A charity has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after thieves stole a vital piece of equipment.

A shed used by the volunteers at Ramsey Abbey Walled Kitchen Garden, in Wood Lane, was forced open some time between Thursday, January 14, and Saturday, January 16, and a shredder worth about £500 was stolen.

The industrial shredder is regularly used by the garden volunteers to clear away dead foliage, branches and other garden debris, particularly in the winter as they prepare for the busy planting season.

A spokesman for the charity said: "The thieves obviously came with the sole intention of stealing the shredder as they came in a vehicle across the fields from the Ramsey Forty Foot area, leaving tracks in the grass all the way."

Fruit and vegetables grown by the volunteers is sold to residents of Ramsey and the facility is also used for educating school pupils and local groups.

Diane Raishbrook, who was volunteered at the garden for 20 years, said: "It is a very important piece of equipment for us, particular in the winter.

"It was locked up in our shed which was forced open and broken and will also now need replacing."

Mrs Raishbrook said volunteers would be calling in a security advisor to look around the premises and see where more can be done to prevent another attack happening in the future.

Cambridgeshire police have been informed of the break-in and anyone with information should contact officers on 101.