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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006, 13:17 GMT
Bluebell thieves raid local wood
Bluebell thieves are stripping woodlands of their wild flowers before they have a chance to bloom.

Police were called to a wood in Bourne near Peterborough after passers by saw men digging up bluebell bulbs.

By the time officers arrived they had disappeared, but not before clearing a patch of bulbs.

Ian Butterfield, of English Heritage, said bluebells were restricted to older woodlands and thieves could deprive future generations of the plants.

Cambridgeshire Police said there was often a rise in such thefts at this time of year as unscrupulous traders tried to cash in on the demand for spring flowers.

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