SCOUTS who have been building giant plant pots to encourage bees and butterflies in Cwmcarn have been hampered by thieves who keep stealing their equipment, their scout leader has said.

The Cwm Gwyddon Explorer Scouts in Abercarn have been working on the field project at the Cwmcarn Forest Drive Visitor Centre during their summer holidays, building giant plant pots featuring the folk legend the Green Man, as well as images of endangered species, along the path leading to the lake.

The nine Explorer Scouts, aged 14 to 17, filled the pots with flowers to encourage bees and butterflies, numbers of which have been falling in Britain.

But thieves stole their roll of wire mesh which is needed to build the flowerpots, as well as a red and white safety barrier chain to protect the public from wet cement, said leader Lynn Richards.

Plants have been removed from the flower bed, including a large silver shrub and blue cornflowers, causing damage to other plants in the process. Thieves even took the small bottle of plant food.

Ms Richards said apart from a donation of sand and cement by Travis Perkins, the project is being paid for entirely by the young people themselves.

“After these young people put so much effort into their project and spent their own funds on materials, it is a very sad situation for them, and jeopardises the completion of the project.”

“They’re working towards the Chief Scout Platinum or Diamond Award and this is part of the environmental section. They’ve used illegally dumped tyres in the centre, covered with wire mesh and cement.

“The Forest Drive staff have been thrilled with what the Scouts have been doing.”