A thief has nicked a wooden hedgehog, left opposite the entrance to Alnwick Infirmary by volunteers to cheer up young patients.
The carved creature was given pride of place on the grass banks outside Barter Books by a team planting bulbs.
Alnwick in Bloom joined forces with Loving Alnwick, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Alnwick Town Council to plant more than 4,000 bulbs to provide a splash of spring colour.
The hedgehog was placed at the base of one of the large trees but four days later, it was gone.
The theft has dismayed those involved in the planting.
Elizabeth Jones, from Alnwick in Bloom, said: “Some swindling so and so has pinched our prickly pal.
“It would have taken quite an effort to get to him and he’s no featherweight.
“He was put there for young patients’ pleasure.”