PCSOs searching a wood for children believed to be inhaling ‘laughing gas’ were shocked to find a potent strain of cannabis being grown out in the open.
Nottinghamshire Police PCSOs Neil Reddish and Lara Holbrook noticed a strong smell of cannabis earlier this month when they searched Watnall Wood, in Watnall.
PCSO Holbrook said: “The smell took us further into the wood where we were dumbfounded to find a nursery of nine large and 11 small cannabis plants being grown outdoors. We couldn’t believe what we’d found. The plants had labels tied to them saying ‘Candy’.
“I did some research on the internet and discovered they were a very sturdy and potent American strain of cannabis known as ‘Kandy Kush’ which can be grown outdoors without hydroponics and which has a high potency.
“They were in a copse, planted among other self-growing foliage, so I’m not sure most members of the public would have known what they were.
“I believe the plants had been there for some time as they were waist-high on me and the nursery plants were established.
“A drainage system had been dug out for the plants which had chicken wire around them.”
After the plants were found on June 12 they were destroyed. No arrests have been made.
PCSO Holbrook added: “The plants were seized and destroyed and we left a note for whoever was growing them, asking them to please refrain from growing cannabis in the area as we will be patrolling the area regularly.
“We have been patrolling the woods again as and when possible. No further plants have been found.”
Cannabis is a Class B drug, the supply of which is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine – or both.
Police in Nottinghamshire have seized more than £4million-worth of cannabis plants in the last two months.
In May alone officers seized more than £3million-worth of plants – an increase of more than 280 percent in the same period compared to last year.
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Sergeant Alistair Moreland, who is in charge of a small team of officers responsible for the dismantling of cannabis grows, said: “It’s not common but we do come across outdoor grows from time to time. Some varieties will grow outdoors in this country.
“It’s a bit more ‘home brew’ compared to the large-scale sophisticated indoor grows we come across which are set up and run by organised crime groups who are looking for high yields, high-quality and rapid turnover.
“We’re all so used to hearing about indoor cannabis grows you can forget that this is a plant that can grow outside in the UK.
“We’d ask people to keep an eye out for distinctive outdoor cannabis grows they may come across and report any finds to us by calling Nottinghamshire Police on 101.
“We’d also urge anyone who has information about drug use and supply in their community to call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”