PRIMROSES planted in Hailey Park are thought to have been stolen, leaving the volunteers who planted them confused, disappointed and out of pocket.
Seven volunteers from the Friends of Hailey Park group last week planted around 50 primrose plants, costing £150, and three elm trees.
Community park ranger, Gareth Stamp, reported on Monday that half the primroses that were planted near the loop bridge in the Llandaff North Park looked to have been stolen.
“The plants were quite mature because we wanted to make sure they would thrive, but they aren’t going to thrive if people steal them,” said Penny Bowers, chair of Friends of Hailey Park.
“We were quite sad, really, because we had spent that time planting them and of course the money because this time it came out of the members’ fund,” she added.
“It’s probably too late to replant them now and we would have to buy them out of our own funds again.”
Volunteers pay a £3 annual membership fee which pays for work done throughout the year, such as planting flowers, painting benches, edging paths and litter picking.
Friends of Hailey Park was established 12 years ago to preserve the Llandaff North park, and now has around 150 members.
Mrs Bowers, 60, said: “Of course we will carry on. This is no reason to stop. We could try and plant them in a different area but we will not stop.”
Primroses are a protected species and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is illegal to remove them from their habitat.
Though these primroses were not growing wild, the group is saddened they have disappeared as they were planted as part of wider conservation efforts.
“I am really passionate about the conservation side of the park. For the last seven or eight years we’ve been getting the Green Flag Community Award for our regeneration work on the meadow,” said Mrs Bowers.
Primroses were also planted in the main area of the park but were fortunately left alone.
This is not the first time something like this has happened, according to Mrs Bowers.
“We get wood stolen from the park from fallen trees as well, which can kill entire ecosystems.
“People seem to think that because it’s public land they can take what they like, but it’s theft.”
Despite this, the volunteers say they will continue doing all they can to preserve the park and its wildlife.
“There is a disconnect with people. They see stuff on Blue Planet but don’t realise what’s on their doorstep,” said Mrs Bowers.
“It’s great wanting to save the planet but it starts in gardens and parks. Parks are the best places to start conservation projects that you can visit and be a part of,” she added.