Police appeal after granite stones stolen from ancient Cornish hedge

STONE THIEVES 29/01/2021
Nick Taylor, Penwith hedges officer for Penwith Landscape Partnership.

Police are appealing for information after a "substantial amount" of granite stones have been stolen from an ancient hedge in Cornwall.

The stones were located close to Rosemergy Farm in Morvah near Penzance.

They are believed to have been taken overnight from the top of a 30ft stretch of ancient hedge between Friday 22 January and Saturday 23 January.Resident Chris Holmes, from Morvah, said: "We noticed a substantial amount of stones have been removed recently from a length of ancient hedge adjacent to the B3306 outside Rosemergy Farm.

"The hedgerows in this area are thousands of years old."What's even more impressive is that these old man-made structures are still being used for their original purpose."

The granite stones are believed to have been stolen during the current lockdown.

Nick Taylor, Penwith hedges officer for Penwith Landscape Partnership, said the incident will damage the local landscape.He said: "We're in a predominantly Bronze Age landscape, so these hedges around us are thousands of years old potentially. They're probably medieval."You can tell the stones have been here hundreds of years by the lichen growth and the vegetation.

"It looks to me like these stones have been taken away deliberately because, although when you first look at the structure you might think it's a little bit random, this has actually been put together with real skill, these stones are solid."You have to put some effort into taking them away. These haven't just fallen away. You can see by looking at the soil that the stones have actually been extracted, there's been some deliberate removal of the stones here."We will try to repair the stones but as you can see because they've been here for so long the lichen growth, it's quite difficult to replicate that. So we will repair them as best we can, but these features are precious and it's very difficult to put them exactly as they were."

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Police were alerted to the theft of around 25 granite stones from a wall at a property in Pendeen, Penzance."It’s believed the stones were stolen some time between midnight on Friday 22 January and midnight on Saturday 23 January."Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk quoting the reference number CR/006654/21."