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'I’m not lazy, I’m just re-wilding my garden'

Colin Stain is re-wilding his garden. That's what he told the council inspectors who came round to enforce the rules about looking after the house and not annoying the neighbours.

Colin says that he is very eco-conscious these days. He embraced no-mow May with enthusiasm and has since decided to make it a no-mow 2023. He is considering making nettle beer later in the year if he has a good harvest. Instead of taking his old mattress to the tip, he has decided to compost it at home. He says that the results so far are promising and he is pleased to have created a new habitat for the local wildlife.

The neighbours are less thrilled. Jez DeWitt lives next door and says that the Colin's wildlife is mostly just rats and the smell from Colin's newly created pond is a combination of manure and diesel, with a hint of old fish. He says, 'I'd like these Countryfile nerks to come round and find out what re-wilding actually smells like. That'd make 'em have second thoughts. It’s not a pond, it’s blocked drains.'

Colin also says he is re-wilding aluminium. He has three old supermarket trolleys and an impressive, if wobbly, pyramid of beer cans and meat pie trays. Colin is expecting to cash in, as 1000Kg of aluminium for re-wilding should be worth at least a bullseye and possibly a ton, apparently. He’s upped his intake of pies and beer to help him reach his target.

The council staff accepted Colin was making a genuine attempt at re-wilding. The 'wildflower meadow' was deemed acceptable and no worse than the roadside verges which the council don't bother to cut either these days. Composting the mattress was considered 'creative' although there will be an issue down the line with the metal springs. The inspectors took away a number of pungent smelling wild flowers for "further analysis and testing". The pong from the pond, however, was considered a nuisance and Colin has been given six months to sort it out.

The inspectors fined Jez £100 for putting glass recycling in the wrong bin and a further £100 for incorrectly sorting food waste and thereby encouraging rats and another £100 for parking on the pavement. Nobody likes a grass.

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