A Plaque in memory of a devoted couple who died a month apart has been stolen from a Darlington park.

It marked a tree planted in North Lodge Park as a tribute to Trevor and Barbara Alderson, of Pendower Street, who died two years ago aged 79 and 74.

It is believed the thieves struck between late October and November 5, when the couple's daughter, Anne, visited the park.

"The plaque is worth next to nothing financially, but it was obviously a memorial and it is extremely upsetting to the family that someone could do this," said Miss Alderson.

"There is a chance that the thieves may have thrown the plaque away when they discovered it was worthless.

"If so, and it is found by anyone, we would very much like it back."

The five-inch brass plaque bore the names and dates of Mr and Mrs Alderson.

The matter has been reported to police and to Darlington council's parks officer.