Pensioner spends TWO DAYS cutting back shrubs that engulfed his house

‘Reclusive’ pensioner whose house was engulfed by greenery spends TWO DAYS cutting back the overgrown shrubs despite having bad back – as neighbours tell how they ‘feel sorry’ for him because he’s been ignored by the community

  • A vine-covered house in Ramsgate, Kent has been trimmed back, revealing an arsenal of vehicles
  •  Pensioner Christopher Tull injured his back when he tackled the overgrown shrubs and trees on his property
  • The bushy house is once again accessible from the front door, before Mr Tull had to use the back door 
  • Over 12 years, the house was overrun with vines, bushes and trees which have grown increasingly wild
  • One neighbour said they felt ‘so sorry’ for the man in his seventies, who is hurt and struggling to finish the job

A pensioner whose house achieved national notoriety after becoming engulfed by his overgrown garden shrubs injured his back when he finally tried to tackle it.

Reclusive Christopher Tull, who is in his seventies, finally took action to try to get his front garden under control after shocking images of it were flashed round the world.

Some neighbours have expressed their sympathies for him, saying other residents and passers-by shouldn’t ‘judge people so quickly’.

The pictures showed his property had been buried underneath a blanket of vines, shrubs and bushes – and the publicity seems to have finally spurred him into doing some pruning.

Neighbours told MailOnline how Mr Tull spent two days hacking away at the jungle with hand-held gardening tools before having to call a halt to the works at the terraced house in Ramsgate, Kent.

With the help of a younger female relative and her husband, Mr Tull was able to clear a path to his front door and free three vehicles parked in his driveway which had been hidden under the sprawling shrubbery.

Light was able to shine through windows and the front door for the first time in years. But then he injured his back and had to stop before he could complete the huge job.

The property in Ramsgate is now accessible from the front door and the trove of vehicles in the front garden can now be seen

BEFORE AND AFTER: The severely overgrown garden engulfed a house in Ramsgate (left), but has now been cut back (right)

The property in Ramsgate was left unattended for a number of years and was the subject of neighbours complaints

The severely overgrown garden engulfed the house in Ramsgate, east Kent, causing locals to complain about the vine-ridden property before it was partially cleared today

For the first time in years, the front window of the house is allowing light into the bush-covered property in Ramsgate

One neighbour even complained they had to rebuild their wall due to incursion onto their property from the out-of-control vegetation.

Meanwhile, the local postie has boycotted the property, labelling mail destined for the bushy house ‘undeliverable’.

Despite the property’s unkempt appearance, locals said the occupant was a ‘lovely, well-kept man’.

A street view of the property – on Boundary Road, Ramsgate, east Kent – shows it has been engulfed by greenery since 2009 – and the vines have been growing ever thicker since then.

The aerial view of the house looked like a mini-jungle compared to the properties on either side of the vine-covered terrace

The owner of the property was said to get in and out of the house through the back and is friendly with his neighbours

A trio of vehicles were caught in the vines with a car, van and even a boat caught in the overgrown vegetation

Neighbours said that they had to rebuild garden walls as the greenery grew out of control on the Ramsgate terrace

Trees, shrubs and vines can be seen on the property – its owner has been described as an ‘enigma wrapped in a bush’

The garden wall on the left-hand side of the home was knocked over and rebuilt by the Ramsgate mini-jungle

A boat, car and a van were all housed underneath the vines on the property in Ramsgate, east Kent

The back of the property is less covered in the vines but still houses several vehicles including more cars and a bike

The occupant, whose house was almost entirely deprived of natural light, reportedly was happy to comply with a request by one neighbour to trim back shoots that were creeping onto their property.

One woman neighbour, who moved into the area five months ago, said: ‘I spoke to him for the first time when he was out trying to cut it all down.

‘He’s trying to sort it out but it’s not easy for him.

‘He was sad. He felt really bad about everything that has been said about him.

