Louth parents have issued an impassioned plea to ‘rock thieves’ in the area, who have been ruining a popular children’s outdoor game.
The plea came from parents in the ‘Louth Rocks!’ Facebook group, which is followed by around 1,000 local people who enjoy playing the game.
The community-led game, which is enjoyed by adults and children alike, is simple.
Participants simply go outside and find a rock, paint some artwork on to it - perhaps accompanied by a short message painted on the back - and then go out into the great outdoors and hide it for other people to find and enjoy.
Once you have found someone’s painted rock, you simply hide it again for others to find in the future - perhaps after you have taken a quick photograph of you with the rock to post in the Facebook group.
Hubbards Hills and the land around Louth Canal are known to be particularly popular ‘hot spots’ for hiding and seeking the painted rocks.
However, in recent days, some rocks have permanently gone missing and it is claimed that some have been collected and taken away.
Karen Godfrey, a local mother who enjoys decorating and searching for the rocks with her daughter, told the Leader: “The kids and the parents are painting some wonderful rocks.
“But, its been found that a few people are just collecting them and taking them home. The aim is mainly to re-hide them to continue the fun.”
It is not known how many people have been taking the decorated rocks. It is also not known for certain whether the rocks are being taken maliciously, or whether it is an innocent mistake from someone who enjoys collecting them.
Some have claimed that an elderly lady has been collecting the rocks near the canal.
Nevertheless, the ‘Louth Rocks!’ group is hoping to raise awareness about their project, and encourage other people to leave them alone or re-hide them, rather than taking them home.
Group member, Romy Rayner, suggested that participants could write ‘If found, please re-hide’ on the back of each painted rock, while Kirsty Crane suggested a poster campaign around the town to make people aware - and encourage new players.
How did the game all begin?
• The game was Inspired by The ‘Kindness Rocks Project’, which all began in Massachusetts (USA) back in August 2015.
• Groups have been launched all over the world, and there are over 13,000 people involved through the Kindness Rocks Project itself.
• ‘Louth Rocks!’ was inspired by the project, and the facebook group was set up three months ago - although some people may have already been playing the game ‘informally’ in the louth area before this summer.
• The group has already gained almost 1,000 members, and dozens of photos and comments are posted about new rocks and exciting discoveries every day.
• Visit www.facebook.com/groups/1877556292561990 or search for ‘Louth Rocks!’ on Facebook for more information.