Gardener threatened with ASBO for cutting back invasive species at local park

Staff writer

A green-fingered granddad has been ordered to stop cutting back trees and weeds at his local park - or he could be arrested.

Do-gooder Alan Baines, 62, has spent the last 18 months picking up litter, trimming hedges and planting flowers at the once dilapidated park.

Earlier this month he received an "aggressive" letter from Wigan Council ordering him to put his tools back in the shed or else they'd report him to police for criminal damage.

Defiant Alan has refused the demand, saying that if he does then the park will become overgrown again and all his hard work will go to waste.

Mr Baines, who works as a caretaker in the NHS, told Wigan Today: "I have cleared all the banking and if they leave it 12 months, they will have exactly the same problem with brambles and nettles. I think it's tragic."

A council spokesman said: "We have been made aware of unauthorised habitat works taking place within Rayner Park without our knowledge or consent. The works include the cutting back of trees and vegetation including Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam."