'Guerilla gardener' told to pay up for planting on muddy verge

A public-spirited family doctor who planted up a muddy verge in Cambridgeshire has been told she broke the law and must pay a fee to the local authority.

Dr Susannah Beattie was ordered to apply for a licence to cultivate the land and to pay an £84 fee after she planted nine shrubs to deter drivers from churning up a verge as they parked their cars near her home in Queen Edith’s, Cambridgeshire.

The county council insisted she breached the 1980 Highways Act, which allows councils to control planting on public land. Dr Beattie had to submit a plating plan, which would have to be agreed, and stump up the fee.

Dr Beattie, who paid the fee, said the hoo-hah acted as a "disincentive" to people who wanted to take ownership of their neighbourhood and improve appearances.

Her local councillor Geoff Heathcock said the behaviour of the council was "over the top, unnecessary and petty" against the damage caused by cars parking on verges, which was not as strictly policed.

But a council spokesman said it was standard practice to demand a licence to cultivate on highways land. The fee covered costs of inspecting the site and agreeing a suitable planting scheme.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Opinion... Healthy trees work harder for longer

Opinion... Healthy trees work harder for longer

UK satellite images after heavy rain show river estuaries engulfed by massive swirls of muddy-brown water extending out into the surrounding ocean blue. It is soil scoured from our mismanaged land because of Government policies that focus on food production at the expense of sustainability.

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Bespoke apprenticeships and internal training are helping firms to get ahead in skills-shortage horticulture, says Rachel Anderson.

Sargent's solutions - how to turn the loss of a key member of staff into a positive

Sargent's solutions - how to turn the loss of a key member of staff into a positive

Losing a valued member of staff can be a positive opportunity for change rather than a disaster, Alan Sargent suggests.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +


Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Products & Kit Resources