‘He was cutting on Sunday and Monday. His relative and her husband were helping him.

‘He feels bad about it but he told me he has got a lot of back pain that makes him stay at home.

‘He told me he would be doing some more cutting today but he hasn’t been able to because of the pain he is in. I feel so sorry for him.’

The woman told how her neighbour had been let down by an uncaring society.

She said: ‘He is such a kind man who used to do so much for charity yet now that he needs help, nobody wants to know.

‘People come up here to stare and take photographs but then just walk away.

‘Sometimes people need help but it’s not easy to know who to turn to.

‘Unfortunately he is on his own and there is nobody around to help him.

‘He does not feel good over this. We shouldn’t judge people so quickly.

‘We should help him now. I feel so bad for him. I want to help him inside the home as well if he would like that.

‘I know he needs help but I know he doesn’t like to ask anyone.

‘He doesn’t want to be any trouble to anyone.

‘I spoke to him for the first time two days before. He was so nice. He doesn’t have a lot of family. He’s here living on his own.

‘He needs to get a skip to clear everything but it’s so expensive and now he’s got his back troubles.’

Thanet District Council has been unable to get in contact with the man who owns the property in order to tame the greenery

According to bemused but complimentary neighbours, the owner keeps to himself and seldom bothers those around him

The structure of the house’s facade could barely be seen with aerial views scarcely showing a house on the land at all 

The back of the house is not much better with several cars across the back garden of the property in states of disrepair

It is unknown why the property is home to so many vehicles in both the vine-covered front and more kept back garden

Mail for the strikingly messy house has been branded undeliverable by local postal workers who can not navigate the garden

Thanet District Council said they had been unable to engage with Mr Tull over the property.

The local authority said an inspection of the property was to take place, to determine if there were grounds for legal enforcement.

Another woman neighbour said: ‘I felt uncomfortable that he was cutting it all down. I think he did it because of the public pressure.

‘He was out there with two other people. I asked them if they needed help and he said they were fine. They were here all day Sunday.

‘I think it’s a great shame it has come to this.

‘I’ve been here for 12 years and the house has always been green as long as I’ve been here. It was a bit of an oasis.

‘I was very sad when they cut it down. The council were saying things almost sounding like they were going to take his house away from him. How can they, it’s private property.’

The neighbour added: ‘I’m not sure how much more he needs to do. He can’t do anything about the roof because there are birds nesting in there. ‘There are seagulls, blackbirds, sparrows and finches all in there and you can’t do anything to disturb them.’

Rita Turner, 85, who has lived in the street for 22 years, said: ‘I’m really pleased that something has been done about it at last.

‘They had homeless people sleeping in the van. We’ve seen them getting out of there in the morning. It was nearly every day.

‘It’s about time they did something about it. I haven’t seen the man who lives there for years. I was very worried that something might have happened to him.’

The development came as a relief to the local postman who said that he had been unable to get anywhere near the front door of the property.

He said: ‘You couldn’t get in there. You couldn’t even get down the path so you couldn’t even attempt to make a delivery.’ 

Ted, another neighbour, said: ‘I just sometimes see him to say hello to. He gets in and out over the back.  He is very nice, but a bit secluded really. The house is definitely lived in. He doesn’t do a lot with it though. He leaves us alone so we leave him alone.’

Rena Reves, 40, described her mysterious neighbour as ‘an enigma wrapped in bush’.

She said: ‘There used to be a little path that went up to the front door but that’s long gone. I think squirrels live in one of the vans at the front of the garden. The problem is when it starts affecting other people.’

 A friend of the homeowner said: ‘He’s a lovely man. Done a lot for charity. It doesn’t bother him. He goes in the back way, he keeps himself lovely and clean. Always polite, well trimmed and dressed. 

‘He does live there and has for a while. He is a bit of a recluse, but it’s always been like that. It’s his property. He can do what he wants. He owns the house.’

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