LONDON: They thought they were being good citizens. But when a well-meaning couple cleared weeds and rubbish from outside their house, the council issued a warning, telling them to put them back.

Samantha Hamilton and Colin Freeman spent months getting rid of dead plants, broken bottles and scrap metal from the verge next to their home in the village of Mytchett, Surrey, after moving in in April last year.

So they were baffled by a solicitor’s letter telling them to return it to its former state or face legal action. Surrey County Council said part of the verge was owned by the highway authority, which means residents are barred from tending to it without a licence. Hamilton, 31, said: “When we moved in, it looked like a wasteland. It was so overgrown that one neighbour didn’t even realise there was a house there.”

– Daily Mail