Hundreds of trees planted by volunteers have been stolen after a thief “ran rampant” in Watford.

On Wednesday 200 tree saplings planted in the Radlett Road Playing Fields were uprooted and stolen. 

The trees were all native species and included mountain ash, hazel, and crab apple. They were provided as part of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’s Big Tree Plant.

Victoria Willis, from the group that planted the trees, said: “Whether this act was carried out in order to make a quick profit from the sale of such saplings, or out of protest against the tree planting, is uncertain. 

“Although used as playing fields, the green space by Radlett Road forms part of the Green Belt and is also a designated wildlife corridor.

“The trees planted there would have provided an additional wooded area and much needed biodiversity, in line with its purpose as Green Belt land.”