Council tell gardener to get rid of £100 allotment flowers

Keith Barnfield said: I have tried to do something nice for the county and I am upset by this”

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A gardener who planted rose bushes to decorate his street which 'looked like an East German prison fence' was told to tear them all up by council bosses.

Green-fingered Keith Barnfield, 72, spent nearly £100 on buying yellow roses to line an ugly fence along the side of his road.

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The ten roses bushes were planted along the fence of an allotment, with the permission of the man who rents the nearest plot in Cheltenham., Glos.

He described the wire border with its concrete posts as "like an East German prison fence" and said the blooms were an attempt to make it more eye-catching.

But Mr Barnfield, who worked for the local authorities for 40 years as a structural engineer, was told by council officials that he would have to uproot the plants.

Mr Barnfield was dismayed to be told by Cheltenham Borough Council that his guerrilla gardening in Hatherley, Glos, was not welcome.

Credits: GloucestershireLive / SWNS.com

Guerrilla gardener was told to tear flowers up again by council bosses

He said: "It seems ludicrous. I was absolutely gobsmacked. I have tried to do something nice for the county and I am upset by this."

Keith had contacted the council to ask if they would be interested in getting more roses to border the rest of the allotment fence.

He wrote: "It is a great eyesore and more resembles a East German prison fence than a Cheltenham street scene.

"Many passers-by have admired the roses since they were planted, and have commented on the great improvement that they have made."

But council officer Fiona Warin said the idea was not practical.

Council order gardener to rip up allotment flowers

Keith described the wire border as "like an East German prison fence"

She wrote: "It would make it difficult to undertake repairs or weed-killing along the fence-line.

"Also, with allotments being provided by law for the growing of fruit and vegetables, we have to be a little bit careful to avoid a 'gardenisation' of allotment sites.

"Allotment holders usually look to other plots to see what they can do on their plots. They copy.

"So if they see one area of fence covered with roses, they might like the idea, assume that this was OK and be rather upset when someone from the council came along and asked them to remove it. It creates bad feeling.

"Please could you remove the existing roses along the fence-line."

Adam Reynolds, green space manager for Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "Whilst we really appreciate Mr Barnfield's idea to improve the appearance of the site and the local area, unfortunately we are unable to help with his request.

"He has now been asked to remove the roses.

Credits: GloucestershireLive / SWNS.com

Council said roses had to go

"Although the request appears to be simple, there are many issues that we'd need take into consideration including officer time.

"The fence line runs along a number of allotment plots and consent would be needed from each plot holder.

"Plots change hands regularly and what one tenant may find acceptable, an incoming one might not.

"We'd also need to consider the maintenance of the roses and future repairs to the boundary fence as well as weed-killing.

"We encourage and work with numerous community groups across the borough to bring about environmental improvements, but in this case didn't consider the proposal practical."

Neighbours from hell

Neighbours from hell


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