THIEVES have upset children at a Hampshire school by stealing pumpkins they had been growing for their Harvest Festival.

Almost 20 pumpkins and squashes have been stolen from Patrick's Patch, which is opposite Fairweather's Garden Centre in Beaulieu High Street.

A Fairweather's spokesman said: "The team at Patrick’s Patch are very sad that the pumpkins and squashes have been stolen from the garden.

"The stolen vegetables included 17 bright orange Squash ‘Uchiki Kiri’ which had been lovingly tended by children from Beaulieu Primary School for display at their Harvest Festival."

Patrick Fairweather added; "The garden is open to visitors all the time, whether our head gardener or volunteers are on site or not.

"We trust the public to enjoy the garden, leaving the fruit and vegetables untouched.

"This theft is upsetting for the children and our team of volunteers who put so much work into growing all our vegetables, and making the garden such an inspiring garden to visit.

"If anyone sees an unusually large number of squashes we would love to get them back so the children can enjoy their Harvest Festival."

A school spokesman was unavailable for comment.