Essex

Colchester 'Human Shrub' vows to protect green spaces

Human Shrub Image copyright Darius Laws
Image caption The Human Shrub appears to be a human who dresses as a shrub

A mysterious eco-activist calling himself the Human Shrub has vowed to be "a thorn in the side of anyone" threatening Essex's green spaces.

The Colchester man, who dresses like a shrub, came to prominence in 2009 when his protest against the council turfing over roses resulted in a U-turn.

His campaigning has continued, but his identity is unknown.

BBC Essex was sent a recording, apparently from the Shrub, saying he intends to continue fighting his cause.

'Savage the shrubs'

The Human Shrub - sometimes known as Shrubby - resurfaced recently when he sent a gift to borough councillor Dave Harris, who is spearheading the council's Colchester in Bloom campaign.

"I received this muddy envelope with a letter, which said: 'Dear Mr Harris, please help these flowers grow and keep Colchester blooming, signed, the Human Shrub'."

There was about £70 worth of seeds inside including marigolds and dahlias.

"I quite like the idea he's got the Colchester community at heart and he's doing something positive in a way that enhances it."

Image copyright Darius Laws
Image caption Darius Laws (right) claims to be a friend of the Human Shrub (left) but will not reveal his identity

However, the identity of the green-fingered benefactor remains a mystery.

Darius Laws, a friend of the Human Shrub, said: "He's quite a shy individual and doesn't enjoy the limelight too much."

However, he agreed to deliver a message from the Shrub to BBC Essex.

In a disguised voice recording, he said: "I was deeply saddened when the political humans on Colchester's council threatened to rip up the roses and savage the shrubs."

He praised the In Bloom campaign, adding: "My sole mission has only ever been to stop those humans who wield power from spoiling our shared environment.

"I hope they've got the message.

"Just in case they haven't, I will always remain a thorn in the side of anyone if they try to make the same mistake again."

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