Children's plants at a early childhood learning centre have been destroyed by burglars, leaving the kids devastated.
Pohutukawa Early Learning Centre staff and children arrived at the Villa St centre in Masterton yesterday morning to find their planter boxes had been stolen and the dirt tipped out.
Teacher Jessica Collings, 23, of Carterton, was the first to discover the missing boxes and explain to the children they had been stolen.
"They were just upset and didn't really understand why anybody would steal them," Miss Collings said.
The two boxes, which sat in the centre's outside area, had been used by the children to grow and harvest vegetables in the winter and more recently to plant flowers in.
"Each day they would water them with their watering cans and watch them grow, so they were really sad this morning when they came down and they were all gone."
Miss Collings said the centre would be considering increasing its security.
"We are thinking that we might have to put a lock on our gates.
"We've never been broken into here before. It's an early childhood centre and so many of them do get ripped off. It's just not fair."
Miss Collings hopes those responsible for the theft will return the planter boxes. "It's not fair on the children that planted all the flowers and now they're just ruined. "It's so sad that people can do these terrible things to places in our community, especially when it affects children and makes them upset."
A hose and hose connections were also stolen. The burglary is thought to have occurred on Sunday night.