Plant poachers steal critically endangered orchids from a Suffolk beauty spot
Police are hunting for plant poachers who dug up critically endangered flowers at a Suffolk beauty spot and stole them.
Two yellow early marsh-orchids, or Dactylorhiza Incarnata, were dug up and stolen from the side of a footpath at a Suffolk Wildlife Nature Reserve in the county.
The distinct flower is one of the rarest orchids in the UK and only exists in two small colonies in the country - one in Suffolk and one in Cambridge.
The first of the critically endangered wild plants was stolen between June 1 and 4, with the second taken between June 10 and 14. Police have not revealed exactly where the flowers we stolen from.
Early marsh-orchids flower at any time between May to mid-July, dependant on the latitude and the subspecies.
A Suffolk Police spokesman said: "Orchids are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act along with other native wild plants and bulbs. This means it is an offence to intentionally uproot any wild plant unless authorised to do so.
"Anyone who has knowledge of the theft or has been offered them for sale should contact Suffolk Police, quoting crime reference 37/38070/21."