A community group say they are “appalled and terribly sad” after four trees planted in the memory of their late chairman were stolen.

Thieves dug up six cherry trees overnight leaving members of Friends of Oxhey Park devastated.

In December, the team planted four trees in Oxhey Park, near Bushey Arches, in memory of their chairman Keith Alexander, and the money to fund the trees had been collected at his funeral last May.

Friends of Oxhey Park secretary Celia Smith said: “They took all six trees. Two of them would have been harder to dig up because they had been there longer but they managed to take them all. The trees meant so much to us all.

“I don’t think the people who did this would even care. We are all terribly sad that anyone would do such a thing. I’m utterly amazed and appalled. I’m appealing for anyone who may have seen anything to come forward.”

The field is not accessible to drive onto and Ms Smith believes the thieves would have had a truck parked nearby.

Watford Borough Council, who own the land, says it will help to replace the stolen trees.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, who sometimes helps out in Oxhey Park, said: “This is a totally mindless act of vandalism and particularly saddening given these trees were planted in Keith’s memory. We’re already looking at sourcing replacement trees and doing all we will do all we can to try and help the police catch the perpetrators.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary are appealing for witnesses.

A spokeswoman said: “We received a report today that between 10pm yesterday and 8am today six cherry trees have been stolen from Oxhey Park. The trees were planted on December 8 and are approximately 6ft tall.

“Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the park between the times stated or believes they have information that could assist police is asked to call the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 41/2938/19.”