VILLAGERS in Mickleton said they are not letting the theft of an antique shepherd’s hut dishearten them and have set their sights on a new project.

As previously reported, the distinctive hut worth £10,000, was taken from the allotments in Stratford Road, between 4.30pm on November 15 and 8.30am on November 16.

Members of the Mickleton Community Vineyard bought the hut from a farmer and had only finished restoring it a couple of months before so it could be used as a meeting place or as an information centre.

But Chris Moorecroft, administrator of the vineyard, said they were going to replace it after despite only recovering just a quarter of what it was worth from the insurance.

"It's not turned up," he said. "But with the insurance and willing volunteers we are going to try and replace it with a unique eco shed or mud pack eco structure.

"The committee will be discussing what they are going to replace it with. It's essential we're going to be replacing it with something that can't be stolen."

The shepherd’s hut - which was described as part of Mickleton's history - was in poor condition when it was first bought, with rusty, corrugated iron and holes all over the structure.

But a dedicated band of workers including John Garton used recycled wood inside and on the floor and painted the wheels metallic green to give it a new lease of life.

"We're certainly not going to be disheartened," said Mr Moorecroft. "We could go and buy a shed but we're not going to do that. We're going to think about making something a bit original."

About 150 people have now sponsored 204 of 300 vines which were planted three years ago, with the first wine tasting set to take place tomorrow (Friday) in the King George's Hall at 7pm.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Polie, said: "Our officers carried out investigations, including house to house enquiries but no evidence was found and the case has been closed for now.

"However, we would ask again, if anyone is able to help with this, please contact us on 101 quoting incident number 141 of November 16."