It might not be exactly “anarchy in the U.K.,” but there may have been some mischief at play in the English village of West Parley.
Locals there have been snickering as of late over some unexpected growth discovered last week in one of the public floral displays situated throughout town.
Looming over the bed of pink and purple petals were several distinctive plants that were quickly identified as cannabis.
The “six suspicious plants have been removed from a parish council display after concerns were raised by a resident,” according to the BBC.
British media has had a field day with the discovery.
The West Parley parish council “was left red-faced when cannabis was spotted growing in their flower display,” the Daily Mail howled.
The Daily Mail said that “Tray Veronica, who was on the school run at the time…alerted West Parley Parish Council which confirmed that the plant was most definitely not on this year’s floral schedule.”
Some, according to Veronica, “were so big they were ‘towering above the bedding plants.”
“But embarrassingly for the council,” the Daily Mail said, “despite being alerted to the issue it has still not removed a photo on its social media celebrating the display, in which the cannabis plants are clearly visible.”
“‘I just found it hilarious. The council were looking after these planters every day,” Veronica told Metro. “All the other plants are still in the planter. It’s just the cannabis that’s been removed.
“The planters do look so beautiful. The council did a great job with them and I’m sure this was just someone’s idea of a joke.”
The council eventually addressed the offending plants.
“On 20th July, the parish council was alerted to a report concerning one of the village’s floral displays, which suggested it may have been tampered with and amongst the flowers was a plant not part of this year’s schedule,” a statement from the council said, as quoted by Metro.
“On the advice of the police, the plant was located, removed and has been secured by the parish council and arrangements are being made to pass it on to Dorset Police for identification and destruction,” the statement continued. “An inspection has taken place of all the parish’s other planters, and this has not raised any further concerns.”
The story falls under a niche, but highly amusing genre: Brits discovering cannabis growing where it shouldn’t be.
Just last summer, police discovered a huge illicit cannabis growing operation in a 17th century British castle.
“Officials took multiple days to remove plants and cultivation equipment from the building, but have not shared whether any damage was incurred to the centuries-old property as a result of the grow,” the Canadian newspaper Regina Leader-Post reported at the time.
Earlier last year, police in London discovered a massive marijuana growhouse located in the heart of the city’s financial district.
“This is the first cannabis factory in the City, no doubt being set up in response to fewer people being out and about during the pandemic who might have noticed any unusual activity,” Andy Spooner, the London detective who oversaw the investigation, said at the time. “However, this demonstrates that City of London Police continues to actively police the Square Mile, bearing down on any crime committed here.”
The New York Times noted that the operators of the growhouse capitalized on the lack of activity in the normally bustling district, which had seen a decline in foot-traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The area is normally teeming with people, particularly on weekdays. The London Stock Exchange and the corporate headquarters of major financial groups, as well as the Bank of England, are all tightly clustered in the zone, also known as the Square Mile,” the Times reported.