Riders in Sussex are being urged to keep an eye out for Christmas tree thieves while they are out hacking.

Sussex Police say the large-scale theft of Christmas trees – from garden centres, growers and private sellers – is becoming all-too common at this time of year.

Phillip Ball, who runs Sussex Horsewatch, told H&H: “Riders are one of the best sources of information for rural crime, because their eyes are several feet off the ground and they are riding slowly along country lanes.”

Riders who see any suspicious activity should telephone 999. For non-emergencies, call 101

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (15 December 2011)