Offenders on community payback butcher Wimblington man’s hedge

CRIMINALS on community service who massacred a hedge without permission have been told to put right their mess.

Paul Brown wants the 20 offenders who did a six-hour shift ‘trimming’ the hedge alongside his Wimblington home on Sunday to replant the parts they destroyed without warning.

The 59-year-old was furious to return from an outing to find gaping holes in the hedge big enough for humans or animals to walk through, leaving him worried about security.

When he confronted the group about their botched handiwork he claims their supervisor replied: “I didn’t see them do that.”

He has called on Cambridgeshire Probation Service to communicate better with residents after saying he was not consulted about their plans.

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The work was being done by a community payback team because horse riders reportedly had difficulty using a path beside the hedge as it was overgrown.

“Manners cost nothing, so why not ask people?” he said.

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The March Road resident admits he is unsure whether he technically owns the hedge or if it is the property of Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways department but said: “They should let you know what they’re going to do.

“When my wife and I first saw them doing it we were quite pleased as we thought we were getting it pruned for free.

“However it looks as if they have been told to clear it rather than trim it. It has been butchered.”

Mr Brown said he had kept the hedge since moving into the home in 1987 because of its natural look.

The hedge that has now been destroyed had been there for hundreds of years, he said.

No one was available from the probation service for comment.

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