Lincoln pensioner’s bush war goes viral as 2,000 people jump to his defence

A petition supporting a Lincoln pensioner’s battle to stop his 140-year-old hedge from getting the chop has gained the backing of over 2,000 people.

Burton village resident Roy Dowson, 89, has been ordered to cut his yew hedge back by Lincolnshire County Council, as it overhangs part of the pavement.

A small number of villagers have complained to the council that they are unable to walk along the footpath safely.

Following these complaints, Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department has ordered Roy to trim the bush back by February 24.

The 110-yard yew was first planted by the Burton estate in the 1880s.

Photo: Heather Dowson

Photo: Heather Dowson

Roy said that he felt the council was making “a mountain out of a molehill.”

He said: “The hedge has been like it always has been for the past 40 years since I moved into the house.

“I’ve never known anyone have an issue with it in all this time so I just can’t understand at all what on earth all the fuss is about.

“The powers that be have given me a court order saying that the hedge is encroaching on the footpath and making it narrower.

“They’ve told me to cut back to 2ft, level with the wall and if I do that it will ruin it.

“But it’s very good and I’m pleased that so many people have supported me.”

Photo: Heather Dowson

Photo: Heather Dowson

Roy’s daughter Heather Dowson, from Canwick, added: “The village is a conservation area and this will completely spoil the look of the hedge and area which has lots of yew hedges similar to this.

“Due to the layout of the roads and footpaths, it is not actually possible to walk on footpaths all around Burton village anyway. A wheelchair user would be unlikely to use the footpaths.”

The petition can be found online.