Bonnybridge man accuses service of turning garden into a ‘jungle’

The Garden Aid Scheme offers free grass cutting to eligible residents
The Garden Aid Scheme offers free grass cutting to eligible residents

A disabled man claims his garden has turned into a “jungle” because workers from the Garden Aid scheme failed to cut it in time.

Alan McArthur (44), of Bonnybridge, was accepted on Falkirk Council’s Garden Aid Scheme earlier this year due to ill health from arthritis and back problems which leaves him in severe pain.

The scheme offers eligible people a free grass and hedge cutting service, carried out by a contractor, if they are over the age of 65 or have a disability that prevents them from maintaining their garden.

One of the conditions of the scheme is that before the service starts the grass must be short – contractors will “not cut extremely long grass”, and hedges must be 1.5 metres or less in height with a maximum width of 1m.

Mr Mcarthur claims his grass was short when he was accepted on the scheme, but it has now grown very long as the contractor failed to cut it when they were supposed to.

Now, after several complaints from McArthur, he has been told that his grass is too long to be cut.

The father-of-two, whose children help care for him, said: “This has been a total nightmare for me. When I got accepted for Garden Aid my grass was quite short, but no one came to cut it when they said they would and that is the reason it has grown so long.

“It’s a jungle now and they’re saying I have to cut it but I don’t think that’s fair. If they had came out when they should have we wouldn’t have this problem.”

Another resident, a pensioner from Langlees who was told she would have her grass cut as part of the scheme, has complained that hers hasn’t been cut either after being told months ago she qualified for the scheme due to a serious shoulder injury.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said her grass also grew long waiting on the contractor to cut it. She has since been assured her grass will be cut.

The council say the poor weather has affected the service this year. A spokesperson said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused to local residents. Applicants are advised by letter when they apply to join the scheme that it’s their responsibility to maintain any grass and hedges until they are added to the Garden Aid Scheme.

“Our contractor has visited the property in Bonnybridge but cannot proceed with this garden until it has had a one-off cut to a suitable standard. Once this has been done it will be included in the Garden Aid service.