A COUPLE from Weaverham have found themselves in the media spotlight after the council told them their gardening was a criminal offence.

Colin and Kath Halsey's story has been in national newspapers and been the subject of chat shows on TV and radio since it was published in the Guardian.

"It's gone viral on the internet, people in Australia and all over the world are talking about it," Colin said.

"It was discussed on TV on The Wright Stuff, they had quite a big chat about it, and Mark Little really went to town on it – in our favour."

The pensioners, who live in Walnut Avenue, are currently fighting a battle with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) about the future of the wide grass verge in front of their home.

They argue that they won permission 14 years ago from the former Cheshire County Council to add flower beds to the verge to stop people parking on it and turning it into a muddy mess.

But now CWAC claims they did not have permission for the beautifully tended borders and has written to the Halseys to say they must reinstate the grass or be prosecuted.

Colin said: "If I had just done it say 12 to 18 months ago without permission I would have held my hands up and said 'fair enough' but it's been that long.

"I'm pleased it's gone national and on the internet."

The couple's work also includes a path so that Kath, who suffers with arthritis, can easily travel between the car and house.

Their son Robert said: "We didn't think it would create that much interest.

"All we really wanted was for the council to say 'it looks nice, everyone agrees, leave it be'."

A CWAC spokesman said the verges were the responsibility of the council but that it was willing to meet with the Halseys and with Weaverham Parish Council to see if a formal agreement could be put in place.