Elderly Man Cuts Neighbors Overgrown Hedges, Thanks Himself in Newspaper

Lazy people can sometimes affect those around them. An 89-year-old man decided to take matters into his own hands after he cut his neighbors’ overgrown hedges to clear a path. He made sure to thank himself in the local paper for doing so as well.

Keith Haines cut back his neighbors’ hedgerow to make a path more accessible for pedestrians and wheelchair users. After not receiving any praise from the tenant, he wrote to his local newspaper saying he would like to “thank me” for the job well done.

The write-up in the Newbury Weekly News read: “I would like to thank me for bringing the footway to its original width as the tenants haven’t bothered to keep the hedge cut. I informed the council of my intentions but they didn’t stop me from doing it, so I went ahead with it. Everyone who passed me congratulated me. What a difference I have made.”

Some residents, including a blind neighbor who walks his guide dog daily, were thrilled by the trim. “I am often stung by stinging nettles, scratched by brambles and hit in the face by branches and shrubs that are overhanging the footpaths. Fortunately, there is a resident who lives nearby called Keith.

“He is 89 years old and as well as caring for his wife, he is out every day cutting back foliage, clearing blocked drains, picking up litter and sweeping the subways to keep them free of slippery mud, litter and broken glass. I think this wonderful man deserves some recognition for all his hard work as a volunteer.”

Others weren’t so pleased with Haines trimming the hedges without their permission. Mandy Allen said she didn’t want her hedge cut back as much because it gave her property some privacy and reduced traffic noise.

“It’s an absolute mess. He’s gone back to the original fence. I have been in my house for 23 years and I have never ever seen the original fence. He’s not just cut it, he’s absolutely hacked it,” Allen said.

A West Berkshire Council spokesperson said that since the hedges are on private property, they do not fall to the council to maintain. They did suggest residents cut down vegetation that has overgrown but to speak to them first and only trim up to the boundary point between the properties.