3rd August 2018

Weeding out cowboy gardeners

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards has issued advice to local residents around doorstep ‘cowboy’ gardeners who charge thousands of pounds for poor-quality work and then illegally dump the garden rubbish they create.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

Householders in Warwickshire have been warned not to accept offers of gardening services from unexpected doorstep callers and thoroughly check anyone they are considering employing – for example those who advertise by flyers and cards dropped through the letterbox.

According to Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, “Rogue gardeners know little or nothing about trees and plants and will often just attempt to cut down anything they see before illegally dumping the garden waste, leaving your garden in a worse state than before.”

The council’s advice includes five tips to residents for avoiding rogue gardeners:

1) Rogue gardeners hide behind false names and addresses. Never buy from the door and always ensure you know where a trader is based before you employ them.

2) Legitimate traders should have public liability insurance to cover any damage they might cause to your property (or that of your neighbours). This is especially important if you are employing a gardener/landscaper/tree surgeon to trim branches or remove trees.

3) Look for a gardener with a professional qualification. There are many different schemes available, such as NVQ, HND, NPTC and RHS.

4) Seek written quotes from a number of gardening/landscaping businesses before you choose a service.

5) If you’re not sure who to turn to, consider ‘No Rogue Traders Here’, Warwickshire Trading Standards Service’s trusted trader scheme (phone 0800 233 5000), or other recognised schemes.

Warwickshire residents wishing to make a complaint about goods or services they have purchased can do so by contacting Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

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