'I will strike again' says Human Shrub

THE mysterious Human Shrub, who is growing into an international celebrity, has spoken out to reveal what is at the root of his campaign.

Roddy Ashworth

THE mysterious Human Shrub, who is growing into an international celebrity, yesterday spoke out to reveal what was at the root of his campaign.

He has vowed to strike “again and again and again” in his horticultural crusade until the streets of Colchester are once more filled with the perfume of flowers and the buzzing of bees.

The anonymous leafy creature, who shot to prominence earlier this week after he was spotted tending to a neglected municipal plant container, has said he is preparing a list of demands for leading councillors in the town.

The Human Shrub first came to prominence in April, during a one-plant demonstration in Colchester High Street after councillors decided that 20% of the town's roadside shrubs and rose beds should be ripped out and grassed over to save cash.

The campaign was successful and the unpopular decision by Colchester Borough Council was subsequently reversed in a political U-Turn that became known locally as Shrubgate.

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Recently the eco-hero returned to the public eye when he planted a bush and some floral decorations in one of the council's civic plant containers that, along with many others, had this year not been planted with flowers and was instead filled of dying weeds.

Yesterday the Human Shrub, whose favourite drink is sparkling water, told the EADT that he wishes to take his message to the “leader of humans of the united kingdoms” at No. 10 Downing Street.

He said: “I want him to step in and tell Colchester's political humans to invest money in plants and flowers for the sake of the bees and so all the humans of Colchester can enjoy the sweet smell of the flowers.”

He added: “I am going to strike again and again and again until the political humans [in Colchester] agree to plant more. I will soon outline a list of demands.”

Meanwhile, since the EADT first revealed the Human Shrub's latest protest, news of his antics have spread across the world, with newspapers, TV stations and websites taking up the story.

On his Facebook page he now has more than 1,000 friends, including many from Canada and Australia where he featured on national radio on Wednesday.

One British newspaper trying to establish his true identity suggested that beneath his camouflage suit may be Darius Laws, a local media professional and Conservative Party activist.

But Mr Laws, 27, denied he was the plant in question.

“I am a serious politician and would never dress up as a superhero,” Mr Laws said.

“I know who the Human Shrub is. He is not a politician, he is an eco-activist and he doesn't want to be unmasked.”

And he added that he fully supported his campaign to reinstate Colchester's flower containers.

“Every other town and city in the country is in full bloom at the moment.

“In fact I was in Lincoln the other day and took a photo of Lincoln's flowers and they are amazing.”

Yesterday council cabinet member Martin Hunt said that plans were in place to fill the town's most high-profile plant containers with greenery in the autumn.

“These will be on the gateway roads and the arterial roads,” he added.

“Then in the spring we will put the flowers in.”