FOR 25 years gardener Lynne Fredlund has had a bamboo hedge at her allotment to stop pollution from nearby trains getting into her tracheotomy hole.

But now the bamboo barrier has now been taken down, due to strict allotment association rules governing plot holders at Cripley Meadow, North Oxford.

The positioning of Ms Fredlund’s blackberry brambles on the edge of her plot is also proving a thorny issue, and she has been asked to move them to the centre.

Despite the filmmaker’s protests, her canes were removed on Thursday and Friday by contractors hired by the allotment association’s management committee.

Ms Fredlund, 60, from Cumnor, who needed a tracheotomy following a car accident, said she had been an allotment holder for the past 28 years.

She added: “The bamboo screen measured about 15 metres in length.

“It had been there for about 25 years and I think I should have been allowed to keep it.

“Following a car accident in 1981 I have always had problems with my throat and I did not want particulates from the train dust getting on to my allotment.

“I have cultivated blackberries on the edge of my plot and they are very sweet and nice, but now the management committee says the brambles should be in the middle not on the edge.

“I think they are being far too strict and I feel quite upset by this. “ Wendy Skinner Smith, chairman of the management committee, said the bamboo had grown to 15ft over the years and had not been trimmed back.

She said the decision to remove the bamboo was made by members at the annual general meeting and was not the decision of the management committee.

She added: “The site is managed by a committee who are elected annually and governed by its AGM of members.

“Most of the present committee has been reclaiming Cripley Meadow for six years and some are are also long-term members of the association so we are very aware of the changes to the site.

“We now have a flourishing site which has accommodated over 200 new members in that time and we have reclaimed over 120 plots.

“The committee has tried hard over these years to accommodate 15ft bamboo as a hedge where our rules state a 5ft maximum, but this year the AGM in March voted for bamboo to be banned and removed from the site.

“Over a month ago we offered to help her remove it in stages and help with bending some of it for use as a frame and that she should have all the crop.

“We also booked the contractor and agreed the association would pay for the removal.”

Mrs Skinner Smith said the council’s parks department supported the decision to remove the bamboo and added that Ms Fredlund remained a valued member.

She added that brambles on the edges of plots “tended not to be cultivated”.