Fine threat for lost cat posters in Bedford

image captionThe posters feature photographs of Wookie, who has not been seen for six weeks

A man was threatened with a £1,000 fine for displaying posters of his missing cat on trees and lampposts in Bedford.

Mike Harding put up a series of A4-sized posters of Wookie, who has been missing since late November.

He said the borough council warned him of the offence of flyposting and said he had to remove the posters within 48 hours or face a fine.

The council said some posters, which have now been removed, were nailed to trees which caused them harm.

Its environmental enforcement team had discovered more than 20 of Mr Harding's lost cat posters, some of which were nailed to eight trees along the Embankment.

'Prank call'

"Nailing a tree pierces its bark and can allow fungal spores to break down the tree's defences which can lead on to secondary infections," a Bedford Borough Council spokeswoman said.

The council said it wrote to Mr Harding on 22 December to warn him he should take the posters down by 0900 GMT on 24 December.

Mr Harding, who took them all down as requested, told BBC Three Counties: "Initially, I used cable ties to attach the posters to lampposts, bus stops and pedestrian crossings.

"It was only when I nailed a few on to telegraph poles and a couple of trees that I got into trouble.

"I received a call from Bedford Borough Council, which initially I thought was a prank call, asking for my address because they wanted to send me some information.

"I was expecting information leaflets, but instead they sent a letter warning me that I would be prosecuted if the posters weren't removed."

The council said flyposting was illegal and added it was satisfied the matter had been resolved.

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