Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

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marymck
Posts: 1573
Joined: 9 Feb 2008 16:30
Location: Upper Kirkdale

Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

Post by marymck » 16 Mar 2019 13:17

I live on upper Kirkdale and have just caught someone digging up primroses from my front garden. She was with a group calling themselves the London Natural History Society and she was clutching a reference book on wild flowers. They were walking downhill from the direction of the woods. One of their number told me they "don't usually" take plants from people's gardens. "Don't usually"!!?!!

Another member of the group said he was surprised at the actions of the thief as "primroses aren't of interest" to them!

Whether they have been stealing wild flowers from the woods I don't know, but the woman who'd stolen my plants had a plastic bag in her rucksack that she'd been putting her swag in.

whittler
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 May 2012 09:06
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

Post by whittler » 18 Mar 2019 09:44

Crikey! :shock: Did you get the plants back? It seems the London Natural History Society did have an event on Sat to 'record' wildlflowers in the area so maybe it's worth raising concerns with the organisation as i bet they'd be mortified at the idea of plant thieves in their midst... http://www.lnhs.org.uk/index.php/activi ... -in-tq3472

JGD
Posts: 414
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Lewisham

Re: Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

Post by JGD » 18 Mar 2019 10:09

Does this script from the link appear unusual in any way - or is it only me ?
Saturday. Botany. Forest Hill, recording wildflowers in TQ3472. Nick Bertrand. Meet 11:00 Forest Hill Stn (TQ354729, NR London Bridge). Professional narcissists love this time of year. One of the good side effects is that the wildflower police know they can't cut the leaves of daffodils too soon. This gives real wildflowers a chance to flower. We will seek them.

marymck
Posts: 1573
Joined: 9 Feb 2008 16:30
Location: Upper Kirkdale

Re: Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

Post by marymck » 18 Mar 2019 11:14

That seemed strange wording to me too JGD. I don't understand what was meant by it.

I did email the Chair of LNHS who has replied that he's asked the meeting organizer to investigate.

I did get my primroses back. But only because my husband happened to be standing at an upstairs window and saw them being dug up. So I legged it down the street and caught up with the culprit. She gave them back and apologised. But she had clear plastic bags of other plants in her rucksack and of course I don't know where she got those, so other local gardeners might not have been so lucky and if anyone finds unexplained gaps in their gardens this might be the explanation.

The apology I had from another in the group was that she was sorry I'd been upset!

Tim Lund
Posts: 6635
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

Post by Tim Lund » 18 Mar 2019 12:11

This is so weird. LNHS is a perfectly respectable organisation, and does loads of good work

I've suggested to the London Wildlife Trust Great North Wook project that it would be some good citizen science to encourage people to log where wild garlic (ransom) grows, because it's a marker of where there was ancient woodland, and there's plenty in the gardens of my bit of Silverdale. But alhough primroses are native, most of them will have been planted by gardeners

whittler
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 May 2012 09:06
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

Post by whittler » 18 Mar 2019 13:38

Yes, i couldn't quite grasp what that bit of blurb meant either...looks a bit odd.

Re: Ramsons (wild garlic), in a conversation i've had in the past with some of the Great North Wood project team i understand that they do survey all the ancient woodland indicator species in the woods, but the bigger issue is still people doing a bit too much over-enthusiastic foraging as the areas where it is growing become more well known and this particular trend grows.
I would have thought a photo of anything they were looking for would have been sufficient if this was a recording exercise, as advertised. The organisation do need to clarify what went on here and if they give specific guidance on their tours of what is and isn't an acceptable recording method.
Glad you retrieved the plants Mary.

mosy
Posts: 3712
Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: Urgent warning: plant thieves in the area

Post by mosy » 18 Mar 2019 18:02

Most who forage elsewhere where plants are not protected that I know are fully aware that whole plants are never taken, only clippings or perennial fruits that some plants/bushes produce. Removing whole domestic plants from private gardens ostensibly for study sounds more like theft to me and hopefully is certainly not condoned by respected monitoring groups.

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