Thieves destroy thousands of plants at commercial nursery near to Harrogate

27 March 2020

Thousands of plants have been destroyed after a break-in at Johnsons of Whixley, a commercial nursery between Harrogate and York.

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

The stolen truck was used to remove a bowser containing 1,000 litres 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 7 million plants each year.

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

Police are currently investigating and you should get in touch with them on 101 if you have any information.


  1. Theres some right idiots about. Catch them. Make them pay. Make them dig. Make them plant. Make them gather

  2. All thieves are disgusting, but this theft & destroying plants in this situation … beyond words (well, polite words anyway)

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