Guerrilla Gardeners’ Form Alternative Barny Army

Guerrilla Gardeners

The campaign to tidy up Barnstaple took an unexpected turn this week, when ‘guerrilla gardeners’ took to the streets to maintain roadside areas without support from local authorities.

Town Clerk Will Austin spotted one member of the self-styled ‘Secret Barny Army’ clearing weeds from an area at the bottom of Pilton Causeway on Thursday evening (18 June). Mr Austin said “The young lady seemed to be doing a great job, but I was keen to find out whether she was part of the volunteer register we had set up, as she wasn’t wearing one of our hi-vis jackets. She told me that she wasn’t part of the Town Council’s ‘bourgeois establishment do-gooders’ and was part of an undercover group that would ‘sort out the mess without the help of suits like you’.

“We talked for a while and eventually she conceded that the regular Barny Army did have a role to play in what she called ‘the war on Devon County Council’s Exeter-ist plot to hide North Devon behind a wall of thistles and long grass’. Naturally the Town Council can’t officially sanction such actions except clearing weeds in front of your own home, and we appeal to those involved to stay safe. The lady declined to be identified and refused my offer to involve her and her ‘comrades in the resistance movement’ in the Barny Army efforts, but said that her group would ‘only dig in where the regular volunteers weren’t active’.

The exact nature of this shady organisation is unknown, but it is thought to work in small groups to avoid being easily visible, and to insulate itself when an individual activist joins the regular Barny Army. Rumours are circulating that the next day’s battle plans are hatched in local pubs after each guerrilla ‘attack’.

Mr Austin has called on the group to lay down their unofficial gardening tools and join the Barny Army. “They, and anyone else wanting to help tidy up the town, should contact the Town Council on 01271 373311. We can arrange properly supervised and managed activities through our volunteer and sponsorship schemes.”


 

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