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Thieves destroy thousands of plants at Johnsons of Whixley

Thousands of plants have been destroyed after a break-in at Johnsons of Whixley, a commercial nursery in North Yorkshire.

The plants were deliberately run over by a dumper truck which was stolen from Johnsons of Whixley between 10pm and 12am on Thursday 26 March.

The stolen truck was used to remove a bowser containing 1,000L of fuel. It was then driven through Johnsons’ perimeter fence and onto the A59, ploughing through the plants in the process. The truck was subsequently left, but the diesel was taken.

Managing director Graham Richardson said the vandals drove the truck over tens of thousands of plants which were growing in readiness for next year, “because they could and they felt like it”.

He said: “They deliberately drove over our production line of stock, damaging tens thousands of plants – hardy landscape plants of differing varieties, not saleable, but in production for the future.”




Johnsons is one of the UK’s largest commercial nurseries and is a three-generation family business that supplies seven million plants each year.

Johnsons employs up to 150 people but is currently operating on a skeleton staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Police are currently investigating the recent theft. Please get in touch with them on 101 if you have any information.

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