Poppy wreaths that were stolen within a day of being laid at Ardrossan’s Garden of Remembrance have been retrieved by a local rambler.

Around 20 floral tributes, all donated by local organisations, were pinched from the garden on Glasgow Street.

The theft was discovered by Richard Holmes from the Royal British Legion on Monday morning (November 12) – less than a day after the wreaths had been laid for Remembrance Sunday.

But a passer-by came to the rescue after meeting Richard that afternoon and made it his mission to find the stolen floral tributes.

Tristan Lindsay from Irvine searched around the railway embankments in Ardrossan and soon found a number of the wreaths undamaged and discarded around the railway line near to South Beach Station.

Richard told the Herald: “We’re assuming it happened last night (Sunday) after the service. I was coming up from a funeral to the bowling club when I realised they’d been taken.

“I’m gutted. You wonder about the mentality of some people.”

Tristan took Richard to the area where he had found the wreaths and the pair were able to retrieve some of them. The wreaths were re-laid in the Garden of Remembrance and the Herald arranged with Network Rail to recover the rest.

Tristan said: “I’m just a passer-by, a rambler. I was talking to the man and he was understandably very distressed, so I did a bit of walking around. I just was curious, I’m like that.”

Isobel Savage, who successfully campaigned to have her late son Corporal William ‘Sav’ Savage commemorated in Ardrossan, also retrieved a wreath from the embankment.

Isobel and her partner Jim found one of the floral tributes abandoned beside the gates at Cannon Hill yesterday (Tuesday, November 13). The couple placed the wreath back in the Garden of Remembrance.

Isobel, whose son was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2013, said: “I can’t believe this has happened – unbelievable. I’m angry. I’m sure there’s still some down there in the embankment but you’d break your leg if you were to try and get them.”

Chief Inspector Colin Convery, area commander for North Ayrshire, said: “As most people are aware Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of WWI and the Remembrance parades were particularly poignant. We understand this incident may be upsetting for the local community.

“Enquiries are at an early stage, but we would appeal for anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident number 1625 of 12 November. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”