A CHARITY which provides training and work to adults with disabilities says the theft of gardening equipment from their premises has dealt them a real blow.

Staff with Northdale Horticulture noticed two chainsaws and two hedge cutters had been stolen from their premises on Yafforth Road in Northallerton on the morning of Thursday, September 13.

The charity provides work-based skills and qualifications to its members, who work in the garden nursery, provide gardening services in the local community and make gifts in their studio and workshop.

“Sadly, the loss of the equipment has come at a very difficult time for us because we are right in the middle of our busiest time for hedge cutting, which means we have already had to let a number of our customers down,” said Martin Robinson, the charity’s garden contracting instructor.

Manager Simon Cross said: “The charity is currently searching through hours of CCTV footage to see if the culprits were caught on camera.

“It’s real blow given that most of the equipment was given to us as a result of donations and applications for grants.

“The people who steal these things really don’t appreciate the amount of hard work that goes into getting the funds to purchase the equipment in the first place, never mind the impact something like this has on our clients and customers.”

The equipment stolen includes a two stroke STIHL Chainsaw, a Husqvarna Chainsaw, two STIHL hedge cutters and a high reach STIHL hedge cutter. The charity believe the equipment was taken during daylight hours.

All of the stolen equipment was marked with the charity’s post code “DL7 OLQ” so if you should be approached with or offered any cheap horticultural machinery that matches that which has been stolen please contact the charity directly or contact North Yorkshire police on 101.