SEVEN “head turning” specimen olive trees each between 100-200 years old and together worth around £10k – have been stolen from a yard in Ledbury.

This week, Villaggio Verde, the only UK company specialising solely in growing and supplying Olive trees throughout the UK, has issued a nationwide appeal for information as to where the trees may be and put a reward up for their return.

Jason Hales, owner, said that if, as suspected, the trees had been stolen to order they could be “anywhere now” but most likely London.

Hope lay in sightings of the trees on the back of an open articulated trailer.

“ If we know the route the truck took after leaving Ledbury we will have a better idea as to which part of the UK the trees were headed,” said Mr Hales.

The seven trees are reserved for the Villaggio Verde show-garden at The Royal Horticultural Society Malvern Spring Festival in May. They are believed to have been driven out of the yard at about 12.30pm on Monday, January 27th, having been loaded onto a 40 ft flatbed trailer using an on-board forklift truck.

The trailer was towed away with a blue Volvo truck sleeper cab truck.

Mr Hales said the unusual form of the trees made them a “head turner” on the open road.

Villaggio Verde is offering to take information in “complete confidence” if it can’t be offered directly to the police. That information can be passed on to 01886 888011 or “This has become a national hunt but what better place to start in the county the trees were stolen from,” said Mr Hales.