What out of context might seem like a piece of performance art or a comment on environmental policy is unfolding at the Palace of Westminster, where someone is pulling the leaves off the trees one-by-one.
The curious pursuit was spotted by The Telegraph's Christopher Hope, who wrote on Twitter: "This is how Autumn happens in the Palace of Westminster. The lady on the ladder is pulling the leaves off the trees."
This is how Autumn happens in the Palace of Westminster. The lady on the ladder is pulling the leaves off the trees. pic.twitter.com/ruOEq9MW22— Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) November 14, 2014
As interest grew and other reporters headed down for a sighting themselves, it was clear answers were needed.
Yes, I can confirm someone is de-leafing a tree, one leaf at a time in Parliament? Why? I'll try to find out. pic.twitter.com/ESS8NBF9sR— Darren McCaffrey (@DMcCaffreySKY) November 14, 2014
Hope eventually got some from the the House of Commons, which explained the person pictured was in fact simply a gardener "pleaching" the trees.
"The House of Commons employs a gardening service which covers maintenance of more than 145 trees on … separate the cost of removing leaves from the trees in New Palace Yard from the wider cost of the gardening contract," a spokesperson said.
"The leaves are removed each winter as a more time-efficient alternative to raking fallen leaves."
Pleaching is usually done to hedges and branches covering walkways and must have been a pretty gruelling task on this scale, the garden having over 60 trees.Reuse content