Warning: Watch out for snowdrop thieves
PUBLISHED: 11:16 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:05 01 February 2020
Countryside lovers are being warned to watch out for snowdrop thieves.
As the first white blooms begin to emerge, police in Norfolk say "large quantities" are stolen from the wild each year.
Last year one man was jailed and another given a community order, after a court heard they dug an estimated 13,000 bulbs from Walsingham.
Sentencing the pair, the judge at Norwich Crown Court said the plants had been "stolen to order".
Snowdrop collecting has boomed in recent years, with some bulbs fetching hundreds of pounds.
Patches in parks, grass verges and private gardens have all been targeted by thieves.
Some growers now resort to CCTV and nocturnal patrols to protect their crop.