Café owners refuse to be beaten as they remake stolen items to put on a one day treasure hunt
11:11, 4 April 2015 By Jennifer Morris
An Easter treasure hunt for children in the community was ruined after thieves stole decorations and props.
The owners of Ockham Bites café, in the woods at Ockham Common, arranged the Fairy and Elf Easter Challenge for children to come and enjoy, from Sunday (March 29) until Thursday (April 2).
Anna Bungay meticulously set up the treasure hunt, placing home made miniature ‘fairy doors’ on trees and hanging up bunting and lanterns, on Saturday evening (March 28).
The aim was for the children to collect an activity sheet from the countryside room and follow the signs through the forest to the ‘secret location’. Once they had completed the sheet, they could hand it into the café to receive an Easter treat.
However, when Mrs Bungay took her four children for a trial run, early on Sunday, to her dismay, everything had been dismantled and taken away.
“It was so disappointing,” she said. “My heart just sank.
“I sent my children off to find the doors and they all came back and said ‘Mum, we can’t find anything’.
“It was all just gone.
“I don’t understand who would do this, none of it was of any value.”
Mrs Bungay had obtained permission from Surrey Wildlife Trust to set up the trail, so there is no indication it was removed by the authorities.
On Sunday she posted a message on the Ockham Bites website, letting everyone know what had happened.
“Obviously we are feeling very sad and shocked about how people’s actions can ruin a fun children’s event,” it read.”
She added: “Sorry for any inconvenience.”
However, determined not to be beaten, Mrs Bungay remade the little doors and rearranged the event, which ran for one day, on Thursday (April 2), and was a big success.
“Please visit us and join in to prove we will not be beaten by heartless thieves,” wrote Mrs Bungay on the website.
When the Surrey Advertiser caught up with the café on the day, Mrs Bungay’s husband, Steve, said: “It’s been great.
“By 11am we had five or six families down here.
“Anna set it all up in the morning and stayed with it.”
A Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) spokesman said of the theft: “SWT is saddened to learn of the theft of Ockham Bites’ Easter treasure hunt equipment.
“The trust works closely with the café and supports family events held by them on Ockham Common.
“We hope that visitors will still be able to enjoy this beautiful reserve over the Easter period.”
A Surrey Police spokesman added: “Among the items stolen were a number of decorations, including sun catchers, wind chimes and bunting, which the victim had handmade for a fairy and elf treasure hunt in the woods, for local children to take part in over the Easter holidays.
“Officers have made contact with the victim and explained that it is unlikely they will be able to progress the investigation due to insufficient lines of enquiry.”