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Richard Jenkins, 63, has had a 10 foot hedge carved into a hand flipping the middle finger in his front garden for 18 years. Now, he has been warned he faces police action if he doesn’t chop it down.
Mr Jenkins and his wife Linda, 69, live opposite The Office Pub in Warton, Warwickshire, with the hedge pointing towards the entrance. He initially carved it as a joke for drinkers in a pub when they teased him for trimming his bushes.
He says the middle-finger bush is well-loved in the area and attracts hundreds of visitors, with social media users keen to take a picture.
But Mr Jenkins, who has two grown-up children and four grandchildren, was stunned when Warwickshire County Council ordered him to cut it down after a neighbour complained.
He said: “It all started years ago as a bit of a laugh with the locals in the nearby pub. I used to do the hedges over there and they would give me a bit of a tease when they came out.
“One day I thought I’d get my own back so cut the hedge into a giant middle finger. The pub locals thought it was hilarious and it just went from there. It became a permanent fixture in the village.
“Everything was fine until I got a letter from the council saying someone had complained, saying the hedge was obscene.
“I was told I’d have to cut it down or modify it, so it didn’t look rude anymore. I refused so they got the police involved.”
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Warwickshire Police confirmed an officer was sent to investigate the issue.
The officer told Mr Jenkins that if they received any more complaints he would be instantly fined. The officer even suggested turning the hedge into a fist, but Mr Jenkins refused.
Mr Jenkins continued: “There is no way I’d chop it down. Many people quite like it, often you see people stopping in their cars, getting out and having a picture with it. One local lad even has it as his screensaver on his phone.
“I have had it up for nearly 20 years now, it is staying.”
Locals who love the hedge have even launched a ‘Save the Warton Bush’ campaign, which so far has more than 500 supporters.
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