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Grandfather-of-seven is told to stop mowing grass outside his Yorkshire house

A grandfather was told to stop cutting a patch of grass next to his home on health and safety grounds – despite mowing it for 12 years.

John Hyde, 61, said his ‘killjoy’ local council forbade him from tending to a 10ft strip of turf located just 6ft away from his front door.

Thorpe Willoughby Parish Council in North Yorkshire demanded the strip of land alongside his four-bedroom £220,000 home is left to council workers.

John Hyde, 61, was told to stop cutting a patch of grass next to his home on health and safety grounds – despite mowing it for 12 years

The grandfather-of-seven has pruned, cut and maintained the land with the watchful eye of his disabled wife Isabella Hyde, 57, since 2006

The grandfather-of-seven has pruned, cut and maintained the land with the watchful eye of his disabled wife Isabella Hyde, 57, since 2006

The council said he did not have public liability insurance and therefore this constitutes a public health and safety issue.

‘Our argument is, we’ve been cutting for 12 years, so what’s the difference now?’ Mr Hyde said.

‘The parish council are taking the buzz out of us living in this village – they are killjoys.’

The grandfather-of-seven has pruned, cut and maintained the land with the watchful eye of his disabled wife Isabella Hyde, 57, since 2006.

Mr Hyde said he cut the patch of grass over 50 times in the past 12 years and also cut his neighbour’s grass at the same time.

But in January this year he received a letter after the council was notified he planted three Christmas trees on the land.

Mr Hyde said his 'killjoy' local council forbade him from tending to a 10ft strip of turf located just 6ft away from his front door

Mr Hyde said his ‘killjoy’ local council forbade him from tending to a 10ft strip of turf located just 6ft away from his front door

The council said he did not have public liability insurance and therefore this constitutes a public health and safety issue

The council said he did not have public liability insurance and therefore this constitutes a public health and safety issue

The letter from the council left the couple ‘mortified’ after they planted the trees in an attempt to raise the village’s festive spirits.

Mr Hyde, who works as a part-time carer after having a stroke in 2008, wanted to go back to tending the land – but was told to leave it alone.  

‘All I want to do is help – I like doing it and it keeps me active as I can be,’ he said.

‘At Christmas we planted three little Christmas trees – but they had to be removed as we had made the mistake it wasn’t our land.

‘In January this year we received a letter telling us we have to remove the trees and stop cutting the grass as it’s not our land.

‘We acknowledged the trees had to go, but the grass cutting? Naturally we were mortified.

Mr Hyde, who works as a part-time carer after having a stroke in 2008, wanted to go back to tending the land - but was told to leave it alone

Mr Hyde, who works as a part-time carer after having a stroke in 2008, wanted to go back to tending the land – but was told to leave it alone

Thorpe Willoughby Parish Council in North Yorkshire demanded the strip of land alongside his four-bedroom £220,000 home is left to council workers

Thorpe Willoughby Parish Council in North Yorkshire demanded the strip of land alongside his four-bedroom £220,000 home is left to council workers

‘We went to the next Parish Council meeting, and were told under health and safety we have to stop cutting the grass.’

His wheelchair-bound wife added: ‘We have a nice house, but since my husband’s stroke we are now on low income and gardening is about the only thing we love and can afford to do.

‘I’m very disabled and we are limited physically and money is tight.’

Thorpe Willoughby Parish Council clerk Steven Peters said he did not want to comment on behalf of the council until the issue was discussed at their next meeting on May 14.

He said the Council took legal advice from the Yorkshire Local Councils Association before contacting the couple and their main concern was with public safety.



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