British countryside is being devastated by thieves stealing wild flowers.
The British countryside is being devastated by thieves who are stealing wild flowers before selling them, charities warned as police revealed they seized 5,000 black market bulbs in one raid.
Rare plants and garden flowers are being targeted by thieves in the middle of the night before being illicitly sold online, with some endangered species fetching up to £70 each.
The market is being partly driven by enthusiasts and plant collectors described as “fanatical” by experts because of their desperation to get their hands on certain species.
Plantlife, a wild flower conservation charity, said the number of thefts may be increasing, but added that the scale of the problem is difficult to assess.
Dr Trevor Dines, a botanical specialist at Plantlife, said the worst type of offender was those with an “egg collector” mentality, as they targeted very rare and threatened plants.
He said: “Driven by a need to possess the genuine wild plant, their actions can have devastating consequences”
Read more here via The Telegraph.