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Man cuts grass in entire village on lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:26 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:30 28 April 2020

Volunteer grass cutters have covered a lot of ground in Belton which has a lot of green spaces that needed a tidy up Picture:  Kris Hodgkyns

Volunteer grass cutters have covered a lot of ground in Belton which has a lot of green spaces that needed a tidy up Picture: Kris Hodgkyns

Archant

It started with the grassy verge outside his own home.

Kris Hodgyns and his team of mowers have won praise for their efforts mowing the whole village of Belton Picture: Kris HodgkynsKris Hodgyns and his team of mowers have won praise for their efforts mowing the whole village of Belton Picture: Kris Hodgkyns

But four days later Kris Hodgkyns, from Belton near Great Yarmouth, had mowed pretty much his whole village, raising close to £300 for NHS charities in the process.

Now the 36-year-old is the toast of his community.

Mr Hodgkyns of Bramble Gardens said he just wanted to tidy up the overgrown green spaces, and, spurred on by the good wishes of everyone around him, just kept going.

“It’s nothing that impressive, but people seem to like it,” he said.

Jimmy Barker in action mowing the grass around Belton, much to the delight of grateful villagers who have donated to the NHS in return Picture:  Kris HodgkynsJimmy Barker in action mowing the grass around Belton, much to the delight of grateful villagers who have donated to the NHS in return Picture: Kris Hodgkyns

“Everyone knows each other in Belton and they keep coming out with coffees, beers and bacon sandwiches.

“When you are always at work it is a strange time.

“I had to do something to keep me sane.”

He said on the first day he was just one man and a petrol mower.

A team of volunteer mowers firing up their machines for the good of the village included Rob Smith Picture:  Kris HodgkynsA team of volunteer mowers firing up their machines for the good of the village included Rob Smith Picture: Kris Hodgkyns

But as time went on, and bouyed by the response of villagers, he was joined by his dad Julian Hodgkyns and village chums Jimmy Barker, Rob Smith, and Jon Perrin - all properly socially distanced and abiding by national guidelines, he stressed.

Mr Barker of Amhurst Close was already going the extra mile entertaining doorstep clappers on Thursdays and shaking a bucket for the NHS, and lead the collection as Mr Hodgkyns mowed.

Mr Hodgkyns, who lives with his partner and young child and has his own company HD Windows and Doors, reckons he has spent more than 20 hours trimming the greens.

“People seem happy we are doing it, and it does look better,” he said.

Jon Perrin was among those volunteering their mowing skills to keep Belton tidy in a show of communtiy spirit that has impressed locals Picture:  Kris HodgkynsJon Perrin was among those volunteering their mowing skills to keep Belton tidy in a show of communtiy spirit that has impressed locals Picture: Kris Hodgkyns

“The old girls and the old boys are coming up and putting money in the bucket.

“We have probably done about 75pc of the village.”

Hailing their actions one person said: “A few lads from Belton village have spent all week taking their mowers and doing the whole village themselves - also raising money along the way for the NHS.

“It’s really fab what they’re doing.”

A swathe grass in Belton looking much better for its cut by a team of volunteers who ended up covering virtually the whole village Picture:  Kris HodgkynsA swathe grass in Belton looking much better for its cut by a team of volunteers who ended up covering virtually the whole village Picture: Kris Hodgkyns

Another said: “Such an amazing job being done and raising money too.”

While one woman hailed them for their community spirit saying: “Belton is proud.”

In a statement Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “Due to the coronavirus situation, the council temporarily suspended grass cutting three weeks ago, so staff could be redeployed to other services that had been prioritised.

“Grass cutting at open spaces and parks has now resumed and this will expand to other areas in the upcoming weeks.”

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