Sick thieves have targeted The Herald garden of remembrance within hours of it being unveiled to the public.

On the poignant anniversary of lockdown, a memorial plaque dedicated to all those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have been taken from the grounds of Pollok Country Park.

It was stolen just hours after being unveiled by Glasgow Lord Provost Philip Braat.

Read more: Garden of remembrance site revealed on lockdown anniversary as fund reaches £60,000 milestone

The Herald was proud to unveil the site of the memorial garden on such an important day for people who have lost loved ones. It was attached to a wooden plinth and surrounded by memorial benches.

We were alerted that the plaque was missing by a family who had decided to go to the site to remember their loved one for the national midday minute silence.

HeraldScotland: Connie McCready and Jessica Machon at the unveiling of the plaqueConnie McCready and Jessica Machon at the unveiling of the plaque

Donald Martin, editor-in-chief of The Herald and Herald on Sunday, said: "We are very disappointed that a dedication plaque in memory of those who have lost their lives appears to have been taken. On such as poignant day as today, it is upsetting for the many families still grieving the loss of a loved one."

Connie McCready, of Covid-19 Families Scotland, was shocked to discover the plaque had been taken just hours after the unveiling.

Ms McCready, who lost her fiance Jim Russell to the virus, was joined at the site by his great-niece Jessica to lay one of the first plants.

She said: "I am absolutely shocked that someone would do this and today of all days. This memorial plaque was for everyone to remember their loved ones. I just don't know who could do this."

HeraldScotland: Gouge mark on the plinth where plaque was removedGouge mark on the plinth where plaque was removed

As well as unveiling the site, the memorial garden campaign has been given a further boost following an offer from the Scottish Government to pledge more than £16,000 to help us reach a milestone £60,000. So far we have raised more than £43,000.

Offering her support First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the memorial garden will be a beautiful and fitting place.

In what was a poignant moment Glasgow’s Lord Provost Philip Braat unveiled a plaque surrounded by benches carved out of felled beech trees from the park.

The Lord Provost said: “This is deeply shocking news and even more so on the first anniversary of this horrible pandemic.

“I’ve no idea what would make people carry out such wanton vandalism and I hope they are thoroughly ashamed of their actions.

“I will be speaking to council officers to see what antitheft measures can be put in place to make sure this does not happen again and doesn’t cause any additional distress and upset to families and loved ones as the whole point of the memorial garden is to bring peace and solace.”

To donate go to The Herald memorial garden go to gofundme.com/ herald-garden-of-remembrance. You can also send donations via post to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow, G32 8FG. Keep up to date with the latest news at www.heraldscotland.com/campaigns/memorial-garden/