Anger after parish council chops down man’s daffodils in East Rudham

They mark the start of spring, share the colours of Norfolk's Barclays Premier League football club and are the subject of William Wordsworth's most famous poem.

But now daffodils are at the centre of a bitter dispute in a Norfolk village.

Nigel Root, 48, planted about 100 daffodil bulbs on the edge of the village green outside his cottage in East Rudham, near Fakenham in autumn 2010.

He is now furious, that, just as they were about to flower, the parish council has chopped the daffodils down.

Mr Root has sent a letter expressing his anger to East Rudham Parish Council chairman Tony Elburn and distributed copies throughout the village.

In it Mr Root, who lives in Cambridge but regularly stays at his East Rudham cottage, which he bought in October 2005, says: 'I have arrived at my cottage this weekend to witness that your instructions to Bob (the retired gentleman who cuts the village green) to cut down the daffodils which I planted outside my cottage on the green have finally been expedited.

'The very disturbing thing is that there are other daffodils in various places on the green which you have not given instruction to destroy. Were mine possibly the wrong shade of yellow for you?

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'You need to know that I care very much about what the green looks like and, most weekends, take a few minutes to pick up the previous week's litter.

'I wonder if you should perhaps take some time to review your core values in life and what is truly important.'

The letter adds: 'Please do not bother replying - no reasons why will excuse your behaviour.'

Mr Root, who used to be an investment consultant, and now works as a carer, said he is a keen gardener.

He told the EDP yesterday: 'These daffodils enhanced the village green and I can not see what harm they were doing. It is not as if they were red tulips or I a tree, they were in-keeping with the area.

'It now looks a mess.'

In response, parish chairman Mr Elburn said: 'Mr Root approached us and said that he would like to plant daffodils on the edge of the green, outside his home, to prevent cars from parking there.

'He wanted to plant them in a line and I had concerns that they might cause a nuisance for the man who maintains the green for us, but this was not my decision to make so I put it to the parish council for discussion at the next meeting.

'The general consensus was that we did not want that sort of planting at that location on the green. It was also felt that this could open the door for anyone to come along and plant anything they want, wherever they like.

'As an alternative we decided Mr Root could plant the daffodil bulbs close to a group of trees on another part of the green.

'I contacted Mr Root to tell him the council's decision. He was very unhappy about it and he just went ahead with his plans.'

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