CHILDREN in the Dulais Valley have been left devastated after trees they planted as an eco project were stolen.
Pupils from the eco-committee at Ysgol Gymraeg Blaendulais worked with Seven Sisters Community Council to plant the fruit trees in the village recreation ground.
The project to create a mini orchard was held in conjunction with the Dulais Valley Partnership, which secured the funding for the children.
Cledwyn Thomas, chairman of the community council, said: "It was about seven weeks ago, we had some children from Ysgol Blaendulais plant some fruit trees in the rec to turn it into a mini orchard.
"They planted 22 trees, but now they have all been stolen."
He said that on Saturday, April 19, a member of the council attended the recreation ground to check the safety of the play equipment, and the trees were still in place.
''But when we went back, they were all gone," he added.
"The police have been today to have a look.
"Whoever it is has also stolen a plastic man hole cover, meaning they have left a danger for someone to fall into."
County councillor Steve Hunt said he was disgusted by the theft, adding: "We are gutted, absolutely gutted.
"It was the Dulais Valley Partnership who had the grant for it.
"It's disgusting. If anyone knows anything about this, they must report it to the police.
"Unless we catch people like this, they will keep on doing it."
The trees stolen were a mixed variety, and included apple and plum trees.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: "It's so important for the community that anyone with information about this gets in touch with us."
Can you help? Call South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.