A fundraising fairy bringing some festive fun to young children has been stolen from Rushmere Country Park.
Earlier this month the Greensand Trust introduced six fairies, declaring: “The magic of Christmas has spirited some new residents into the park! Have you seen them yet?
“In their honour, we have produced a fairy trail activity sheet. Follow the clues to find all six fairies, and have fun with the fairy puzzles. For £2 a sheet, you get a groovy Christmas pencil to use and keep.
“All proceeds go towards the upkeep and development of the park.”
But on Sunday, December 20 there was a different kind of hunt launched – for whoever stole one of the new additions.
The Greensand Trust declined to comment when asked about the theft.
However it posted on its Facebook site: “Sadly, with a heavy heart, I have to report one of our fairies is missing.
“As well as being a bit of a fundraising attraction, these fairies have provided a lot of fun and excitement for our smaller visitors this Christmas. Restore our faith and return it please. Thank you.”
Visitors to Rushmere have taken to social media to vent their anger about the theft.
Paul S posted on Streetlife: “The staff at Rushmere try very hard to make it an enjoyable experience for young and old.
“While the fairy trail is a pull for children six new fairies were bought and placed in the trees to be found.
“It appears that the one lowest down has gone missing, whether she got frightened and flew away or maybe she had a helping hand.
“It would be nice to see her back so that other children can enjoy hunting for her, that is my Christmas wish.
“I very much enjoy the park, let’s hope she returns.”
Diane G added: “It is a real shame that some people spoil the enjoyment of others.
“Let’s hope the person feels guilty and takes her back.”
The 750-metre long trail was opened to the public in 2012, it follows a circular route through woodland around the meadow.
Families can search for the doors to pixie houses, see a giant chair, spider and the heron on its nest. The wood-carved images were created by chainsaw sculptors Ian Freemantle and Peter Leadbeater.
> Call police on 101 with information about the theft.