stolen, including the Royal Oak.
Headteacher Jillian Hyde says that the children are absolutely distraught after having such a memorable day with Mr Martinez last week.
She told the Evening Post: “It is awful, I can’t believe people would do such a thing.
“The children are so upset and can’t understand why people have done this.
“At least 35 trees have been ripped up and stolen, leaving just the tubes they were planted in.
“We’ve contacted the police about it so they know but I’m not sure how much they can do without help from the public.
“It was such a lovely day with Roberto last week so for this to happen now, it’s so upsetting.”
The Charles Street school is now urging anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact the police.
They believe the trees were taken on Sunday but can’t be any more specific.
Miss Hyde added: “There isn’t any CCTV in the area so the police need all the help they can get.
“We really are just appealing for anyone in the area who may have seen anything to tell the police.”
Greater Manchester Police confirmed they are looking into the tree theft and anyone with information is urged to contact them. Phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111