A GARDEN centre in Oxfordshire is offering a £50 award for a large pumpkin that has been stolen from a children’s Halloween event.

The large green pumpkin, named The Green Goddess, was stolen from Bunkers Hill Garden Shop in Kidlington over the weekend.

It was part of the plant nursery’s ‘Ugly Mug Pumpkin Parade’ event which is a collection of decorated pumpkins that helps raise money for charity alongside the shop’s annual Pumpkin Hunt event.

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Oxford Mail: 'Green Goddess''Green Goddess' (Image: Bunkers Hill Garden Shop)

Staff have searched ‘high and low’ for the missing pumpkin so it is assumed it has been taken alongside a smaller pumpkin, named Tiny Tim.

Posting on the garden’s Facebook page, Andrew Leaning, who owns the nursery with his wife Liz, said: “We presume that a daring heist has been carried out by professional pumpkin snatchers.

“Alternatively, they have been kidnapped but no ransomed note has so far arrived. The alternative would be hard to believe that some very mean-minded individual has stolen Green Goddess.

“If this is the case then they may want to search their conscience as the whole pumpkin hunt and parade is a charity event.

“This raises thousands of pounds for Mind, a UK-wide mental health charity, and Restore, an Oxfordshire-based mental health charity.

Oxford Mail: 'Tiny Tim''Tiny Tim' (Image: Bunkers Hill Garden Shop)

“Our nursery donates the prizes, stickers and free chocolates so every penny goes to these deserving mental health charities.

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“Although the Goddesses value is only £3 we are offering a £50 reward for information so she can be returned and the culprit shamed.

“Please keep a good look out on social media as they are probably daft or brazen enough to post pictures.  

“This popular pumpkin is fairly large and dark green in colour and a real favourite for the little children who are disgusted and some close to tears.

Oxford Mail: Big DaddyBig Daddy (Image: Bunkers Hill Garden Shop)

“Due to her size we think was probably put into a bag or stuffed up a jumper. We hope that this appeal will result in the guilty pumpkin snatcher repenting and will return her anonymously perhaps with a note of apology.”

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Mr Leaning said that although the Facebook post has been written in a ‘comical way’ but he would still like to see the pumpkin returned.

“It’s the principle of it,” he said “We don’t want the pumpkin back for its value as it’s worth about £3 but we hope the guilty culprit will be ashamed.

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“We don’t even mind if they pop it back over the fence at night. The event is for charity and raises thousands of pounds.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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